Working together to protect our future

On my first day in the NTPA Office, back in November, President Paul McCue invited me in for a chat and said that families come first; whether close-to-home or further afield; look after them and look after yourself and your mates; and the rest will fall into place.

That's what communication is all about. We all know it; but its easy to forget sometimes; as our lives at home and at work, become increasingly busy.

The part we call Communications which includes all the technology and work emails, can often seem to be part of the problem; rather than the solution, its meant to be.

The sheer enormity of product and platforms and expectations to be across everything can, at the very least, be frustrating if not overwhelming, and often, in the case of too much paperwork, unhealthy.

Theres no stopping it so we have to find ways to deal with it.

Theres no denying the efficiency of email; and theres no denying the reach of Facebook these are all valuable tools at home and in the workplace but there needs to be a balance.

Does technology calm your anxiety?... sometimes it does with the right phone app; sometimes going for a walk is better; and talking to someone who cares is better still.

The best form of communication is, was, and remains the face-to-face chat; whether one-on-one or in a room with other people; getting together is the best way to talk, share, learn, support, help and grow all those things that make an individual, a family and an organisation become happier, healthier and fully functional.

Its worth a reminder, from time to time.


The first few headlines for 2019, which splashed across the front pages of the NT News and ran on consecutive days, started with: Wild Night; which referred to New Year celebrations but could realistically apply to any night faced by our police.

On the very next day, came the Need for Speed; and pointed to the Territorys terrible road toll; which obviously impacts our first responders again, on any day of the year.

And finally, the third part of the trifecta lamented Highrise Halfwits; the amusingly clever wordplay, again highlights what police have to deal with every day.

In keeping with this humorous theme, were entitled to ask: who are these halfwits and where exactly do they reside?

The reality is; the actions and decisions made by others directly affects the lives of police officers and their families every single day and theyre not making it easy.

Brave, hard-working men and women, protecting and helping others are struggling under increased workloads, and dangerously high levels of stress.

You cant help but think, that a little extra care and consideration by these decision makers on all levels would go a long way to improving the lives of our police, allowing them to do their jobs properly in a safe and professional manner; which will benefit all Territorians.

As a famous rugby league coach once said, Before you can win a game, you've got to first make sure you dont lose it. To continue the sporting analogy; its clear to the NTPA, that the forwards arent going forward, and the backs arent getting back.

When we look at our own headlines or issues, the game-plan is pretty clear.

#NeverWorkAlone is common sense. If our police arent safe; then no-one is safe. Yet, were still waiting for a simple, formal document on this important safety issue.

Tougher Sentencing for Police Assaults is a necessary deterrent and something everyone agrees is needed; yet the paperwork remains sitting in some bureaucrats in-tray; and has done so for ages.

Why are they standing still? Why arent the forwards doing their jobs? Why are the backs running around in circles?

We all understand the financial realities; we cant understand the lack of action.

These two simple issues have nothing to do with money; and everything to do with leadership.

In President Paul McCues main article in this magazine, he talks about the unprecedented levels of stress hes seeing in our police.

It is deeply concerning. It is heart-breaking to see the ever-increasing negative impact of mental health being demonstrated by our officers, at a time when they need more support than ever.

But there are things we can do to support our police doing it tough.

In late January this year, President Paul McCue went on the front-foot and called for the introduction of presumptive legislation for police suffering mental health conditions as a result of their work.

It means you get the professional help first and then worry about the paperwork later, when youre getting better. As it stands now its the opposite you have to run around trying to prove youre sick, before you get the medical help you need.

This doesnt ignore the numerous and excellent services that are available far from it. Were talking about the need for an extra level of support for our more serious cases.

Again, its pretty straight forward: a simple document that would greatly help our police, in their time of most need.