About dNet – people like us

Our Purpose

dNet – People Like Us has two main purposes:

  1. to empower people like us, Australians living with depression and our families and friends, to make informed choices and find solutions to the challenges of living with depression; and
  2. to empower people who have benefited from the depressioNet website and services in the past (‘dNetters’), to work together to provide the new dNet website and services for other people like us and experience the many benefits involved.

Our key objectives

  1. Provide the most comprehensive 24 hour online peer based resource for Information, Help and Support for Australians living with depression;
  2. Create a safe & secure online organisational environment enabling / empowering people like us from throughout Australia to contribute to the provision of the dNet website and services;
  3. Develop & implement a formal online training, development & support program to improve the skills, confidence and mental health of dNetters through contributing to all aspects of dNet.

Our Company and other basics

Since the very early days, people have referred to the depressioNet website and services as ‘dNet’, so when considering a new Company name for a new era, we chose ‘dNet – People Like Us’ – with the People Like Us added to represent the most fundamental philosophy upon which dNet was founded back in June 2000.

dNet – People Like Us is our Company name registered with ASIC as an Australian Public Company, Limited by Guarantee (the usual structure for not-for-profit organisations).

Our ACN is 151 102 082 and our ABN: 33 151 102 082.

dNet – People Like Us has Charity Tax Concession (CTC) and Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status with the Australian Taxation Office.

Yes, dNet is a registered charity, so all gifts and donations to dNet are fully tax deductible.  If you would like to help in this way our Donate to dNet page gives all the information you need.

Our Board

  • Leanne Pethick – Founder, Executive Chair
  • Peter Christie – Finance Director
  • Kristy Lehmann – Director
  • Michael Berk – Director
  • Liz Chan – Company Secretary

Our History

dNet was founded in June 2000 as a private, philanthropic project.  This was just as the Australian Government were becoming aware of the prevalence and impact of depression on the lives of individual Australians, the workplace and community.  This was before they announced the National Depression Initiative, before BeyondBlue.

So we have all come a long way since then!

Sharing our history is an important part of who we are today and communicating ‘about us’. This is something that we will be working on over the next few months. However we have put together a very brief overview of the history of dNet.

Our New Online Model

dNet – People Like Us is utilising the advances in technology to empower and enable volunteers (‘dNetters’ & ‘dNetworkers’ ) to provide the dNet website and services in a totally online organisational environment.

This new model ensures increased sustainability in the following areas:

  1. Financial: totally online. Significant reduction in overhead costs.
  2. Resources: core of paid staff to support and facilitate the provision of the website and services by a large Team of volunteers. A minimum of 2 people in each role.
  3. Essence: greater ownership by the people dNet exists ‘to serve’.  By the people for the people.  Ensure we stay clearly on the peer side of the line and fill this need exceptionally well, while remaining a vital link for people like us to the broader mental health resources that exist throughout Australia.Return to top

Our Income

From July 2011 we have been trialling our new online model.  All core costs during this period have been covered by financial contributions from dNetters and dNetworkers who have established regular ongoing donations.

We are also greatful to the Bell Charitable Fund for their Annual donation of $10,000!

Having successfully trialled the new model, we are now ready to move forward into full implementation and are seeking the essential financial support via grants and donations to do so.

If you would like to support our dNet financially through a tax deductible donation, you can do so either via our Donate page or contact team@depressionet.org.au.

Who are ‘People Like Us’?

The prevalence of depression in our society is now well known, and since the first dNet webpage went live at depressioNet.com.au back in June 2000, a major premise has been that we all live with depression in some way – either having it personally or having a family member, friend or work colleague who has it.   Our families & friends are people like us – they live with depression too!

‘People Like Us’ = Australian’s Living with depression = All Australians

The depressioNet.org.au website and services are provided by, and for, people like you = people like us. The diversity of people contributing to our dNet is as great as the diversity within Australia today.

Since dNet was ‘born’ in June 2000 people like us has been a fundamental part of the dNet philosophy. It is the basis of who dNet is, what we do, how we do it and who we do it for.

 “Our initial healing may take place in our therapies or medications, but the final stage of the journey is ours and ours alone. Yet before this can happen we invariably need to turn to people like us for support and encouragement, not to mention for the occasional swift kick in the pants.”

– John McManamy, lawyer, journalist, writer and depression sufferer

Being people who live with depression ourselves, we know only too well that while major depression can be very debilitating and all too often fatal, having somewhere to turn anonymously, 24 hours a day, and find people just like us who empathise, really understand and know the challenges and obstacles, the all too often irrational fears and other symptoms of this insidious illness, and provide the vital support and encouragement we all need at times, is a powerful ‘tool’ to keep us going, keep us holding our lives together, as we travel the road to recovery.

While professional treatment and support is important, having people like us to encourage, support, give us a caring “kick in the pants” when we need it, to share ideas on what works and what doesn’t work for us, is a vital element in discovering our own journey to recovery and maintaining our mental health & well being.

Working together, we can shine a light on depression for ourselves and others!

The People Behind the Screens at dNet

The depressioNet.org.au website and services are here today due to the efforts of the dNetWork Team – a group of ‘people like us’ who have benefitted from the dNet website and services in the past and are committed to working together to ensure it is here for all ‘people like us’ in the future.

Our dNet Team now also includes people who have only recently found our dNet and who want to experience the many benefits of contributing to making a positive difference in the lives of others.

We are currently preparing our dNetworkers section where you will be able to  ‘meet’ some of our team and learn how they each contribute to ensuring dNet is here for Australians living with depression today and long into the future.

Please let us know if you are interested in joining the dNet Team and contributing to providing the dNet website and services.

Learn more about our dNet ‘Member Groups’ within our online community.