Media Releases

Media releases from the Office of Susan Templeman MP.

Enquiries from the media should be directed to the Media Adviser via the Electorate Office on (02) 4573 8222 or via email to [email protected]

REACHING OUT IN TOUGH TIMES

July 23, 2021

Federal Member for Macquarie, Susan Templeman, has congratulated a team of young people who have been volunteering their time to reach out to check on the welfare of vulnerable older people across the Blue Mountains during the current lockdown.

 

The group of young people, aged between 17 and 25, came together after Ms Templeman sought their advice and input into a range of local issues.

 

“The group volunteered to call older people to ask if they have the essentials, if they need anything, and sometimes just to chat about the garden,” Ms Templeman said.

 

“I don’t think any of them had done something like this before, and it can be a bit daunting picking up the phone and calling someone you don’t know.

 

“But in just two weeks they made more than 300 calls, with some conversations lasting about 15 minutes.

 

“Some people are busy or don’t particularly want to chat, and that’s fine, but those that do have commented how nice it was to receive a call – especially from these dedicated young people.”

 

Blue Mountains group member Chris Timbs, 22, said the calls were a win-win for both the young people and older residents they spoke to.

 

“I think it’s important to be reaching out to the community at the moment because we are arguably more isolated from each other than ever before - it’s not as if you can stop and chat to a stranger at a book shop or a café,” Mr Timbs said.

 

“That’s why I’ve been so happy to work with Susan on this project. I’ve found that for some of the elderly community members we’ve called, it has been their only contact for the day, or a refreshing change of pace to chat with us after days full of gloomy news headlines - to be part of that is a great feeling!

 

“I’d say that it’s win-win, you get to make someone’s day, they can chat to you about what’s on their mind and how they’re feeling, and I’ve come away from every call learning something new from people who have so much life experience and wisdom.

 

“Why not pick up the phone and make a genuine connection in such a distanced and lonely time?”

 

Ms Templeman said the group’s activities came as some refreshing good news during such a challenging time.

“Lockdown has been extremely challenging for everyone in the Hawkesbury, Blue Mountains, and of course Greater Sydney area, and for many the social isolation can affect their mental and physical health,” Ms Templeman said.

 

“These young people, and I, know we need to emerge from this lockdown with our community intact – regardless of your age, gender or postcode.

 

“I’m really proud of the outreach they are doing, and I’d like to congratulate each and every one of them for their personal commitment to our community.

 

“If you’re a local young person who’d like to be involved in this type of volunteer work, please get in touch via email at [email protected].

 

“And of course, anyone who needs assistance with Federal issues during this difficult time can contact my team – we are only a phone call away if you need help.

 

“We are all in this together, we’re on your side, and we don’t want to see anyone left behind.”