A weekly column by Rev Dr Gordon Moyes, Superintendent of Wesley Mission.
June 26th, 2000
||Wesley Mission's LifeForce program received a huge boost last week at a
"This is Your Life" function held at Darling Harbour Convention Centre. Organised by Wesley Mission's Paula Duncan, the night saw more than 600 guests experience a night with the stars, including performances by Killing Heidi, Bardot and Leonardo's Bride, three of the hottest pop groups in Australia.
A highlight of the night was an announcement by the Prime Minister John Howard that the government had donated $100,000 to support the suicide prevention work of LifeForce. The list of celebrities at the event was a Who's Who of Australian television performers. Among those who performed at the event were Jackie Love, Normie Rowe, Barry Crocker, Kamahl and Daryl Braithwaite. The 15 piece orchestra was under the leadership of Maestro Tommy Tycho.
With the theme of the event being 'This is Your Life', it was no surprise when Mike Munro made an appearance and surprised one of the guests. After the main course, the guests became the television audience for a recording of the well known 'This is Your Life' television program, to be shown in a few weeks on Channel 9. The featured celebrity was Australian Actor Rowena Wallace who was chosen because from the heights of TV fame she had become so depressed she wanted to kill herself - the very sort of person LifeForce is seeking to save.
An auction, with celebrity auctioneer Ray Hadley raised $62,000. Items were donated by LG, Daewoo and Cunard Lines. Wesley LifeForce seeks to reduce the suicide rate by community education. Our Mission staff have conducted LifeForce seminars through NSW and Victoria and are expanding to other states. We raised over $300,000 for our work because of this night. LifeForce Manager Randall Pieterse spoke of the hidden problems of suicide. "Our program is based on research which tells us that 80 per cent of people contemplating suicide give warning signs and 90 per cent do not, in fact, want to die."