22 May 2024

Brothers' passion project spurs growth for fight against suicide

| Morgan Kenyon
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Peter Chamberlain talking

The latest fundraiser by the Chamberlain brothers was a hit, bringing in thousands of dollars to support the health of young guys in Canberra. Photo: Thomas Lucraft.

According to Lifeline, suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians between the ages of 15 and 44. Daily rates of suicide double the national road toll – and 75 per cent of them are men.

On 23 July 2015, Peter Chamberlain got the phone call nobody wants to answer. His best mate had taken his own life.

Together with his brothers Ray and Brian, Peter decided to turn his grief into something even more powerful. The three combined their distinct networks to create a charity that would support mental health services and suicide prevention in Canberra and beyond, in hopes of sparing others the pain they experienced so strongly.

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Peter and his brothers had been toying with the idea of The Chamberlain Foundation for some time.

“I had just started the CBR Brave with Jamie Wilson and Warren Apps and experienced great business success through Allinsure,” he says.

“But I remember Ray asking me, what do you want your legacy to be? Do you want to be remembered as a businessman or something more?

“For a while, we were unsure what kind of cause we wanted to support. The tragedy of our friend taking his own life gave us a pretty bloody powerful reason.”

These days, The Chamberlain Foundation has three signature fundraisers – the Chambo Challenge, Razor Ride and Brothers Lunch. Each has raised thousands of dollars for the likes of Lifeline, Griefline and RUOK?.

Chambo Challenge tests the grit of participants through gruelling physical challenges while the Razor Ride is a five-day endurance challenge for up to 15 cyclists.

The foundation held its most recent Brothers Lunch in early May at Hotel Realm in support of the local charity Menslink. The lunch saw more than 240 guests raise $45,000 for the Canberra organisation, which provides counselling, mentoring and education to young guys in need.

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Speakers included philanthropist Peter Munday, Paralympian Matt Formston and comedian Harley Breen, who each talked about their struggles with mental ill health and experiences surrounding suicide.

Together, the three speakers helped champion mental health, mental fitness and resilience to guests.

Peter says attendees were enthralled from beginning to end.

“As the dust settles from an epic day, I want to say thank you to The Chamberlain Foundation, who put on an absolutely outstanding event,” Menslink CEO Ben Gathercole says.

“Honestly, a day I’ll never forget. This effort will help many young fellows in our local community.”

Money raised by the lunch will help support Menslink’s one-on-one mentoring and counselling for young guys and education programs in ACT schools. School programs are delivered free of charge and talk about smashing stereotypes, avoiding unconscious technology use, and building strong, resilient, trustworthy communities.

Menslink also provides education sessions for local businesses, government agencies and community groups.

Peter Chamberlain’s Allinsure won the Philanthropy and Community Service award at the 2024 Insurance Business Australia Awards on 3 May.


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