Headquarters Surveillance and Response Group personnel based at RAAF Base Williamtown completed a push-up challenge to raise funds for Lifeline and raise awareness of mental health.

Squadron Leader Nicholas Willers and Warrant Officer Martin Johns tallied 3318 push ups during the challenge period.

The pair enjoyed plenty of encouragement.

“Warrant Officer Johns and I had a great team of supporters with headquarters staff motivating us to achieve our goal,” Squadron Leader Willers said.

“Fitting in our quota of push-ups was certainly a challenge, so we got creative; doing push-ups next to our desk, in the lunch room, at the gym and at home, wherever we could to ensure we kept that tally ticking over. 

“Importantly, it also started a conversation with colleagues asking what we were doing and why, so it’s been a great opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of mental health in our workplace.  

“Our target push-up goal of 3318 is representative of the number of Australians who died by suicide in 2019.  

“One life lost by suicide is one too many, so the challenge is also a reminder to keep looking out for our mates, recognising the signs and seeking help for ourselves and one another.”

Reaching a fundraising total of $2753 for Lifeline, Warrant Officer Johns said it was a team effort.

“Squadron Leader Willers and I have been overwhelmed by the support we’ve received and are proud to have made a contribution to such a worthy cause and initiative,” Warrant Officer Johns said.  

“Most people have had some type of experience with mental health, whether it be a colleague, friend, family member or a personal struggle so raising awareness of the help and support that is out there is important.

“On behalf of Squadron Leader Willers and myself, I would like to sincerely thank all our colleagues, family and friends who have donated and supported us during the challenge.  

“It was the team effort from all our supporters that truly made our participation a success.”

The challenge is an initiative developed by The Push for Better Foundation, a charity established in 2020 to the raise awareness and engage people in mental health through physical activity, connection and education.