Want to know more about Lifeline?

About Lifeline

A Lifeline telephone volunteer

Lifeline is a national charity providing all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.

Somewhere in Australia there is a new call to Lifeline every minute. People call Lifeline’s 24 hour crisis line 13 11 14 about:

  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts
  • Personal crisis
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Loneliness
  • Abuse and trauma
  • Stresses from work, family or society
  • Self-help information for friends and family

Lifeline is a national charity and relies on community support.
Donate online now or call 1800 800 768.

Each dollar you give helps us save lives.

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Lifeline’s Services

National Services

Local Community Services

A range of services are provided through local Lifeline Centres across Australia that meets the needs of local communities. These services may include:

  • Suicide prevention and bereavement services• Face-to-face counselling
  • Financial counselling
  • Gambling counselling
  • Youth services
  • Disability services
  • Welfare programs
  • Rural outreach
  • Migrant support services
  • Family and mediation services
  • Counselling services for children
  • School based education programs
  • Information education and support groups
  • Aged care visitation; and
  • Indigenous support services
To find out what services are offered in your local area contact your nearest Lifeline Centre .
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Lifeline’s living history

Alan Walker
Lifeline was founded in 1963 by the late Reverend Dr. Sir Alan Walker, when he took a call from a distressed man who later took his own life. Determined not to let isolation and lack of support be the cause of more deaths, Sir Alan launched a 24-hour crisis support line. This service (13 11 14) now answers around 1,800 calls each day, with around 50 calls from people at high risk of suicide.

Lifeline’s services are now made possible through the efforts of around 1,000 staff and 11,000 volunteers, operating from over 60 locations nationwide.

Services and resources are now provided through phone, face-to-face, and online mediums.

Image: Reverend Dr. Sir Alan Walker

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Our Strategic Framework

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Statistics on Suicide in Australia

Suicide remains the leading cause of death for Australians aged between 15 and 44.

Deaths by suicide

  • The overall suicide rate in 2014 was 12.0 per 100,000 in Australia. This is the highest rate in 10 years
  • The most recent Australian data (ABS, Causes of Death, 2014) reports deaths due to suicide in 2014 at 2,864
  • This equates to almost eight deaths by suicide in Australia each day
  • Most deaths by suicide in Australia are males, accounting for about three-quarters. However, during the past decade, there has been an increase in suicide deaths by females
  • The suicide rate amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is more than double the national rate. In 2014, suicide accounted for 5.2% of all Indigenous deaths compared to 1.8% for non-Indigenous people

Suicide attempts

  • For every death by suicide, it is estimated that as many as 30 people attempt to end their lives
  • That is approximately 65,300 suicide attempts each year
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Lifeline's Suicide Prevention Strategy

Lifeline believes most suicides are preventable and has developed the Lifeline Suicide Prevention Strategy to inform the public about our suicide prevention work and our vision for a suicide safer future.

In providing and progressing this Strategy, Lifeline is committed to a whole-of-community approach to preventing suicide in which everyone plays a role. Reducing stigma and increasing suicide awareness creates a climate for access to care and provision of care by Lifeline and the wider community.

Lifeline is a leading provider of services for suicide prevention. Our Strategy will guide the continual improvement and expansion of these services to effectively respond to the needs of individuals, families and communities to prevent tragic loss of life by suicide.


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Crisis Support - Code of Conduct

In the delivery of Crisis Support Services, all Lifeline volunteers and staff:

  • will adhere to Lifeline policies and procedures
  • will not discriminate unfairly against people on basis of age, gender, sexual preference, marital status, religion, ethnicity, disability or financial status
  • will show sensitive and non judgemental regard for the helpseekers’ beliefs and values. Personal beliefs or ideals are not to be imposed on helpseekers or other staff or volunteers, nor discussed within a crisis support contact. This includes religious, personal or any other beliefs or philosophies
  • will respect the confidentiality of the helpseeker within the limitations of safety to that helpseeker and the community. Crisis Supporters are expected to offer support and respect to all helpseekers and are also required to respond in a way that ensures safety of helpseekers and other third parties through affirming life and minimising risk, harm or abuse to community
  • will not engage in conduct that might damage the reputation of Lifeline and the services it provides
  • will provide and update Lifeline with relevant information about their background, criminal history and personal circumstances that could affect actual or perceived ability to deliver Crisis Support Services
  • will not contact or facilitate contact with a helpseeker during or after the contact, nor exploit the helpseeker for any personal, physical or emotional gain
  • will work within the limits of their role as defined by the Service Description and Practice Model and other Lifeline Policies and Procedures
  • will recognise the limits of their training and expertise and make appropriate referrals when a helpseeker’s requirements are beyond their expertise or outside of Lifeline's service purpose
  • will not provide services when under the influence of alcohol or other drugs which may impair judgement
  • will utilise supervision processes to develop service delivery skills, monitor performance and provide accountability for practice
  • will actively practise self-care
  • will not use or disclose any information (de-identified or otherwise) obtained while undertaking their role within Lifeline, including but not limited to helpseeker stories, training material or any policies and procedures, without written permission from Lifeline Australia
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Lifeline Australia Board

Lifeline Australia's Board consists of 11 directors. The Board is responsible for the overall performance of Lifeline Australia, providing strategic direction, governance and leadership.

View Lifeline Australia's Board Member Profiles and more information about Our Corporate Governance.

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Lifeline Australia Leadership Team
Pete Shmigel


Pete Shmigel

Pete Shmigel is passionate about Lifeline Australia’s vision of a suicide-free Australia.

Over some 20 years, Pete Shmigel has worked at the highest levels of Australian public policy, business and the consulting sector, particularly in social and environmental sustainability.

Pete’s previous roles include:

  • Director Communities for a leading social research firm;
  • Chief of Staff to Ministers for environmental, indigenous, multicultural, veterans, volunteering, and youth affairs, and then NSW Leader of the Opposition Barry O’Farrell;
  • Senior sustainability management positions for two corporations;
  • CEO of industry associations / NGOs in the sustainability arena, and;
  • Co-owner of a sustainability consultancy with major corporate and public sector clients.

Pete currently voluntarily serves on the Boards of two sports-related organisations, and is an Honorary Life Member of RSPCA NSW. His creative and essay writing has been published.

Pete has documented his family's lived experience via the SMH.

Follow Pete on Twitter @shmigel

Alan Woodward

Dip Arts (Communications); B Bus (Public Admin); M Policy Studies

Alan Woodward

Alan has held executive positions with Lifeline Australia for 10 years, contributing to national service development and program performance measurement for the national telephone crisis line and other Lifeline suicide prevention services.

He has responsibility for Lifeline Research Foundation to support research and evaluation related to telephone and online crisis support services, as well as community based suicide prevention, drawing together academic experts and service program managers.

Alan is a Board Director for Suicide Prevention Australia. He is Past President of the Australasian Evaluation Society. Alan has a Masters Degree in Social Science and Policy Studies, and a Bachelor of Business (Public Administration) and a Diploma in Arts/Communications. He is a PhD Candidate with Melbourne University, researching the impact of crisis helplines on callers and for the wider community.

John Staines

B.Sc. App Physics, Grad. Dip Computing, ITIL Expert
Chief Information Officer

John Staines

John has over 20 + years’ experience in Information technology, specialising in developing IT organisation’s ability to continuously adapt into best practices relevant to their value proposition. Originating as a software developer at Ansett Australia, John has held numerous roles in financial services, software vendor and service industries with a focus on service excellence underpinned by nimble, fit for purpose and ever evolving technology solutions. John holds a Bachelor of Physics in Applied Science, a Post Graduate Diploma in Computing, ITIL Expert, Agile Scrum Master and PMBOK Project Management Certifications.


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Lifeline Advisory Groups

A number of advisory groups have been established to provide advice and input into Lifeline’s services, policies and practices. To find out more about these groups please email national@lifeline.org.au

Lifeline Foundation Expert Advisory Group

Provides advice to Lifeline on practice and policy related to our services in the areas of suicide prevention, crisis support and intervention, and mental health support. Also assisting us in developing the priorities for research and service development, drawing on the available evidence and professional opinion of what are the most effective ways of reducing lives lost to suicide.

Lifeline Foundation Expert Advisory Group Members

1. Emeritus Professor Beverley Raphael (Chair)
University of Western Sydney and Australian National University. Professor Raphael is a highly respected Psychiatrist and international expert in crisis support, for individuals and for communities. For a decade, she was Director of Mental Health in New South Wales.

2. Julie Aganoff
Director, Client Service Development, UnitingCare Community (operator of Lifeline in Queensland)
3. Eve Barratt
Lifeline Manager – South East South Australia, Psychologist
4. Dr Michael Dudley
Chair of Suicide Prevention Australia (SPA) and practicing Psychiatrist specialising in children and young people – Randwick Children’s Hospital and University of NSW
5. Graham Gould
Lifeline Manager – South Coast, Fellow of University of Wollongong, Psychologist
6. Professor David Kavanagh
Queensland University of Technology, leader of online services on drug and alcohol addictions; Psychologist
7. Professor Britt Klein
University of Ballarat, specialising in research about online services on anxiety and depression; visiting Professor at ANU Centre for Mental Health Research; Psychologist
8. Dr Kairi Kolves
Senior Research Fellow, Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention – the Australian Centre of Excellence in Suicide Prevention, and recognised World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for Research and Training in Suicide Prevention
9. Professor Graham Martin
Director of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at University of Queensland; Graham is a member of the National Advisory Board for the Australian LiFe Suicide Prevention Strategy, and was a member of the writing group for the National Strategy
Professor Jane Pirkis
Director, Centre for Health Policy, Programs and Economics. University of Melbourne; experienced evaluator of suicide prevention programs
Dr Alan Rosen
Clinical Associate Professor, Brain & Mind Research Institute, University of Sydney; Psychiatrist, special interests in mental health service for rural and remote populations
10. Dr Coralie Wilson
Graduate School of Medicine, University of Wollongong; Psychologist, research interests in help seeking and help negation factors in people’s access to services

Consumer & Carer Focus Group

This group provides advice and input into our National Crisis Support Services (13 11 14 and Online Crisis Support Chat), and Information Services (website and resources) with a focus on the impact of current or proposed service delivery on the consumer by providing feedback on:

  • The operation of Crisis Support Services, including areas for improvement and what makes a difference to the outcome of the contact with Lifeline’s services.

  • Policy and procedures in relation to the operation of crisis support services and how they may be improved and updated.

  • Information Services including online and hard copy self-help/promotional materials.

  • New initiatives, projects and campaigns that can be developed to further the effectiveness of current crisis support services, including improving access and outcomes.

The members of the Consumer & Carer Focus Group have used Lifeline’s Crisis Support services or have cared for someone who has used our services in the past 12 months. Calls for national expressions of interest took place over 6 weeks with applications submitted online. The group consists of men and women ranging in age from 26 to 64 years and from all over Australia who may meet monthly via teleconference.

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Lifeline’s brand

The Lifeline brand is a national, high profile not-for-profit brand with over 96% brand awareness and high levels of consumer trust. Lifeline works hard to deliver quality services and communications that maintain this brand integrity and community trust.

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Brand protection notice

The Lifeline name, logo, and dots image are all Registered Trademarks belonging to Lifeline. As the legal owner of this intellectual property, and the custodian of the national brand, Lifeline must be responsible for directing and approving all uses of the Lifeline brand. If you have an enquiry regarding the Lifeline brand or wish to use the Lifeline logo for any reason, please contact the Lifeline Australia  Marketing Team.

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Donations to Lifeline

Donations to Lifeline are non-refundable. Please contact Lifeline Australia on 02 6215 9400 if you believe that there has been an error. All transactions are in $AUD.