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Tuesday, 30 June 2015 14:24

Christmas In July

 CiJWe are having our very first Major Fundraiser Event : for tickets go to www.ticketebo.com.au/afom

Saturday, 13 June 2015 16:50

AFOM kept busy (2) Invisible Wounds




IWAFOM held another Invisible Wounds day in Singleton for the entire Community. It was - according to all the feedback  - a specatular success.


AFOM is always proud to help within all Communities


It was opened by Michael Johsen MP and had a wonderful group of speakers  and Service providers


Andrew Rae

Andrew grew up in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales. After completion of his education, he took up accounting while studying for a Commerce degree, before joining the New South Wales Police Service in 1986. Andrew joined the New South Wales Police Force, graduating from his training at the NSW Police Academy at Goulburn in 1986. For the next twenty-one years, he served in four major country cities where duties were variously as a General Duties Officer, Highway Patrol Officer or Scene of Crime Officer, attaining the rank of Senior Constable. In 2006, he was diagnosed as suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and discharged a year later. During his service, he earned the National Medal, the New South Wales Police Medal, and a Command Citation. Since his discharge he has been self-employed as a cleaning contractor. Six years after his medical discharge, Andrew Rae still suffers the effects of PTSD.

Dean Caswell

Dean was born Liverpool Hospital 25 April 1971 and joined the Army in July 1991. He was posted to Townsville as an Infantry soldier and served Domestically, on exchange      and Operationally for the following 24 years. Career highlights were Operation Tamar (Rwanda), INTERFET ( East Timor), UNTAET      (East Timor ) and Operation Mazurka in the Middle East.

 Sue Outram (Associate Professor)

Dr Sue Outram is the Head of the Discipline of Health Behaviour Sciences in the School of Medicine and Public Health, Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle.  She is responsible for managing a large cross disciplinary undergraduate and postgraduate teaching program, 8 academic staff and 16 conjoint academic staff.  Dr Outram’s academic contribution has largely been demonstrated in leadership in teaching and administration.  –

Dr Outram has initiated, developed and taught innovative curriculum in Departments of Nursing, Allied Health, Education and Medicine in both undergraduate and postgraduate programs in over 20 years in the tertiary sector.  This has included multidisciplinary teaching; experiential learning; skills based communication skills; a postgraduate suite of programs in women’s health, midwifery, distance education programs in health promotion, and public health for undergraduates.  She has a special interest in teaching about loss and grief, sexuality, culture and health, and health equity.

Currently she coordinates the Behavioural and Social Sciences input into the Joint Medical program, School of Medicine and Public Health.

Her Association with AFOM commenced many years ago with the very first research into the effects of PTSD on the spouse/partners.


Natalie England

Natalie England is a qualified Psychologist. After working in the Rehabilitation and Injury Management area for 17 years came to work for the Newcastle VVCS office 5 years ago and has a small private practice in the Lake Macquarie area.

She has a special interest in working with trauma.

She has had wonderful feedback from previous Invisible Wounds Seminars


and our own Gail MacDonell

Stephen Finney once again proved himself to be MC Extraordinaire.

 Steph Rienstra             Gave an excellent talk and explanation on Exercise and Well-Being

 There is already talk about extending this session as well having more elsewhere.   

Some of the Service Providers present                           

                                1)              Barry Cox – “Open for you”

                                2)               Lifeline – Lauren Freele –“Personal & Relationship Counselling”

                                3)             Louise Kennedy Towart - Singleton Welcoming Committee

          4)               Jaimie Whitton – Coal Services Health

          5)               Sheree Melville - DFA Representative

                      6)              Claire Hicks - Families Workplaces and Targeted Prevention - Hunter          Institute of   Mental Health

                7)              Tina Kirby – Job Link Plus

                8)              Cindy Milton –Upper Hunter Community Services

                9)              Simon Coleman -              Occupational Health & Safety

                10)            Ken Smith – Men’s Health Peer

                11)           Benevolent Society

                12)           Cancer Council














Saturday, 13 June 2015 16:10

AFOM kept busy (1)

The small but dedicated team at AFOM have been kept busy the last 2 months.

Representing AFOM on ANZAC day, at both the dawn and general service

Being part of the organising team for the Combined School Spectacular in Newcastle and organising and presenting another very succesful Invisible Wounds day.

 Combined Schools ANZAC event Newcastle

 ANZAC event Combined Schools


Saturday, 30 May 2015 14:45

Invisible Wounds

Saturday, 18 April 2015 11:44

Guarding the Home Front

Australian Military Families

From the Boer War to present well over 1.5 million Australian men and women have served in major wars or conflicts. Some of them served in more than one. More than 102,846 people died in action, more than 225,873 were wounded and more than 34,730 were taken prisoners of war (POWs). Nearly every one of those people had at least one loved one or intimate other. Most had intimate other, parents and children.

Monday, 16 February 2015 15:48

The War at Home

The War at Home: Consequences of Loving a Veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars

A  Demers

 (American Article- but relevant to Australians)

family, mental health, social support, stress, veterans, war

Monday, 16 February 2015 15:48

The War at Home

The War at Home: Consequences of Loving a Veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars

A  Demers


family, mental health, social support, stress, veterans, war

Helping your loved one with PTSD over the Christmas Season.

  1. Talk in advance with your partner, family and friends about what situations he/she may  find challenging. Come up with an agreement about what activities or tasks are a ‘must do’ versus a ‘nice to do’ and prioritise accordingly.
Wednesday, 17 December 2014 11:00

Stress Management tips for the holidays

Stress and depression can ruin your holidays and hurt your health. Being realistic, planning ahead and seeking support can help ward off stress and depression.

The holiday season often brings unwelcome guests — stress and depression. And it's no wonder. The holidays present a dizzying array of demands — parties, shopping, baking, cleaning and entertaining, to name just a few.


It's normal for our loved ones to become a bit forgetful as they age. So how can we separate a harmless "senior moment" from a more serious problem like Alzheimer's disease? One in eight people 65 and older have this devastating form of dementia. In its first stages, Alzheimer's may not be obvious to friends and family. But there are some early warning signs to watch for.

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