About Me

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Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
I tell my story. I'm not here to sell a product, but to challenge people's thoughts to take better care of themselves. To validate those that are already doing this. To educate, to eradicate the mental health stigma, to influence those that need influencing and doing all of this with respect as each person has their own journey and we need to recognise that. I am vulnerable and raw. I have to be authentic. I am me. I have faults, I have made and continue to make mistakes, but I learn from those mistakes, I am me.

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Proud, humbled & determined

To say that I forecasted the foundation to be where it is at when I first launched the support group in 2015 would be a raging understatement. Below is what we posted today, being the final day of 2022.

Am I proud of what we have accomplished, absolutely.

Am I humbled by the support and buy in of the committee members and helpers, absolutely.

Am I determined to do even more and do as much as we can to help out colleagues, absolutely.

The post....
2023 is just about upon us but before that occurs, let us tell you about the year we have had.

We co-hosted several social connection events with Aussie Veterans Coffee CO, including stand up paddle boarding, a day at Urbn Surf and e-biking in the Dandenong’s. We are so incredibly grateful of our partnership with AVCC and their commitment to not only the ADF veteran community but our first responder community.

A massive shout to the Riddell Fudge Factroy who co-ordinated the Laranpinta Trek and in the process raised over $60,000 for the foundation. An unbelievable effort and to say we are grateful, is a vast understatement….and their fudge is next level yummy!!

The Resilience Builders led a trek through Cradle Mountain and surrounds with a bunch of us and the personal growth that came from some very tough conditions, open and honest conversations and strategies handed down by Nick and Dave was utterly brilliant.

I was hosted by the International Association of Canine Professionals at their annual education conference in Jacksonville, Florida to outline the foundation and our use of dogs for mentally injured first responders. The foundation are now members of the IACP and will continue to sponsor, re-home, place and promote the use of dogs in helping our mentally injured members. Something we have done since we were born.

The Price Family Foundation made a very generous donation to us to put towards our next sponsored assistance dog. As a small charity with no government funding, the generosity of donors is what keeps us doing what we do.

We sponsored another edition of Operation Soul Surf allowing for a stack of mentally injured first responders to get into the water and gain some critical social connections. We also paid for the meals for a Victoria Police sponsored course in November and December.

We were fortunate to be the recipient of money raised through a step challenge and raffle conducted by the Victoria Police Command and Division that our President works within. In Mark’s words, it is very humbling when work colleagues support and promote the work of the foundation.

Gazzarodda Motorsport who graciously placed our logo onto their rally car which was pretty cool. Very appreciative to the crew for promoting us.

We helped out 36 separate families with meals, respite weekends, house and garden maintenance, not quite one a week for the year but I am sure that with our increased exposure and awareness of our existence, 2023 will see us helping and supporting more and more.

Incredibly grateful to the people behind Operation Hospitaller. A marvellous and generous group of citizens.

Our 000-9000+ steps campaign was a serious success with 16,275,000 steps taken by 111 participants. Within these 111 participants, there are some seriously awesome stories of people feeling better, both mentally and physically.

We introduced both the Mindful May and Food For Thought campaigns and both will be enhanced in 2023. These campaigns are not just for our members but for every person in the community.

We dropped another six podcasts and thanks to our Ambassador, Tiffanee Cook, are all great listens.

We welcomed Gillian Lantouris as a new Ambassador and will welcome more into the fold in 2023.

Our private members group of 3,200 members dropped 1,751 posts resulting in 12,714 comments and 46,720 reactions. The vast majority of these metrics being advice and support for those that are struggling.

We continued to support our partners and carers with their own private group being active when required and some incredible support and advice given to those that require it. We are very proud that since we were born, families have always been at the forefront of our support strategies.

That is a pretty decent year from a pure volunteer run small charity, which speaking of volunteers, we thank each and every member of our committee and those who have helped us throughout the year.

By having no overheads and no paid positions, this allows us to tip every cent donated to us back into the support and wellbeing of our colleagues and families.
And 2023 is only going to be bigger and better.

Have an awesome 2023 all!!

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