Twenty-five years ago, former Victoria Police Special Operations Group (SOG) Tactical Team Leader, Craig Harwood (pictured) was one of the first responders deployed to Tasmania’s Port Arthur tragedy in which 35 people were killed and 23 were wounded.
Next month, Craig will be taking part in the 410km First Responders Walk from Melbourne to Hobart to help raise awareness and vital donations for the Alannah & Madeline Foundation Buddy Bags program.
Alannah and Madeline Mikac, aged six and three, along with their mother, Nanette were gunned down by mass murderer Martin Bryant on that fateful day in 1996.
As a first responder to the horrific scene that day, the experience changed Craig’s life forever.
“The Foundation is an amazing organisation founded on tragic circumstances but protecting children against violence is absolutely one of the most important things we, as individuals and as a nation, can do,” says Craig.
“I hope this walk will not only assist helping more children that need protection, love and care but highlights the sacrifice and dedication that First Responders live every day, so these types of incidents never occur or are minimised as much as possible.”