It consisted of 15 days, 40 vehicles (military and emergency services) and covered 2,322 kilometres, bringing national awareness to Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) through mainstream and social media, as well as, raising funds for the research and treatment of the condition.
I had the privileged to speak to approximately 300 New South Wales Police Force recruits and to Australian Federal Police (AFP) at their Canberra Headquarters, on my experience of PTS.
I spoke about the history of PTS, how it was briefly touched on during my police recruit training, and the events on 1 May 2000, when I was ambushed and shot (in the face and shoulder), along with my colleagues, Constable Sharnelle Cole, and Sergeant Chris Mulhall. I told personal stories of how PTS affected me e.g. hyperarousal, anger, depression, anxiety and dreams. But most importantly, I delved into what helped me manage the debilitating affects of PTS, including the love, care and unwavering support from my parents, Alan and Eileen, as well as, understanding and support from key work colleagues such as the late Inspector Dave Stevenson, and professional help from psychologists and psychiatrists.
The AFP recorded my talk and clips of key messages can be viewed in my Video Library or here:
- ‘Workplace morale, reflection of boss, I can’t walk out’ – Australian Federal Police HQ, Canberra
- ‘Expertise at connecting with people’ – Australian Federal Police HQ, Canberra
- ‘Bringing down the wall’ – Australian Federal Police HQ, Canberra
- ‘Effects of shooting on my parents’ – Australian Federal Police HQ, Canberra
- ‘PTS, how long’s it been around?’ – Australian Federal Police HQ, Canberra