“James is dedicated to the change the stigma that surrounds mental health and raise the profile of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. James strives to advocate for the lived experience community and continues to be a catalyst for positive systems level change.”

James Maskey is a social change leader striving to enhance the mental, physical, and social wellbeing of the first responder community.

James is also a retired front-line Queensland Police Officer with a service history including General Duties and the Child Protection & Investigation Unit. In 2013, James was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

James is deeply committed to driving cultural change, high-value policy reform, and additional government funding to ensure positive mental health and wellbeing outcomes for first responders and their families.

James remains a tireless advocate of creating and maintaining mentally healthy workplaces in the first responder sector.

A workplace that is supportive and non-judgmental is one that is mentally safe and healthy. Creating a mentally healthy workplace needs to be as important for first responder organisations as creating a physically healthy workplace. To do this, the first responder sector must tackle stigma, promote a safe culture of seeking support, embed evidence-based programs and seek the assistance of external community-based partner organisations.

Promoting, protecting and supporting the mental health of the first responder sector is a complex issue that requires industry-led and sustained educational, cultural, and policy reform. James is a committed advocate for reform, driving the social change required to support first responders and their families across Australia.

For his ongoing mental health advocacy efforts in the first responder sector, James was awarded ‘Conversation Leader’ in the 2023 R U OK? Barbara Hocking Memorial Awards. This award acknowledges outstanding contributions to suicide prevention and celebrates the life and drive of Barbara Hocking, one of Australia’s leading advocates for people affected by mental illness.

Additionally, in 2019, James was recognised as one of Pro Bono Australia’s ‘Impact 25 Award’ recipients, honouring the social and human services sector’s most influential people for their significant and positive impact in Australia and around the world. James was also a Finalist in the Victorian Young Achiever of the Year Award in 2019.

As a world record holder and ultra-endurance athlete, James has represented Australia on the world stage in ultra-marathon running, raising funds for mental health organisations. James utilises his endurance pursuits as a platform to passionately share his own lived experience of mental health difficulties, challenge mental health stigma and encourage the help-seeking behaviours of others who may be impacted by mental health conditions.