Charity legend cleans up Woorim (and his face)

12th March 2017 1:34 PM
LOCAL LEGEND: Stewart Paternoster, participating in the World's Greatest Shave assisted by Michelle van Dyk, organised a Clean Up Australia Day event and raised $1000 for The Leukaemia Foundation in one day. LOCAL LEGEND: Stewart Paternoster, participating in the World's Greatest Shave assisted by Michelle van Dyk, organised a Clean Up Australia Day event and raised $1000 for The Leukaemia Foundation in one day. Luke Simmonds

YOU'RE looking at one of the best blokes in south-east Queensland.

Stewart Paternoster runs a depression and anxiety support group in Brisbane and on Sunday he not only participated in the World's Greatest Shave but organised a Clean Up Australia Day event in Woorim.

He was one of 9400 who took part in the clean-up across Moreton Bay region, collecting 19 tonnes of litter or 533 wheelie bins full.

Stewart also raised more than $1000 for The Leukaemia Foundation with his shave on the same day at Woorim.

"I do quite a few different things - that was my sixth beach clean-up and I also run a depression and anxiety support group,” he said.

"I've had depression and anxiety myself and my brother killed himself because of it, so I know what it's like.

"If I can help one person not do that or if I can help 1000 people suffering from blood cancer then that's worth it to me.”

Stewart runs the Brisbane Depression and Anxiety Support Group through Facebook, where people suffering can express themselves in a safe environment.

"People who are housebound for depression, I take them to the beach or a safe environment where they don't have to worry about being judged or issues coming up,” he said.

"I'm not trained a psychologist but having experienced it myself, and going right to the edge and coming back, I just understand where they've come from.

"They just need someone to show compassion or kindness.”

Stewart organised the clean for Moreton Bay Island through his Facebook group Australia's Biggest Cleanup.

"We're getting people to organise other clean-ups in other areas - if it inspires one extra clean up somewhere around Australia, then I'll be happy,” he said.

"We all enjoy the bush and it's just one day a year to clean up.

"Last year we organised the Fraser Island clean-up, where we had 375 cars, and we do many on Moreton Island.”

You can sign up to both of his groups on Facebook.

If you are suffering from depression or anxiety, phone Lifeline on 13 11 14.