GRINSPOON frontman Phil Jamieson led a pack of music identities and celebrities on motorcycles to Bendigo’s Headspace centre yesterday to raise awareness of the National Youth Mental Health Foundation.
Jamieson is visiting regional headspace centres across regional Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia as they travel from the Gold Coast Big Day Out to the Adelaide event on the five-day Rock and Ride tour.
Jamieson performed several songs before posing for photos and chatting to locals with fellow riders Big Day Out chief executive Adam Zammit, Silverchair’s Chris Joannou, Bluejuice’s Jake Stone, Paul Mac, the Parramatta Eels’ Nathan Hindmarsh, MTV presenter Kate Peck and Black Dog Ride’s Steve Andrews.
Zammit said he organised the ride with Jamieson as a way to use their positions to create healthy community discussions about youth mental health.
“This is really the ideal time for us to really start motoring and using all that weight and reach we have for a critical issue,” he said.
Jamieson said the Rock and Ride tour was achieving its aim of creating greater awareness of Headspace, but it was only the start of the campaign.
“The first year of the Rock and Ride is to say, “Hey, these centres exist,” he said.
“It’s an awareness campaign to let people know that these amazing resources are in their town.”
Zammit agreed that there was still much more to do.
“We can’t just do this ride, rock into town and put on bit of a hullaballoo and leave,” Zammit said.
“The responsibility that Phil and I have now is what we do when it all dies down.
“I’m more intimidated about what we have to do and how we can’t take a backwards step now we’ve started this.”
They said they were starting to use their contacts to encourage more people to participate in future rides.
Headspace general manager Sue McConnachie said it was the first high-profile event since the centre opened 18 months ago.
“This is fabulous,” she said. “The vibe is very positive.”
The event would increase awareness of what the centre could offer to young people, she said.
“Since we’ve opened we’ve had an amazing stream of young people... we’re really working on getting the message out.”