Dave Edwards joined the Community Champions program in September 2018. Since then, Dave has been a very active member of the program. He has participated in consultations regarding the MindMum website and app and on developing a Dads version as well as provided feedback on multiple PANDA initiatives such as the PANDA mental health checklist and PANDA at Work survey.
Dave has also shared his story on several online platforms like BBC News, ABC Life and Kidspot. He has been interviewed twice on radio, held a workplace event for Father’s Mental Health Day and most recently featured in PANDA’s campaign for Men’s Health Week.
Tell us about yourself
I'm a Brissie boy. Have lived in Brisbane most of my life, apart from a stint out in regional NSW for work. I live in the bayside suburbs of Brisbane, called Redlands.
I live with my beautiful wife, and two kid, who are now 6 and 8.
I've worked in workplace health HR over the past 8 years, but prior to that occupational rehabilitation as a rehabilitation counsellor.
My interests have always centred around people, whether that has been supporting people dealing with mental health issues or playing sport. My favourite being soccer. Not so happy about Man City in England winning the title again, but that's life.
Why did you choose to volunteer with PANDA?
Why I chose to be a community champion was simple. Lived experience, and wanting to share my story in the hope that other dads would speak up and seek support. Having set up my own peer support group for dads who had kids with reflux shortly after my own postnatal mental health experience, I realised quickly that there were many other dads that had struggled just as much, if not more than I had, and were silent about it, until discussing things in the peer support group. A dad would later tell me that a conversation I had with him delayed him making a decision to take his life, resulting in him reaching out for support instead. Being curious about the person that doesn't stand out in the crowd is really important to me.
What has been your proudest achievement since becoming a Community Champion?
My proudest achievement since becoming a community champion has definitely been opportunities to raise awareness both in the public and at work.
What is your most favourite activity to do with your family?
Favourite activity is definitely travelling with the family on holidays.
Finally, what makes you laugh the most?
Definitely the thing that makes me laugh the most, is the cute and funny things our kids say to us and each other. They are very cute and I feel very blessed to be called dad.