Our Mental Health Ambassador

Station Officer Garth CIVIL, Perth Fire Station, Department of Fire and Emergency Services (WA)

“Kongma La Pass 5,535m, en-route to Island Peak Base camp”


Garth has been an Act Belong Commit ambassador for 7 years. ‘This is the way I live life and have for many years. As soon as I saw the message I felt they were talking about me, and how I have maintained my physical and mental health for so many years.’ 

Garth is always looking for the next adventure that life brings his way ‘I love taking on challenges from Sea kayaking around the Bay of Islands in NZ to climbing a mountain (Island Peak 6200m) in Nepal, and just enjoying the water in my double or single kayak, double or single surf ski or stand up paddle board.’

Garth say his philosophy is ‘life is to be lived so live it! My boys aged 8 and 11 both experience this, though I feel like I drag them down kicking and screaming. We walk, visit, bike ride take trips, fish, camp and get out into the world whenever possible.’

Although being active is something that Garth does enjoy, he also knows life is about balance ‘I do like to chill at home, and my boys are like any other kids and love computer games.’

“Sea kayaking Bay of Islands, New Zealand”         


What made you interested in participating in the 2018 Australasian Police & Emergency Service Games?

I love participating in events, particularly when I can get my mates involved, and as we are all pretty good mates in the Fire Rescue Service it is great to do things together. I love there are a heap of different events and I will be doing a few myself. My first passion is paddling and love the water, particularly the ocean hence participating in the Ocean Paddling event. I will also be doing some swimming, and maybe the du/triathlons and rugby 7’s.

How does the training make you feel? How do you feel before you train and after?

Training is my stress relief, meditation and revitalisation. Sometimes life gets in the way and you have breaks, when that happens I feel flatter and find myself more irritable. Most of my training is early morning and I always say the hardest part is getting out of bed. Once I’m there the rest just makes me feel better. I still find the best feeling and the most energetic days I have, are after a hard training session with good friends.

Who keeps you accountable and on track?

This is easy, my partner, unfortunately she is not eligible for the games, but we keep each other committed to training. Mostly we focus on an event and train together for it, I have been revitalised by sharing a passion with someone I love.

What advice would you give to people interested in committing to the games?

Just do it! Pick an event to commit to, set a goal and actively do what you need to be able to be there come end of October. Games like these are about being there and doing your best, not about being the best.

“Competing in local kayak event with partner”

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