Emergency Workers Honoured At AFL Tribute Match

  • Minister for Police and Emergency Services

Our dedicated emergency service workers from across the state will be honoured at an AFL tribute match between Hawthorn and Collingwood football clubs on Friday 5 July.

The Andrews Labor Government, the AFL, the Hawthorn and the Collingwood Football Clubs and emergency service agencies are standing together in support of emergency service workers and the Emergency Services Foundation, which helps to fund the mental health care of past and present staff and volunteers.

Minister for Police and Emergency Services Lisa Neville joined club representatives and emergency service agencies today at the MCG to launch the blockbuster match and pay tribute to Victoria’s hardworking staff and volunteers. The Labor Government has contributed $100,000 funding to make the match possible.

The match is designed to raise awareness of the often-unseen duties emergency service workers perform on a daily basis for the community, as well as the mental health issues many of them face as part of their work.

According to Beyond Blue:

  • Nearly 40 per cent of emergency service employees are diagnosed with a mental health condition (compared to the 20 per cent of all adults in Australia)
  • More than half of all employees in emergency services are likely to experience a traumatic event that will deeply affect them during their work
  • And approximately 46 per cent of employees reported that they think others in their organisation would not want to work with someone with anxiety or depression on the same team as them.

The Government is making sure emergency workers have access mental health support the moment they need it, with the introduction of provisional acceptance payments for mental health injuries. The changes to our WorkCover system will be tested through a twelve-month pilot later this year.

Around 100,000 volunteers and staff work across the state’s emergency service agencies, which includes Victoria Police, MFB, CFA and Ambulance Victoria.

The inaugural match will provide a platform for the Emergency Services Foundation to promote their work and raise much needed funds to provide support to those in need.

As noted by Minister for Police and Emergency Services Lisa Neville

“Our emergency service workers put their lives on the line for the community every day and it’s fantastic to see the AFL, Hawthorn and Collingwood come together with us to recognise this invaluable service.”

“Emergency service workers face unique mental health challenges over the course of their duties and organisations such as the Emergency Services Foundation are so important in assisting these people when they need it most.”

/Public Release. View in full here.