William and Kate praise Australia’s first responders
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have praised Australia’s firefighters, paramedics and police, telling them “you should be immensely proud of everything you do”.
William and Kate’s words of support were delivered in a video message marking the country’s inaugural Thank A First Responder Day.
The couple were reportedly due to visit Australia later this year and recorded the short film to recognise the efforts of those on the front line dealing with the coronavirus response and other major events in Australia.
William began the message saying: “Earlier this year we witnessed thousands of firefighters, supported by the wider first responder community, as they worked tirelessly risking their own lives to protect Australian communities from the devastating wildfires.
“The world was watching your efforts, and we were deeply moved by what we saw.”
Kate went on to say: “Sadly, you’re now on the front line of yet another emergency. The Covid-19 outbreak has brought first responders across Australia together again.
“Day in, day out paramedics, police, firefighters and support staff work tirelessly to keep everybody safe, often risking not only their physical health, but also their mental wellbeing.”
William said: “We must mention Australia’s volunteer first responders who choose to put their lives on hold, to support their communities, at times of need. And we should not forget that these incredible people are supported every day by their families and friends.”
The Cambridges have pledged to make supporting the mental health of the UK’s frontline and key workers battling coronavirus their “top priority”.
The couple’s Royal Foundation is backing the Our Frontline initiative which provides round-the-clock mental health support to everyone from teachers and nurses to bus drivers.
Speaking in the video the duchess said: “Today, on Australia’s inaugural Thank A First Responder Day, you all deserve our huge thanks.”
The duke ended with the words: “Time and time again when Australia has needed protecting you have answered that call. You should be immensely proud of everything you do. And we send our very best wishes to you all and to your families.”
Thank A First Responder Day has been organised by Fortem Australia, a non-profit focused on improving the mental health and wellbeing of those who protect and care for Australian communities.