GREAT SHOW: Tania Kernaghan drew a great crowd to Anderson Park yesterday for R U OK? Day yesterday to sing True Blue.
GREAT SHOW: Tania Kernaghan drew a great crowd to Anderson Park yesterday for R U OK? Day yesterday to sing True Blue. Sam Flanagan

Breaking down barriers through song

STRANGERS united in song at Anderson Park on Thursday as a simple yet important symbol of mateship.

RUOK? Day began in Australia in 2009 and since then the not-for-profit suicide prevention organisation has staged special events around the country every year on September 13.

Famed Australian country singer Tania Kernaghan dropped into town to sing True Blue with hundreds of people to mark the day.

"Dalby is such a beautiful town and it's been a while since I've been here,” Ms Kernaghan told the crowd.

"Whenever I get the chance to get to the other side of the Toowoomba range I'm there. I love rural Australia.

"It's (True Blue) special to everyone, everyone knows it ... it could be our national anthem.” Ms Kernaghan performed among students from Dalby State School.

According to a National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing, 65,000 Australians attempt suicide in a 12-month period.

Ms Kernaghan said mental health is something society has to take more seriously.

"It's not just one person, everybody needs to pull together. We're the many cogs in the world that makes it turn,” she said.

"Remember in the old days you'd take a casserole over to your neighbours or you might bake a cake and just drop in to catch up?

"It's more than just asking if you're okay, it's about saying 'come over, let's have a talk'.

"If you sit down and have a talk and peel back the layers of the onion, you'll find that everyone has problems and a problem shared is a problem halved.

"I'd like to think that out of today we can all go away and say to one person 'let's have a cup of tea' and get back to what's really important.”

The event was organised by the Dalby Welcoming Community with Origin Energy and Lifeline.


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