Queen’s Birthday Honours

Ordinary Courage founder Mark Dobson was today honoured with the Australian Fire Service Medal for his pioneering work in first responders’ mental health.


Mark’s workmates at Fire and Rescue NSW led the social media congratulations:

During his seven years as the Wellbeing Coordinator in Work, Health and Safety Mark was been the driving force behind programs such as the Critical Incident Support Program, RESPECT, and FITMIND. He also wrote the first mental health policy for any NSW Government Agency, which led to the Beyond Blue Framework, which has been used by First Responder organisations to modernise workplace mental health programs.

He worked closely with the University of NSW and the Black Dog Institute to lead the design for a world-first program of manager training in mental health awareness (RESPECT). This innovative program decreased the incidence of sickness absence in firefighters and the RESPECT program has now been implemented by Ambulance NSW.

He also worked with the University to develop the FITMIND program to increase awareness and improve help seeking behaviour for recruit firefighters.

Mr Dobson has served FRNSW, its members and the community of NSW with dedication for over 17 years.

Congratulations Mark!

Mark’s other honours include the 2015 TMF Risk Leadership Award, for creating the first evidence-based proactive mental health program for a leading Australian fire service, and in 2018 he received a Churchill Fellowship to investigate how organisations can provide purpose and reintegration opportunities for veterans.