You are not alone — Albany to march as one for meth awareness

Headshot of Sarah Makse
Sarah MakseAlbany Advertiser
Great Southern Noongar Emerging Leadership Group members Beverly Wallam, Stuart Roberts and Cheri Muir.
Camera IconGreat Southern Noongar Emerging Leadership Group members Beverly Wallam, Stuart Roberts and Cheri Muir. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser

The path to recovery from methamphetamine dependence is one no one should walk alone.

This is the message of the fourth annual Meth Awareness March from Anzac Peace Park on Thursday.

Organised by the Great Southern Noongar Emerging Leadership Group and Palmerston, the march aims to show people and families in the grips of methamphetamine use that help — and hope — is out there.

A 2018 report by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission found meth use in regional WA was nearly twice the national average, and the highest in Australia.

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The Great Southern Noongar Emerging Leadership Group’s Stuart Roberts said the march aimed to bring those in need and support agencies together.

Mr Roberts said conversations about meth use were clouded by shame, which caused people to avoid help.

“I think most people in the community would know someone who has been down that pathway or affected by it,” he said.

“A few years ago there was shock and real fear around meth and what it meant and represented.

“Now there is a real concern it is being normalised and we don’t blink an eye when we see someone down the road affected. It is almost part of our community, which is a real shame.

“We all need to come together ... so we can have a strong, healthy community.”

Organiser Beverly Wallam said meth addiction not only affected the individual but the entire community.

“Hopefully the young ones learn not to go down that path,” she said.

“But for those that are on that path, knowing there is an avenue out and the families knowing there are outreach support people out there they can contact.”

“It is letting them know that we are walking with you, it is not a path you have to travel alone, we are there.”

The march from Anzac Peace Park to Albany Town Hall is scheduled to start at 4.30pm. The event will feature guest speakers, live music and a free sausage sizzle.

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