Falconer family’s push for better mental health

June 18, 2024 BY

The Falconer Family consisting of mother Emily, youngest son Jacob, father James (holding Paddy) and eldest son Elijah. Photo: VINNIE VAN OORSCHOT

A LOCAL family is encouraging the 3228 community to get behind their month-long efforts to make a difference to mental health.

The Falconer family, based in Torquay and made up of father James, wife Emily, and sons Elijah and Jacob, are four of more than 200,000 Australians getting involved in this year’s The Push-Up Challenge throughout June, pushing for better mental health.

“At first it was a way to engage the kids, get them active and maybe address my own mental health issues at the time,” Mr Falconer said.

The Falconer Family consisting of father James (holding Paddy), mother Emily, youngest son Jacob and eldest son Elijah. Photo: VINNIE VAN OORSCHOT

“It kept us more switched on and together as a family and now to have others joining our initiative and getting on board to raise a few funds is just amazing.”

This year is the fourth time Mr Falconer is taking on The Push-Up Challenge, after first completing the initiative back in 2020 on the back of the first year of COVID-19-induced lockdowns.

The Push-Up Challenge requires fundraisers to complete a combined 3,249 push-ups between June 5-28 and nominate a charity.

The Falconers’ proceeds will go towards Lifeline, which has a South-West branch situated in Geelong.

The number 3,249 is representative of the lives lost to suicide in 2022, and the challenge provides different daily push-up totals for participants to complete.

The Falconer Family consisting of father James (holding Paddy), youngest son Jacob, mother Emily and eldest son Elijah. Photo: VINNIE VAN OORSCHOT


Mr Falconer said the Jan Juc Cricket Club, where he is a committee member and coach, had rallied behind the cause this year, encouraging him to create both a team page for the cricket club and a community fundraising page for Torquay and Jan Juc residents to get behind.

As of Wednesday, there were 17 registered supporters of the Falconer Family’s efforts.

“Anyone can jump on board our ‘3228 Pushuperers’ fundraising page, whether they be businesses, community groups, other sporting clubs, we absolutely welcome anybody,” Mr Falconer said.

“The 3228 community is already quite an active community, but we already spend so much time on our screens, this is a great way to get outside and connect with others.”

Mr Falconer is also connected to those with loved ones who have been lost to suicide, revealing the son of a colleague and a friend’s wife who lost their lives in recent years.

“The more people that are aware there is help and support structures in place, the better,” he said.

Jan Juc Cricket Club member James Falconer is encouraging the Torquay and Jan Juc communities to get behind he, his family and his cricket club’s fundraising efforts for The Push-Up Challenge.


“From my own point of view, I was certainly a different person during that time during lockdowns and a lot of the community would have felt the same, I’m certain.

“We hope we can make a little bit of a difference.”

To donate to either Mr Falconer’s or the Jan Juc Cricket Club’s fundraiser page, head to thepushupchallenge.com.au/fundraisers/3228pushuperers

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