Tony’s Trek

Lets Climb Mountains Side by Side in 2024....

About Tony’s Trek 2023

My volunteer role as ESF Chair is a profoundly personal one as I have been in the sector for almost forty years. In that time I’ve seen many of my colleagues suffer from trauma due to their role in emergency services/management. This trauma can often result in mental health injury and have lasting impacts throughout their career and retirement. In supporting ESF’s work in improving mental health outcomes for Victoria’s 139,000 emergency workers, both paid and volunteer, in frontline and support roles, I have decided to commit to a solo ultra-distance walk to raise awareness of the work we do. We need to acknowledge the urgency of supporting those who support us. On the 10th of March 2023, I will commence my journey in East Melbourne at the State Control Centre, and over the 50 days, I’ll cover 1500 kms. My route has been specifically chosen to cover much of the area where the Victorian Black Summer Bushfires occurred. I hope this will acknowledge the horrible mental health impacts those fires had and continue to have on emergency workers, along with the community members themselves of these areas. For me, it will be one step at a time to achieve this goal and personal physical feat. Recovery from mental health injury is also a personal journey that involves taking one step at a time.

Tony Pearce – Inspector-General for Emergency Management and ESF Chair

Km Walked

Tony's Trek Blog

ESF’s evidence informed prevention focused initiatives seek to benefit emergency workers whether they are at the frontline or in important support roles before, during or after emergencies. ESF is at the frontline of mental health, making sure we have the best possible strategies to help prevent people from our sector being harmed by the work they must do. With our focus on prevention and early intervention, ESF works collaboratively with agencies as it seeks to get ahead of the mental harm and injury threat that currently pervades the sector – so everyone benefits.
A lived experience program

Which could see ESF train mental health ambassadors from across the sector to safely share their stories of mental health injury and recovery. This would help to reduce the mental health stigma which pervades the sector and inhibits early help seeking when the chance of recovery is greatest. 

To deliver such an initiative, the ESF would need $85,000 to establish the Lived Experience Program and document and professionally film 15 stories.

An ambitious research program

That seeks through evidence to identify appropriate initiatives and strategies that could be developed by ESF to assist in reducing the likelihood that those in the early stages of their mental health journey will progress to suffer a significant mental injury.

To deliver such an initiative, the ESF would need $100,000.

A pilot residential wellbeing program

Which could bring together emergency workers who are mentally struggling, to help them address work related concerns and develop resilience skills supported by experts who completely understand their experiences. This would help them effectively self-manage and reduce the risk of developing serious mental health injury. 

To deliver such an initiative ESF would need $425,000 to complete a study that would include the conduct of six pilot groups, and a formal evaluation of the outcomes, to assess the benefits of implementing an ongoing program in Victoria.

Tony's Trek Ambassadors:

Daily finish Locations

Starting point – State Control Centre 8 Nicholson Street East Melbourne

10 March – Dandenong

11 March – Nar Nar Goon

12 March – Warragul

13 March – Moe

14 March – Traralgon

15 March – Rosedale

16 March – Sale

17 March – Sale

18 March – Providence Ponds rest area

19 March – Bairnsdale

20 March – Bruthen

21 March – Nowa Nowa

22 March – Orbost

23 March – Orbost

24 March – Cabbage Tree Creek

25 March – Bright Light Saddle rest area

26 March – Cann River

27 March – rest area near Upper Wingan Road

28 March – Genoa

29 March – Mallacoota

30 March – Mallacoota

31 March – Genoa

1 April – rest area near Upper Wingan Road

2 April – Cann River

3 April – Bright Light Saddle rest area

4 April – Cabbage Tree Creek

5 April – Orbost

6 April – Orbost

7 April – Nowa Nowa

8 April – Bruthen

9 April – Tambo River campsite

10 April – Ensay

11 April – Swifts Creek

12 April – Omeo

13 April – Omeo

14 April – Cobungra

15 April – Hotham Heights

16 April – St Bernard Hospice Chain Bay parking area

17 April – Smoko campground

18 April – Porepunkah

19 April – Myrtleford

20 April – Yackandandah

21 April – Wodonga

22 April – Wodonga

23 April – Chiltern

24 April – Wangaratta

25 April – Glenrowan

26 April – Benalla

27 April – Violet Town

28 April – Euroa

29 April – Euroa

30 April – Avenel

1 May – Seymour

2 May – Broadford

3 May – Wallan

4 May – Craigieburn

5 May – 8 Nicholson Street East Melbourne

10 May – MCG @ ESF’s Better Together Luncheon