Cummins Our Town celebrate success

CHEERS: Celebrating in Cummins following the announcement are Michael Traeger, Kris Speed, Emma Gale, Sarah Dickinson, Rachel Hunt and Amanda Puckridge. Absent: Rhianna Foster and Lucy-May Enright
CHEERS: Celebrating in Cummins following the announcement are Michael Traeger, Kris Speed, Emma Gale, Sarah Dickinson, Rachel Hunt and Amanda Puckridge. Absent: Rhianna Foster and Lucy-May Enright

A goal of a more "mentally-fit" Eyre Peninsula is in sight as three towns will receive a decade of funding to help reclaim the well-being of some of their residents.

Cummins, Ceduna and Kimba have been chosen from the Our Town initiative, funded by the Fay Fuller Foundation in partnership with the Australian Centre for Social Innovation and Clear Horizon.

They will join Kangaroo Island who were early recipients of the funding after the island's 2019-2020 catastrophic bushfires.

The news was warmly received by the Cummins Our Town team who have worked with the community for more than a year to identify issues within the community and use lived experience to drive change.

Mentally Fit EP community development officer Emma Gale said everyone was excited about the announcement and what could be rolled out to the community.

"We are really excited to know that what we've produced with this plan we now have the opportunity to rollout," she said.

"We are just so proud of our community but also so very proud of our team because lived experience is so hard to share and our community has delivered that in spades.

"For us we've got a whole of community approach which is about connecting community, educating community and partnering with community so this is a whole community, multi-faceted approach."

Mrs Gale said there had been great engagement throughout the community, including with Lower Eyre Peninsula District Council, Cummins Area School, Lower Eyre Family Practice and SA Ambulance.

For the team thoughts were with the late Kirsty Traeger, who had championed mental health causes and founded Mentally Fit EP.

Her husband Michael Traeger was a Cummins Our Town team member and said this result would work towards her dream of a mentally fit community and a mentally fit Eyre Peninsula.

He said the community had contributed greatly to making this all happen.

"The community was prepared as a whole to give it their all," he said.

The three towns were chosen from a shortlist of nine towns and regions.

Fay Fuller Foundation chief executive officer Niall Fay said the foundation was proud of all the towns.

"The strength of the plans submitted is testament to the knowledge and understanding held within communities, and their ability to determine approaches to the big challenges of mental health and wellbeing that are tailored to their communities.

"All we provided was the time and space for them to be able to do so."