The VICSES Orange Podcast highlights the incredible work of VICSES volunteers across Victoria.

The MindFit Podcast is produced by the VICSES Health & Wellbeing team, where we mic up and chat with those who truly know how to keep their ‘Mind Fit’.

On this page:
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Therapy's not for every man & his dog

In this episode we talk with Rob Atkins, Ex- Victoria Police member and co-founder of the first responder support group, Code 9 Foundation.

As a result of years of confronting call-outs, Rob found himself retired prematurely due to ill health and unable to undertake his substantiative role 'on the beat'.

Rob’s daily life was filled with nightmares, flashbacks, distress, and crippling anxiety. Talk therapy and medication had varying effects to empty Rob's cumulative trauma bucket, and he eventually found himself broken and void of all hope. That is until, man’s best friend, a therapy dog by the name of Jimmy, came in to help restore Rob’s quality of life and give some light at the end of the tunnel.

Listen in to hear how Rob’s life has changed since meeting his furry best mate, Jimmy.

For more info about Code 9 Foundation, visit the website.

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Professor Dan Lubman

This month Mindfit team members Paul and Alison talk to addiction specialist Professor Dan Lubman.

Dan holds several titles as a Professor at Monash University, Psychiatrist, Director of the leading addiction research and education centre 'Turning Point', and also features as part of the SBS TV series 'Addicted Australia'.

In this episode we explore the challenges of overcoming addiction, discuss the outdated stigma it's often associated with, and provide some insight into how to support others that may be experiencing addiction. 

For more info about addiction head to the Rethink Addiction website.

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Steve ‘Commando’ Willis

Steve 'Commando' Willis drops into our MindFit headquarters to talk about health and wellbeing, as well as his recent experience with Buddhist practises.

Best known from Channel 10’s The Biggest Loser and more recently Australia Survivor: Champions vs Contenders, Steve leaves the military tough talk at the door and shows us his compassionate side, along with sharing tips on finding an exercise regime that is right for you.
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Mark Thomas - Dealing with PTSD

In this special edition for RUOKDay 2021, Paul and Alison speak with former police officer Mark Thomas as he shares his story experiencing and recovering from the often debilitating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). 

Content warning: Contains subjects that may trigger some listeners.
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Road to Recovery with Dr Rob Gordon

With decades of experience in trauma psychology, Dr Rob Gordon has supported communities in the aftermath of disasters such as Ash Wednesday, Hoddle St & Port Arthur shootings, Christchurch Earthquakes, COVID-19 Pandemic, Black Saturday & Black Summer, to recent flooding events.
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Osher Günsberg

Our Movember special podcast features Osher Gunsberg, host and presenter of many prime time TV programs including The Masked Singer, The Bachelor series, Australian Idol, and Channel [V]. Off camera he is a SANE ambassador, best selling author & podcaster.

Paul & Alison talk to Osher about his mental health journey and battles with addiction, and help challenge stigma surrounding recovery.

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Dr David Cunnington

Sleep Talk: In episode 5, Paul & Alison chat with Dr David Cunnington, a specialist sleep physician & director of Melbourne Sleep Disorders Centre. He is a leading published researcher and Harvard Medical School graduate, and is also a Diplomate in Behavioral Sleep Medicine.
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Learning from History - 2010/11 floods

In Episode 4 two female VICSES leaders - Rochester unit controller Judith Gledhill and Horsham unit controller Crystal Sanders - reflect on the effects of the 2010/11 floods, and how the agency has improved since. 
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Assoc. Prof. Tony Walker

Episode 2. As part of VICSES's Movember men's health awareness campaign, we chat with Assoc. Prof. Tony Walker, ambassador of the Prostate Cancer Foundation
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The unsung volunteers

Episode 2. Behind every dedicated and brave VICSES volunteer is a network of people making their own sacrifices. The organisation wishes to thank them as part of the annual 'Your Family, Our Family' campaign.

This episode features Broadmeadows volunteer/Orange Knights secretary Shane Taylor and Gisborne unit volunteer Ross Evans - both proud Dads and active VICSES members.
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The great Victorian road trip

Episode 3 - a pair of VICSES road crash rescue veterans provide valuable and eye-opening advice to Victorians heading to regional areas this holiday season. This episode features Wodonga Unit Deputy Controller Lisa Wise and Swan Hill Unit Controller Darren Barnes.
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The incredible career of Stephen Warren ESM

Episode 6: Assistant Chief Officer Stephen Warren ESM has spent 43 years at VICSES, including 32 years as a staff member. In that time he's achieved extraordinary things, and helped the agency become the community and volunteer-driven powerhouse it is today.
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Resilience GEMs

In this episode we chat with the founder of The Resilience Project, Hugh van Cuylenburg. Hugh talks with us about the impact that the project has made in schools, workplaces, and high-performance sport using three key principles: Gratitude, empathy and mindfulness.

Dr Grant Blashki from Beyond Blue

Life beyond blue

In this episode we chat with Dr. Blashki, Lead Clinical Adviser at Beyond Blue, about the importance of self-care, dealing with the fallout from COVID-19 and prolonged periods of lockdown, and how Beyond Blue can help to support us through difficult times.
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Laughter is the Best Medicine - Rachel Berger

Hear Paul & Alison riff with Rachel Berger, renowned comic, broadcaster, author, actress & TV personality.
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Celebrating female leaders at VICSES - International Women's Day 2021

Episode 5 - As the world celebrates International Women's Day, Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES) puts the spotlight on two incredible female leaders in our organisation.

This episode features Volunteer Support Officer and former Bairnsdale unit controller Karina Osgood and South Barwon unit controller Lisa Keys - who have dealt with a major bushfire and a tornado between them.
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Prof. Karen Douglas

Episode 3 features Karen Douglas, Professor of Social Psychology at the University of Kent, and leading authority on conspiracy theories. 
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Orange skies, orange uniforms

Episode 1: two VICSES volunteers reveal how their small towns in Victoria’s east coped with the 2019/2020 bushfire crisis. This inaugural episode features Bendoc unit controller John Reed and Cann River unit volunteer Sara Matthews – both of whom wore orange uniforms under orange skies.
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Dr Hannah McDougall

In episode 4 of the VICSES MindFit podcast we chat to our very own Dr Hannah McDougall, previous World Record Holder, team captain of the Australian Paralympian Swim Team, World Cup Paracyclist, PhD holder, VICSES community engagement officer and practiser of mindfulness.