The big day arrives
We arrive at the venue early at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Federation Square. Dad is carrying my IT equipment. I’ve agreed to use APS’s laptop but I take mine just in case. IT and audio are the biggest headaches for speakers but once this is in place I relax and mingle with the other speakers. I’m delighted to meet child soldier Fablice Manirakiza, Olympian Libby Trickett and entrepreneur Leanne Faulkner, founder of Billie Goat Soap. They’re all friendly and each has an amazing background. As an athlete who’s suffered injuries, Libby immediately understands the seriousness of my injury, a meniscus root tear, and the frustration of going from an active fit person to someone laid up on the couch for months.
My big brother Pete who lives in Cambridge, England, with his wife and two young sons, is my best mate and wholeheartedly supports my journey as a speaker. Unbeknown to me, he’s contacted one of his closest school friends, Jon Roberts, who now lives and teaches in Melbourne (and whose father, Mervin Roberts, was also a Queensland Police Officer. He retired as a Senior Sergeant in 1980s). Jon has made the effort to come to the talk. This is a lovely surprise not only for me, but for Dad, as Jon was always at our place when we were kids. This truly is a special reunion but there’s another special reunion to come, which you’ll discover when you watch the YouTube clip of the talk.
My name is announced. I hobble up to the stage and hand off my crutches to an assistant. I settle myself on a stool before I commence my talk.
The film of the talk tells best how it went down… please watch, enjoy and listen to how psychologists can make an amazing difference to people’s lives. Click on the image below to watch the talk.
It turns out to be one of the most amazing talks I’ve delivered ̶ the journey to get there, the support and love of my father and the chance to thank the Queensland Police Service psychologist who has been instrumental in my journey of recovery. I thank this man for what he did for me but also for my family. Anyone who’s experienced trauma knows it’s not just the person directly affected, it’s their entire loving family who feel the shock waves for years afterwards.
As for the stool that made all this possible, you’ll be pleased to know it made its way back safely to Brisbane in that one big travel bag. Dad and I made it back in one piece too 😊