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Who We Are

Australian First Responder Foundation

Who we are:

The Australian First Responder Foundation (AFRF) is a public, not for profit organisation based in Illawarra, New South Wales Australia. The AFRF originated from a 2019 International Churchill Fellowship (L. Murphy, 2019) that examined peer support programs to reduce mental health issues and suicide in emergency service first responders.

The members own and direct the operation of the Foundation within the bounds of the AFRF Constitution through the Board of Directors. The Board includes well-respected and experienced individuals from the First Responder community who are passionate about the mental health and wellbeing of their colleagues and families. The work of the Foundation is based on the membership, the volunteers and the donations from individuals, organisations and communities and grants and support obtained from government and private organisations. We need to look after our emergency First Responders so that they can look after us and our communities.

You can support our vision by joining or volunteering or by giving.

To donate make a Direct deposit payment to this account:

Australian First Responder Foundation

BSB: 062 679 Account: 1068 0036


Secure payment using PayPal or your credit card

The AFRF is a not-for-profit, registered charitable organisation powered by volunteers and donations. We serve and honour volunteer and emergency First Responders and their families through peer support, education, and wellbeing retreats to ensure their mental health and wellbeing.

We are active on Facebook – AFRF. Please follow us.

Why we do it

Emergency First Responders work on the front line to help protect the Australian community. They run towards and are faced with dangerous, traumatic and stressful situations. Situations that most people in the general community are not exposed to in a lifetime. Australia-wide there are over 120,000 employees and 240,000 volunteers in the emergency First Responder sector.

We know that in Australia:

  • 33% of volunteer emergency First Responders and 39% of career emergency First Responders will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime.
  • 6% of volunteer First Responders and 5% of career First Responders will have thoughts of suicide in comparison to 2% of the general population.

Sadly, statistically, an emergency service worker will take their own life in Australia every 4.3 weeks.

In emergency and disaster situations we need our volunteer and emergency First Responders to be mentally fit, prepared, responsive and ready to “step up to the plate”. The Australian First Responder Foundation will help keep our emergency First Responders mentally fit and responsive through peer support, education, training and wellbeing retreats to help them regroup, recharge and reset. We need to look after our emergency First Responders so that they can continue to look after us and our communities.

Families are important in providing support and understanding to our first responders. The AFRF includes the family perspective in its programs and endeavours through its programs to include immediate family members in education and training.