House debates

Monday, 8 February 2016

Statements by Members

Mental Health

4:06 pm

Photo of Tim WattsTim Watts (Gellibrand, Australian Labor Party) Share this | Hansard source

Today I want to pay tribute to the Victorian Minister for Police and Corrections and the member for Williamstown in my electorate, Wade Noonan. I know Wade to be one of the most decent human beings you could meet—exactly the kind of person that you would want to serve in our parliaments or our government. Wade has today taken a leave of absence to deal with the trauma that he has had to confront as police minister in Victoria, being exposed to a constant stream of details about things that none of us want to have to deal with. I am really proud that Wade has taken leave to receive the support and assistance that he needs to deal with these issues. This exactly what we want all people in all workplaces in Australia to do when they confront issues like this. It shows great leadership for Wade to have done this in his position as a Victorian minister. As Victorian Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said in thanking Wade for his enthusiastic support for the Victoria Police, 'We understand the impact of trauma and mental health. I wish him and his family well.'

Given this, we should all pause at this moment to reflect on the personal toll that work of this kind takes on many people in our society—our police, our firefighters, our emergency services personnel, the people working on family crisis violence lines, criminal lawyers and people on the front lines. I have seen their work and I marvel at the ability to cope with it. The message of today is clear: it is okay and it is important to seek help. I wish Wade and his family all the best in his recovery and I look forward to seeing him resuming his duties as a cabinet minister and member for Williamstown in due course. Wade has had to deal with some of the worst aspects of human nature as police minister, but I know that his presence in parliament and government is making the world a better place.


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