Tony's Trek - one step at a time for mental health

Member News image Tony Pearce and emergency service personnel


A solo walk covering 1,440 kilometres across Victoria will promote mental health care in Victoria’s emergency management community – one step at a time.


On 10 March 2023, Chair of the Emergency Services Foundation and Inspector-General for Emergency Management Tony Pearce set off on a 1,440km solo charity walk through Victoria to support new mental health initiatives to benefit our emergency management community.

Covering the area from Melbourne to Mallacoota and across the Alpine Range to Wodonga before heading back to Melbourne, Tony’s Trek aims to raise awareness and support for building collaborative sector-wide mental health initiatives led by the Emergency Services Foundation (ESF).

A study by Beyond Blue revealed sector first responders and emergency service workers are more likely than others in the community to suffer serious and debilitating mental illness because of the trauma they often face.

"Unfortunately, trauma often results in mental health injury with lasting impacts throughout their career and into retirement," Tony said.

"I hope that Tony’s Trek will raise awareness of the importance of supporting the mental health of Victoria’s 139,00-strong emergency management community who support Victorians before, during and after emergencies."

Recovery from mental health injury is a personal journey that involves taking one step at a time.

Despite considerable investment in treatment programs and services, there is still much work required to help prevent mental injury.

Funds raised from Tony’s Trek will enable ESF to deliver three prevention-focused mental health initiatives – a Lived Experience Program, a Pilot Residential Wellbeing Program, and an ambitious research program.

CFA is proud to support Tony’s Trek by providing accommodation at some of our stations and company on sections of his trek.

We encourage you to get involved to support Tony’s enormous effort if he is passing through your area.

To find out more about the route, donate or get involved go to


Submitted by Erin Bulmer