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Media release: First responders selected to participate in the 2022 New York Marathon!

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Fortem Australia is proud to announce it has selected four first responders to represent Australia in the New York Marathon on Sunday, 6 November 2022. 

“The volume in expressions of interest exceeded our expectation with over 120 entries. We wanted to promote a positive news story on the incredible benefits of physical activity and social connection on mental fitness and get behind a team that can represent our nation. With the four strong winners, we have achieved our original goal,” said John Bale, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Fortem Australia.

“Each first responder representing Fortem Australia has a unique and compelling story, and we will be promoting these stories over the coming weeks and months to build awareness of the pressures and balance required to manage their day-to-day lives, on and off duty.”

The four successful winners are –

Susan Forte, Senior Constable, Queensland Police
Craig Harrison, Deputy Captain, ACT Rural Fire Service
Vanessa Parry-Williams, Senior Constable, NSW Police
Emma Shawyer, Paramedic, NSW Ambulance

Fortem Australia is a not-for-profit organisation that supports the mental fitness and wellbeing of first responder families – the people who protect and care for Australian communities.

Since starting in 2019, Fortem has supported over 6,500 emergency services and national security employees and volunteers – and their families – through science backed connection activities, clinical services, and transition and employment programs. There has been a total of 17,672 registrations for wellbeing activities with many more on waitlists demonstrating a response as strong as the need for evidence-based and connection focused wellbeing support for first responder families.

At any one time, around 20 per cent of Fortem wellbeing activity participants move on to access Fortem Australia’s clinical services.

Fortem Australia is currently the only national mental health program for first responders and their families.


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