Introducing our new Lifeline North Coast Ambassadors

Being a Lifeline North Coast Ambassador is an important role in our North Coast community.
Our local Ambassadors are passionate about suicide prevention and supporting mental health, they undertake community engagement activities and participate in Lifeline North Coast events and initiatives. This helps to raise awareness of our services and encourages open and responsible discussion about mental health and suicide.

Tony Judge

Why did you apply to become an Ambassador for Lifeline North Coast?
Lifeline is an important part of my life. I have been a telephone crisis supporter for 5 years. Since joining Lifeline I have seen the immense difference that it makes to the lives of people who are suffering distress. I would like to do as much as I can to support the work that Lifeline does and to help it grow. It is so important that we continue to work towards the prevention of suicide and provide the support that is so deeply needed by people who are facing a tough time in their life.

What does being an Ambassador mean to you?

I am honoured to be offered the opportunity to be an ambassador for Lifeline. I am looking forward to the opportunity to represent Lifeline, to explain and publicise the work that we do and to highlight the importance of that work in preventing suicide and dealing with distress. I am very aware that I will need to represent the values of Lifeline – compassion, connection, and a commitment to help.

During your time as an ambassador, what would you like to achieve?

I would like to contribute to a greater level of understanding of the work that Lifeline does. I would like to help to translate that improved understanding into a greater level of community engagement and to encourage others to consider taking up the role of crisis supporter.

What would you say to encourage someone to reach out for help?

No matter how desperate things become, take the opportunity to ask for help and share how you feel. Find people who listen and people you can trust with your thoughts and feelings. One of the great benefits of Lifeline is that it is an anonymous, confidential call service. Many people feel more comfortable opening up in that setting.

Samantha Dawson

Why did you apply to become an Ambassador for Lifeline?

I believe this will be an amazing opportunity to extend my volunteer work in supporting the LGBTIQ area as my current role is coordinating PFLAG here on the Coffs Coast. I am passionate about helping families as I have a gay son and knew how hard it was to navigate when I arrived here 12 years ago and there weren’t any support networks readily available.

What does being an Ambassador mean to you?

It means being able to show how much Lifeline is important for the LGBTIQ community and to be able to easily cross over what I do with the services offered that truly help the people I engage with.

During your time as an ambassador, what would you like to achieve?

I hope to bring further awareness to how much we need to support these regional families. I already write monthly articles in Focus magazine drawing attention to real issues that LGBTIQ families face from “coming out” to homophobia, transphobia and try to shine a light on people’s attitudes and beliefs by dispelling age-old myths and prejudice. I was very active and happy to be interviewed on TV and radio when the Marriage Equality debate was in full swing and held an 80 strong event at Supply with all suppliers in the wedding industry for the YES vote.

What would you say to encourage someone to reach out for help?

I would make sure I listened and asked the right questions and then encouraged them to seek further help with the appropriate service. I am currently learning all the services via my Cert IV in Mental Health course which I’m really enjoying, and I am doing online around my full-time job at Focus Magazine.

Sam and Tony play a critical role in destigmatising suicide and mental health issues in the community, and they assist in showing that mental illness and suicidal thoughts don’t discriminate between social status, age, race, gender or any other demographic. Anyone can be affected, at any stage of life, stigma is still one of the main barriers for people seeking or accepting help for a mental illness or suicidal thoughts.

Our carefully chosen Ambassadors will help us spread our message of building a more resilient suicide-free community.” Angela Martin Communications and Community Engagement Manager for Lifeline North Coast.

To express your interest in becoming an ambassador please email angela.martin@lifeline. to fill out an online form.