The Empowering our Communities program offers support to people and communities struggling with drought.

Trusted Advocates

Information Session

Join the teams from WNSW PHN and RAMHP at an Information Session to learn more about Trusted Advocates

Date: October 15

Time: 5.30pm

Location: Coonabarabran Town Hall, John Street

RSVP: Please call 0438 696 510 or email 

Expressions of Interest Open

The Western NSW Primary Health Network (WNSW PHN) is seeking expressions of interest for the Trusted Advocates program in Coonabarabran and surrounding communities.

What is a Trusted Advocate?

Trusted Advocates are trusted members of their community that have demonstrated resilience in dealing with adversity. A trusted advocate is a person who is already sought out by community members in times of need including stress and anxiety caused by the current prolonged drought. Trusted advocates may not have had the opportunity to engage in training and ongoing support to assist them in this role. A feature of the Trusted Advocate Network activity is access to training and support.

Where has the Trusted Advocate approach come from?

The Australian Government took immediate steps to roll out extra mental health support initiatives across the country assisting rural communities to deal with the uncertainty, stress and anxiety of drought conditions. This is initiative is known as The Empowering our Communities initiative. The Empowering our Communities initiative was announced in 2018 to fund community-led mental health, social and emotional wellbeing and suicide prevention initiatives.

Consultations undertaken by the National Drought Taskforce Coordinator- General for Drought, Major General Day provided insight that community members were looking for someone to talk to within their community who would listen to them rather than treat them.

The National Drought Taskforce selected Coonabarabran as the Western NSW region town for the Trusted Advocates Network.

Western NSW Primary Health Network (WNSW PHN) will be responsible for facilitating the Trusted Advocate activity in Coonabarabran and surrounding community and will be working with the Rural Adversity Mental Health Program (RAMHP) in supporting the program.

What support is available for Trusted Advocates?

  • Ongoing training and support, including clinical supervision and debriefing.
  • Information about online, face to face and self-help mental health and wellbeing supports within their community to help facilitate referrals.
  • Trusted advocates will be reimbursed for reasonable travel and incidental expenses such as meals required when undertaking their role.

Expressions of interest are invited from up to ten people living and working in Coonabarabran and surrounding community to be Trusted Advocates.

To apply download an information pack, complete the questions and return to:

Project Officer Community Wellbeing, Drought
Western NSW PHN
PO Box 890, DUBBO, NSW, 2830


EOIs close 5pm 31 October 2019

download an information pack 

Grant funding

Round 2 of the Community, Wellbeing and Drought Relief grant program recipients.

  • The Trust of Warren Youth Foundation - providing reaI life experiences for underprivileged youth through education, training, support and mentoring
  • QOE Health - Half Full Mate Conversations at Lightning Ridge, Nyngan, Coonabarabran, including Public Spaces Network Weaving Creating Conversations & Connections
  • Brumbies 4 Recovery - Community Wellbeing Clinics at Menindee, Packsaddle and Cobar 
  • National Loss for Loss and Grief NSW Inc (NALAG) - Wellbeing in Communities  
  • Ivanhoe Central School - From Ivanhoe to Uluru (trip for school kids to get away from the drought)
  • Brewarrina Shire Council - A Splash of Colour to Brighten the day
  • Balranald Branch of Isolated Children - Hatfield Happening Women's Wellbeing Day
  • VERTO Limited - Cowra Suicide Prevention Workshops
  • Dunedoo Sport Club Ltd - The Dune "Doo" Working & Wellness
  • Marrra Creek Public School - Marra "Boots Off" Health & Wellness Day
  • PCYC Walgett - "Friday Night - We're All Right" Diversionary Activity Program 
  • Walgett Little Athletics Centre - Centre Equipment Upgrade
  • Coonamble Aboriginal Health - Coonamble Q Fever Program
  • The Collie Recreation Reserve Trust - Collie Community Tennis Day
  • St Vincent De Paul Society NSW - Dealing in Drought Bootcamp & BBQ
  • Wellington Men's Shed - Volunteers Support Activity 
  • The Exchange Dubbo Pty Ltd - The Change, free access to business ideation support, mentorships and industry appropriate networking events
  • Watershed Landcare Inc - Support, build personal and business resilience in rural commmunities
  • PLS Learning Solutions Australasia Pty Ltd - Positive Living Skills Wellbeing initiative
  • Creative Collective ARI Inc. - Out of the Box Creative Drop In Centre
  • Neighbourhood Central - Sowing Cyber Seeds for Parkes Farmers
  • Royal Flying Doctor Service - South Eastern Section - Cobar , Dubbo, Gilgandra High School, Menindee Mens Shed, Trangie Central School, Wilcannia Mens Shed GROW Program (Early intervention through Aquaponics program)

More Information

Beth Mills

Project Officer - Community Wellbeing
Phone: (02) 5317 1269