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Churchill Education Christmas MessageWe have four children: two teenagers and 10 year old twins. This is me, the kids and my mother … made sure I was in her good books before Christmas! At this time of year, school is wrapping up and the excitement of Christmas is clear in their chatter. And we love it … love their enthusiasm for life and their simple perspectives. They are excited by the fact that the sun is out longer, that the water is warm enough for a swim, the watermelon is cold and juicy, and that they don’t have to wear school shoes anymore.

It’s exactly what being a kid should be about.

It would be nice if these were the things that filled our energy as adults too.

And some years they are. An easy BBQ with friends brings laughter, a swim at the beach reminds us of how good it feels to ride that wave in to the shore … And we can look forward to Christmas and the New Year.

But other years, it can all seem too much.

Last week, a police officer took her life. Another police officer, another veteran, another community worker, another paramedic, another nurse. Always another. Always one too many.

And then there are our friends, our family members, our colleagues who are still turning up for work, despite the darkness that is weighing them down. Christmas is coming but it brings no joy, making life seem harder and lonelier.

I don’t know where you are at this year … if you are looking forward to Christmas or wishing that there was a fast forward button to get past it all.

What I do know is this … nothing ever gets better without letting someone else know where you are at. I tried; tried to ignore the darkness that hung over me, tried to tell myself this was just normal for me, tried to just keep turning up to work telling myself it was everyone else that had the problem, not me.

It was only when I actually told someone what was happening that I began the very long, slow path to recovery. And to my surprise, there were more people in my corner than I had realised, more people who understood because they had been where I was at, more people who were willing to help me.

So, as Christmas is coming, I hope you are looking forward to it. I hope you have plans of sharing a cold drink and a good meal with people you care about.

But if you find yourself in a dark place, I hope you tell someone.

There are some good people to talk to …


Soldier On

Blue Hope

Beyond Blue

This Christmas, let’s all share a little kindness … to others and to ourselves.

Talk soon,


8 responses to “Christmas: Not Always Beer and Skittles

  1. Randall this is a fantasic thing that you have done right here, you are 100% correct. We all hope that the 1st of Jan will bring a reset button along with it however unless we deal with the issues they will not resolve.

    Good on you for sharing and offering avenues of support for people.

    Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas

    1. Great analogy, Bernadette – there’s no magic reset button but with some help we can overcome some of the hardest days. Merry Christmas to you too!

  2. Hi Randall,
    Great comment! As a former QPS copper I’ve been exactly where you were and sometimes I end up back there but thanks to wonderful people like Kaye at Soldier On, Bruce at Blue Hope and your wife Tricia I know I always have their care and support to help me kick the Black Dog out whenever he comes around. Thanks for reminding me that I’m not alone anymore, that’s what’s kept me going in recent times. All the best to you and your family and I hope you have a very happy Christmas and a safe and prosperous New year.


    Bob Fitzsimmons

    1. Good to hear you are fighting the fight, Bob. Lots of people in your corner. Take care of yourself. Merry Christmas!

  3. Thank you very much for your timely message Randall and for being so brave and open about mental illness. I was present at a “Beyond the Service” seminar where you also attended and I admired the openness of your testimony to everyone who was present. I wish I had your courage. Its’ a brave thing to stand there and talk as openly as you did, I wish there was no longer a stigma within the QPS about mental illness amongst its members, but its still there despite how much it may claim otherwise. I had a very good friend take his own life a number of years back because he thought he couldn’t reach out and talk to anyone. How wrong he was and with such tragic consequences for everyone he left behind, his parents, his brothers and sisters and us, his friends. As you would know, Christmas should be such a happy time, a time to celebrate with family and friends but for so many, this time of year is the low point of their lives. Glad to see you doing so well and are there for your family. Have a happy, holy and peaceful Christmas and enjoy quality time with your loved ones.

    1. I’m really sorry to hear that you lost your mate, Steve. It never gets easier to hear that news. Appreciate your well wishes and I hope you have a good time this Christmas (or if you are working get a little overtime for some extra cash, but not too much! Don’t want to feed the tax man too much. Take care, mate.

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