Former first responder James Maskey, has been named the R U OK? Conversation Leader at the 2023 Barbara Hocking Memorial Awards.

The judging panel recognised Mr Maskey’s outstanding contribution to suicide prevention work, particularly his work to promote stronger connections and meaningful conversations for those within the police and emergency services sector. In announcing Mr Maskey as the award recipient, R U OK? Community Ambassador, Kate Taylor highlighted the value of his efforts. 

“James is a real champion for individual first responders and works tirelessly to increase help-seeking behaviours, remove barriers to accessing supports and ultimately create mentally healthy workplaces for police and emergency services personnel and volunteers,” said Ms Taylor. “James shares the story of his lived experience and recovery to encourage others to seek help and to create connections within the first responder community. 

“He also reinforces the importance of having family and friends engage with R U OK?,” she said. “Congratulations James and thank you for championing the R U OK? message.”

R U OK? ‘Are They Triple OK?’ Podcast – Now Streaming

ABC News – Urging first responders and their families to seek mental health support after the murders of two officers in Queensland’s Western Downs Region

‘Mindarma’ Podcast Interview – S2 Episode 7: A Life of Purpose: ex-cop finds meaning after PTSD

Studio 10 Interview – The impact of ‘spill over stress’ on first responder families

ABC News – Suicide rate of first responders worrying support group

9 News National – COVID-19 pressures lead to increase in mental health issues among first responders

R U OK? ‘Are they Triple OK?’ Webinar – How to have a conversation that matters.

Emceed and facilitated by James Maskey

This a recording of an online event for police and emergency services workers and volunteers and their friends and family. The recording contains information on when and how to ask current and former police and emergency services workers, “Are you OK?” and respond appropriately if they say, “No, I’m not.”

This recording is part of the ‘Are they Triple OK?’ campaign which encourages stronger peer and social support for police and emergency services personnel. View the ‘Are they Triple OK?’ resources at

ABC Radio National ‘This Working Life’ Podcast

‘The Tragic Impact of Answering the Call’, 2021

James speaks with ABC Radio National Broadcaster, Lisa Leong in an episode that covers James’ work experience as Queensland Police Officer, his diagnosis with PTSD and his drive to be a changemaker for the police and emergency services sector.

This Working Life helps you navigate your way through the tough times, looking for the sunshine and the humanity in the world of work. From the quirky to the somewhat controversial, experts in the world of work and business share their ideas, experiments and fast fails that you can apply to your own career. Airs Monday 5.30am. Repeated: Tuesday 11.30am, Thursday 12.30am.

‘Roll With The Punches’ Podcast –

James Maskey, The Emergency Services Mentor, 2021

In this podcast episode, James shares his personal encounters and management of his own PTSD experience along with his world record performances in ultra-marathon running with host, Tiffanee Cook. James highlights that in order to tackle stigma and improve help-seeking behaviours in the emergency services sector, we must bring the voice of the lived experience community front and centre.

Worksafe Tasmania ‘PTSD: Mental Health Matters’ Conference

This session follows James’s exposure to occupational trauma and high pressure working environments, transitioning through diagnosis, finding solace in fitness – ultra marathons & world records, mental health advocacy, relapse and recovery.