Growing Change attracts WA Labor support to expand to Melville


Opposition spokesperson for Mental Health Stephen Dawson, Labor Candidate for Bicton Lisa O’Malley, Growing Change operations manager Jess Stenhouse and farm manager Harry Wykman.
Opposition spokesperson for Mental Health Stephen Dawson, Labor Candidate for Bicton Lisa O’Malley, Growing Change operations manager Jess Stenhouse and farm manager Harry Wykman.

THE seat of Bicton has attracted another election commitment with WA Labor pledging $80,000 to help mental health support organisation Growing Change expand its urban farm project into Melville.

Growing Change aims to build strong and supportive communities for people struggling with mental health issues.

It currently operates an urban farm in North Fremantle that provides training and employment opportunities for people experiencing mental illness.

The farm grows organic vegetables, which are sold to local restaurants.

Labor candidate for Bicton Lisa O’Malley lost her elder brother Michael Hams to suicide in 2014.

“I know first-hand the importance of providing support to people struggling with mental illnesses,” she said.

“I’ve seen the incredible impact Growing Change has had since they set up in North Fremantle.

“Bringing them to Melville is something I know will have a positive effect in the electorate of Bicton.

“We’ve got to step up and people with mental illnesses, because we are losing them and they are valuable people in our community.”

Caretaker chief executive of Growing Change Robyn Coleman said the organisation aimed to grow healthy produce in order to grow healthy minds.

“This funding will allow us to reach more people in the community that are feeling isolated and raise community awareness,” she said.