Alumni News Articles

Message from Don Ritchie - Australia’s Local Hero 2011

16 January 2012

 

Don Ritchie is a lifesaver.  Not on a beach but through his vigilance and gentle words dissuading people contemplating suicide at Sydney’s infamous Gap. Over the years he has saved more than 160 lives simply by inviting them to his nearby home for a cup of tea and a chat.
In looking back on his year as Australia’s Local Hero Don says it has been a most rewarding experience.
‘I'm 85 and even at my age it has broadened my horizons with all the wonderful people I have met.
‘I've had welcome feedback from people who have come back from the edge. It’s really rewarding knowing that the action I took changed the course of their lives and got them back on track.
‘I’ve been pleased to share my story in order to help everyone realise just how common depression and suicide tendencies are. And it’s important for troubled people to know that there are complete strangers out there, like myself, who are willing and able to help them get through that dark time and to come out on the other side.
‘As I often say, don’t underestimate the incredible power of a simple smile and a kind word.’

Don Ritchie is a lifesaver.  Not on a beach but through his vigilance and gentle words dissuading people contemplating suicide at Sydney’s infamous Gap. Over the years he has saved more than 160 lives simply by inviting them to his nearby home for a cup of tea and a chat.

In looking back on his year as Australia’s Local Hero Don says it has been a most rewarding experience.

‘I'm 85 and even at my age it has broadened my horizons with all the wonderful people I have met.

‘I've had welcome feedback from people who have come back from the edge. It’s really rewarding knowing that the action I took changed the course of their lives and got them back on track.

‘I’ve been pleased to share my story in order to help everyone realise just how common depression and suicide tendencies are. And it’s important for troubled people to know that there are complete strangers out there, like myself, who are willing and able to help them get through that dark time and to come out on the other side.

‘As I often say, don’t underestimate the incredible power of a simple smile and a kind word.’

 

Subscribe to our Newsletter