Page 1

JOURNAL T H E P O L I C E A S S O C I AT I O N V I C TO R I A U P H O L D I N G O U R R I G H T S S I N C E 1 9 1 7 | W W W.T PAV.O RG . AU | VO L U M E 8 4 | I S S U E 4 | AU G U S T 2 0 1 6

Getting on with life after Middle Park This Edition Out of the blue: Stuart Bailey

Kelly Christie prosecutes a case for safety

Wayne Laver notches up 50 years

And much more...


Call 1300 733 848 or visit fleetcare.com.au/vic-police to start your novated lease today! 2

www.tpav.org.au

Need ideas for your next novated lease? Here are Australia’s Top 5 selling vehicles

1

2

3

HYUNDAI i30

TOYOTA HILUX

TOYOTA COROLLA

The Hyundai i30 has been Australia’s most popular vehicle for four successive months to date, selling 6432 new vehicles last month.

Toyota’s HiLux has remained the nation’s favourite ute and Toyota’s best-selling vehicle with a total of 4613 sales last month.

With Toyota topping the overall best-selling brand last month, the Toyota Corolla made it into the top 5 at 4427 sales.

6432 sales last month

4613 sales last month

4427 sales last month

4

5

MAZDA3

FORD RANGER

Mazda’s attractive offers last month saw the manufacturer report record sales and come in as second best-selling brand - with the Mazda 3 model selling 4112 new vehicles, and making it to the fourth spot of the top selling models of the month.

Outselling the Hilux in more profitable 4x4 sales, the Ford Ranger has come in fifth overall with 4078 sales last month and joining three other one-tonne utes in the top 10 sellers of the month (amongst the HiLux, Mitsubishi Triton and Holden Colorado).

4112 sales last month

4078 sales last month


Getting on with life after the horror of Middle Park F

ew incidents in recent memory serve to highlight the extreme dangers of policing more than what occurred on that fateful Saturday night in early January 2014 when Sergeant Tony Scully, First Constable Emma Quick and Constable Varli Blake received horrific injuries from a gas explosion as they attended a welfare check in Middle Park. On that night, in the blink of an eye, their lives changed forever. More than two and a half years on, the Journal has checked in with Tony, Emma and Varli to find out how they’re progressing with their physical and psychological healing and how they’re getting on with their lives. We hope you draw some inspiration from their stories, conveyed to us by Andrea Petrie. Regardless of political stripe, the Journal has maintained something of a modern tradition of providing the newly appointed police minister of the day with an opportunity to share with our members the views, philosophies and policies they bring to their new role.

The tradition continues in this edition, as Victoria’s new (and first ever female) police minister, Lisa Neville, speaks with respected state political reporter Brendan Donohoe about the long list of challenges in her new portfolio. In this edition of the Journal we pay tribute to Detective Senior Sergeant Wayne Laver, who this year marked the rarest of milestones in policing – 50 years of service. As reporter Brendan Roberts discovers, Wayne, who turns 67 this month, is still as motivated and passionate about his job today as he was when he joined as a 16- year-old cadet. Another member who possesses motivation and passion in large quantities is Detective Senior Sergeant Stuart Bailey. Stuart displays these qualities, and more, not just in his policing career, but also in another chosen field of endeavour – AFL football. Award-winning writer Peter Hanlon explains how in his maiden piece for the Journal. Health and safety, quite rightly, attracts much attention and is often talked about in the workplace, but few members have ‘walked the walk’ more when it comes to workplace safety

than prosecutor Senior Constable Kelly Christie. As Elissa McCallum reports, Kelly was able to effectively use her role and powers as her local Health and Safety Representative to achieve transformational change to her workplace at the Ringwood Prosecutions Office. We’d encourage all members interested in health and safety to read Elissa’s piece on how Kelly, with some help from her colleagues and the Association, was able to achieve a much safer working environment for her workmates. As always, we encourage members to provide their feedback on any aspect of what is, after all, your Journal. We particularly welcome any story ideas you think would be worthy of publication. Simply send us an email at journal@tpav.org.au ∆

Editors: Sandro Lofaro and Wayne Gatt


First published in 1918, The Journal is the magazine of The Police Association of Victoria.

Senior Administration Secretary: Ron Iddles Assistant Secretary: Bruce McKenzie Industrial Relations Manager: Chris Kennedy Legal Manager: Chris Gorissen Communications Manager: Sandro Lofaro Administration Manager: Sylvia Loveless Finance Manager: Mary McNicoll Stakeholder Relations: Wayne Gatt

August 2016 Vol. 84 Issue 4 Published by The Police Association of Victoria 1 Clarendon St East Melbourne Vic 3002 Phone: (03) 9468 2600 Email: general@tpav.org.au Facsimile: (03) 9495 6933 Website: www.tpav.org.au Free Counselling for Members Facebook: www.facebook.com/tpav.org.au Members needing urgent, professional and confidential counselling should call Editors Optum on 1300 361 008. 24 hours, 7 days. Sandro Lofaro Wayne Gatt Retired Police Association If you’re soon due to retire as a sworn Executive Members member of Victoria Police, please consider Mr John Laird - President joining the Retired Police Association. 9468 2600 President: John Wills Mr Karl David - Senior Vice President Secretary: Phil Parson (Rosebud Police Station) Phone: 0448 950 691 5986 0444 Website: www.rpavictoria.org PO Box 2238, Rowville Vic 3178 Mr Dermot Avon - Junior Vice President (South Melbourne Police Station) The Police Association (Victoria) Journal 9257 3800 The Police Association Journal is published six times a year. Published Mr Max Jackson - Treasurer by The Police Association Victoria, 1 Clarendon St, East Melbourne Vic 3002 (Melbourne North Police Station) 8379 0800 ABN: 004 251 325 Mr Michael Lamb - Assistant Treasurer The statements and/or opinions expressed (Hastings Police Station) in this publication are not necessarily 5970 7800 those of The Police Association Victoria or of its officers. The Association publishes Ms Geri Porter all material herein from various sources on the understanding that it is both authentic (Broadmeadows Police Station) and correct and cannot accept any 9302 8222 responsibility for inaccuracies. Mr Rod Brewer (King Lake Police Station) 5786 1333 Mr Steven Azarnikow (Victoria Police Academy) 9566 2163 Ms Alex Griffith (Prahran Police Station) 9520 5200 Mr Damien Peppler (Critical Incident Response Team) 9247 5617 Mr Ken Ashworth (Trident Taskforce) 9247 6666

Design Jen Clark Design (03) 9088 0755 www.jenclarkdesign.com.au Printing Finsbury Green (08) 7221 6652 www.finsbury.com.au

Advertising Interested in advertising in this publication? Please call Sandro Lofaro on 9468 2600 or 0419 311 427

10 Cover Story: An almighty sacrifice: Life after the Middle Park gas explosion


Inside this edition 06

President’s Message

41

Laver Still Holds Court In His Arena

08

Secretary’s Report

44

Making up for lost time: ESS Super feature

10

Life After The Middle Park Gas Explosion

47

Workplace Investigations

14

Strength Training For Police Back Pain

48

Your Say

18

Out Of The Blue: Stuart Bailey

50

Trauma Doesn’t End When The Shift Does

26

Meet Our New Police Minister: Lisa Neville

52 WhaddaYaKnow

32

Beyondblue Focuses on Police Mental Health

54

Pick Of The Shelf

35

Kelly Prosecutes A Case For Saftey

57

Safety At The Roadside

10 Life After Middle Park

Stuart’s weekly sprint out of the blue and into the red, white & black (and Pink!) Page 18

18 Out Of The Blue

26 Meet Our New Police Minister

Cover image: Constable Varli Blake Photo: Pat Scala

35 A Case For Safety

41 Laver Still Holds Court

50 Recognising PTSD as an occupational illness


6

www.tpav.org.au

President’s Message

Police everywhere feel a sense of loss

L

ast month, the world watched as a series of horrible events in the United States ultimately led to the murder of five police officers in the city of Dallas, Texas, and then, days later, three more in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. There would be few of our members that did not witness the shocking scenes broadcast across the globe and undoubtedly you would all have felt, as I did, a sense of loss. Events like these bring home some realities that we try to set aside every day as we put our ‘Freddie’ into our pocket. If you dwelt too much on the challenges and risks associated with policing, you would not turn up each day and put yourself on the line to help others in the community. Policing has always made us different, more accountable, and now more than ever before, it makes us vulnerable. More vulnerable because unlike in the past, police are now just likely to fall because of who they are, not just because of the work they do. We are not immune from acts like this in Australia and indeed we know exactly what it feels like to lose colleagues at the hands of those who hate us. There are few positives to take from situations like this, but once colleagues are laid to rest the best we can do is to learn and strive to ensure something of this scale does not happen here. We must continue to focus on our safety.

By John Laird


The Police Association Victoria Journal

We must insist that improvements continue to be made to the way we work, that we are better resourced and that our training is constantly improved to meet new and emerging threats.

From time to time pay disputes will happen, but Victoria Police must realise that overtime is simply one of the costs associated with policing and it is only likely to increase.

It’s not about being paranoid or knee-jerk, but about being prepared to say that we demand the safety of our members be put ahead of anything else.

If our resources continue to diminish as crime, anti-social behaviour and the global threat of terrorism grows, then these situations will occur more and more often.

To do anything less would be to ignore the immense loss that the international policing family has felt, and the lessons that should be learned from tragic incidents like these.

Our members will always be there when they are called upon to meet these challenges, but their goodwill should not be taken for granted.

The cost of doing business A few weeks ago, hundreds of our members were deployed at short notice to a ‘Black Lives Matter’ demonstration in Melbourne and as part of security arrangements for the United States Vice-Presidential visit.

Historic policewomen’s conference held in Melbourne Last month, more than forty of our female members met in Melbourne with other women police representatives from around the country at a TPA NOW (network of women) conference.

Our members willingly came to work on cancelled rest days to ensure that both events ran safely and smoothly – which they did.

The conference brought together many women who have committed to actively represent their colleagues in the workplace as a part of the Association in one form or another.

In the days following, their goodwill was ‘rewarded’ with an attempt to deny them their legitimate claim to overtime entitlements.

Discussing contemporary policing matters, the conference provided the Association with insight on issues that impact our female members at work.

As you would expect, this move was met with an immediate response from the Association, and the lodgement of a dispute at the Fair Work Commission – Australia’s industrial umpire.

We want this work to continue and we want more women to take up the challenge and represent both female and male police and PSO colleagues. ∆

“It’s not about being paranoid or kneejerk, but about being prepared to say that we demand the safety of our members be put ahead of anything else.”

7


8

www.tpav.org.au

Secretary’s Report By Ron Iddles, OAM, APM

Sometimes you need to ask for more W

e know that with police resources across Victoria at breaking point it is critical that the small number of additional members provided by the government over the next two years are used wisely. That is why we have been advocating to Victoria Police that when it deploys these members it put the frontline first and also rationalise its policing to get back to basics. At the Chief Commissioner’s Youth Summit in July, we heard how many community leaders say that more could be done to help youth at risk and ultimately prevent crime. All acknowledged they had a role to play, warranting a seat at the table. Yet at the moment, police are doing more than their fair share to tackle the growing issue of youth offending. We hope that this summit opens new doors for youth at risk, because at the moment the only one they can walk through leads straight into a police station for our members to fix. This is not a situation we are unaccustomed to, and police often left as the sole custodian of social problems too hard or big to fix. So with its youth summit, Victoria Police is on the right track. The summit needs to highlight that social challenges like this are not ours alone. Discussion

is good, but it is the easy part. We do not want paralysis through analysis; we need action. Many at the summit called for a return to community policing, more engagement with youth within the community and policing, but to do this we need more police. Victoria Police needs to quickly assess this need – and many others, like mental health, terrorism and rising crime – and then be honest with the government and the community about what it will cost to deliver the desired results. A good start would be to break this culture of constantly trying to do more when our population and crime continues to soar. Sometimes you just need to ask for more. Better law to help members exposed to a biological hazard is needed If you have ever been exposed to the body fluid of an offender or a person in custody, you will know that the time spent waiting for blood tests to discover if you have contracted an infectious disease is nothing short of excruciating. It is something that we know weighs heavily on the mind of a member and impacts their physiological well-being and family relationships.

That’s why, in 2014 we asked the attorney-general to consider strengthening current laws to make it easier for our members to get the medical treatment they need when they are exposed to bodily fluids. In Victoria, provision for compulsory disease testing of persons that may have transferred a blood-borne infectious disease to a custodian (a police officer in the case of a prisoner, for example) has existed since 1991. It is, however, restrictive and requires application to the Chief Health Officer. In Western Australia, recent legislation was introduced that is much stronger and more userfriendly. It only requires application to be made to an inspector or above for testing when a public officer is exposed to bodily fluids during an assault or the apprehension or detention or a person. This testing can then be used to quickly assess a member’s risk and ensure they receive adequate treatment. We have recently written to the current attorneygeneral seeking an update in relation to our request and will continue to pursue better legislative protections for our members, who are exposed to more and more risks every day.


The Police Association Victoria Journal

9

“Discussion is good but it is the easy part. We do not want paralysis through analysis; we need action.” PTSD – one thing you should presume I often say that in an investigation you should ‘assume nothing’ - but when it comes to diagnosed PTSD claims for emergency services workers, you should automatically presume that the illness is occupationally based. It follows that once lodged, a claim should be automatically accepted. This would mean relieving emergency services workers of the added stress and burden of having to prove they have developed PTSD from their occupation in order to receive workers’ compensation benefits before seeking the immediate help they need. Police and emergency services workers perform some of the most challenging work in our community and deserve more support in overcoming the many forms of psychological illness to which they are highly susceptible. Our campaign for change follows a similar trail blazed by Canada, which has seen several of its provinces adopt similar laws to better protect its emergency services workers. Removing the adversarial approach to PTSD claims will reduce the stress and anxiety felt by emergency services workers and enable earlier treatment so they can make a speedier recovery and return to work sooner. We know from extensive research and anecdotal evidence that our police, ambulance workers and firefighters are around ten times more likely to develop PTSD than the general population. It would therefore help those who are suffering to bring in a system that immediately helps rather than hinders their already tough road towards recovery. Turn to page 50 of this edition of the Journal to learn more about this important issue. The superannuation trap Many of our members feel trapped by their superannuation scheme once they achieve their maximum multiple (8.4) and realise that they

cannot access their super until they reach 60 years of age. Most people in this situation have two options – leave and wait, or accept that their defined benefit has reached its ceiling.

For the past two years we have pursued these issues and we will continue to look for reform in the scheme to make the working and retirement lives of our members better ones.

We have asked the Andrews government to review this system, and to consider removing the cap, effectively meaning that members could still contribute until the day they retire.

Pursuit policy revised

Ultimately they should be able to exceed 8.4 and continue to grow their super nest egg. We have also raised the issue of death and disability pension benefits. These are calculated on the basis a member would have worked until age 55. This obviously doesn’t reflect reality anymore. It also significantly disadvantages more mature recruits. We have asked the government to extend the age for calculating death and disability pension entitlement to 60. This will better reflect the reality facing our members, in that they will, in the future, be expected to work until they are at least 60 years of age.

Last month, Victoria Police further revised its pursuit policy, based largely on the feedback provided by Association members following our survey late last year. We congratulate Victoria Police for listening to members, making the changes necessary to improve the policy and for engaging in meaningful consultation with the Police Association on this issue. We also want to congratulate the 3000 members who took the time to share their views and experiences about pursuits, enabling us to represent your collective interests and ultimately shaping the result. ∆


Varli with her ‘hard mask’, which she wears to bed

10Photo credit: Pat Scala www.tpav.org.au

An almighty sacrifice: Life after the Middle Park gas explosion

Victoria Police officers Varli Blake, Emma Quick and Tony Scully could have been killed in a gas explosion in January 2014 when a routine welfare check went horribly wrong. The trio have come a long way since then, reports Andrea Petrie.


The Police Association Victoria Journal

A

m I going to die?” That was the question Constable Varli Blake kept asking as she drifted in and out of consciousness in the Alfred Hospital after suffering burns to 32.5 per cent of her body. Smoke inhalation had badly damaged her oesophagus, requiring doctors to intubate. This meant the only way she could communicate was by moving her feet in different directions to spell out the letters of each word she was asking. “I was terrified,” Varli recalls. “I couldn’t move, because I was bandaged all over. And I couldn’t open my eyes because my whole face and neck, including my eyelids, had practically been ripped off, so that was all bandaged up too. I kept asking and asking “Am I going to die?” and I can remember my sister getting up really close to me at one stage and assuring me: ‘No, sweetheart, you’re going to be fine’.” Her short-term memory was severely affected by the heavy medication to numb the pain and stave off any infections. But Varli was able to recall with surprising precision everything about the incident that had put her in the intensive care unit.

It was 4 January 2014. She had only been working at South Melbourne Police Station for five weeks when she arrived at work for an afternoon van shift. The colleague she was rostered with that day called in sick, so because South Melbourne and St Kilda work closely together, a uniform colleague at St Kilda agreed to step in. Varli drove to St Kilda to pick up Constable Emma Quick, who she had never met before that day, and the pair soon began responding to jobs, as they would on any other day. During the shift, a call came through for them to carry out a welfare check in Hambleton Street, Middle Park on a man threatening to self-harm. Moments after firefighters let the officers, along with Sergeant Tony Scully, in, a gas bottle exploded. “Everything moved in slow motion from that moment on as I watched a fireball came into the room and travel around behind me. The door slammed shut and the first thing I did was run towards it to try to get out, but it wouldn’t open,” said Varli. “Initially, I thought someone was on the other side of the door holding it closed to keep the fireball inside, so I ran over to the window. But all I saw when I looked out the window was roof tiles

Varli has some fun with her nephew, Cooper Photo credit: Pat Scala

11

“I kept thinking to myself: ‘I’m not dying here’, and ‘I want to see my nephew grow up’, and ‘mum can’t handle it if I die, so I’ve got to get out’.” everywhere, and I kept thinking to myself: ‘I’m not dying here’ and ‘I want to see my nephew grow up’ and ‘Mum can’t handle it if I die, so I’ve got to get out’’.” She raced back to the door and this time it opened, so she ran through the lounge room and down two flights of stairs – without realising that her vest and part of her uniform was alight. Neighbours had come outside to investigate the commotion and Varli remembers yelling, “I need water, get me water.” Emma then appeared and stood alongside her making similar demands. “We were both sharing a small hose and were asking each other ‘How’s my face, how’s my face?’ Although we were pretty black from the smoke, we both looked fine,” she said. “People then started coming over to us with buckets of water and they were throwing them over us as we lay on the ground. Fortunately, there was an emergency doctor living next door and he came out with his kit and gave me a green whistle that he told me to keep sucking on.” News of the explosion was all over the police radio, so their colleagues raced to the scene. Several who attended that day have since told Varli that her skin was hanging off her hands and they wondered whether she would ever regain the use of them. She was driven to hospital in an ambulance and wheeled into emergency for what was the first of many surgeries. “I’ve got patches all over my body where my skin has been taken from one spot and grafted somewhere else,” she said. “Even the skin on my eyelids is from somewhere else.” She was in intensive care for two weeks and in the Alfred’s burns ward for another five. She had to learn how to walk and talk again, and more than two years on she still attends multiple medical, physiotherapy and other rehabilitation appointments each week.


12

www.tpav.org.au

“I’ve got patches all over my body where my skin has been taken from one spot and grafted somewhere else. Even the skin on my eyelids is from somewhere else.” She still wears compression garments on several limbs and undergoes laser treatment and hand therapy regularly to help stretch her damaged skin and aid with scar management. And until recently, Varli was required to wear a compression mask. She couldn’t eat with it on and was unable to turn her head, but the doctors assured her it was necessary and could help speed up her recovery. It attracted plenty of unwanted attention. “I couldn’t really leave the house by myself, because I was so self-conscious of the way I looked,” she said. “I wouldn’t even go to the supermarket, because people would just stare and I even had some people come up and ask me why I’m wearing it. One guy told me I looked scary with it on, to which I asked him how he’d feel having to wear it all day, every day.” She also had some positive experiences while wearing it, “which certainly helped restore my faith in humanity”. Varli said she had been trialling not wearing it for about a month now and her confidence had grown substantially. She can even put on a bit of make-up

“God has a sense of humour,” says Tony Scully Sergeant Tony Scully admits he had to laugh when, during his first shift back on the road after he was injured in a Middle Park gas explosion on 4 January 2014, he got sent to a job that had eerily similar circumstances. It was nearly two-and-a-half years after the explosion that left him and two Victoria Police colleagues with serious burns.

and go down the street now without anyone taking a second glance. She said she was also enjoying being back at work – albeit on lighter duties – and her time on the St Kilda Crime Desk had help cement in her mind what she wants to focus on work-wise in the future: forensics. “I want to be great at my job, and by doing that I’ll hopefully make a difference,” she said. Now aged 35, she is currently psyching herself up for more painful skin grafts in the coming weeks and is pleased that along with the physical scars, the psychological injuries stemming from that day are also slowly showing signs of improvement. “We can’t change what happened to us that day and while some days are harder than others, I don’t think there’s any point in letting it ruin my life,” she said. “It could have been so much worse, so even though sometimes I have to be reminded about it, every day I count myself incredibly lucky to be still here at all.”

for the care and treatment they have provided and in some cases continue to provide her. She is equally as thankful for all the well-wishes she received from police and other emergency services workers and members of the public from as far away as the United Kingdom and America, who wrote to her and sent cards. Finally, Varli feels that the Victoria Police Star which she, Tony and Emma were awarded as a result of what happened that day is an acknowledgment of the sacrifices they made when they tried to help someone in need on that fateful day. “We’re all just trying to get on with things now as best we can, which is all we can really do.” ∆

Varli is incredibly grateful to the Alfred Hospital burns unit staff and other medical professionals

“In May 2016, on my first shift back on the road, I got called to a welfare check on a woman with psych issues, and the only way we could get into her apartment was to go through the balcony,” he said. “It all ended fine, but I couldn’t help but think that God has a sense of humour.” He said he had returned to full duties, but the circumstances surrounding the explosion were firmly imprinted in his mind. “I can recount very specific details of what happened that day and, just like a lot of other stuff that I’ve seen in my 37 years of policing, it remains in my memory bank all the time,” he said.

While he admitted to being a bit warier when he was attending certain jobs now, the veteran officer said police received calls about welfare checks every hour of every day, so there was no reason to think the call they received to carry out a welfare check at Hambleton Street that day was going to be any different. Tony received burns to his arms, head and calf and has ongoing issues, with the skin being particularly fragile and he needs to be continually cautious in the sun.


The Police Association Victoria Journal

13

Postcard from Constable Emma Quick “With my partner, Sandy, I’m currently hiking the Pacific Crest Trail which goes from Mexico to Canada up the west coast of the United States of America. It’s a 2600-mile hike through the Californian desert, the high Sierras, Oregon and Washington. It’s been a phenomenal trip so far and we are currently at mile 1460 on day 100 with the hope of finishing around 20 September, before the snow starts in Canada. We started on 9 April and at the moment we’re averaging about 37 kilometres a day. When I left hospital after about five weeks (10 days in intensive care) I could barely walk. In fact, I remember the first night out of hospital I walked around the block and it was a struggle. Burn scars continued to want to contract, and for most of my recovery I’ve been fighting that. Simply moving around is painful. I’ve had two years of intense rehabilitation, including the gym, physiotherapy, undergoing painful scar massages, face therapy, hand therapy and receiving psychological treatment, etc. And up until the week we left for this trip I was still attending appointments three days a week. Like Varli, I’ve also had to wear full compression garments on my legs and arms, gloves and a face mask for

Photo credits: Pat Scala

two years; these are uncomfortable and hot, but necessary to stop the scars from continuing to grow. About two months after leaving hospital, some of my mates took me to Wilsons Prom on a camping trip. Being back in nature made me realise that this would be the best therapy for me to help my healing process. I have always loved hiking, camping, biking and rafting, and I realised I wasn’t going to let suffering burns to 40 per cent of my body stop me enjoying these things. I was so happy just being outside that I realised if I was going to recover physiologically, it would be by being outdoors. It’s taken some adjusting – especially the requirement of not being exposed to the sun. I now hike in a broad-brim hat, long pants, a long shirt and even carry an umbrella for the sun. A big issue Varli and I face on a daily basis is not sweating from where our skin grafts are, so we overheat easily. Work-wise, I returned to St Kilda about six months after the incident. I started off a couple of days a week at the Family Violence Unit in Prahran, moving on to the Prahran DRU. Everyone welcomed me back with open arms and it was a huge morale boost to be back at work, having a focus that wasn’t all about my injuries.

I’m looking forward to returning in a few months’ time and I’ve felt nothing but supported by the Association and Victoria Police the whole way through. I can’t thank everyone enough for the letters, emails, kind words and just general concern since the incident. Although my psychological recovery is pretty much complete, there is still more physical work to be done. When we return I’ll continue with laser therapy for my arms, legs and face – a painful process, but hopefully it’ll have promising results. This has been helped by the unwavering support of my partner, family, friends and colleagues, for which I’ll be forever grateful.”

Varli with her compression mask, which she now wears less frequently


14

www.tpav.org.au

Strength training solution for police back pain Brought to you by Police Health

I

t seems that police officers, more than anybody, need to keep up their strength.

International studies are repeatedly showing that the nature of police work can lead to multiple health issues and disease. And a key problem is lower back pain – a condition which may be linked to other serious health outcomes. Wearing duty belts and driving patrol cars means chronic lower back pain is now common. One overseas study found that 86 per cent of officers experience lower back pain which causes them problems sitting and standing for long periods and disrupts their sleep. Researchers are concerned this results in lack of fitness and, when combined with an unhealthy lifestyle and shift work, leads to greater risks of obesity. In one survey more than three-quarters of officers were found to be overweight or obese, and this exacerbates other health risks. It makes them more vulnerable to diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. It’s a worrying scenario in which long-term health outcomes are poor. A US study showed about one-third of officers retire early due to health problems, while another found that the average lifespan was just two to five years after retirement. The good news is that police work does not have to be bad for your health – providing you look after yourself. The secret to a healthy future could be no further away than the local gym – and a regular course of strength training.

Benefits of resistance over endurance Researchers are blaming a lack of physical fitness on the overwhelming frequency of injuries, disease and premature death among police officers. Officers who are physically fit and engage in higher levels of exercise are known to have lower levels of back pain. They are also less likely to suffer other injuries, such as sprains and strains. Building a healthy fitness level is important for developing structural balance in the body to increase mobility and decrease muscular problems.


The Police Association Victoria Journal

15

But the type of physical training is important: the results are much better for strength training as opposed to endurance training. Endurance training has been shown to increase inflammation and significantly raise levels of stress hormones such as cortisol.

Set some goals and follow the SMART guidelines – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound.

Start small, say 45-minute sessions three days a week.

Don’t overdo it, and pay attention to your body. Some muscle fatigue is normal, but if you feel any pain or discomfort, stop the exercise.,

Prioritise your routine – do the toughest exercises first and focus on compound lifts such as squats, deadlifts, bench presses and shoulder presses.

Keep it simple – focus on raising and lowering weights in a controlled manner over a full range of motion.

Maintain a log and constantly strive to improve your numbers.

Watch the clock and limit rest periods to maximise efficiency.

As you become more comfortable with the routine, challenge yourself by increasing the number of repetitions and then the weight.

Do cardio exercises, such as running upstairs, in short, intense bursts. Remember that longdistance running or cycling increases hormone levels and breaks down muscle tissue.

To avoid becoming bored, try changing your routine every six weeks or so.

This in turn can impact muscle and bone health, while increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Endurance activities such as jogging can also exacerbate existing injuries, including back pain, while leading to other complaints such as shin splints, knee stress and foot and ankle injuries. On the other hand, research has shown that circuit training helps increase muscle mass, flexibility and endurance, and can also improve cardiovascular health. Officers who only engage in resistance training have a decreased prevalence of lower back pain because it improves the body’s structural balance. This can assist in the healing of current injuries and lessens the chance of future damage. Strength training has also been found to reverse some of the negative effects of endurance training, such as oxidative stress, inflammation, increased cortisol levels and muscle deterioration.

Tips for a strength training program A strength training program is a little more complicated than hoisting a few weights. It’s a good idea to consult a qualified health and fitness professional for advice to establish a workout regime suitable for your age and fitness level. Here are a few workout tips:

Did you know smoking can be bad for your back? It can reduce the nutrients needed for the discs in your back, and smoker’s cough may also cause back pain. People who smoke are slow to heal, so the pain lasts longer.

Police Health support Police Health offers generous benefits towards exercise physiology under its SureCover Extras, Platinum Health and Platinum Plus cover. This includes annual maximums of $400 per person or $800 per family. Conditions and waiting periods may apply.


Because Police Health is a not-for-profit organisation, the benefits come back to us... and we get a lot more out of it.” Simone Beale (N.T.)

We’ve got your back. We know your job is anything but ordinary, which is why we’re anything but an ordinary health fund. We’re not for everyone. We’re only for police and their families. We’re not run for corporate investors or overseas owners.

We’re run by police for police. So we understand exactly what you need and, importantly, what you don’t. To find out more call us on 1800 603 603 or go to policehealth.com.au

Police Health Limited ABN 86 135 221 519, a registered not for profit, restricted access private health insurer.

If you had an ordinary job, all you’d need is an ordinary health fund. But you don’t, and that’s why you have us.


The Police Association Victoria Journal

The heavy load of modern day policing A

n increasing number of police are suffering serious back and muscular skeletal injuries because of the heavy load of operational equipment they are required to carry around with every shift. The standard kit for uniform officers has grown substantially over the years and now includes a pistol, ammunition, a police radio, an extendible baton, capsicum spray, a mobile phone, handcuffs and in some cases, a Taser. The introduction in recent years of velcro belts, equipment vests and thigh holsters has helped spread the load for many officers, but for many others the changes are providing little relief or have come way too late. Increased concerns about terrorist attacks have also led to police being required to wear their ballistic vest on all patrols, which is believed to be causing back and other muscular skeletal injuries to members wearing them eight hours a day. After lobbying the government about the issue, the Association is hoping there will be an announcement about the vests to help reduce its weight in the not too distant future, but in the meantime, associated problems persist and already this year several officers have lodged compensation claims for this reason. According to Victoria Police statistics, an estimated 38,662 shifts were lost during 201415 due to work-related injuries. Back problems and other injuries caused or contributed to by the heavy load of police equipment are likely to be among them.

While some injuries can cause temporary reduced capacity, others cause permanent damage. Either way, is vital to know that legal assistance is readily available to help members with their Workcover claim, ensure they receive their entitlements and the best possible medical and other assistance to aid a return to work and/ or help you get on with your life. The Association will be able to assist you in the first instance if you require assistance with a Workcover claim. Where appropriate the Association will also refer members to Maurice Blackburn Lawyers for free advice. They are experts in workers’ compensation law and can help if you’ve been injured on-duty. Maurice Blackburn can also assist if you or a loved one has been involved in a road accident, have a public liability or medical negligence claim, or want to make or dispute a will, and the initial consultation with all Police Association members is free. ∆ For more information about how Maurice Blackburn Lawyers can help you on a no win, no fee basis, visit www.mauriceblackburn.com. au or free call 1800 810 812.

17


18

www.tpav.org.au

By Peter Hanlon

Stuart’s weekly sprint out of the blue and into the red, white & black (and pink!)


The Police Association Victoria Journal

S

tuart Bailey was going about his weekend business recently when he encountered an uncommon disturbance. It’s not every day a homicide squad detective with almost 30 years’ experience in the force is accused of breaking the law – in the middle of an AFL ground by Geelong footballer Steven Motlop. “I’ve developed a system – I write everything down,” Bailey says of his job as St Kilda’s runner. “When I started with Essendon (in 2009) they’d send me out with four rotations, two on-ground positional moves and maybe a message for someone as well. And I’d forget stuff.”

19

ends with Bailey, who has to run instructions to the “pilots” out on the ground. “There’s a guy in the coaches’ box and one on the bench doing the rotations, and sometimes the coaches (either the head coach upstairs or an assistant on the sidelines) will override them. ‘Get him off.’ There’s an electronic board, arrows with who’s coming on and off, and I’ll scribble them down.”

Bailey looked at what he could do to eliminate mistakes in a high-pressure environment he relishes. He opted for post-it notes, a safeguard that duly caught Motlop’s eye.

He rates Josh Low, assistant to the Saints’ fitness adviser Matt Hornsby, who runs the rotations on match day, as good as he’s seen. If Low changes a rotation on the board, Bailey must mirror it in his notes. He might add dot points for additional messages – send a seventh player behind the ball, a sixth to a stoppage, change the structural set-up at a boundary throw-in, etc.

“When Steve spoke to me, I had four rotations and three on-ground positional moves to deliver. That’s hard to commit to memory when you’re trying to dodge the ball, concentrate, and get the hell out of there as fast as you can.

It can be enough to make your head spin, especially when you’re as untidy with a pen as your average GP filling out a prescription. “I’ve got the worst handwriting in the world, but it’s enough for me to know the message.”

“Geelong were kicking for goal, I was standing at centre half-forward, and he was like, ‘What have you got there, mate? Are you allowed to do that?’

Remembering is only part of the puzzle. More than 15 seasons running at AFL and VFL level have underscored the importance of relationships – with the coach, but even more so with the players. “They’ve got to have trust in you that the message you’re giving them has some clarity about it, that they trust that you know what you’re talking about.”

“I said, ‘Yeah – I’m not very bright, mate. I need to write everything down!’” Little wonder. An AFL club bench can be a frantic place, inhabited not only by footballers catching their breath but by a multitude of staffers engaged in a movement of personnel akin to an athletic version of the board game Battleship. It’s air traffic control, except that the radio contact

St Kilda captain Nick Riewoldt questions him often: “What does that mean?” Bailey plays it straight. “Sometimes I’ll say, ‘I don’t know, I’ll find out.’ I don’t make stuff up.”

Photo: Pat Scala

Photo: Courtesy St. Kilda Football Club


20

www.tpav.org.au

Stuart confers with the Saints coaching staff during a break in play

Photos: Courtesy St Kilda Football Club

Stuart leads the players in their warm-up on game day

Running for the Western Bulldogs, then-coach Brendan McCartney would have Bailey recite the instruction back to him before sprinting onto the ground. “He’d say, ‘Blah, blah, blah. Now how are you going to deliver that?’ The first time he said it I actually stalled – it had never happened before. He was like, ‘Are you there?’ I had stage fright.” He’s learned to deal with any and every scenario, an accomplishment no doubt helped by the skillset built over a wide-ranging career with VicPol. He loves that he can combine the two, and admits he coveted a life in football long before realising he was a good fit for the force. Bailey grew up in Blackburn South, went to St Leo’s College in Box Hill and found his football way to East Burwood in the perennially strong Eastern League. In 1986 he spent a year studying aquatic biology in Warrnambool, discovered it wasn’t for him (“I’d have been fishing tadpoles out of some lake in Dubbo”), but has fond memories of having a kick with South Warrnambool in the Hampden league.

“I was a battler – a rover, good endurance, not the most skilful, hard at it, but I knew I’d never make it.” Back in Melbourne the next year he played in an East Burwood senior premiership alongside nine of his old under-18s teammates. By now his working world was taking shape; pursuing science and maths-accounting had drawn a blank, so he looked at the services and chose the police for its diversity of options. “I thought, ‘If I can’t find something there then there’s something wrong with me.’” He was at the academy at the time of that 1987 East Burwood flag, and remembers standing (a little unsteadily) on the parade ground on the following Monday morning, his medallion still around his neck. “The drill sergeant walked past, looked at me, shook his head and moved on.”

“I played on Mick Dwyer one week against Koroit. The next week he was playing for Fitzroy on a permit. I go and watch him at VFL Park and he plays on Jimmy Buckley and gets best on ground. I’m thinking, ‘Jeez, that’s a leap!’”

Alan Richardson coached him for a short time after his Collingwood days were done, and Bailey shared a house with his sister. They stayed in touch, Richardson pursuing a dream of higher office and Bailey marrying a young police officer’s learnings to external studies in health and fitness. He dropped from 86kg to 71kg and ran an impressive 2 hours 50 minutes for his first marathon in the late 1990s.

He knew early on a similar vault was beyond him.

“I guinea-pigged myself doing all these courses,

and was able to apply that later on with the footballers.” Richardson started the ball rolling, employing Bailey as his fitness adviser and runner when he became coach of Coburg in the VFL in 2000. Coburg was affiliated with Richmond, the club Bailey had barracked for since childhood. Training at Punt Roadd was surreal, and he was a willing sponge to all that senior coach Danny Frawley or fitness gurus like Hornsby or Warren Kofoed, now with West Coast, could impart. A friendship was struck with Matthew Knights, who was impressed with Coburg’s professionalism when Frawley dropped him for a game. He didn’t realise, but his foot was pushing the AFL door a little further ajar. Richardson moved on but Bailey’s knowledge swelled in an environment he loved – under Paul Spargo and David Flood at Coburg, through testing times with Andy Collins and then at Northern Bullants under Barry Mitchell, then a happier stint running for David Teague. He was hoping for promotion to a position with Carlton when Knights made him one of Essendon’s two runners alongside Adam Ramanauskas. “My first game, against the Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium, I felt like I was running on air. It was just amazing.”


The Police Association Victoria Journal

21

In two years under Knights he watched close-up the agony of a relationship between a coach and club souring. Loyalty is a fundamental in Bailey’s life, and it pained him to see his friend under pressure no man could withstand. “I felt so sorry for him. The atmosphere in the rooms … you could have cut the air with a knife.” After an “interesting” year running for James Hird, he followed McCartney to the Bulldogs, leaving behind friends and opening his eyes further to the unspoken strains of football’s merry-go-round. “Once you’re involved in a club it’s not just the players, there’s so many support staff, physios, doctors … They’re great people to be around. It can be like leaving a family.” Two-and-a-half years at Whitten Oval further betrayed the cut-throat nature of football at its professional peak, and also brought a tragic intersection of his working and weekend worlds. An experienced policeman can be an asset in many ways, and Bailey was an obvious choice when the Dogs were looking for a chaperone on end-of-season trips. Staying sober and alert while the 16 blokes you’re looking out for let their hair down isn’t quite the junket some might think, and when social media picked up that an AFL player had died in Las Vegas while Bailey was there with the Bulldogs in

Stuart delivers a message to Saints midfielder/forward Maverick Weller

2012, his reaction was predictable. “I shit myself.” The role he played in the aftermath of Port Adelaide footballer John McCarthy’s death after falling from the roof of the Flamingo Hotel will stay with him forever. Bailey was VicPol’s man on the ground in a case that drew huge media attention, tugged heart strings and served as a there-but-for-God’s-grace warning to all. In his role as AFL representative he arranged transport and counselling for grief-stricken Power footballers, and ensured the Bulldogs in his care got through a shocking situation. Wearing his policeman’s hat he worked with Las Vegas investigators, helped with the coronial investigation and gently persuaded them of the enormity of the situation back in Australia.

He identified McCarthy’s body, and arranged for a break in protocol that allowed Port football manager Peter Rohde to do likewise after he flew in. With Rohde, he convinced the AFL to get on the front foot via a media conference fronted by the pair in LA, laying bare a tragic accident. Back in Melbourne, Bailey sat down with McCarthy’s family and attended the funeral. He says he usually has an ability to disconnect, but found this event harder to shake. “With most homicides you end up being close to the family. Meeting (McCarthy’s mother) Cath, it kicked in. Because I was there with footballers, looking after footballers, and suddenly one’s dead. It becomes pretty emotive.”


22

www.tpav.org.au

“In his role as AFL representative he arranged transport and counselling for grief-stricken Power footballers, and ensured the Bulldogs in his care got through a shocking situation. Wearing his policeman’s hat he worked with Las Vegas investigators, helped with the coronial investigation, and gently persuaded them of the enormity of the situation back in Australia.”

Now 49, work has taken him through a police officer’s myriad ropes – Fraud Squad, CIU, the Asian Squad, the Silk-Miller case and Lorimer Taskforce, Forensics, the Drug Squad, the Driver Taskforce investigating Carl Williams’ murder. He’s loved armed crime and the homicide squad, notwithstanding the complex challenges and demands on his time. Always he has been grateful for his superiors’ and colleagues’ help in juggling shifts to fit in football, and conscious of the need to make up the hours he misses. St Kilda’s only mid-week expectation is that he makes the final “captain’s run” training session and subsequent meeting, generally the day before the game. He does a hit-and-run for interstate games, preferring to spend time with wife Annitia and their teenage daughters, Nikita and Mia, than fly with the team, although he made an exception when a recent Gold Coast game afforded an escape from mid-winter Melbourne. When clubs were permitted two runners he’d cover around 12 kilometres a game, but since the

Photo: Pat Scala

AFL cut back to one, Bailey and his ilk can run up to 20 kilometres. He’s carried injuries, goes to bed with aching legs and struggles to sleep, but has never missed a game in his eight seasons.

minutes and you haven’t been able to give you message, do you reckon you could spin your head around and see IF THERE’S ANY MORE F---ING MESSAGE TO GIVE??!!!??”

It’s mentally fatiguing too, and your ears can burn. Like all runners, he’s been on the end of some monumental sprays – AFL football doesn’t subscribe to a “don’t shoot the messenger” adage – but reckons having been a hot-head as a player himself helps. “I’d go off at the runner, so I get it. As long as after the game you don’t treat me with that attitude, you can do whatever you want during the game.”

Back in their Coburg days, Richardson’s cheekier instructions would include messages for opposition players. Former Saint Jason Heatley was the target of “a pretty tasty” piece of advice one afternoon, prompting a scene that wouldn’t have been out of place on The Benny Hill Show. “He chased me off the ground, he was gunna kill me,” Bailey laughs. “I said to Richo, ‘I’m never doing that again – never.’”

Knowing Richardson so well has made St Kilda a perfect fit. “I respect him as much as one person could respect another.” Not that the coach won’t unload on him from time to time. Bailey still laughs about the day he struggled to find the player he was seeking on the ground and upon returning to the bench was greeted by a phone call from upstairs along the lines of, “Stu, you know when you’re out on the ground for five

He admits stepping from police work to running for an AFL team is a veritable journey from one melting pot to another, but reckons it’s the perfect escape. “I know it’s another stress, but it’s different – I can’t think about work when I’m out there, I’ve got no time. I love football to death, I love being the runner. It’s like I’m playing when I’m not.” ∆


ACCIDENT ASSIST

Had an accident

call us first for claims assistance Bayswater Box Hill Bulleen Campbellfield Coburg Croydon Dandenong Eltham Ferntree Gully Frankston Glen Waverley Hastings Hawthorn

25 Malvern Street 42 Lexton Road 215 Bulleen Road 1594 Sydney Rd/Hume Hwy 2 McDonald Street 30 Coolstore Road 63 Bennet Street 47 Susan Street 892 Burwood Highway 104 Dandenong Rd West 20 Aristoc Road 2043 F’ston Flinders Rd 638 Burwood Road

9729 9000 9890 7227 9852 1511 9357 1100 9350 2331 9725 8325 9791 4455 9439 1088 9758 9877 9783 3250 9560 5222 5979 7441 9882 4415

Ph: 1300 REPAIR 24hr ACCIDENT TOWING: 9729 9999

www.sheengroup.com.au

Hoppers Crossing Kensington Malvern Morwell Ocean Grove Reservoir Ringwood Sth Melbourne Sunshine Tooronga Tullamarine Vermont

36 Industrial Avenue

9931 1135

79 Parsons Street

9376 0229

1271-1275 Malvern Road

9822 6647

23-27 Holmes Road 20-24 Marine Parade

5134 5340 5256 3183

922 High Street

9471 9055

1 Oban Road

9870 5333

474 City Road

9699 5299

134 McIntyre Road

9311 7820

25 Hall Street

9822 4801

27 Garden Drive

9310 4788

183 Rooks Road

9873 5969

FREE LOAN CARS FOR APPROVED CUSTOMERS* *Terms and Conditions Apply


Here’s to our heroes! Back in March BankVic launched a $10,000 Community Hero Award to commemorate BankVic reaching 100,000 members and to thank members for their support over the last 42 years. BankVic members were encouraged to nominate someone in their community who goes above and beyond their daily lives to positively contribute to a healthier and stronger community. Five months later, and BankVic received a whopping 144 nominations. The stories highlighted some outstanding contributions by members who had displayed acts of notable courage and generosity, performed brave and inspiring deeds, empowered others and performed heroic acts. The nominations were shortlisted down to 12 finalists. With the assistance of an esteemed judging panel, consisting of leaders from sectors BankVic serves including Chief Police Commissioner Graham Ashton, the winner and two runners up were decided. And here they are ...

WINNER OF COMMUNITY HERO AWARD PRIZE $10,000

L-R BankVic CEO Stephen Capello, Sue Contarino, Ovarian Cancer Australia’s Katrina Parker, Victoria Police Eastern Region Assistant Commissioner Rick Nugent

Sue Contarino

Sue, who was diagnosed with late stage ovarian cancer, rose above great adversity to raise funds and awareness towards research to develop early detection testing for Ovarian Cancer, with the aim, that no woman would have to go through what her and her family have gone through. Sue established a 42 km annual event called ‘Walk with Me’ to raise funds for Ovarian Cancer Australia.


FIRST RUNNER UP PRIZE $2,000

SECOND RUNNER UP PRIZE $1,000

144 NOMINATIONS 12

FINALISTS Peter Keach

Peter, a Paramedic, was on duty when he heard through the radio an emergency case dispatched into his area of a 21 month old child in cardiac arrest. Peter soon learned that the child was his own son. After the best resuscitation efforts Peter’s son Sam sadly passed away due to SUDI (Sudden and Unexpected Death in Infancy). Peter has used his loss to raise funds and awareness for SIDS by bike riding from Sydney to Canberra.

Britney Allen

Britney, at just 15 years of age, ran 200km from Mansfield to Melbourne to raise funds and awareness for the Maxiofacial Clinic at the Royal Children’s Hospital. Britney’s sister Zoe was born with a bilateral tessier facial cleft and has undergone numerous operations. It is Britney’s dream that other children will not have to endure what Zoe has endured.

BankVic - a bank for members, by its members.

Police Financial Services Limited ABN 33 087 651 661 AFSL 240293 Australian Credit Licence 240293 (BankVic) bankvic.com.au 7.16 6078bv

3

HEROES


26

www.tpav.org.au

Meet our new police minister – Lisa Neville

Victoria’s first female police minister is Lisa Neville, the 52-year-old MP for the seat of Bellarine since 2002. Ms Neville gave her first extensive interview to The Journal on a range of issues, including her crimefighting priorities, family violence, future staffing, 24-hour stations and technology upgrades. She admits she didn’t seek the job but is enthusiastic to help lead a changing culture in Victoria Police. The new minister plans to talk faceto-face with frontline members and other staff and says she looks forward to having a “really open relationship” with The Police Association’s Ron Iddles in discussing key issues, like resourcing and PTSD. State political reporter for Seven News Brendan Donohoe interviewed Minister Neville, who revealed she’s still getting used to being called “Mam”.


The Police Association Victoria Journal

BD: It’s a tough job policing but politically a tough job being police minister. Are you attracted to the job? LN: Having now spent several weeks in the role I feel incredibly privileged to be able to work in this area. In my previous portfolios I’ve touched on police a little bit either through family violence, because I used to have responsibility for these services. But now to really have a chance to work much more closely with the police, I feel really excited about it.

27

Dealings with the Chief Commissioner BD: How do you intend to handle the separation of powers? Dealing with the Police Association, dealing with the media, and then the operational nature of police work is supposed to be independent from the government. So how do you juggle that separation? LN: Well, I think that firstly there are some clear areas where a minister isn’t involved and shouldn’t be involved and that’s particularly about individual investigations and cases and how they seek to respond to individual crimes. I do think the Act is interesting. The Act talks about the deployment of resources sitting with the Chief Commissioner, but it also gives power to the minister around setting policy, and I think that the best way to work this is as a partnership, because both those things do go together.

Victoria Police culture BD: What is your view of the culture in Victoria Police? There has been a lot of comment over the past few decades about it being a ‘boys’ club’, but how it is changing? The recent VEOHRC report? Do you see it as an evolving organisation or is it still a bit of a boys’ club? LN: I think the equal opportunity report suggests that there are still some big cultural issues, particularly in relation to how women are treated. I see my role as the Police Minister to play a leadership role, but working closely with the police to see substantial, sustained change that promotes and encourages women to join but most importantly to stay and feel safe in the organisation.

Photos by Darren Tindale

The government has a policy position on police custody officers, so in a way we are intervening in resource allocation. So there is capacity for ministers and government to have the hands on a bit of the levers, and the best way to do that is to do that together, I think: a partnership. So I don’t think I’m completely hands off. And I don’t think the Chief Commissioner thinks that either. So we meet and talk regularly.

The big picture BD: What are your priorities in the job and what do you see as your main challenges? LN: I’m concerned about the crime rate and the trend that’s been there, and although I can’t determine the operational bit I want to work in partnership with the police on what do they need for us to start turning this around. And then there are some really significant individual crimes that I want to partner with the police on. Family violence is one. The drug issue is another. It is so far through the system, from kids in care and contributes to family violence numbers as well. And then [there is] working with the police on mental health. How do we provide a better, safer environment for women and for all police officers who suffer from mental health issues? People should be able to go to work safely. So a woman police officer should be able to safely go to work without being bullied, and every police officer should know that they are going to get the support they need to minimise the risk of mental health issues.


28

www.tpav.org.au

Police resources BD: What is your view of the resource level at the moment, particularly with the population increase of 100,000 people a year? Do you think it is keeping pace? LN: I think the additional police we funded in the last budget, the 406, were essential. I think the Royal Commission into Family Violence will require some additional resourcing. It is again: where do we need them and how do we need them? I’d imagine we will be better [off] at the end of the year and have a better sense of how the PCOs are working, how much freeing up of police resources from what they are doing. And we will know how much more additional resources we will need to deal with family violence.

On 24-hour police stations BD: What is your policy in terms of command making decisions about, say, the Burwood police station, the 24-hour nature or not? What is your policy there? LN: On the 24-hour question, the Chief Commissioner has made it really clear to me, so in a sense we are in alignment on this, that there are no changes proposed for 24-hour stations. None at all. They have a really important role. The issues he has got are around the edges. When you have got Burwood and a number of other stations that are 16 hours, what is the best way to deploy those staff? Do you have a counter service for 16-hour [stations] or do you have a mix of counter and people on the frontline? We don’t want to see police stations closed but [decisions need to be made] on how you might best protect the local community you serve and these [decisions] are probably best made by the local police. BD: But the 24-hour ones are staying? There will be no changes? LN: That’s what the Chief Commissioner has assured me, has said publicly and that is my expectation that that is what will happen.

BD: Budgets. How do you see the resourcing in dollar terms? Are we getting good value? LN: Over the past two budgets we’ve invested an additional $822 million. The politics of policing has always been how many police numbers do you have as opposed to what are the outcomes. The police [command] are doing what is called the ‘capability review’, which is not a very userfriendly name, but it is basically to look across the police force. Are they well prepared for family violence? Are they well prepared for counterterrorism, local policing? What do we need as an organisation, in skill level but also resource level? Is it more police [we need], or more police in certain areas [than] in others? How do they use that? And that should help us get to a more outcome focus. BD: As sure as it’s going to rain tomorrow, Ron Iddles will be asking for more resources. So what do you say to him? Next budget? LN: Ha, ha. Well that’s right. Well, I’d say we have just put in 400 (officers) in this budget and we are working with police about what do they need. So I’m certainly optimistic that there will be, we will need to be looking at some additional resources as we go forward and be keen to work with the Police Association about that.

On engaging directly with members BD: Do you want to get around and visit stations and talk to rank and file members? Have you started that process? Or what are your plans in that area? LN: Yes, I have done a number of those both in Melbourne and also in regional Victoria, and I intend to keep doing that. It gives you a really important insight into how things are on the ground with the police. What are the challenges? What are the issues? And I have had the chance to talk to police at every level from the senior sergeant to the inspector right down to the person at the police cells, including the new custody officers. So [I’ve spoken with both] new recruits and people have who been there forever. So it is a really good insight. The pressure on members [caused by] family violence is massive. Whether you are out at Mill Park or at Morwell, where I was the other day, ice is [also] a really big issue. And that is fuelling a lot of the crime. It also poses some challenges for local police and how they manage and deal with people who are affected by ice.


The Police Association Victoria Journal

29

Crime-related issues BD: The crime rate? LN: I think there are some key crime issues. Some increases in some particular sorts of crimes. And we have seen that with some of the weapons offences, some of the ice offences - so you have got that but there is no question that on the other side there is more detection as well. [We’re seeing] higher rates of theft from motor vehicles, higher rates of theft of motor vehicles, so you are seeing some opportunistic crimes increasing. You have got some changes in the nature of some of the crimes [such as] aggravated burglary, that have such an impact on the communities and the families that are affected. They have to remain a really critical focus. BD: Bikie gangs: Is there a real resolve [to stamp them out] or is it just too hard? LN: There were some recent changes that came into effect on 1 July this year [and there] have been incremental changes made to the legislation, and each time police have indicated concern about their powers as a result. If you look at the crime stats, what you will see is that the increase in drug use and possession and weapons charges

are really related to a lot of the raids [against] bike gangs recently. So again it is one of those areas where because police have been doing a lot of work in that space, you have seen a big increase. There is no doubt that those groups of people are significant contributors to issues of drug use and manufacturing of drugs as well as weapons [offences]. BD: What about the issue of ethnic or religious-based enclaves? Areas where rank and file police report that there are certain suburbs where they know there are certain groups involved in chopping cars or growing dope or cooking meth or jacking cars. Do you see that as an issue and are there sensitivities in taking that on? LN: I think you can also say that there is just more than one ethnic group [responsible] for what is happening out in some of the communities – Dandenong, Hume, Brimbank, Casey, in particular. It is more than just one ethnic group. It is more about, in a way, almost separate to the counterterrorism stuff – this is really to do with some of the crime issues. It is really about people who have become disconnected from families and communities. Interestingly, last week I had a

round-table with a number of organisations about youth [crime] (because this is [what is causing] the car thefts and aggravated burglaries), and that included a couple of the magistrates , one from the Dandenong area, the Children’s Court Magistrate, the Chief Judge from the Children’s Court plus the Neighbourhood Justice Centre Magistrate. And the guy from Dandenong said, “Look, you can probably narrow it down to about 15 or 20 people – you could name who the contributors are.” As a result of that conversation, [we are] looking at how do we combine and work [together], the police [with] the courts, and how do we take some of crime prevention money and some of the employment grant money, policing efforts, co-ordinated efforts, to target . Let’s start really targeting the 20 or so in each of those communities. If the magistrates know who they are, let’s start doing some of that work to see if we can actually break the cycle. Because they are the ones – if you have got 20, they are committing 50 offences each so they are the ones who are really driving up the crime rate, that number of individuals.

“I see my role as the Police Minister to play a leadership role but working closely with the police to see substantial, sustained change that promotes and encourages women to join but most importantly to stay and feel safe in the organisation.”


Mental health and PTSD BD: PTSD: police want it recognised as an occupational illness upfront. What is your view there? LN: Firstly, I think what I know from my experience as Mental Health Minister previously is that the earlier you get in, the better the opportunity is to prevent serious mental health issues. What are the systems and structures that support our emergency services staff to try and prevent the development of PTSD? The mental health review went to that, so those recommendations will help, I think, improve the overall support. But WorkCover, I know, and the Minister, who is Robin Scott, are looking at this issue particularly of PTSD and how we better recognise it in the WorkCover system, so it is an issue that we are looking at and certainly my role is to be an advocate to make sure we have the best system in place that supports our police officers who are affected by this.

On technology BD: What is your view about VicPol and where its technology is at? LN: Well, the 24/7 Monitoring Assessment Centre will be up and running by the end of the year. Just before New Year’s Eve. It will be trialled before then but ready to go. There is no doubt that technologically we are probably a bit behind the game generally, so that is why the budget has money for that but also for things like tablets, so [members could] do some of those administrative things out on the road. We have got the basis for it. I think the 24/7 centre will allow us to take it to the next new level. BD: Victoria Police has previously spent a lot of money looking at new computer systems; money was wasted. So where are you at in that sense? Have you got the boldness to leap into that area? LN: Look, work is still going on. There is no doubt that the LEAP system now is not. It needs work. The LEAP system is not going to be able to do what we need it to do in the future, particularly [given that] we have just passed legislation in the parliament to be able to share intervention order knowledge across the country. So it is a great ambition but we need to have the technology to match some of that. So they are working through; there is no simple solution to [say] let’s scrap that one and put a new one in. I think it is probably going to be [about] building on LEAP. BD: So renovating above the shack, the old shack?

The recent EBA

LN: At the moment you can’t let go of all of the information that is contained in LEAP. You know, there is critical information that is in there. It is not easy to translate that information into a new system, so that is why you need to keep the LEAP system probably in some form – at least for a period of time while you make a transition to a new system . I have asked the question: can you just pull one off the shelf? But because everyone has a different base, there is no off-the-shelf version.

BD: What did you think of the recent EBA? The pay rise, but also the move towards recognising weekend late shifts penalties? LN: Well, I think that is a really good improvement. Certainly the feedback I’ve had, you know, the PSOs, it is going to help in that, because it is pretty unsociable hours and for lots of police those hours are pretty unsociable. My sense is it is very positive and will help with retention in a number of roles. And there is real recognition of the difficult work that happens in those unsociable hours.

On PSOs BD: Can you guarantee their future? There is supposed to be two on every [railway] station? LN: Well, yes. I think we have got one more station to go when it finishes, Caroline Springs, and once that is done, yes. There is no doubt that the PSOs, in terms of community perception, people love them!


The Police Association Victoria Journal

31

“...my sense is that he [Ron Iddles] will always be up-front, Relationship with the Police Association BD: What is your relationship like with TPAV? Have you met Ron Iddles before? LN: I have known Ron prior to this because we worked together on the Bellarine police issue prior to the election, so I did know Ron beforehand and we have had a number of meetings so far. I’m really confident we are going to have a really close working relationship.

On being the first female police minister

about what the

BD: Have you had any issues as the first female police minister? Have you had any remarks made about your gender at all, or is it clear sailing so far in terms of respect?

Police Association’s

LN: No, complete respect. I’ve had to get used to be called “Mam” a couple of times, which I have not had before. It has been complete respect for the position, which has been really good. ∆

always have an open

BD: He is a pretty straight shooter and very experienced, isn’t he? LN: Yep, and so my sense is that he will always be up-front, always be honest about what the Police Association’s view is and we can always have an open conversation about that, and that is what I’m hoping: a really open relationship.

always be honest

view is, and we can conversation about that, and that is what

Share your views on current police issues. Email us at journal@tpav.org.au

I’m hoping: a really open relationship”


32

www.tpav.org.au

beyondblue puts police mental health on their agenda R

ecently, Tim Peck stood in front of a table of executives from a first responder organisation to talk about mental health. He conducted an experiment: he didn’t reveal anything about his background in Victoria Police. Soon, their eyes had glazed over, they slumped in their chairs and it was obvious the message was missing the mark. That was until he started talking about his experiences from more than two decades in Victoria Police, mostly as a Detective in homicide, the Santiago taskforce, and as a Detective Senior Sergeant at the human source management unit. Suddenly, his message had authenticity; this bloke was one of them, and the room was captivated.

work with first responder organisations around Australia.

was probably a blessing, and it put an end to a cycle that I couldn’t tolerate anymore.”

His personal experience means he understands better than most how great a need there is for effective mental health programs, and also how difficult a task it is to address entrenched cultures and attitudes.

Tim worked his last day with Victoria Police on 2 October 2014. Since then he has stayed sober, started exercising and started a masters degree in psychotherapy and counselling.

“If I looked at myself two years ago, I would say I was doing a great job as a manager, but I look back now and think, my god, what were you doing? I was seen as a high performer at work, but everything else was a mess,” he says. Tim describes a culture, which he fostered, of working hard, binge-drinking and repeating it regularly.

“Fortunately I am able to speak a little about my own experience and having worked in that environment, it does give you a level of credibility which doesn’t really come if you’ve got a background in education or HR, because you know some of the issues that they’re facing,” Tim explains.

“On reflection, I was creating an environment where I expected everyone to work as I did. It wasn’t sustainable and it certainly wasn’t healthy.”

Now Tim is leading beyondblue’s engagement

“The fact that I ended up having a car accident

“My way of coping was drinking and that was how I dealt with most things. Alcohol provided a way to avoid my own issues with anxiety and depression.

When trawling through placements for his course, the job of first responder engagement manager at beyondblue stood out. Tim says it took a long time to come to terms with the fact he wasn’t going back to Victoria Police, but in the four months since joining beyondblue he has made significant headway, securing major commitments from the country’s biggest first responder organisations. “I see beyondblue’s role as getting in at that cultural level, at a grassroots level, and facilitating and promoting a change so that some of these programs can actually have the effect that they’re meant to have,” he says. Police Association secretary Ron Iddles says he is glad that Tim has taken a leadership role when it comes to the mental health of police.


The Police Association Victoria Journal

Ron Iddles, with Deputy Commissioner Wendy

Tim Peck

Five tips for promoting good mental health

Steendam looking on, speaking at a recent national conference hosted by beyondblue in Sydney which tackled issues concerning the mental health of first responders

Educate yourself about mental health. The more you are aware, the easier it is to have conversations about mental health. Plan for conversations about mental health in the workplace. Treat mental health like physical health. Train for both areas of your life. If you are injured – seek help. Learn what works for you. beyondblue encourages people to exercise, sleep well and eat a healthy diet. Everyone is different, find what works for you. Write a list of your values and consult it regularly. Base decision-making on what is important to you. Balance your work life and home life. If the workplace is an enjoyable and rewarding environment, it will have a positive impact on other areas of your life. Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard

Former Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett

“There are very few former police offers who can speak with as much authority on this subject as Tim Peck. I’m delighted he’s taken such an active lead on this important issue,” said Ron. Of course, all police officers face distressing scenes at work, but Tim warns against assuming a one-size-fits-all approach. What affects one officer might not be an issue for everyone else. For him, it was managing grieving families through homicide investigations, organisational pressure and his own unrelenting standards that caused him to spiral. “People say we go in not expecting what’s going to come your way, but you’d be fairly naïve to think you’re joining Victoria Police and you’re not going to come across some things that are going to be distressing: that’s a reality of joining. Even though Tim sought help after confiding in his wife about his troubles, he still worries the stigma in the force stops many from speaking out. “Even following my accident, it was clear that as an organisation Victoria Police had no effective plan of how to deal with someone in my circumstances. The recent review by Dr Peter

Cotton has provided the platform for change, it is an opportunity for all members to create a better working environment,” he says. “My experience with Victoria Police command since I’ve been with beyondblue is of very positive engagement. “They’re wanting information and they’ve certainly got the best interests of their members at heart and it’s going to take a really big effort to change the opinions of some of the members about mental health in the workplace.” The other encouraging thing has been the agencies, police unions and associations all working together – they are all on the same page with mental health in that they recognise its importance and that it needs to change. “They’ve got a wide range of services, but equally there’s a huge volume of people who won’t use them. But, before you make that decision not to use them, just have a really good think and have a look at the evidence behind what will happen if you do, because even though there might be a couple of horror stories out there, on the whole you‘re better off getting help than not.” ∆

Need some tips on how to approach a manger about a mental health condition? The beyondblue website offers resources across a range of life stages and mental health conditions. For more specific resources relating to the workplace or for practical tips and tools on how to develop mentally healthier workplaces, visit www.headsup.org.au

33


34

www.tpav.org.au

MedAdvisor makes managing meds easier “I just send a photo of the script to the chemist, and then when I get there, it’s waiting for me”

I

t’s not easy being Heather Mulready. Three years ago, her daughter-in-law passed away, followed by her son’s suicide. The 56-year-old has since become the primary carer of her three orphaned granddaughters, one of whom has a rare form of epilepsy and an intellectual disability. To add to her responsibilities, Ms Mulready’s husband, former police officer Ray, has been suffering from mental health issues for years, preventing him from working for the last decade. The burden of being the only economic and emotional support for a family of five takes its toll. “I’ve been in counselling for quite some time, and I’m on anti-depressants.” She also uses a medication management service called MedAdvisor – which is available as a

smartphone or tablet app, as well as a website. MedAdvisor helps her keep track of who takes what medication and when. She can also preorder medications from her local pharmacy in advance.

I need all the time-saving help I can get and MedAdvisor does that”.

“I just send a photo of the script to the chemist, and then when I get there, it’s waiting for me,” Ms Mulready said.

“The biggest issues facing our members currently is depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder, as identified in the Victoria Police mental health review”, he said.

“It gives me time. Instead of waiting, I can get a cup of coffee, or wonder around and relax. It also sets my mind at ease.” Ms Mulready has set up Carer Mode on MedAdvisor, allowing her to have visibility of when her husband is running low on his medications. She is then able to immediately order a new repeat over MedAdvisor. “I could never keep track of it all without MedAdvisor. Ray used to lose his scripts all the time, and he wouldn’t know when they were running out, so we had to make extra appointments. Now, when we have our normal appointment, we just show the doctor the app and he knows what to give us scripts for”. “As you can imagine, my time is precious to me.

Police Association Secretary Ron Iddles says the biggest issues facing the 14,500 police members he represents are those related to mental health.

Anything that can assist police in combating such difficult problems is more than encouraged by the Police Association – including medical technology such as MedAdvisor, and a new app soon to be launched by the Police Association, the Victorian Government and Victoria Police. “MedAdvisor in conjunction with our own app would support a positive move – sometimes those who are suffering from depression, PTSD and anxiety don’t take medications when they should,” Mr Iddles said. “We’re always looking for new and innovative ways we can assist members, and I think MedAdvisor is one of the ways in which they’ll be assisted well.” ∆

More than 195,000 + Australians use MedAdvisor to manage their medications. To join them, download the app or go to start.medadvisor.com.au/policevic


Acting Sergeant Kelly Christie The Police Association Victoria Journal

The determined work of a Health and Safety Representative at Ringwood Prosecutions has resulted in a massive overhaul of a hazardous and unprofessional workplace, reports Elissa McCallum. Photos by Greg Noakes

T

he campaign by Acting Sergeant Kelly Christie and colleagues against the state of disrepair has been so successful that the building in which they worked has been demolished and the prosecutors have settled into new offices. A list of 14 complaints to Victoria Police gave an idea of what Ringwood prosecutors put up with. Their offices comprised a mid-20th century house (an old police residence next to Ringwood police station) and, behind that, a portable room. The conditions ranged from uncomfortable to unprofessional, and even dangerous. It was cramped. A fire exit was blocked off. An adequate filing system for briefs was nonexistent. When Kelly took on the role of health and safety representative in April last year, she, along with workplace superiors, and with support from The Police Association, ramped up a bid for change which had been unsuccessfully pursued for years.

Kelly prosecutes a case for safety

35


36

www.tpav.org.au

The Association’s Senior Occupational Health and Safety Officer Paul Hatton says Kelly and Sergeant Sean Van Geyzel, who was acting senior sergeant at Ringwood Prosecutions at the time, were “stoic” in their drive.

briefs of evidence are the tools of trade had a number of consequences. Firstly, the volume of paper spilled into every available space, including in front of one of the portable’s two evacuation points.

“I consider Health and Safety Representatives the bedrock of safety in Victoria Police and if we had more people like Kelly being able to identify an issue, then getting onto TPA to garner support, we could get a hell of a lot more done to look after the safety of our members,” says Paul.

The situation also led to professional humiliation. “We would misplace briefs,” says Kelly.

“A building being knocked down – a new one to be built – a health and safety representative was able to do that and do it correctly, using the processes available to her.” Kelly says she went into the process expecting it wouldn’t be easy. “I was very nervous.” A police officer for 15 years, she had been a prosecutor for three. “I love being a police officer. It’s all I’ve ever done. I didn’t want to have to challenge Victoria Police. You worry about ruffling feathers.” What drove her? “Morale; watching your colleagues have to work in such a terrible environment; wanting to be respected.” Attempts over previous years to improve conditions hadn’t been opposed on their merit. It just always boiled down to budget constraints. “Our superintendent and the director of legal services had been petitioning for a long time for funding,” says Sean. As the recently renovated Ringwood police station next door started to take shiny shape, frustrations grew as the prosecutors compared conditions. “It wasn’t a pleasant environment,” says Sean. “People were on top of each other. It was loud, it was hot, it was not uncommon for there to be conflict. A space that was probably adequate for eight people was being worked in by 22 or 23 people.” Lack of storage space in a workplace where thick

Tension could set in when they received an incoming request from a lawyer asking for a brief. “It was embarrassing. We had boxes and boxes of things in a corner. “There was a high tripping hazard.” Heavy boxes were stored above shoulder height, which is against occupational health and safety guidelines.

“I decided that Provisional Improvement Notices needed to be issued for us to be taken seriously”

BEFORE: Insufficient space to file paperwork meant prosecuto

The premises were not secure. “Unless it was locked by a key from the outside, the rear portable was always open. Anyone could jump the fence and be in the building,” says Kelly. Other concerns included: • fear of asbestos exposure • no ramp, which meant heavy cases of briefs taken to court each day had to be lifted up steps • bathroom layout offered inadequate privacy • portable uncomfortably cold or too hot • workspace area per member contravened guidelines • inadequate light

AFTER: New prosecutions office


ors mislaid documents

The Police Association Victoria Journal

37

AFTER: Briefs now filed in orderly and accessible fashion

AFTER: New office

Photos by Greg Noakes


38

www.tpav.org.au

Prosecutors had to carry cases of briefs up steps to enter the portable office behind the main building

“It was a very negative office,” says Kelly. “People were taking it out on other people. We had quite a bit of unplanned leave.” After Kelly took the health and safety representative position, she underwent a oneweek training course conducted by The Police Association. It was soon afterwards that she, along with Sean, made another pitch to ease their work situation. The issue of the blocked fire exit was resolved but there were setbacks, such as being told there was only a budget of $5,000 for other improvements and an external consultant’s report which said the issues didn’t pose life-threatening risks. This meant that once again, Ringwood didn’t make it to the priority list. “I decided that Provisional Improvement Notices needed to be issued for us to be taken seriously,”

The former Ringwood Prosecutions Office was once a police residence

says Kelly.

permanent workplace is to be built.

“They are notices under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Only a health and safety rep can issue them. They are notices advising your employer that they are breaching the Act.”

Their temporary accommodation satisfactorily addresses each of the issues they complained about.

“No one could have done that other than the Health and Safety Representative under powers given to her. She used these wisely and she consulted properly,” says Paul. Victoria Police didn’t challenge the list of complaints submitted last June. Had it done so, the matter would have been referred to WorkSafe. One year after Kelly took the HSR role, at the end of May, the 25 staff of Ringwood Prosecutions moved a few doors down to a privately owned office suite leased by Victoria Police. Where their old offices stood is now a vacant block where a

“Morale is at an all-time high,” says Kelly. “People want to come to work.” “It’s a world apart,” says Sean. “We’ve stepped into the modern age of policing.” Despite the new offices not being purpose-built for police, security is better than what they had. “It’s got great security,” says Kelly. “When people become prosecutors, they’ve strived for something, and it was disappointing that our environment didn’t reflect our professionalism.” “I hadn’t seen such poor accommodation for prosecutors for a very long time,” says Paul. “I was


The Police Association Victoria Journal

39

EBA Fast Facts: Health and Safety The EBA has changed and clearly recognises the role that the Association has as a legitimate representative for OHS matters. The agreement commits both Victoria police and the Association to improving occupational health and safety. OHS Standards OHS legislation sets out a mandatory framework for the management of health and safety matters in Victoria. The agreement also makes safety codes of practice, Victoria WorkCover Authority Guidelines and Australian Standards – all “minimum” standards under the enterprise agreement. • For example, helmets and eye protection are pieces of equipment referred to in Australian Standards. Some work-related activities like diving, working in isolation or working around vehicles are referred to in codes of practice. All of these documents become the minimum standard for police equipment or the way that police work is performed. • You can read codes of practice on the Worksafe Victoria website at www.worksafe.vic.gov.au • The agreement binds Victoria police to improve on these minimum standards where practicable. Health and Safety Representatives The Police Association has a recognised role to manage the nomination and election of health and safety representatives. disappointed but not surprised. We see some beautiful new police stations but there are a lot of places in the state that are substandard. “Population is increasing, and infrastructure is not increasing or being updated to allow for that. “Unfortunately, with the current fiscal environment, a lot of police stations are just waiting for someone like Kelly to come along and put some pressure on Victoria Police to comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act. “Her strength of character to do what she did is fantastic.” In turn, Kelly says Paul’s expertise, availability and good relationship with police senior management helped pave the way to success. “He came to all my meetings. He could quote the OH&S Act off by heart. I knew if it all turned pearshaped, he would fix it.” ∆

• If you have an OHS representative vacancy in your workplace, you should immediately contact the Association to arrange for an election to be conducted. The 2015 Certified Agreement provides more information about health and safety. For further advice, or to discuss any workplace safety matter, contact the Association’s safety team on 94682600.


BUILD FINANCIAL CERTAINTY FOR YOUR FAMILY Reduce Debt, Grow Assets & Create a Financial Future to minimise the risk of not having enough at the end of your career. of TPAV, you have dedicated your careers to helping others in Complimentary Financial Intelligence Asthemembers community; however, often it is easy to overlook you and your family’s financial situation. A regular paycheck is one thing but are you really making Event For TPAV Members From that money work for your future or are you just treading water? JDL Strategies is passionate about working with TPAV members to lock in a financial Australia’s Leading Financial Educator! blueprint so we are sponsoring an incredible event worth $1,500 per person for TPAV members. SEPTEMBER 17 Worth

Rendezvous Hotel, 328 Flinders St, Melbourne Registration: 8am, Event: 9am to 1pm

RESERVE YOUR SEAT NOW www.jdlstrategies.com.au/tpav

$1,500

TPAV Mem bers Sponsored by JDL Strateg ies

Your spouse (plus children over 15 years) and accountant are welcome – so no stone is left unturned. This is your time to do the right investigation about your personal financial results.

Julio De Laffitte is one Australia’s leading financial educators and for more than 20 years, has helped thousands of Australians to achieve financial security. He has also been asked to speak at Federal and State Government events around the country in order to pinpoint the opportunities for Australia’s economic future.

Packed with powerful insights about tax planning, mortgage reduction and real asset accumulation, this event is best suited to busy people who want a no-nonsense approach and wish to refresh their knowledge about their financial affairs. De Laffitte delivers a fresh and genuine approach, making this the perfect event for those wanting knowledge, financial freedom and to be able to work closer with their accountants to purposely achieve results. This is your time to put yourself and your family first.

THE JDL STRATEGIES PROCESS THE ENGINE TO FUEL YOUR WEALTH + Aggressive debt minimisation + Intelligent investment management strategy + Pro-active tax deduction and planning


Photo by Pat Scala

By Brendan Roberts

W

ould a top investigator 50 years ago still make a top investigator today?

Detective Senior Sergeant Wayne Laver is one of the few people within Victoria Police qualified to answer. “Yes,” he replies with little hesitation. “All the basics are the same, the basics don’t change, what changes is the technology, but the way you execute your initial actions at a crime scene is the same and holds the same importance.” Detective Sergeant Laver joined the force in 1966 as a 16-year-old. He recently celebrated 50 years with Victoria Police in a career that has seen him awarded many accolades, including the National Police Service Medal and the Australian Police Medal. He’s spent the last 20 years as an instructor at Detective Training School at the Police Academy, mentoring some of the state’s most talented detectives. The great ones, he says, all possess instincts and traits that transcend time.

Laver still holds court in his arena after 50 years

“Dedication, keeping an open mind, continually learning your trade and being a good talker and, more importantly, a good listener,” he said. “Some of them have just got it all, and they’re really good to watch.” He uses a sporting analogy to stress to new graduates and soon-to-be detectives how critical keeping an open mind is in closing a complex case.

A young Wayne Laver


42

www.tpav.org.au

“When you look at footballers, they’re always told to use their peripheral vision, look at what’s around them, don’t just look straight ahead, because you might get crunched.

Photo by Pat Scala

“Same with an investigation: don’t go in there with the blinkers on. Look at what’s around you and take in everything. That makes for a good, well-rounded detective.” At 67, you’d forgive Laver for being well-rounded in stature, but the grandfather of four remains a figure of fitness, training up to five days a week in his home gym. “Otherwise you just get old and grumpy and balloon out.” It fits in with his mantra that self-improvement aids longevity, be it in life or work. “You should never stop learning your trade, always be the best copper you can be. Whatever you think’s the best job you’ve done to date, don’t let that be your standard, always strive to improve.” He cites some high-profile examples of that ethos – colleagues he has mentored during his time as a suburban sergeant.

“I think Mick Hughes (Inspector at Homicide Squad) is probably a great example,” he said. Inspector Hughes’ willingness to learn as a young officer helped him to become a good example and leader to others in his current role, says Laver. “Having seen Mick when he first joined the job as a ‘connie’, he was very competent, a very good uniform member, an excellent sergeant, and now watching him as the head of the homicide squad is great to see,” he said. “You just watch some and see them progress through their career and you think to yourself, yep, they had it then, they’ve still got it, but they’ve now improved to a point where they’re passing their knowledge on to the next generation, and that’s such a valuable resource.” Another beneficiary of Laver’s tutelage in the late 1970s would graduate to the highest echelon of Victorian policing.

Det. Sen. Sgt Wayne Laver (centre) and his DTS team from left to right: Detective Sergeants Fernando Cartagena, Jarrod Weddle, Tim Moreland and Glen Weaver at a recent gathering to mark Wayne’s 50 years in the job. Photo by Det. Sgt Robyn Sheather

“I was Ken Lay’s sergeant at Prahran. He was a good young copper, very dedicated and great to work with. I was very pleased to see him rise to the role of Chief Commissioner, because he was certainly deserving and he proved that by doing a fantastic job,” he said. “It is satisfying when you think that you may have been a part of that.”


The Police Association Victoria Journal

Laver began his career like many of his generation, stationed at the Russell Street headquarters. The next 20 years were spent in uniform and CIBs along the south-east and bayside corridor, with stints at Malvern, Dandenong, Prahran and Cheltenham. He graduated to the Homicide Squad in the late 1980s, at one of its most challenging and historically significant eras. Some of the crimes of the time were so identifiable they would become known simply by the name of the street they occurred in, plotting a macabre map of inner Melbourne that would define the era in policing. “It was the time of the Queen Street Massacre, Hoddle Street and Walsh Street,” he said. “You take with you aspects of all of those jobs, but Walsh Street was one of the saddest times I’ve experienced in the job, and I always, when I can, get back to Prahran for the memorial service every year, because it’s important to do that for the families. “They recognise your face, they may not know your name, but it’s important that you’re there to remember and they see that.” The lessons of that time are still just as relevant to young officers today, and Laver provides an important link in time, a conduit channelling the message from the past to the present. “It’s important when you’ve been part of those really big investigations that you pass on what

you learned at the time to the new members coming through,” he said. Investigators of that era, though, didn’t have the benefit of some of the advances in technology and science that have reshaped the landscape of the modern investigator. By necessity, they’ve also reshaped the way investigators are trained. “The advances in DNA technology, fingerprints and the database are things that have come along over time that have changed the way crimes can be investigated,” Laver said. “They have become great investigative tools, they’re extra layers of evidence for us to use and they have allowed us to reinvestigate cases from a long time ago that may never have been solved.” Like science, psychology has played a role in the evolution of policing in Laver’s time. He refers to the chilling murder case of Jill Meagher and the trapping of her killer, Adrian Bayley, as an example of the importance of subtle shifts in police interviewing techniques. “It just gives a perfect example of how the new process works, because of the process we now follow, looking at him (Bayley) from the start to the way he was at the end, the guys who did that interview did an absolutely brilliant job. “He was very cocky at the start and full of his own importance, and he was so different at the end purely because of the interviewing techniques that were used.”

43

Police of which Laver speaks most proudly. “When it comes to us as an organisation, we’re more professional, more accountable and we’re more conscious of victims and what they go through and the support we need to give them,” he said. “When it comes down to it, we’re here to look after people and the way we deal with victims of crime defines us and how we deal with them today is something to be proud of.” With 50 years of experience in the job and an unrivalled bank of knowledge, built from thousands of complex and diverse investigations, Senior Sergeant Laver has a library of wisdom to pass on to his students. So, as they prepare to leave the sanctuary of the academy for the reality of the street, what is the defining piece of advice, or word of wisdom he leaves them with? “I just say to them, ‘You’ve got front row seats to the greatest show on Earth’, which it is, because you start your shift, you never know what you’re going to get and you never know what you’re going to learn.” After half a century, that credo still resonates with Laver himself, keeping the spectre of retirement at bay. “I love the job, obviously, and for the same reasons as when I joined,” he said. “It’s all I’ve known since I was 16 and I’m still learning after 50 years.” ∆

But it’s the changes in the culture of Victoria

“You should never stop learning your trade, always be the best copper you can be. Whatever you think’s the best job you’ve done to date, don’t let that be your standard, always strive to improve.” Photo by Pat Scala


44

www.tpav.org.au

Making up for lost time Brought to you by ESSSuper – Proudly serving you. Taking time away from the job to raise a family is something many members do, often more than once throughout their career. For others, working part-time and flexible working arrangements offer many benefits. In either case, it pays to understand how these can impact your super balance when it comes time to retire.

I

f you’re starting to think about taking an extended period of leave from the job to raise a family, or even if you’re considering scaling back the hours you work, there are likely to be a number of questions that you’d like answered. When it comes to knowing about how your super entitlements will be affected and what you can do to maximise them, we’ve got you covered. But before we get to those, it’s important to understand ‘why’ and ‘how’ your ESSSuper Defined Benefit Fund is unique. In a Defined Benefit Fund, when you come to the end of your career your final benefit will be based on a multiple of your Final Average Salary (FAS) – the average of your salary in your last two years of service. It’s also subject to a Benefit Multiple which is calculated on the percentage of your salary you’ve chosen to contribute over the life of your contributions, if you are working parttime, the accrual rate is multiplied by your service fraction for that period. So you can see why having any extended period of leave can make a difference to your final benefit. That’s why we’ve put together the answers to our members most frequently asked questions, so you’ll be armed with the information you need to make the choices that are right for you.

Q. What happens to your super if you take parental leave? (the first 12 months)

Q. What happens to your super if you choose

A. Each time you take paid parental leave, this period is regarded as service and your super benefit accrues in line with your contribution rate. Unpaid parental leave is different. Any unpaid parental leave up to 12 months counts as service but your contribution rate is counted at zero (0%), irrespective of your contribution rate prior to commencing unpaid parental leave. You will also continue to be covered for death and disablement. If you are on unpaid parental leave for more than 12 months this is treated as Leave Without Pay (LWOP).

A. If your LWOP is 28 days or less it has no impact on your defined benefit as this is counted as ‘normal service’ (Victoria Police should deduct your contributions before or after you return to work). If your LWOP is more than 28 days it is not counted as ‘normal service’. During your period of LWOP your benefit will not accrue. However if you are on sick leave, with or without pay, or receiving WorkCover or TAC payments your service will be recognised, as it is not regarded as LWOP. Members also have the option to pay 2% contribution premium to maintain death and disablement benefits on LWOP.

to take LWOP?

A case study After two years of LWOP your FAS becomes static. Unlike an accumulation account which continues to grow with interest while you’re on LWOP, your defined benefit is effectively frozen. However as an ESSSuper member, you’re eligible to open and make lump sum deposits and regular contributions to an ESSSuper Accumulation Plan. Tracey commences unpaid leave and her benefit entitlement at the time is calculated at $100,000. After two years on LWOP her benefit has grown to $106,090 due to increases in her FAS. Tracey’s benefit is frozen at $106,090 until she ceases LWOP and returns to work.


The Police Association Victoria Journal

Q. What happens to your super if you decide to reduce your hours and work part time?

A. If you work part-time hours at any time during your membership, your benefit will accrue proportionately to your part-time hours (your Service Fraction). If, for example, you were working 60 per cent of your ordinary full-time hours and were contributing 7%, your retirement, resignation or retrenchment benefit multiple will accrue at the rate of 15% (i.e. 25% times 60%). The final average salary used in calculating your final benefit is always based on your full-time equivalent salary. The contributions that you pay, according to your nominated contribution percentage, is based on your part-time equivalent salary. In the above example, the contributions paid will be equal to 7% of the full-time salary times 60%. Your death and disability benefits may be impacted if at any stage of your membership you work part-time.

According to research conducted by Industry Super Australia in March 2015, 43% of women work part-time and nine out of ten women won’t have enough super to retire comfortably.

45

Q. What can you do to make up for lost time and contributions?

Q. Why should you consider contributing at

A. You can elect to increase your contributions by making before-tax (salary sacrifice) or after-tax

A. If you have contributed at a rate less than 7% at any time during your membership, either by choice or through a period of extended leave, you may be eligible to contribute 8% (post-tax) or 9% (pre-tax) as a ‘catch-up’ rate. Doing this will increase your benefit accrual rate and may allow you to still achieve the accrued benefit multiple you would have reached had you contributed 7% for your entire membership. For every year you don’t contribute, it takes four and a half years at the catch-up rate to maintain your maximum benefit. So it pays to consider catching up as early as you can upon your return to work.

(non-concessional) contributions. ‘Salary sacrifice’ contributions are extra contributions your employer can make on your behalf before tax is calculated on your pay, and the amount you contribute is taxed at 15%, not your normal rate. By sacrificing part of your before tax salary, you can possibly lower your personal income tax and increase your net take-home pay.

For every year you don’t contribute, it takes four and a half years at the catch-up rate to maintain your maximum benefit

the catch up rate?

Login to Members Online now and take stock of where you’re at and where you want to be. To find out more simply call 1300 650 161 or visit esssuper.com.au

* Please note: For members’ who joined before or on 1 July 2007, any increase in contribution rates will cancel any grandfathering of contribution caps, which may mean you’ll incur additional tax. Refer to the relevant handbook or PDS for more information. ^ Insurance cover is subject to eligibility criteria and other terms and conditions in the Policy. Please read the Product Disclosure Statement relevant to your particular fund, available from ESSSuper, for more information. # You should check any relevant exit fees you may incur, or any insurance arrangements that may be forfeited, or any other effects this transfer may have on your benefits, before rolling your money into our fund. The information contained in this document is of a general nature only. It should not be considered as a substitute for reading ESSSuper’s Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) that contains detailed information about ESSSuper products, services and features. Before making a decision about an ESSSuper product, you should consider the appropriateness of the product to your personal objectives, financial situation and needs. It may also be beneficial to seek professional advice from a licensed financial planner or adviser. An ESSSuper PDS is available at www.esssuper.com.au or by calling 1300 650 161


How would time out of the job affect you? You may want to scale back your work hours for a number of reasons or take a break from the job to spend time with your family. If you’re considering taking an extended period of leave, it pays to know just how it may affect your super benefit. Before you make any decisions, see where you stand. Log into your account at Members Online at esssuper.com.au

Issued by Emergency Services Superannuation Board ABN 28 161 296 741 the Trustee of the Emergency Services Superannuation Scheme ABN 85 894 637 037 (ESSSuper). Before making a decision about an ESSSuper product or service please consider our Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) that is available at www.esssuper.com.au or by calling 1300 650 161.


The Police Association Victoria Journal

47

Workplace investigations: Your rights & obligations By Chris Gorissen

I

n recent times the Legal/Discipline arm of the Police Association has fielded a number of calls from members who are the subject of workplace investigations conducted by Victoria Police’s Organisational Standards and Behaviours Branch (OSBB).

arising from an OSBB workplace investigation is ultimately one that rests with a member, the Association’s position is that in the absence of any statutory protection from responses being used to prosecute the member they should not engage in the process.

A recurring theme from callers is an apparent lack of clarity regarding the nature of the investigation being conducted and what, if any, obligations members are under to cooperate.

“If in any doubt about your

That members express a degree of confusion about the process adopted by OSBB is more than understandable considering OSBB has not generated any policy that explicitly states their investigative role despite repeated requests from the Association for it to do so. Currently some members subject to workplace investigations are being requested to engage in a process that includes the investigation of, at worst, criminal allegations and, at best, discipline offences with no statutory protection from whatever might be divulged during the enquiry being relied upon to prosecute them. When members have resisted requests to provide responses to allegations, some have been informed that a failure to do so may result in the investigation being completed in the absence of any response, and if the allegation is found proven, sanctions may be imposed. It has also been suggested that a failure to provide a response will give rise to a breach of discipline for disobeying a lawful direction. While a decision to respond to allegations

rights and obligations when approached by OSBB we strongly urge you to contact the Association’s Legal Discipline section for advice”. This advice is provided in the context of OSBB workplace investigations being conducted by external providers who are neither investigating officials for the purposes of criminal investigations under the Crimes Act or persons holding the appropriate delegation to compel members to answer relevant questions pursuant to s.171 of the Victoria Police Act. To suggest that a failure to provide a response will constitute a breach of discipline is an expansive and ill-considered reading of the Victoria Police Manual – Guidelines, Bullying, discrimination and harassment (the VPM). Clause 2.1 of the VPM states, among other things, that employees must:

• participate in reasonable processes designed to manage the issue • comply with processes that may be introduced or implemented to manage the issue. This does not, in our opinion, include a direction that members subject themselves to interviews, either verbal or written, concerning allegations that are either criminal or discipline in nature, particularly when the person conducting the investigation is neither an investigating official pursuant to the Crimes Act or duly authorised to exercise the coercive investigative provisions of s.171 of the Victoria Police Act. In the absence of an appropriate policy underpinned by a relevant statutory protection, the Association remains of the view that members should not provide written responses or engage in interviews with OSBB workplace investigators. If in any doubt about your rights and obligations when approached by OSBB, we strongly urge you to contact the Association’s Legal Discipline section for advice. While the Association applauds the efforts of the force for creating a body that can deal with the type of complaints which OSBB investigate, the current model is not one in which either victims or alleged perpetrators can have any confidence that matters will achieve an expedient or satisfactory resolution. ∆ Chris Gorissen is The Police Association’s Legal Manager


48

www.tpav.org.au

Your Say

Members bid farewell... ‘Squid’ signs off On 30 July 2016 I will retire from Victoria

the result is a public that is living in fear.

they ever need legal or welfare assistance,

Police after 37 years of service.

Something has broken down. Something

knowing that they have the support of the

Therefore, I tender my resignation from

has changed. Look at the ever-increasing

Association will be of great relief.

The Police Association.

gang violence, carjackings, home invasions,

I implore managers and supervisors to look

I leave at a time when our members are

ram-raids and so on. I just wonder how

after their troops. Be welfare-minded –

much the ‘pursuit policy’ has influenced

don’t let statistics dictate the way you treat

when currentworkload pressures on our

lawlessness.

your members, because it is your members

members is not understood by those in

Is the pursuit policy having the single

that will help you drive down statistics.

power.

most impact on the current situation?

Members, my advice to you for longevity

Over my police career I have seen the

Has the Association considered lobbying

in this job is to learn all about emotional

government to grant police some form of

survival – https://tpav.org.au/members_

patrol. We continue to see the introduction

indemnity for pursuits?

only/welfare/dr_kevin_Gilmartin.html.

of policies/processes that have us spending

Negatives aside, I wish to thank The Police

Don’t think it won’t happen to you.

more time in front of a computer screen

Association and its staff for all you do

Overall, my 37 years have given me a

instead of out on patrol.

for us. Having been a Police Association

lot of great times (and stories) and I

While I do not disagree with the principle

Delegate and an Executive Member in the

feel honoured to have been given the

1990s, I understand the hard work that goes

opportunity to “try and make a difference”.

terms of workload and lost patrol times

into representing our members.

Thank you, and stay safe,

appears not to be a serious consideration

I cannot stress enough to members the

when these are implemented.

importance of being a fully paid member

Ray (Squid) CAMILLERI

Losing our patrol time (visible police

of The Police Association. Their job is

facing ever-increasing dangers; a time

gradual decline of police time spent on

of these polices, the cost to members in

presence) is a loss of public interaction and

only going to get more difficult and should

Sergeant 21566


The Police Association Victoria Journal

Kellsy: ‘Cheers, and enjoy life!’

‘Look after each other’

To the President of TPA and his fantastic team

It is with great regret that I am advising the Police Association of Victoria of my retirement from Victoria Police on 4 July 2016 after almost 30 years service.

On 16 July 2016 I will be retiring from Victoria Police after 37 years’ service. The symmetry is that I was sworn in on 16 July 1979. All I can say is that my career has gone by in the blind of an eye. I thought I had a few more years left in me, but after chatting to my loving partner, family and medicos, it was time to put my health and well-being first. I have always been a paid-up member of The Police Association, and in recent years I have had to call on them several times over a number of issues, each with a successful outcome. I cannot praise the TPA team highly enough for what they do for their members, and I encourage those members that are not part of the TPA to join. You just never know when you will need their services. What price do you place on peace of mind? Anyway, to all those that I have worked with, cheers, and enjoy life! Peter (Kellsy) KELLS Senior Sergeant 21868

Most of my time was at the coalface of attending road trauma and trying to make a difference to prevent unnecessary deaths on our roads. During my time I saw the road toll come down from in excess of 800 deaths to the mid-200s. I’m pleased to know that I made a difference, however the attendance, investigation and reconstruction of in excess of 2000 major road trauma incidents, some 20 police deaths, numerous court appearances and other operational incidents has taken its toll on me, requiring me to manage the psychological symptoms of chronic PTSD on a daily basis. I would like to thank Ron, Kaye and Les for their assistance. I wish my fellow colleagues all the best; keep up the great work, look after each other. and I hope you do not succumb to the effects of chronic PTSD. Peter R. Bellion APM B. Eng. Civ. Detective Sergeant 25829

Engage with us! Email journal@tpav.org.au We welcome readers’ correspondence to our magazine. In all cases the writer’s name must be supplied, unless there is good reason for anonymity. The editor reserves the right to edit, abridge or decline letters without explanation. Letters fewer than 400 words are preferred.

49


50

www.tpav.org.au

Time to recognise PTSD as an occupational illness V

ictoria’s 18,000 Police, PSOs and paramedics recently joined forces to launch a campaign to have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) recognised as an occupational illness for all of Victoria’s emergency services workers. The Police Association Victoria and Ambulance Employees Australia have called on the Victorian government to introduce legislation that would create a presumption that PTSD diagnosed in emergency services workers is work-related. Police Association Secretary Ron Iddles said emergency services workers perform some of the most challenging work in our community and deserve more support in overcoming the many forms of psychological illness to which they are highly susceptible. “Our emergency services are exposed to more trauma, suffering and death in a single shift than most Victorians would deal with in a lifetime. “The psychological stress they suffer can be extreme, but it is often made worse by the current WorkCover system, which places far too many barriers in the way of receiving timely and effective help to overcome their illness. “The system needs to change so that an emergency services worker who is suffering from PTSD will have their worker’s compensation claim automatically accepted. “This would mean relieving emergency services workers of the added stress and burden of having to prove they have developed PTSD from

their occupation in order to receive workers’ compensation benefits before seeking the immediate help they need.

evidence that our police, ambulance workers and firefighters are around ten times more likely to develop PTSD than the general population.

“Instead, we are calling on the government to reverse this onus, so that the WorkCover insurer has to show that an emergency services worker’s PTSD was not caused by their work.”

“It would therefore help those who are suffering to bring in a system that immediately helps rather than hinders their already tough road towards recovery.

The campaign by Victorian police officers and paramedics to have PTSD recognised as an occupational illness follows successful campaigns in Canada, which have seen several of its provinces adopt similar laws to better protect its emergency services workers. Ambulance Employees Union Secretary Steve McGhie said removing the adversarial approach to PTSD claims will reduce the stress and anxiety felt by emergency services workers and enable earlier treatment so they make a speedier recovery and return to work sooner. “A lot of paramedics don’t want to come forward because of the stigma that’s attached. That has to change and it is changing, but that’s a lot of work. “For some people their whole world is turned upside down by mental illness, and if it’s not dealt with quickly then it can be disastrous. “I know of paramedics who have become suicidal because of the isolation, delay, reviews and constant justifications they have to provide because of their injuries. “We know from extensive research and anecdotal

“The Canadian experience has shown that emergency services workers who suffer from PTSD get the treatment they need sooner and therefore experience a speedier return to work, representing a general cost saving to the community. “Psychological injury is just as damaging, as harmful and as preventable as a physical injury. A paramedic or police officer cannot refuse unsafe work the same way others could. That’s what makes them profoundly susceptible to suffering from psychological illnesses”. The Police Association and the Ambulance Employees Union have handed their joint 23-page submission on this issue to the Police Minister, Lisa Neville, for her consideration. Members can read our submission on our website – www.tpav.org.au. Simply click on the ‘Publications and Media’ link on the homepage and then click on the link entitled‘Trauma doesn’t end when the shift does’. ∆


The Police Association Victoria Journal

Lisa Neville, Minister for Police “This submission gives an insight into the incredibly demanding and traumatic nature of the work they do every day. “We will work closely across government and the different emergency agencies and associations to make sure police and paramedics have all the support they need to get their job done.”

Terry Keating, former Victoria police officer Joe Walsh, former Victoria Police officer Former Swan Hill member LSC Joe Walsh, lodged a claim for posttraumatic stress disorder after was one of the first to attend the 2007 Kerang rail disaster and discovered one of his friends, along with the friend’s daughter, were among the 11 people killed. “I knew on the night it had hit me hard, I just didn’t know how hard at that time.

-

I initially wanted to get back to work after being on sick leave after Kerang.

Belinda Ousley, Paramedic “No one does the job of a paramedic, or police officer unless they love to help people.” To be told my claim was not workrelated was a slap in the face and hindered my recovery. I then spent another six months fighting to get my claim accepted. Because the insurer rejected my claim, it was left up to my family to carry me through to the process and to find the right treatment. The WorkCover process meant I lost my home, everything I worked for, my savings, everything”.

But after the way I was treated by the work cover insurer, who fought against approving my claim for 18 months, I was that bitter it would have been nearly impossible for me to return to work.

“I was the first police officer to attend to Angela Taylor – it was a very sad and had a big impact on my family and myself. From there I caught deaths, murders, suicide. I did put in a workers comp claim and was rejected on the basis it wasn’t work-related – even though independent psychiatrist reports stated that it was all work related” I still to this day continue to battle with insurers. It destroyed my family, friendships and another long-term relationship What these guys are doing right now is the best possible thing that could ever happen. To have these claims accepted automatically and let the insurance prove that it’s not PTSD.”

Eventually the force retired me on the grounds of ill-health after 27 years in the job. The work cover process was daunting and one I was reluctant to enter. The stigma and feelings of guilt about being diagnosed with a mental illness made reaching out fothelp hard. The delay in the WorkCover system meant I didn’t get appropriate treatment for eight months.”

Tell us what you think about this story. Email: journal@tpav.org.au

51


52

www.tpav.org.au

WhaddaYaKnow Test your knowledge with these brain-teasers and you could win a recently-released mystery crime fiction novel.

Waxing Lyrical Name the song title and artist belonging to each set of lyrics:

9. Dream on white boy; dream on black girl; then wake up to a brand new day

1. He’s got this dream about buying some land; he’s gonna give up the booze and the one night stands...

10. When the night falls on you, you don’t know what to do; nothing you confess will make me love you less

2. You brought me fame and fortune and everything that goes with it; I thank you all…

11. Now that I found where you’re at, it’s goodbye

3. Started out seeking fortune and glory; it’s a short song, but it’s a hell of a story...

13. Watch this madness, colourful charade; No one can be just like me anyway

4. But in our world of plenty, we can spread a smile of joy, throw your arms around the world at Christmas time

14. You might call me mad, you might call me sad, but I’ve got one – who calls me dad.

5. That’s right they had it all worked out, you were young and blonde and you could never do wrong

15. You’re riding high in April, Shot down in May…

6. I’ve got my scarf, got my old coat, I’ve got a footy game to go to 7. But how do you thank someone who has taken you from crayons to perfume? 8. How can we dance when our earth is turning?

12. Those days are over; you don’t have to sell your body to the night

16. You’re Celtic United, but baby, I’ve decided you’re the best team I’ve ever seen 17. All around me are familiar faces, worn out places, worn out faces 18. I stay up too late, got nothing in my brain; That’s what people say, mmm 19. I got that sunshine in my pocket, got that good song in my feet 20. I’m tired of the city life; summer’s on the run

Compiled by Sandro Lofaro


The Police Association Victoria Journal

53

Win a book! For your chance to win a mystery fiction novel, simply email the correct answers to the three questions highlighted to journal@tpav.org.au by 31 August.

He said, She said

Ad Fab

Name the well-known identities responsible for these quotes;

With which brands do we associate these famous catchphrases from the world of advertising?

1. “I’m so mean I make medicine sick” 2. “My fellow Americans, ask not what the country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”

1. ‘Not happy Jan!’

3. “Hello Newman” (said mainly through gritted teeth!)

3. ‘Good on ya mum’

4. “I’m going to shirtfront Mr Putin – you bet I am”

4. ‘The drink you have you’re not having a drink’

5. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that”

5. ‘Think Different’

6. “You cannot be serious”

7. ‘Make those bodies sing’

7. “I’d like to be a queen in people’s hearts but I don’t see myself being a queen of this country”

8. ‘Das Auto’

8. “Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them... well, I have others” 9. “There are two teams out there; only one is trying to play cricket”

2. ‘As a matter of fact, I’ve got it now’

6. ‘Drink Drive, Bloody Idiot’

9. ‘Still the One’ 10. ‘Just like a chocolate milkshake, only crunchy’

10. “Like Indiana Jones, I don’t like snakes - though that might lead some to ask why I’m in politics”

He said, She said: Paul Roos; Who are you, sport?: Australian Football (AFL) 4. Claytons (non-alcoholic beverage), 5. Apple, 6. Answer next edition, 7. Bananas, 8. Volkswagon, 9. Channel Nine, 10. Coco Pops Last Edition: Waxing Lyrical: Up There Cazaly, Mike Brady; edition , 4. Tony Abbott , 5. Martin Luther King Jr, 6. John McEnroe, 7. Princess Diana, 8. Groucho Marx, 9. Bill Woodfull, 10. Theresa May Ad Fab: 1. Yellow Pages , 2. Victoria Bitter, 3. Tip Top for Fears, 18. Shake It Off, Taylor Swift, 19. Can’t Stop The Feeling, Justin Timberlake, 20. April Sun in Cuba, Dragon He said, She said: 1. Muhammad Ali , 2. John F. Kennedy, 3. Answer next Sherbert, 12. Roxanne, The Police, 13. Just like Fire, Pink, 14. Father’s Day, Weddings, Parties, Anything, 15. That’s Life, Frank Sinatra, 16. You’re in my Heart, Rod Stewart, 17. Mad World, Tears Choirboys, 6. That’s the Thing About Football, Greg Champion, 7. Answer next edition, 8. Beds are burning, Midnight Oil, 9. Original Sin, INXS, 10. I’ll Stand by You, The Pretenders , 11. Howzat, Waxing Lyrical: 1. Baker Street, Gerry Rafferty, 2. We are the Champions, Queen , 3. Holy Grail, Hunters and Collectors , 4. Do they know it’s Christmas, Band Aid, 5. Run to Paradise,

Answers


54

www.tpav.org.au

Pick of the Shelf The Good Cop: The true story of Ron Iddles By Justine Ford Review by Dermot O’Brien

T

his is the story of a man who right from his earliest days in uniform decided that one man could make a difference. Author Justine Ford tracks Ron’s life growing up in the country and then his career from the Police Cadets to Police Association. While described as a “good crook catcher” from his earliest days at Collingwood, Ron tells his own story about his first homicide investigation, the murder of Maria James (1980) and working and learning from Brain McCarthy and Paul Delanis. Throughout his career Ron has revisited the Maria James case and right up to 2015 was hoping that new technology would provide the vital piece of the puzzle to find the person responsible.

Colleen, and children Joanne, Matt and Shae all tell their stories of call-outs in the middle of the night and Ron rushing off to do jobs on Christmas Day. Ron and Colleen were and are a successful team and their values helped make it all possible. The Good Cop* is the sto ry of exactly that; a good cop who would always listen and do the right thing. *Ron was not paid for his participation in this book, nor will he or The Police Association receive any proceeds from its sales.

Win a copy of this book

While not always in Homicide, Ron worked on the streets in St Kilda and demonstrated that good cops could see the good in a person and help them to a better life.

For your chance to win a copy of this fabulous book, simply email journal@tpav.org.au and answer the following question:

What stands out in this book is the fact that Ron provided support for the next of kin for victims and a major part of the role, as he saw it, was helping them through immensely difficult times.

Name the Journalist who, through her 2012 series of articles in the Shepparton News, helped Ron Iddles and his Homicide Squad crew solve a 30-year cold case and bring Michelle Buckingham’s killer to justice?

This is a key part of what many Homicide detectives do and it largely goes unnoticed. What must be said about this book is that it also gives us an insight into Ron’s family life and what a how an understanding and loving wife can make all the difference.


The Police Association Victoria Journal

Busted By Keith Moor

“Ecstasy tablets hidden in 3000 tomato tins arriving from Naples, Italy – the largest haul of ecstasy in the world. The seized pills had a street value of $440 million”. In Busted, bestselling writer and organised crime expert Keith Moor takes us behind the headlines of the world’s biggest seizure of ecstasy to expose a sophisticated Mafia network in Australia. Operating almost unimpeded from the suburbs of Melbourne to country Victoria and other Australian states, its reach extended overseas to Italy, Mexico, China and the Netherlands. People who use or buy drugs rarely know the sophistication and cut-throat operation that goes on behind the scenes to supply the market. In Busted, Moor provides understanding of just how determined organised crime groups (including terrorists) in Australia are to succeed. Drawing on years of research and never-beforerevealed detail, Busted explores this extraordinary case – one of the largest AFP operations

ever – and how it fits into the murky history of Australian organised crime. Keith Moor’s fifth book on organised crime in Australia is a fascinating and powerful account of one of the biggest crimes, and many of the worst criminals, our society has ever seen. ‘Keith Moor’s book provides a blueprint for how the professional, coordinated efforts of the authorities can overcome the desperate determination of those wanting to do us harm.’ Mick Keelty, AO ∆

Win a copy of this book For your chance to win a copy of this fabulous book, simply email journal@tpav.org.au and answer the following question: Keith Moor is a crime writer for which daily newspaper?

55


56

www.tpav.org.au

How can you protect yourself from one of Australia’s biggest killers? D

o you have a family history of heart disease? Would you like to know how to reduce your risk of this potentially deadly disease? One of Australia’s leading medical research organisations, Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, is calling on members aged 40-70 years to take part in an innovative research study that aims to advance the prevention and treatment of coronary artery disease. Baker IDI, which has its headquarters in Melbourne adjacent to The Alfred Hospital, is Australia’s first multidisciplinary institute dedicated to reducing death and disability caused by cardiovascular disease, diabetes and related disorders. Institute Director and cardiologist, Professor Tom Marwick is investigating the use of coronary scanning to identify people in high-risk groups before they develop serious symptoms. He is leading a national, multicentre study of over 700 people who haven’t experienced a cardiovascular event themselves, but have

immediate family members or relatives who have had a heart attack, stent or surgery. The aim is to find the disease in the early stages, before it narrows the arteries, and initiate treatment to stop it progressing. You may be eligible for a free coronary scan if you are;

If you wish to participate in the study or for more information about the study, please contact: Jasmine Prichard on 03 8532 1511 or baker.CAUGHT@bakeridi.edu.au

• Between 40-70 years of age • Have an immediate family member (parent or sibling) who has had a heart attack, stent or bypass surgery under the age of 60, or nonimmediate family member (grandparent, uncle or aunt) under the age of 50

• Do not smoke

• Do not take cholesterol lowering medication (statin drug)

• Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, legumes and wholegrain cereals

Professor Marwick says the CAUGHT study will show for the first time whether the process of coronary scanning can help to ‘catch’ a group of people among whom treatment might change the natural history of heart disease.

What is Cardiovascular disease?

Baker IDI’s Heart Health Tips For Everyone

• Eat fish 2-3 times a week especially oily fish • Remove all visible fat from meats and cook with oils not solid fats • Limit your salt intake • Drink alcohol moderately if you choose to drink

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) describes a range of illnesses that involve the heart and blood vessels. Despite, huge advances in the treatment of these conditions, the problem hasn’t gone away. In Australia, CVD kills one Australian every 12 minutes, causing around 50,000 deaths per year; more than any other disease group.

• Include at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity each day

One of the most common types of CVD is coronary artery disease. This occurs when the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle become hardened and narrowed due to the build-up of fatty deposits known as ‘plaques”. These are present for many years before they cause narrowing of the arteries, resulting in restricted blood flow to the heart, which can lead to an event such as chest pain (angina) or a heart attack. ∆

• Reduce your daily sitting time

• Include muscle strengthening exercise at least 2-3 times a week


The Police Association Victoria Journal

Safety at the roadside

Key Findings • 59.82% of respondents feel unsafe with regards to passing vehicles when they are attending a roadside incident. • 74.51% of respondents indicated that they had not reported all collisions and/or near misses to their employer. • 79.39% of emergency services personnel do not believe that existing road safety legislation is sufficient to ensure their safety when attending roadside incidents

What you and your emergency services colleagues said... The vast majority of respondents surveyed support the introduction of new Victorian road laws to make it safer for emergency services workers when working on roads, but not everybody was convinced.

Emergency vehicle roadside survey results are in The Police Association recently surveyed police and other emergency services workers to see what they thought about the risks posed to them by other vehicles passing while they worked on Victorian roads. The responses from over 1600 respondents did not surprise, with many citing that working on a freeway or highway posed one of the greatest threats to personal safety while at work.

Where to from here? The Association will use these findings as the basis for further consultation on this issue with other key stakeholders. If you want to know more about this issue – read the full report in the ‘Media & Publications’ section of our website – www.tpav.org.au

86.18% of respondents indicated that they would support the introduction of a set speed limit for motorists passing emergency services vehicles/ workers performing duties on or by the roadside.

“Numerous times I have seen South Australian vehicles slowing to 40 kph when passing police intercepting cars on the western freeway. This needs to be introduced in Victoria.”

“In Canada it is the law to slow down and move to the other lane even if an emergency vehicle is pulled over in the emergency stopping lane of a road. I feel that this is a safe and appropriate action for vehicles to undertake when emergency vehicle is attending a case.”

“The general public already go into ‘panic mode’ when they see red and blue lights. The immediate slowing of traffic would pose a far greater risk to both us and the public. Not only would we have to deal with the intercept but the nose to tail collisions which would result from the slowing of traffic”

57

“I think we should follow the lead of SA and introduce a law to lower speed limits around emergency vehicles. This should be an urgent priority.”

.

“We should adopt the United States Code; vehicles must slow and make every attempt to change lanes when ANY emergency vehicle is on the side of the road with warning devices on.”


58

www.tpav.org.au

2016 Wall-to-Wall Ride for Remembrance The Wall to Wall Ride for Remembrance is held each September in the lead up to National Police Remembrance Day. The ride is held in honour and remembrance to our fallen colleagues, and aims to raise funds for police-related charities while promoting safe and lawful motorcycling. Groups of riders will depart from every capital city (Victorian riders will depart Melbourne on 16 September) coming together in Canberra to ride as one group to the National Police Memorial for a ceremony honouring our fallen on Saturday 17 September 2016. More than 2000 riders are expected to participate in this year’s event.

What, where & when On Friday 16 September Victorian participants will meet at the Victoria Police memorial site, St Kilda Road, Melbourne at 0700 for a memorial ceremony commencing at 0730 followed by departure under police escort at 0800. Victorian Riders will ride under police escort for the entire route this year. The ride will make its way along the Princes Highway and other adjacent highways and roads as deemed appropriate to Merimbula NSW. Scheduled stops at Sale, Lakes Entrance, Orbost then to Merimbula arriving at approximately 1700. On Saturday 17 September Riders from all over Australia will converge at the National Police Memorial for a ceremony to honour our fallen. A function will take place after the ceremony.

How to register & further information To register your participation and/or obtain further information about this event, simply log on to the event website - www. walltowallride.com A $75 registration fee will apply to each rider or pillion passenger with all proceeds donated to Police Legacy – Victoria.


Order your 2017 Desk Diary at tpav.org.au w o n Stay up to date with our special centenary year edition Desk Diary. The only way to guarantee your copy is to order online by October 7.


special allowance

TPAV Journal Issue 4, 2016  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you