‘Out on the scrapheap’: Police officers ‘disheartened’ after medical retirement

Bunbury 6230

The night before Christmas Eve almost 20 years ago, after four years in the West Australian Police Force, MarkGlenn Harmony was told he was no longer a police officer.

He had spinal injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after being first on the scene to countless traumatic car accidents, murders and suicides since joining the force in 1996.

Mr Harmony remembered one day vividly:

“The first four callouts, three were sudden deaths — suicides — so before lunchtime I’d already had to attend three suicides,” he said.

“Basically you’re taught from day one not to show any weakness, not to show these incidents have impacted you or have an effect on you.”


MarkGlenn Harmony with injuries incurred on the job. (Supplied)

In 2000, Mr Harmony was deemed no longer fit for work with WA Police.

He was forced to medically retire and was given a 28-day pay cheque with no worker’s compensation.

“I asked them to put it off for two weeks without pay,” Mr Harmony said.

“I didn’t need pay, but [I said], ‘Please don’t stamp it. Don’t ruin this Christmas and every other Christmas to come’, but they stuck with it.

“They just throw us out on the scrapheap. We are worth nothing to them.”

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One of many with no job, no compensation

Mr Harmony is among hundreds of former WA officers who lost their jobs under old laws that gave the police commissioner power to retire people with mental illness or physical injuries sustained on the job.

The same legislation was used to forcefully retire corrupt officers.

The bill was reversed in 2019, but for some it came too late.

WA’s Police Union said its members were the only officers in Australia not covered by a death or disability compensation scheme.

Union president Harry Arnott said a police-specific scheme was needed for officers who suffered a work-related injury or illness and could no longer work.

“WAPU has been lobbying successive state governments for more than 30 years for this coverage,” he said.

“Due to the nature of the work police officers do every day for the community, putting their bodies on the line, there is a moral obligation for the McGowan Government to address this matter as a priority.”


MarkGlenn Harmony is a recipient of the WA Police Star, WA Police Service Medal, National Police Service Medal and Aboriginal Service Medal.

State apologies for ‘indignity’

Last month, Police Minister Michelle Roberts and Commissioner Chris Dawson announced $16 million in redress to more than 250 former officers and made a formal apology to those affected.

Just before Christmas, eligible former officers received individual offers.

“Officers have received such variations in amounts that some have been awarded a mere $17,300 and others close to $100,000,” Mr Harmony said.

“That’s less than a year’s wage for all you lost — your health, wellbeing, career, friends — you lost your home and family.

“For many, this redress scheme is a complete disgrace.

“I fear that this further poor treatment of former officers will impact them emotionally and send many on a one-way path to self-destruction.”

PTSD: Read their stories
Two former emergency workers speak out about their experiences with post-traumatic stress disorder.

‘Massive amounts of disparity’

Matt Cole was an officer for about 30 years but was retired with complex PTSD in 2015.

He was eligible for the redress offer, but said the way it was carried out caused more frustration and damage to fellow ex-officers.

“There’s massive amounts of disparity in the offers given and has caused people a lot of anger … we’re all dismissed under the same section for similar reasons,” he said.

“I think it has done further damage to people.”

Mr Cole said he would never forget being told that the force “no longer had faith” in him.

“It was disheartening. I loved what I did. I was very passionate about policing and helping the community,” he said.

“There’s no post-separation support. It’s, ‘Sorry, here’s 28 days’ pay — see you later’.

“I think I got more emails and letters from WA Police asking for their uniforms back than I did [which asked]: ‘How are you doing?'”

Mr Cole was unable to attend the recent ceremonies due to his PTSD but was eligible for the redress scheme.

Righting a historical wrong

The Minister said the Government was looking at introducing a police disability compensation scheme next year.

Both Mr Cole and Mr Harmony said it should also be available to past medically retired officers.

But while Ms Roberts admitted past laws were regrettable, she said the new reforms meant it would never happen again.

“The Police Amendment (Medical Retirement) Bill 2019 establishes a new standalone scheme for medical retirement, ensuring police officers can be medically retired with the dignity and respect they deserve,” she said.

Ms Roberts said she hoped ceremonies and presenting certificates of honourable discharge would right a historical wrong.

She said the redress scheme would recognise the service and acknowledge the treatment of some medically retired officers.

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news

More PTSD support needed: Friend speaks out on veteran’s suicide ahead of funeral

Townsville 4810

The close friend of a north Queensland veteran, who died by suicide, is calling for better mental health and transitional support for ex-Defence personnel.

Tributes are flowing for Steven Fazel, a former captain who served as a pilot for the Army, including in East Timor and Afghanistan.

Those close to Mr Fazel said the 49-year-old was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after he was medically discharged.

He died in December and his funeral was held in the garrison city of Townsville on Friday.

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Close friend Marco Parigi, who also went to school with Mr Fazel, said his friend had a “larrikin style”, always supported him, and made him feel at ease.

Mr Parigi said professionals needed more training in military PTSD and should improve ways to help veterans who were not actively seeking support.

“Giving [Steven] love and support appeared to have a better effect on his mental health than any of the professionals,” Mr Parigi said.

“Not a single professional seemed to be able to reach where they needed to reach.

“It relied on Steven asking for help … By the time he would be in [that] place … never did the right help get to him.

“They are suddenly in civilian life and they are wired for conflict.

“Steve used to say, ‘I can fly helicopters, I’ve been trained to kill people’.

“[He] can’t fly helicopters anymore because of the seizure that he had, and certainly can’t kill people.”


Mr Fazel’s close friend says he wants professionals to better engage loved ones in veterans’ healing. (Facebook: Marco Parigi)

Scepticism about royal commission

There are growing calls for a royal commission into veterans’ suicides and Prime Minister Scott Morrison has not ruled it out.

But some people involved with the Defence community do not support it or are sceptical about its effectiveness.

“I think a royal commission is likely to have a lot of money spent on the wrong things,” Mr Parigi said.

“The best path to help people with military PTSD is to involve close family in particular ways that research will show that it helps.

“I think the problem is the knowledge of what’s happening, what’s going on at the grassroots level.

“It’s about how a psychiatrist can approach the issue, how they can involve close family members.”


Scott Morrison and Member for Herbert Philip Thompson meet late last year to discuss veterans’ suicides. (Facebook: Philip Thompson)

A spokesperson from the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) said it extended its condolences to Mr Fazel’s family and honoured his service. 

They said DVA provided access to the most comprehensive mental health care services in Australia.

“Their clinicians and counsellors are qualified to deal specifically with issues faced by veterans, including mental health issues such as PTSD,” the spokesperson said. 

They said DVA had spent hundreds of millions of dollars on suicide prevention and would continue to play its part.

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news

EARTHGANG – Avenue Lyrics

Play this song

[Intro: Johnny Venus]
You put lives on the line, shoestring ties on the line
I been cashin’ in, cuttin’ checks and cutting edge
Cuttin’ lines in to my head, it’s OD
God bless ODB, if I see him in my sleep
I’ma bow and wash his feet, you showed me
How to do the deeds, I laid Backwoods into wreaths
Keep my head up like Maurice, I’m floating
Step before the people and greet ’em how I greet you
And you make sure my gifts keep flowin’

[Verse 1: Johnny Venus]
You that nigga for them bitches
You that nigga for them bitches
You that heifer for them riches
Fuck whatever, fuck the riches
Sell your soul, sell your soul
Cut the prize and eat the difference
Fake persona if it gets you what you wanna
Get behind the fattest donk, or have these woman on your trunk
Or have your ego high as chimpanzee in space
Out of orbit, out of place
You put life on the line, you put lives on the line
Shoestring ties on the line, what you like, I provide
You put ass on the ‘Gram, perfect titties in they hands
You put pussy in it’s place, you got that shit from your fam’
That food ain’t far from the best, it’s big pimpin’ where you land
I see coward where you stand, ghetto zombies in a trance
I been eatin’ diabetes and Cheetos for dinner, my nigga
Since I was like 2 or 3 years old, can’t give that up, nigga
I been hatin’ on white folks for hatin’ us, nigga
I been wastin’ my neighbors for playin’ with us niggas

[Chorus: Johnny Venus]
Might lose off the avenue
Might lose off the avenue
No food, split my last with you
No news, that’s my attitude
Might lose off the avenue
Might lose
No food, split my last with you
No rules

[Verse 2: Doctur Dot]
I got wants, I got needs, I got PTSD
I got suicidal thoughts beneath these masked fantasies
Knew the pleasures of the flesh ‘fore I finished learnin’ me
First it’s fuck ’em, nothin’ else, if you spot me on the street
Still I’m snappin’ together my daddy’s pieces
Still figurin’ out my mama’s secrets
Your value and your honor, but your worth come from deceit
Nigga that you hatin’ on probably got something he could teach your corny ass
While you in the corner grindin’ teeth
I’m just followin’ the weed smoke
Seen too many niggas lose life over their ego
You never see me comin’, I was raised by a torpedo
In a tornado, you just a seagull, you seem slow
You’re OD to me like placebo
Me and G low, G share, I need those
Ten toes down, a man of the people
Blue avenue, yellow eyes get the green glow

[Outro: Johnny Venus]
Might lose off the avenue
No food, split my last with you
Might lose off the avenue
Might lose
No food, split my last with you
No rules

Dreamville – PTSD Lyrics

Play this song

[Verse 1: Mereba]
Used to bend for me like the steel of a hatchback
You was there for Q like a fourth grade class fact
Q was in for me, never needed to ask that
PTSD, now I’m having a flashback
Told me I’m sweet, can’t sleep in the trap trap
Enemy, envy, make the strap go brrat brrat
You the missing piece, no peace when I sleep now
Used to practice peace, finna sleep with the piece now
Know I’ma miss you long as I’m alive
You said you need to call me, be sure I tried
I wish I didn’t have a song to write
I know you probably follow me with your light

[Verse 2: Deante’ Hitchcock]
My mama told me faith is all that I need
And back in the day I would’ve agreed, but now it’s hard to believe
I still do not, ’cause I want, ’cause I need to
Believe in something greater than me without being able to see it
So fuck a watch, I wear my heart on my sleeve
Nobody knows my sorrow, nobody knows about the trouble I seen
A lot of dead niggas livin’ through me, shawty, but not in the literal
Most ’em dead ’cause they ain’t follow they dream
The power of a higher entity entered me
Mentally, physically, spiritually, I’m on a whole different energy
Fuck the world, but I need you to remember me
I had doubt in myself ’cause I used to fear that you would look at me differently
If I ever changed, I’m numb to it now, I don’t feel the same
A slave to the feeling, I’m breaking the chains
Tryna balance out the joy, the pain, the sun, the rain
My life and the fame, done lost the game
The gift, the shame, my skin, my veins
My soul done rained so much on my heart
Really I don’t know where to start
The irony of finding self in the dark
My nigga, truthfully, feel like it’s two of me, I should’ve been on that ark
A love-hate relationship with my thoughts, I’m tryna shine in my own light
The realest nigga left in my own right
Helping you with your vices but can’t seem to get a grip on my own life, yeah

[Verse 3: Omen]
I was on my way down, breakdowns, breakthroughs
Spit up out my debut, gotta say I stay true
Maybe why I stayed broke, I been on a goose chase
Gotta swallow pride when they see me, how the truth taste?
Off the beaten path like Blueface
On the North Side, had to be a Tuesday
Walkin’ slow with your kids on a school day
Way past midnight suddenly my mood change
That’s when the truth came, in New York hearing rumors
My sister was homeless, convinced her to often
Been years since we talked, number changed
Saw you and my heart broke in a couple ways
I can’t believe when I seen you, I knew shit was true
Stared in your eyes and I saw a different you
Skated off fast ‘fore I could address it
Hope I ran into you ‘fore we both get to Heaven

[Refrain: St. Beauty]
We ‘ight, we ‘ight
You opened up my eyes and helped me see the light
We ‘ight, we ‘ight
You opened up my eyes and helped me see the light, ayy

[Outro: Buddy]
Yeah, hahahaha
We just kickin’ it, you know, ayy, woah
I’m here with all my friends
This is for the homies, for the homies, all the homies, what? What?
And the hoes
Hahahaha, yeah
Said this is for the homies, for the homies, all the homies, what?
And the hoes
Can’t forget about the hoes, yeah
For the homies, for the homies, for the homies, what? What?
And the hoes
(Ayy, that shit sound tight)
This is for the homies, for the homies, all the homies, what? What?
And the hoes
Hahahaha, yeah
Said this is for the homies, for the homies, all the homies, what?
And the hoes
Can’t forget about the hoes, yeah
For the homies, for the homies, for the homies, what? What?
And the hoes

JT Machinima – The Bastion Song

October 10, 2016


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This world is paradise
Scenic and beautiful
The forest comes to life
It’s like a musical!
Is it ironic that I’m an omnic?
I’m not at odds with nature
Now that I’m part of it!
I used to be on my own till I found you
Make yourself at home, look around you
We’ll build a life and do what friends do
While I try to forget what I’ve been through!

[Verse 2]

You set me off now rest in peace
I’ll f**k you up when you step to me!
Your blood will run through every street
You b****es won’t even get to scream!
I’ll drop robot obscenities
While I bathe in the flesh of my enemies
It’s time to wipe this planet clean
Of the s**t-stain called humanity!
Pump you full of lead from head to feet
Shred to pieces like a fat bag of meat!
I laugh happily at you as you bleed
Brutality is all Bastion needs!
My turret’s gonna f**k you up!
Now eat my bullets, taste my rust
Tongue my bolts and suck my nuts!
You’re a bunch of F****** *****!

[Verse 3]

Excuse that tiny outburst
Where’d I digress?
After the Omnic Crisis
I’ve been a mess if you couldn’t guess
Those days are long behind me
So don’t be scared!
Yes I’ve seen better days but
I’ll make repairs!
Though I’m a bit rusty, trust me
No one’s gun’s bigger!
Use soft voices, cause loud noises
Might get me TRIGGERED!

[Verse 4]

What in the mother of f**k was that?
PTSD’s comin back!
Been runnin’ train since Vietnam!
And I’ve gone nuts deep inside your mom!
No time to run, it’s time to die!
I see you pussies tryna hide!
You’re just a Motley Crew of cowards!
You’re Overwatch, I’m OVERPOWERED!
Like a homicidal artist
I’ll paint your brains on the wall, b****!
I love the mess, I’m covered in carnage!
Earth’s a dumpster, you’re it’s garbage!
You’re all weak, I’m a tank
Hope you freaks like getting spanked!
Armor’s strong, gun is long
Don’t believe me? Ask your mom!

[Verse 5]

That’s just my sense of humor
It’s all for laughs!
Tell your mom I’m so sorry!
For not calling back, b**ch!
I need space for a while
To do some thinkin!
Because once I get hostile
You’ll face extinction!
I frolic and dance with the animals
They don’t mind if I’m a bit mechanical!
Still I find myself longing
To murder everybody!

[Verse 6]

I’m the last f**king Bastion!
All of my kind are dead!
I’ll kill all of you bastards!
Cause that’s all I have left!
I will massacre the masses!
Tear your families apart!
You’ll be slaughtered
Like the filthy f**king cattle that you are!
Come with me my feathered friend!
We’ll stick together until the end!
We’ll live out each of our dreams
How I love to hear their screams!

[Incomprhensible robot speech]


Fozzey & VanC – Perfect Couple Part III

October 10, 2016


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[Verse: Fozzey]
I got some demons you can’t see
This is part story, part me
I’ve been holdin’ out to say
Welcome to part three
Newfound lovers in the honeymoon phase
Forever wakin’ up to sunny new days
Money’s money, they don’t care who pays
They don’t have a plan, but they’ve got a few made
Yeah, same path, both looking for a fresh start
The past is the past, no matter how messed up
Forgot his ex in a minute, gettin’ dressed up
But he ain’t slept for weeks though, it’s time for hime to rest up
Anyway, they were on a date night
Things were moving pretty fast, they should probably wait right
Even in the heaviest turbulence, heaviest turbulence
They were a safe flight
So engulfed when the sheets are creasin’
In-between those they just keep their secrets
They believed in magic, became different creatures
So in awe of each other they could list the features damn
Then time intervened
And forged a wedge right in-between
Kinda like in a dream, such a nightmare it seemed
Not a man in this world gets as freigtened as, he
Two lines, she was pregnant
Anyone his age would’ve ran for the exit
But he chose to stay, man up and accept it
But love ain’t a currency the banks are acceptin’
Who’s he tryna kill himself
He’s only twenty, still a kid himself
Just payin’ for the things he did himself
And lovin’ her didn’t help
Tried to open up and say it all
But he really has no say at all
She’s already booked it in, she made the call
Ain’t no one around him to break the fall
Another life meaningless see
Face a different kind of water, get PTSD
He begged her to stay like, “Please accept me”
But she just liked to leave him empty
Tell me how’s that not post-traumatic
Now he’s just a broken addict
Depression’ll kill you if you don’t combat it
Depression’ll kill you if you don’t combat it
Yeah, ‘Dear little one, I think about you every day
I can never muster up the words I’ll never get to say
I rewrote this song a million times and I just let it play
I just hope you’re in a better place
Wonder what colour your eyes are
I wished your mother was wiser
Faked happy for a while, I’ve got a disguise up
To this day still got that disguise up
I’ll never see your first steps
Hear your first laugh or hear your first breath
I’ve tried it all to see if it hurts less, but
That’s irrelevant, I’m sure you’re perfect
Breaks my heart I’ll never hold you close
Every day I tell myself, “Man, don’t lose hope”
Do anythin’ to bring you back, but I know you won’t
I know you won’t
Can’t escape myself, now I’m clunked inside it
Given all this, my attention has been undivided
Can’t write a song, I’m so uninspired
Givin’ up on this dream, yeah, I done near tried it
Wish I could feel your touch
But all I feel are goosebumps
Feel so helpless
I wish I could do somethin’
Would you have loved dance lessons
Or been a freakish athelete?
You could’ve chose your own path
As long as you were happy I’d have been like “That’s sweet”
If there was any way to bring you back
I would try, but
I’ll see you one day
Till then it’s goodbye

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