Andree Roberts the Marcus Mission event co-ordinator.
Andree Roberts the Marcus Mission event co-ordinator.

Textiles to remember Marcus and save lives

INTERNATIONALLY renowned artist Cynthia Morgan will have her beautiful variety of textiles on sale for a very special cause.

The exhibition will not only celebrate the extensive career of the 85-year-old artist, but profits from the 60 stunning pieces, all of which were donated, will go to Marcus Mission, in a bid to prevent suicide.

Marcus Mission was first started when Cynthia’s grandson and her daughter Andree Roberts’ son took his own life, at the age of 23.

But instead of allowing the tragedy to consume them, the family bravely started the charity to help save the lives of men who feel helpless, alone and unable to cope with life challenges.

“Once a month in Bundaberg, we run free resilience workshops to create optimism, hope and give men the tools they need to deal with difficult challenges and regulate their emotions so that terrible tragedies like this don’t happen,” Ms Roberts said.

“We also have ten male mentors who are trained by Marcus Mission in Bundaberg to provide a free service, without judgment and that allows men in the community to connect with, talk to and go for a walk with.

“And they will try to reduce the stress, pain and anxiety … we are not a counselling centre, but we are here for support.”

Andree Roberts the Marcus Mission event co-ordinator.
Andree Roberts the Marcus Mission event co-ordinator.

Ms Roberts said the exhibition would interest quilters, artists and anyone wanting to raise funds for suicide prevention.

And there’s something for everyone with stunning and unique artworks, greeting cards, raffles and lucky door prizes donated by local businesses and T-shirts and canvases showing Marcus’s own incredible photographs.

“It’s a joyful exhibition full of colour, light, texture, a lifetime of incredible artwork on the walls and all donated … it is such an incredible opportunity for Bundaberg and we are just so lucky to have it here,” Ms Roberts said.

“We will also have a remembrance tree where people who have lost someone can donate a gold coin, choose a textile leaf made by Cynthia and they can write that person’s name on it to remember them.”

But above all else, Ms Roberts wants anyone struggling in our community to reach out and ask for the help they deserve.

And with Bundaberg’s suicide rates higher than the national average and six out of eight suicides being a man aged 18-44, there is reason for concern.

In addition to the mentor programs and resilience workshops, Marcus Mission also offers suicide prevention training for loved ones and service finder cards.

“Sometimes we are too much in our heads and we don’t realise that painful moments in our life do go and don’t last and if we can just get through those moments where the emotions are so overwhelming, which is why we are so focused on offering resilience training, it could save a life.”

The exhibition will run from tonight until 6pm through to November 7 at the School of Arts building on Bourbong St.

If you or someone you know is struggling, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, Beyond Blue on 1300 22 46 36 or Marcus Mission at https://bit.ly/2PF3Obg.



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