ROAD CREW ASSOCIATION STRENGTHENS TO FIGHT SUICIDE
Benevolent Fund helps distressed crew
By Julius Grafton
The Australian Road Crew Association (ARCA) added board members on Monday 21 November in Melbourne and resolved to fight harder to help current and former crew facing difficulties. ARCA has called on promoters and industry to donate 5c a ticket sold directly into the Roadie Fund administered by Support Act, matching donations by Michael Chugg, Air Supply, Crowded House and Paul Kelly.
Howard Freeman, new president of ARCA, said “The soldiers of rock need all of our support – we cannot lose another tortured soul to their own hand.”
ARCA added Freeman and CX Network boss Julius Grafton to its board, joining founders Ian ‘Piggy’ Peel and Adrian Anderson. More appointments are pending, from industry heavyweights.
A recent report highlighted staggering rates of suicide, ill heath and distress amongst crew, which were first identified when ARCA collated a Departed List in 2012 which identified suicide as the greatest risk facing crew.
Ian ‘Piggy’ Peel: “When we started the list we came up with more dead than alive. And there are more not yet reported so it just gets worse.”
This week extensive media coverage (including this ABC TV news item) has unearthed more cases, with a gripping article by Robert Gosford detailing at least one further unreported death, of Sam Marini. Robert wrote of his times with at least four departed crew.
ARCA urges promoters, industry and concerned individuals to donate directly and tax free into the Roadie Account. This is at http://supportact.org.au/donate/ and make sure the Roadies box is ticked. Under a year-old agreement with Support Act, every dollar in the roadie fund will go to those in need.
Need help? Call Piggy on 0415 667 221 or Julius on 0408 498 180 for a referral to Support Act. Having suicidal thoughts? Call LifeLine 13 11 14.