Fonterra hosts free mental health forum in Gippsland 


Fonterra recently hosted a free Mental Health Community Forum at the Warragul Golf Club, attracting attendees from Warragul and surrounding areas. 

AFL legend and PukaUp founder, Wayne Schwass, spoke at the forum, sharing his personal mental health journey and providing tools to help individuals support their own mental wellbeing

With 20 per cent of Australians aged 16 to 85 years experiencing a mental illness each year, the audience heard about the support services available to them.

Wayne Schwass, who has worked with Fonterra for more than seven years, praised the company’s commitment to genuinely caring for and supporting the wellbeing of their people and communities they engage with.

“Fonterra had the idea of creating a mentally healthy business that extends beyond employees to include dairy farmers, suppliers, distributors, and the wider community.

“In my nearly two decades in the mental health sector, this was the first time I saw a business striving to support the wellbeing of its people and their external stakeholders,” said Wayne. 

Fonterra has held free mental health forums at all its sites across Victoria and Tasmania, and also held community forums in northern and southwestern Victoria.   

Fonterra Darnum Site Manager, Leigh Gourley, said it was fantastic to see so many people from the local community turn out to learn more about mental health.

"It’s important that we all feel safe talking about mental health and have the knowledge to support those who are struggling."

Leigh Gourley, site manager, fonterra Darnum

“The session emphasised the importance of incorporating genuine conversations around mental health into everyday life.

“To foster a strong and healthy community, it’s important that we all feel safe talking about mental health and have the knowledge to support those who are struggling. I hope people left the session feeling equipped with the tools to do this,” Leigh said.

“Since 2020, Fonterra has been working with employees, farmers and communities to destigmatise the topic of mental health. We believe this is an important contribution we can make to the communities in which we operate,” he added.   

If you, or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please reach out for support.

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Lifeline: 13 11 14 or

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