Cody Schaeffer receives OAM for work in mental health 

Former Radio Presenter turned youth mental health advocate, Cody Schaeffer, has been named in the King’s Birthday Honours List this year, recieving an Order of Australia Medal thanks to his dedication to improving youth mental health. 

The youngest of this year’s recipients, Cody made his mark in radio in 2019 as ‘The Code’ in B105’s (then Hit105) revamp of the Black Thunders and as part of the Jase, Em & The Code Weekend Brekky.

Cody later moved to KIIS 97.3 where he was named as Brisbane’s Young Person of the Year, before leaving to create mental health charity, Borderline Australia.

After a suicide attempt at 15, Cody made it his mission to build a community for teenagers to celebrate who they are and provide supportive guidance 

“I struggled with my own mental health as a teenager and I found that even in 2009 it was a topic that not many wanted to address especially teenagers. I was too nervous to speak to my school’s guidance officer, I was embarrassed to speak to my mates and I felt unworthy of clinical support by professionals because I told myself that there were other people needing that more than me,” Cody said.

“I just felt so alone in this small town, confused about what I was feeling, identity, sexuality, relationships with family and friends and what my future looked like and due to this, I was running into many issues involving crime & out of character behaviours because really… I didn’t know who I was.”

Cody has since helped teenagers up and down the east coast with their mental health, creating peer-to-peer camps and programs using his 15 years of experience.

Starting in his hometown of Goondiwindi, Queensland when he was 15, Cody’s first big event was the ‘Help Nayden Make His Wish’ charity day – a family fun day with live music, food, and activities to raise money for a local child with a disability.

“People often ask me why I named the charity Borderline and usually I give the response of it being for teenagers on either side of the border, but the real reason is that I grew up in Goondiwindi on the borderline of QLD/NSW, and it was where I struggled so deeply that I thought it would be the place I’d call my ending… but little did 15 year old me know; it was just the beginning.”

Right now, Cody runs his charity and has also started working for the Australian Traffic Network (ATN) in Brisbane, marking his return to radio.

Visit the Borderline website to find out more or donate.

If you or someone you know is struggling, please contact:

  • Lifeline: 13 11 14,
  • Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467,
  • Beyond Blue: 1300 224 635,
  • Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800,
  • SANE: 1800 18 7263,  
  • Headspace: 1800 650 890,  
  • MensLine Australia: 1300 789 978,

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