Skip to content
Home » Testimonials


The following 6 testimonials have been provided by those who have participated in the FRESHER program, specially developed and delivered by the AFRF. We hope, as an emergency first responder, that you will take the opportunity to join us and gain just as much as these first responders.

Peer support is a key element of our program. Consider:

1. People are more likely to turn to their peer next to them for support if they are struggling

2. Peer support promotes positive mental health and well-being

3. Peer support can save lives!

Listen to and read the testimonials below … might you benefit from participating in FRESHER?

Colton, St John Ambulance Victoria

FRESHER Aug 5-7, 2022

Brent Gerdis: NSW FRS

FRESHER Aug 5-7, 2022


FRESHER: Nov 12-14 2021

“  I attended the FRESHER course at Sylvan Glen.  The weekend was organised well and had a good balance of discussion, classes and light activities, this built into a roadmap of ‘The Heroes Journey’ which helped to re-frame many of the situations we have  seen.

Ample time was given for reflection, and sharing of ideas and situations we had faced; with this networking providing new connections to share concerns and potential solutions with. 

The skill sets of the presenters, facilitators, and even attendees complimented each other well and also ensured that we were able to obtain a substantial benefit from their knowledge.

I was mostly impressed that the planned activities actually contributed to the lessons and discussion rather than feeling like a ‘filler’.  I would highly recommend the FRESHER programme to anyone who is a first-responder or works closely with teams of Responders.

I truly feel that attending became one of the key elements to helping me to move forward.  A sincere thank you to AFRF and their sponsors for their generosity and support of those on the front-line.  “

Darryal: NSW Police

FRESHER Jun 17-19, 2022

I went to this retreat not knowing what to expect and who the other participants were. When I arrived, I was met by people who were accepting and friendly and I felt at ease straight away. Throughout the retreat I was very impressed with the content and the expertise of those presenting.  The others in the group were also tremendous with sharing their own experiences as well. We have all travelled and some are still travelling on a journey although unique to our own circumstances and organisation is very much the same with the stresses, anger, hurt and feeling of vulnerability that we go through. It is retreats like this that helps us cope with our feelings and experiences and those that are blessed enough to continue can do so with a bit more confidence. Would highly recommend attending and do so with an open mind. I trust that there may be an opportunity to attend another retreat. Thanks to Louise & Wade

Barry : NSW RFS Brigade member and NSW RFS Communications Brigade

FRESHER Nov 5-7, 2021

” Pleased to provide a wholehearted favourable response and in gratitude for the opportunity to attend the inaugural Fresher symposium

The time spent with fellow first responders from a variety of backgrounds was an eye opener and had a profound effect on me

The conduct of the symposium was ably and capably handled with just the right touch of informality without loss of control of the objectives

The venue was excellent and the volunteers who participated in support was welcomed and I am thankful for their efforts

I cannot recommend this activity highly enough and am most grateful. “

Michael :

FRESHER Nov 5-7, 2021

” The weekend was a wonderful way to connect with first responder peers, to share our stories, support each other and receive excellent professional enrichment to enable our vital role, as first responders, to be best practice. The professional and personal competence and hospitality of the team was outstanding. “