Last week Fire and Rescue New South Wales (FRNSW) and EML, held the Evidence-Based Injury Management – A Seminar for Well-being event at the Hilton Sydney.

The seminar proved to be an enriching experience for attendees, featuring a diverse lineup of speakers sharing invaluable insights on injury management and overall well-being.

The event showcased a program of prominent speakers, each bringing a unique perspective to the event. Natasha Exelby, Journalist, Television Presenter, and Director of XLB Media was the Master of Ceremonies, and captivated the audience with her keynote address “In the firing line.” Natasha gave the audience an insight into her role as a journalist and war correspondent in the Middle East and how a life in front of the media has impacted her overall sense of well-being.

Sean Fong, Para Athlete, Swimming World Record Holder, Jiu-Jitsu World Champion, and Motivational Speaker shared his remarkable journey of injury management, leaving attendees inspired by his resilience and motivational insights. Sean discussed how he was drawn to participating in the event after Andrew McGarity, Manager, Injury Management Health, and Safety, FRNSW told him that “We are about treating the person, not the injury”.

Dr. Mary Wyatt, Occupational Physician, discussed current research on Return to Work and provided a deep dive into FRNSW's innovative approach to injury management.

Professor Richard Bryant, Leading Academic Psychiatrist presented on the PTSD guidelines, and emphasised the critical role of mental health in the profession. Professor Bryant discussed how given the ongoing burden of trauma-related mental health problems amongst emergency workers, up-to-date guidance is essential. The updated guidelines which are set to launch publicly later this month aim to help emergency workers and their clinicians as they work together towards recovery.

Dr. Peter O-Sullivan, Professor of Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy, launched the FRNSW Low Back Pain Booklet, which is a valuable resource for effectively managing musculoskeletal issues.

Dr. Catherine Kelaher, Senior Occupational and Environmental Physician, discussed exploring the connection between diet and low back pain. Dr. Kelaher offered holistic insights into overall well-being.

Mark Layson, Disaster & Emergency Chaplain, shared profound wisdom on the management of Moral Injury, underscoring the ethical considerations in emergency services.

(Pictured) Natasha Exelby, Mark Layson, Mary Wyatt, Sean Fong and Peter O’Sullivan. 

The last discussion of the day was a panel moderated by Natasha Exelby with Olympic Champion and Business Woman, Stephanie Rice and former Australian Professional Rugby League Footballer, Boyd Cordner. In this panel Stephanie and Boyd discussed their career transition from professional sport to where they are today, their mental health management throughout their career and engaged the audience with their real-life experiences.

(Pictured) Stephanie Rice, Natasha Exelby and Boyd Cordner. 

The seminar provided attendees with valuable insights and strategies on injury management and well-being. Matt Rodwell, General Manager Insurance for NSW said, “The seminar was effective in educating attendees on many topical issues surrounding injuries in emergency service workers and working professionals. Insights from a lived experience are so valuable and along with hearing about the updated PTSD Guidelines which we are launching this month, the day proved highly educational and motivational for all those who attended.”