Media Release | Rabobank Australia
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Rabobank brings mental health workshops to northern Victorian and southern NSW rural communities

Communities in northern Victoria and southern NSW have the chance to access a service dedicated to encouraging country men and women to talk about mental health, at a series of Rabobank hosted-workshops designed to spread awareness about depression in the bush.

The practical ‘Are you bogged mate?’ Workshops – providing rural and remote communities with an opportunity to discuss topics such as depression and suicide awareness in the bush – will be held in Urana, Kerang and Rochester in early February.

The initiative has been spearheaded by food and agribusiness banking specialist Rabobank’s Rabo Client Council – a group of the bank’s farming clients who volunteer their time implementing programs that contribute to the sustainability of rural and regional communities.

Offered at no cost to participants, the interactive workshops will be led by Mary O'Brien, who established ‘Are you bogged mate?’ an initiative designed to connect country men and women with lifesaving support services.

Riverina & Northern Victoria Rabo Client Council chair Monique Bryant said mental health awareness is an “important conversation our rural communities need to be having”.

“Mary O'Brien is a Queensland spray drift risk management specialist who has spent her career working closely with men - rural men in particular,” Ms Bryant said.

“So when it comes to topics such as depression and suicide awareness in the bush, theirs is a unique language that she speaks.

“Mary is a passionate advocate for agriculture and was raised on the land, and she understands the diverse challenges that those in the rural sector may face.

“After spending her whole life working in rural and remote Australia, Mary knows country blokes. She’s worked with them, for them and beside them and most importantly, she knows how to talk to them.”

Ms Bryant said this down-to-earth perspective is what makes ‘Are you bogged mate?’ resonate with rural and remote communities.

Rabobank regional manager Sally Bull said the workshops will be organised by the Rabo Client Council and funded by the Rabo Community Fund.

Ms Bull said Mary O'Brien’s mission to support rural mental health closely aligns with one of the five key themes of the Rabo Client Councils and the Rabo Community Fund –

rural health.

“The Rabo Community Fund has also committed to helping fund a personal assistant for ‘Are you bogged mate?’ over three years – freeing up Mary’s time so she can get on with supporting rural Australia's mental health,” she said.

"We're proud to be supporting Mary and her grassroots approach to mental health in the bush. Her workshops are down to earth and the tools and language she uses are relatable."

Workshop dates and locations are:

  • Monday 6 February 2023 – 10.00am to 11:30am – The Waterfront Pavilion Urana, Federation Way, Urana – Morning tea will be provided
  • Tuesday 7 February 2023 – 10.00am to 11.30am – Rochester Football Netball Club rooms, Reserve Street, Rochester – Morning tea will be provided
  • Wednesday 8 February 2023 – 10.00am to 11.30am – Northern District Community Health (NDCH), 24 Fitzroy Street, Kerang – Morning tea will be provided

To register to participate, please click here.

Participants are able to register their attendance via the link, however walk-ins are also welcome. Registration will assist for catering purposes.


Rabobank Australia & New Zealand Group is a part of the international Rabobank Group, the world’s leading specialist in food and agribusiness banking. Rabobank has more than 120 years’ experience providing customised banking and finance solutions to businesses involved in all aspects of food and agribusiness. Rabobank is structured as a cooperative and operates in 38 countries, servicing the needs of approximately 8.4 million clients worldwide through a network of more than 1000 offices and branches. Rabobank Australia & New Zealand Group is one of Australasia’s leading agricultural lenders and a significant provider of business and corporate banking and financial services to the region’s food and agribusiness sector. The bank has 90 branches throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Media contacts:

Denise Shaw
Head of Media Relations
Rabobank Australia & New Zealand
Phone: 02 8115 2744 or 0439 603 525

Will Banks
Media Relations Manager
Rabobank Australia
Phone: 0418 216 103