VicPol Corporate

Day 21: From Wayne Gatt

It was a pleasure to be joined by Tessa Barrat from beyondblue, Mark Sims, Damian Peppler, and Jim McLaughlin from our Association leadership today as we walked 30km to Broken Creek. The landscape turned from fruit trees to open woodlands, as we talked about the job and some of the great work that beyondblue is doing to support the community and police by raising awareness of mental health.

Over the walk, we have tried not to stop too much, as we worked out early in the piece that it is better for the body to keep moving but there was one stop that we simply had to make today. We paused at the gravesite of Constable Damian Eyre who was murdered in Walsh street 30 years ago. The anniversary of his death was remembered during this walk. It was fitting that we paid our respects at this time. Damian’s father, a police veteran worked in the region for many years and we were happy to speak with him too.

We walked on and were joined by Emergency Management Victoria Commissioner Andrew Crisp. Andrew is a former police Deputy Commissioner who, like many, served for 40 years.  His support and company walking with us was very much appreciated and his commitment, even after having left Victoria Police to see the right thing done by our current and veteran members is inspiring. Our daily support team, John and Pete walked with me again throughout the day. I am starting to feel the last three weeks of walking now and the support of our team has been exactly what I have needed to get up and go each day.

Tonight, we are camping at a bush campsite arranged by detectives from Benalla. We could not be made to feel more welcome than we have by members like this, who go all out to make sure we are comfortable and have everything we need as we walk through their area.

Tomorrow we should make the town of Benalla.

Reviewed 13 August 2019

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