Citizen of the Year awards
2022 Citizen and Young Citizen of the Year
Congratulations to the 2022 City of Greater Bendigo Citizen of the Year Alannah McGregor and the Young Citizen of the Year Jed Zimmer.
Alannah jointly started SPAN Central Victoria in 2011, with the support of Rod Case and Bette Phillips, with the aim of increasing community awareness about the incidence and impact of suicide, and encourage the community to acknowledge and discuss the issue.
Alannah’s focus is on demystifying what is often a hidden issue in society and share advice on prevention and wellbeing, and to look out for each other.
Workplace bullying lead to the deaths of Alannah’s children, and she initially started raising awareness through a short DVD she sent to workplaces to help educate employers and employees.
Each year SPAN Central Victoria holds a Suicide Prevention and Awareness walk and in 2019 received grant funding to hold Safe Talk seminars for workplaces and in the community.
Last year Alannah was also the inaugural recipient of the Fred Hollow’s Foundation Humanitarian of the Year award, which celebrates everyday people who care for others.
You may recognise the name Jed Zimmer from his efforts last year to raise $20,000 for headspace Bendigo through a push-up challenge that invited the community to complete 3,318 push-ups over 25 days, highlighting the 3,318 people who died by suicide in Australia in 2019.
Jed is a member of headspace Bendigo’s Youth Reference Group, which focuses on improving mental health among Bendigo’s young people.
The 23-year-old is also the founder of ‘The Health Project’ podcast, which shares how we can improve our health, happiness and fitness with the help of science, he presents mental health workshops in secondary schools, and supports people with a diverse range of disabilities to access care and engage in sport.
He is studying a Bachelor of Secondary Education at La Trobe University Bendigo, majoring in Physical Education and Health Education.
Jed’s message to other young people is to always seek help and to know that things will get better.