Participant Testimonials

Cathy Lee, Youth Empowered towards Independence, FNA areas Bamaga, Weipa and Cooktown

 “I’ve been to many suicide prevention training programs as a requirement for my work with vulnerable people, in particular Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. The training has always focused on the pointy end of suicide, the crisis point.

Having been exposed to numerous suicides which have included deaths and attempts I had become sceptical of training, not saying it no longer has a place but rather there had to be something else that was more relevant and preventative. When I was asked by our HR department if I would be interested, I looked through the flyer and what trigged my attention was about conversations and prevention.

This is a common-sense approach to suicide prevention, it takes it back to grass roots levels, before the state of the person escalates into a crisis. A common-sense approach that provides practical tools and skills to have a conversation that could be potentially awkward – but now has the potential to assist the person who is distressed to reach a positive and healthy outcome.

The Conversations for Life and Stronger Smarter Yarns for Life programs inspire me as a healthcare professional to not only provide training and to throw the net out, but to apply these strategies in my everyday work and private life. Marion and Toby are AWESOME, warm, friendly, inclusive trainers. Well done!” 

Anne Doyle, Acting Indigenous Mental Health Coordinator, Darling Downs Hospital Service

 “Thank you for bringing us this training. Conversations for life and Stronger Smarter Yarns for life are programs that fill a gap in suicide prevention.

 As an Aboriginal woman, having this training which I intend to take to the community gives me hope and excites me. If I am able to pass on the skills to people to give them the confidence to have those difficult conversations and potentially save lives – it will be wonderful.  

 We have to stop our loved ones seeing suicide as any sort of option and these programs go a long way toward that.  I cannot express enough thanks to Marion and Toby, our wonderful facilitators. I personally cannot wait to start the planning to implement this training, especially in the community.”


Katrina Rutherford, Research Worker CQ University

“I can’t speak highly enough of the Conversations for Life and Stronger Smarter Yarns for Life program! Addressing the important issue of suicide prevention, particularly focusing on the early intervention stage, it emphasises that we can all play a role in these conversations for life. The strength based approached was excellent and rich, conversations and learnings happened between all participants. Marion and Toby facilitated the sessions with skill and passion. The program is an excellent mix of evidence and practical application. Easy to apply with staff at boarding schools, students and families about feeling confident and comfortable to have those yarns.”


Cathy Lee, Youth Empowered towards Independence, FNA areas Bamaga, Weipa and Cooktown

 “I’ve been to many suicide prevention training programs as a requirement for my work with vulnerable people, in particular Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. The training has always focused on the pointy end of suicide, the crisis point.

Having been exposed to numerous suicides which have included deaths and attempts I had become sceptical of training, not saying it no longer has a place but rather there had to be something else that was more relevant and preventative. When I was asked by our HR department if I would be interested I looked through the flyer and what trigged my attention was about conversations and prevention.

This is a common-sense approach to suicide prevention, it takes it back to grass roots levels, before the state of the person escalates into a crisis. A common-sense approach that provides practical tools and skills to have a conversation that could be potentially awkward – but now has the potential to assist the person who is distressed to reach a positive and healthy outcome.

The Conversations for Life and Stronger Smarter Yarns for Life programs inspire me as a healthcare professional to not only provide training and to throw the net out, but to apply these strategies in my everyday work and private life. Marion and Toby are AWESOME, warm, friendly, inclusive trainers. Well done!”