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Our Ambassadors

Our ambassadors help us spread our message of building a more resilient suicide-free community.

Contacts

Ben Farinazzo

Lifeline Canberra Ambassador

Ben served in the Australian Army from 1991 until 2002. He graduated from the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) and Royal Military College - Duntroon and was posted to the 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (3RAR). In 1999, he deployed on active service as part of the International Force in East Timor (INTERFET).

Read more about Ben Farinazzo

He successfully transitioned from the military and was fortunate to hold several senior executive and Non-Executive Director roles, including Chief Executive Officer of Outward Bound Australia, and founding Director and Ambassador of Soldier On Australia.

In recent years, Ben and his family have faced several challenges. He was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression and anxiety as a result of his military service. In addition, he had a mountain bike accident fracturing his neck and spine in several places.

Sport has played a very important role in his rehabilitation process, with Ben believing sport and exercise formed one of the pillars upon which he rebuilt a meaningful and purposeful life. During this time he began to feel confident and capable of embracing the challenge of competitive sport again. Which lead him to apply for Invictus Games Sydney 2018 presented by Jaguar Land Rover.

Ben proudly represented Australia at the Invictus Games in both the indoor rowing and powerlifting. Coming home with two gold medals from the rowing events, an obvious highlight but for Ben, nothing compared to the moment he approached the crowd after his victories to hug his supporters, including his wife Jodie and three children.

Marianna Tolo

Lifeline Canberra Ambassador

Marinna is an Australian basketball player for the University of Canberra Capitals in Australia's Women's National Basketball League (WNBL). She has also played for the CJM Bourges Basket in the LFB and Los Angeles Sparks in the WNBA. She has also been a member of the Australia women's national basketball team.

Read more about Marianna Tolo

Career History:

• 2006–2008 Australian Institute of Sport

• 2008–2012 Canberra Capitals

• 2012–2013 Pays d'Aix Basket 13

• 2013–2015 CJM Bourges Basket

• 2015 Los Angeles Sparks

• 2016–present Canberra Capitals

Career Highlights & Awards:

• 2x WNBL champion (2009, 2010)

• 2x WNBL All-Star Five (2011, 2017)

• WNBL Defensive Player of the Year (2017)

Sport can deal some challenging cards at time, injuries setbacks and missing teams. The skills Marianna has developed on and off the court hold true to our mission of building a more resilient Canberra Community,

Josh Illusions

Lifeline Canberra Ambassador

Josh is a local entertainer and MC extraordinaire, a proud advocate of mental health, checking in with his mates and supporting the Canberra community. He does however live a double life and is the man behind the mascot Sarge from the Canberra Cavalry.

Sarah Walsh

Lifeline Canberra Ambassador

Sarah, who was born with fibular hemimelia, was 18 months old when her parents gave doctors the go-ahead to amputate her foot. That decision changed the course of her life. Were it not for that decision, Sarah would not have represented Australia in Para-athletics. She would not have become a Paralympian. She would not have been given all the incredible opportunities that come with being an athlete on the world stage. Sarah says it is the best decision her parents have ever made for her, and is the reason why they are her heroes.

Read more about Sarah Walsh

Sarah was nine when she first began to take sport seriously, and after she was gifted her first running blade, she promised herself she would become the best athlete she could be. As it happened, Sarah’s best was reaching the pinnacle event for her sport – the Paralympic Games.

At the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, Sarah set an Oceania record of 4.82m to finish sixth in the women’s long jump T44. But impressive as this was, it was not until the following year, at the 2017 World Para-athletics Championships in London, England, when Sarah proved she had become a force to be reckoned with on the world stage, placing fourth in the women’s long jump T44.

In the three years since Rio, Sarah has well and truly established herself as a podium potential athlete, and with the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games just around the corner, she is on the verge of winning her first Paralympic medal. Recently Sarah jumped a person best in the Long Jump of 5.47m and at the Para World Championships in Dubai she won bronze.

Sarah is passionate about inclusiveness, building resilience and speaking openly and honestly about self.

Ange Reakes

Lifeline Canberra Ambassador

Ange is the current ACT Meteors Captain. She has also played in Women's National Cricket League for 11 years and represented Sydney Sixers & Melbourne Stars in WBBL. Won 5x WNCL titles and Won 2x WBBL titles

Read more about Ange Reakes

For 10 years, Ange has juggled with the life of a semi-professional cricketer and exercise physiologist. Through both domains, she's been exposed to many challenges, lessons and learnings. Now at the back end of her cricket career, it’s time to give back to the community and her sport. Through speaking openly about some of the battles faced through injury, work commitments and performance pressure, Ange hopes to make a change within the Canberra community.

Cameron Hill

Lifeline Canberra Ambassador

He grew up on the track, watching his father Colin play crew chief on the National Sports Sedan scene for seasoned professionals and former champions including Terry Shiel, Keith Carling and Neil McFadyen.

Read more about Cameron Hill

One of his earliest memories was being in the grandstand, watching the cars rip around the track. There was smoke, it was loud, and he could taste the raw smell of fuel. He remembers the scene as being full of nervous tension and palpable excitement.

Cam is humble about his success but ask him questions about the driving, and his eyes light up and his voice rises to confirm the sheer excitement of it all.

On the track he means business. And when he’s on that start line it’s just him and the car. That’s when the adrenalin takes over, and the glory of winning a race gets him over that finish line.

Cameron Hill loves racing. Pure and simple.

• 2017 2nd overall Toyota 86 Racing Series.

• 2016 3rd overall Toyota 86 Racing Series.

• 2015 Australian National Formula Ford Series Champion.

• 2014 Graduated into the Australian Formula Ford Series, taking the big step to move from karting into cars. Finished 6th overall in the series and Top Privateer of the Year.

• 2013 Graduates to seniors and competes in Pro Gearbox (KZ) category, the pinnacle of karting in Australia and around the World. Mid season switch to Energy Chassis see improvement on already impressive form in a debut season. Finishes the year competing at the Las Vegas Supernationals racing against the top drivers in the world.

Las Vegas Supernationals KZ2 15th

CIK Stars of Karting Championship KZ2 12th overall.

Ned & Josh

Lifeline Canberra Ambassadors

Best mates and co-hosts on HIT Network’s 104.7 CANBERRA FM breakfast show, Ned & Josh are a young duo on the rise. Kicking off their Capital Hill stint in December 2017 the boys have already endeared themselves to their ACT audience despite having to learn about the city from scratch.

Read more about Ned & Josh

Ned’s originally from Tassie and Josh is a South Australian. And although they’re only 23 and 28 respectively – the guys have earnt their broadcasting stripes hosting HIT Southwest in Bunbury W.A for a couple of years.

Back in 2015, Ned & Josh started writing and producing video sketches together, but after realising that a trip to the writer’s room of Saturday Night Live was unlikely, they decided to record a radio demo in the hope of gaining some feedback. Josh had already been working extensively in regional radio and Ned is a radio nerd, so it seemed like a good move.

The feedback they got was to pack their bags for QLD and start the national Midnight-Dawn show across the regional HIT network. They spent their weekdays for the next six months doing the evening show and their weekends with a pre-Breakfast shift on the Gold Coast’s 90.9 Sea FM.

Over the New Year break they were given the opportunity to take on a three-week stint on national Summer Breakfast over the regional HIT Network. This was so successful that the boys were sent west to establish the Ned & Josh breakfast show across HIT FM WA’s network of stations. And now they’re conquering Canberra.