MATES Big Lap returns with gusto and enthusiasm for 2024

by Helena Morgan
0 comment

Using the success of last year’s inaugural MATES Big Lap as a launching pad, MATES in Construction is excited by the prospects and potential of this year’s event, hoping to smash last year’s donation records and further emphasise the need for industry reform in combatting suicide rates.

Last year’s MATES Big Lap established an encouraging precedent for future events, as participants ran, walked, swam, and wheeled their way towards generating suicide prevention awareness for those in the construction, mining, energy, and manufacturing sectors. 

The MATES Big Lap last year tallied over 80,000 kilometres – the equivalent of five laps around Australia – and raised $120,000 through 1490 donations. This year’s fundraiser – guided by the theme ‘Move for your MATES’ – aims to double participation and cover an equivalent of nine laps around Australia. 

MATES in Construction was established in 2008 as a not-for-profit charity committed to slashing the high suicide rates of Australian construction workers. The charity offers a 24/7 helpline and hosts community development and training programmes. 

Moving for a statement 

This year’s ambitious goal not only highlights the value of physical health in nurturing and improving mental wellbeing, but it also functions as a rallying cry for individuals, businesses and communities to unite and reverse suicide rate statistics. 

Young male construction workers are crippled by suicide rates which are twice that of other young Australian men. Construction workers are also six times more likely to die by suicide than from a workplace accident.

MATES Australia CEO Chris Lockwood says the event is not just about moving to demonstrate solidarity to peers and loved ones, but moving with the purpose of inciting change.

“We’re moving to make a statement,” he says. “Every step and every lap counts towards breaking the stigma around mental health and turning the tide against suicide in our vital industries.”

Photography supplied. 

Apprentice Sally Wills says industry reform in construction is critically needed. 

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More