Police Veterans Victoria today held its third Annual General Meeting, with reports from PVV’s Chairperson, Mark Azzopardi, and Chief Executive Officer David McGowan.
“I’m heartened that during [my time as Chair] our organisation has grown from a start up to a relevant, well established, respected and caring organisation with a clear vision and much purpose,” Mr Azzopardi said.
“Our three-year strategic plan is tracking well, and, in some cases, we are ahead of our plan,” he said, “however we all recognize there is still much work that needs to be done.”
PVV’s report addressed a record average of over 20 referrals a month to the organisation.
“Veterans and family members have told us of their battles with post-traumatic stress, anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol abuse and financial stress in record numbers,” PVV CEO David McGowan said.
“These are all completely normal experiences for the circumstances,” he said.
“The high demand is concerning, but veterans are reaching out and being supported, which is exactly what we want to see.
It means more people than ever are talking about their mental health and wellbeing and taking active steps to look after it.”
Both Mr McGowan and Mr Azzopardi spoke to the success of the PVV Corporate Luncheon held in May, which hosted more than 400 guests from respective corporate spaces including the likes of Linfox, ANZ, AFL, The Police Association and pwC.
“It was an emotional day for many”, Mr McGowan said.
“The stories of the plight of police veterans struggling with their mental health often go unheard, but at the lunch, they were told.”
Mr McGowan made reference to PVV’s current financial position, something of which “remains a challenge beyond the short term”.
“PVV receives no government funding and relies entirely on donations from police members, corporates and the public,” he said.
“These funds help maintain our status quo but do not allow for the continuing growth in demand for our services. We continue to lobby government for a sustainable revenue stream.”