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Great Things Happening at The Journey Forward

The Journey Forward has been growing beautifully and we are really proud of our community. This month has seen many new and exciting things happening including The Journey Forward: Extending Support and lending a helping hand to Exford Primary School

In response to the recent tragic incident at Exford Primary School, The Journey Forward, inspired by Robbie Campo (ESSS CEO) call to action on Linkedin, had the honour and privilege of being part of the incredible team of people supporting students. The exceptionally caring and compassionate staff and teachers, led by their amazing Principal (Lisa Campo), Assistant Principal (Craig Wilson) and student wellbeing support person (Susan Villari) demonstrated an extraordinary level of dedication and care. Their unwavering commitment to supporting the affected students and families was truly remarkable.

Robbie’s ‘call to action’ resonated deeply with The Journey Forward community. As a result, four assistance / wellbeing dogs, their skilled handlers and a social worker / student counsellor have been volunteering their time over the last four weeks to provide further vital support during this challenging period.

Sincere gratitude is extended to Hastings Primary School for their understanding and support. They graciously granted their student counsellor some time off to lend a helping hand during this critical time.

This collective effort, fuelled by the wider community's outpouring of support, has led to a significant and positive impact. It serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of community and the strength and compassion that emerges in times of adversity.

Whilst we were in the Melton area, The Journey Forward were fortunate enough to be able to cook up a bbq and spend time with members from Melton and surrounding police stations whilst talking about all things mental health. We ran 4 dogs and fed a large number of police and support staff. We wanted to show our gratitude for those doing the hard yards and it was really well received with those involved paying it forward for our next station bbq. Thanks to all of those that came along and supported us and their colleagues.

Thanks to the assistance / wellbeing dogs Bonnie, Poppie, Dobby and Vann along with their skilled handlers (Rob Whitehouse, Sheri George and Nic Williams) who provided invaluable support.

I’d also like to thank the wider ‘The Journey Forward” community for their continued and invaluable support behind the scenes.

We have also recently started working with The Austin Repat Hospital in Heidelberg volunteering at Ward 17 speaking with and providing veterans with support as they undergo their treatment. We are excited to be part of this program and have a number of our community assisting that have spent time on Ward 17 as patients. Thanks to John Thexton from CAA and Rob Winther from the Austin as well as the other support staff for making us feel so welcome.

Last Friday also saw Mark Thomas from Code 9 Foundation join us at our fortnightly catch up to share some insight and plan a strategy where we can work together to provide better support to the people that need it. It’s an exciting time and extend our thanks to Mark for his and Code 9’s support. 

This month is PTSD Awareness Month and it’s a timely reminder to keep the conversation going, look after yourselves and your mates. There are some great services available and we urge you to access them if you or someone that you know is not travelling at their best. 

Keep fighting the good fight!


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