“Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees the others” Aristotle
A Bond University study found that the near death experiences that result in awards of bravery also result in post or acute traumatic stress disorder in 34% of these events.
There are some very tragic outcomes from acts of bravery that include death, suicide subsequent to the act of bravery, serious injury including loss of mobility, loss of income, breakdown of relationships and personal disadvantage and hardship experienced by those left behind.
There are also very many acts of bravery that go unrecognized because both the brave and the witnesses all perished in the event, Black Saturday comes to mind.
The Institute is formed and supported by the Australian Bravery Foundation to further the aims and objectives of the Foundation and to support those brave persons and their families described above.
Neither the Foundation or the Bravery Institute of Australia can address these issues in isolation.
We need the support of governments at all levels and especially at municipal level.
Those of you involved in local government, business, volunteer agencies, local organizations have a great capacity to diminish the stress disorders that follow these near death experiences. The simple act of recognition is validation of the act of bravery “You did the right thing mate. We are proud of you”.
We need the support of service groups and clubs, the likes of the RSL, Legacy, Royal Humane Society and the Emergency Services, whose members are often involved in acts of great bravery.
Critically, we also need the support of the philanthropy's and generous Australians to increase the funds held in trust, from which we derive interest for our work.
To those of you in the community whose acts of bravery and courage have made you hurt or those family members who have lost a loved one in the course of their act, come to us, we will do our best to help you through.