Mental health is a key component of overall health and wellbeing. More than two in five Australians (42.9 per cent) aged 16–85 years have experienced a mental disorder in their lifetime, with one in five Australians (21.5 per cent) experiencing a mental disorder in the previous 12 months, according to findings released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

To support and address the serious impact of mental illness, Stepping Stone is a member-based community organisation dedicated to suicide prevention and to ending social and economic isolation for people living with mental illness.

A key aspect of Stepping Stone is how they focus on strengths, assisting members to make strides in their personal journeys, and building resilience in the face of adversity. They are a community of people dedicated to one another’s recovery. Members are given the opportunities to re-join the worlds of friendships, family, important work, employment, education, safe and affordable housing, social recreation, and access to the services and supports they may individually need.

How the Cisco & Stepping Stone relationship has grown

The Cisco Brisbane team met with Jaimi Rogers, Stepping Stone Program Director and Andrew Mclean, Stepping Stone Member, and immediately organised Cisco Time2Give volunteering days in the Coorparoo Clubhouse kitchen and café.

The team was immediately welcomed with open arms and recognised the feeling of ‘home’ that Stepping Stone staff and members had built for each other.  The impact this created with our Cisco team was clear from their volunteer experience:

“It was a truly inspirational and heart-warming experience working with the crew at Stepping Stone and all their members. The help they provide their members to feel confident, grow and integrate into the community validates faith in humanity.”

“Spending a day at Stepping Stone was not exactly the experience that we thought it would be. It was supposed to be a group of ‘us Cisco people’ dropping in for a few hours and doing a few odd jobs to help. It was supposed to be ‘us’ helping ‘them’. Within the first 20 minutes of arriving, the ‘us’ and ‘them’ disappeared and it was done in a way that was inclusive and powerful. One of the members volunteered to manage the allocation of people against the day’s tasks. It completely relied on volunteers putting their hand up to accept responsibility for each task. This ‘management’ style created a feeling of individual freedom while also creating a certain momentum of effort. I came away seeing a new way of doing things and a wonderful way of creating a team. This is a truly special place that is creating independence for people who need it and is doing it in a way that the corporate world could learn a few things from.”

“What can I say, it’s beyond words. Volunteering with Stepping Stone was truly an honour. The Clubhouse community is filled with authentic and generous individuals. It was a wonderful opportunity to assist and gain insight into their impactful work, particularly in supporting those with mental health challenges. Taking on such a significant responsibility is commendable, and my heartfelt kudos go out to the entire crew for their dedication.”

Supporting members develop

Stepping Stone is a member of Clubhouse International – one of 350 clubhouses worldwide and one of 12 international training bases. In September, Stepping Stone wish to send a group of staff and members to participate in the international seminar in Canada. The seminar is a chance for Stepping Stone members and staff to represent their Clubhouse, through making keynote presentations and attending workshops amongst peers. It is an opportunity to share ideas amongst the Clubhouse International Community to assist each Clubhouse to grow and provide more opportunities for their members. As a not-for-profit / NDIS funded organisation, funds to cover the costs associated with attending this activity need to be raised.

Following Cisco’s Time2Give volunteering experience, the Cisco team felt compelled to help Stepping Stone members attend this important aspect of their program. After brainstorming together, the team came up with a fundraising evening!

Partnering to support the fundraising effort

In Brisbane on the 23rd of May, A Night of Trivia will take place to raise funds to help send a number of members to this important international training seminar. This will provide a life changing experience for a member to represent Stepping Stone and present to over 850 Clubhouse colleagues.

The IT industry in Brisbane is thriving, and a number of Cisco Partners are also stepping up to provide direct support by sponsoring the event!

Platinum  – Invise

Gold – Insite, Rivernet & Truis

Silver – Vandalist

You can still purchase tickets to join and support!

Trivia for Charity: A Night of Giving

It promises to be a fun evening!


Stepping Stone is a respected community organisation and since 1994 has grown to provide support and services to over 2000 people in the Greater Brisbane Region. They are a leading mental health service agency in Brisbane, with a variety of programs aimed at working with members to ensure they have the best opportunities for recovery.

Stepping Stone – Creating pathways to better mental health!