The brewing giant returned to the Armatree Hotel to host a Christmas dinner alongside mental health foundation Gotcha4Life.

Gotcha4Life is a charitable foundation established by Gus Worland that aims to improve mental health in local communities throughout Australia.

The dinner was free for all locals to attend, and was held on December 1, following on from the successful Beers for the Bush Christmas Dinner back in 2018.

In a statement, Lion and Gotcha4Life said: “Programs delivered by partners, Tomorrow Man, Tomorrow Woman and Man Anchor will offer participants access to training and tools that help build mental fitness by equipping them with skills to start meaningful conversations.”

Worland was the special guest host for the evening, and highlighted the particular strain on mental health for those living regionally during the pandemic.

Worland said: “Life on the land is tough and we know that the suicide rate in the bush is higher, per capita, than in the cities. That’s why it’s so important to re-connect people with their local communities and the pub is the perfect place to do this as it’s a natural meeting place.”

“That’s why I’m excited to attend Lion’s Community Christmas Dinner and once again bring some normalcy and meaningful conversations to this local community who have faced big challenges over the last few years,” he continued.

The Armatree Hotel is recognised as one of Australia’s best pubs, having been voted Best Bush Pub by the Australian Hotels Association of NSW in 2018 and 2019. The dinner was not the only occasion when the hotel has served the community in recent times, as it was also the first pub to host a COVID-19 vaccination hub in the country.

Ash Walker, owner of the pub, said: “We are thrilled to be able to host the very first session with Gus Worland as part of Lion’s initiative with Gotcha4Life and I know we will all be able to benefit from the lessons Gus and his team have to share.”

The event comes on the back of a 2018 study by Lion which showed the psychological and social benefits of having a local pub or bar. Worland is also convinced of the importance of pubs: “Pubs are key. You need to go to a place, you need to feel safe to have conversations of gravity… The Armatree is the key for everyone in this area.”

Gotcha4Life was founded in 2017 as a ‘mental fitness foundation’ that aims to build ‘build emotional muscle and strength social connection in local communities.’ According to the foundation, its vision is ‘zero suicides, simple as that.’

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