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  • Renee Cluff

    Email Renee Cluff

    Legends and laughs at this year’s Stress Less Day

    Multiple paralympic gold medallist Kurt Fearnley and award-winning comedian Harley Breen will bring humour and honesty to a workplace mental health event in Cairns next month.

    The popular Stress Less Day during Mental Health Week aims to celebrate positive mental health in the workplace while giving business owners and staff a break from their busy days to indulge in great entertainment, fantastic food and terrific company.

    The event is hosted by local organisation Worklink.

    CEO Bill Davidson told Tropic Now it's renowned for featuring speakers who make a lasting impression.

    "They are part of the impact, not just entertainment," he said.

    "It's important that we hear from people who are not only engaging and authentic but have an interesting story."

    The keynote speaker this year is Kurt Fearnley, a passionate disability advocate and distinguished athlete, who literally crawled through the mud of the Kokoda Trail to raise awareness of men’s health 10 years ago. 

    "He's an absolute icon of the disability space and has long been a champion of people with a disability and in his own life he is a leader," Mr Davidson said.

    Master of Ceremonies for the occasion is Harley Breen, who has had plenty of experience tackling the tougher topics for his latest critically acclaimed show ‘Taboo.’

    The comedian, TV host and radio personality has won a legion of fans because of his relatable stories and style.

    "Harley has a lived experience because he has suffered from significant mental health challenges," Mr Davidson said.

    "He'll bring a different approach - not making light or making fun of the topic but showing the plight of people with mental health challenges in a light and engaging way."

    Mr Davidson points out the event is not a fundraiser, with Worklink making a significant investment in mental health promotion. 

    "We don't recover our costs," he said.

    "We believe it's spreading the gospel of mentally healthy workplaces, which is a key component of what we're about."

    Worklink's new social enterprise Thrive in Work helps employers comply with providing a mentally healthy workplace, which is part of Queensland's Workplace Health and Safety legislation.

    "Our focus is to convert as many workplaces in Cairns to be safe and mentally healthy workplaces where people can be safe to be ill," Mr Davidson said.

    "Most of us spend at least half of our week in work and if it's not safe for people who perhaps have anxiety or depression, they'll go to a doctor and get a certificate simply saying they are unfit for work.

    "But if it's a mentally healthy workplace people would be more likely to come forward to their employers.

    "That increases workplace productivity and makes you an employer of choice."

    The event will be held over lunch on the 9th October at the Cairns Convention Centre.

    Tickets are available here.