Steph

A WA police officer was awarded the inaugural National Policy Bravery Award at a gala dinner in Canberra on September 19, 2018.

Senior Constable Stephanie Bochorsky was off duty when she ran into a Doubleview house to save two children who were being attacked by their father. The man, who has since been sentenced to 17 years in prison, set his then three-year-old daughter on fire and was in the process of harming his other daughter when Sen. Const. Bochorsky intervened and saved their lives.

She was awarded the National Police Bravery Award as part of Police Week. The award, which is for police, by police, recognises an officer who exhibits extreme courage in the face of serious danger. Winners knowingly move from a place of safety and put themselves at risk to protect the life of another.

More than 60 nominations were received from across the country, but Sen. Const. Bochorsky’s actions on the evening of August 28, 2015 were considered the ultimate act of bravery by the esteemed judging panel.

Not only did Sen. Const. Bochorsky attend the incident off duty without accoutrements, she was instrumental in providing immediate first aid to one of the victims, which undoubtedly saved her life.

 



Following this incident, Sen. Const. Bochorsky experienced anxiety symptoms and said if it wasn’t for an article in Police News highlighting a mental health program for first responders at Hollywood Hospital, she would still be struggling and wouldn’t have sought help.

In accepting the award, Sen. Const. Bochorsky called for greater awareness of mental health issues affecting police officers and urged anyone experiencing or noticing signs and symptoms of depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder, to talk to a colleague and seek help. Whether it be from Health and Safety or a referral from a private GP, she said there needs to be a greater cultural shift with regards to how we talk about mental health and officers should be encouraged to seek help sooner.

"WAPU would like to congratulate Sen. Const. Bochorsky for this award, and for showing the country how our Members make a difference to the lives of those in our community every day," said WAPU President George Tilbury. "Sen. Const. Bochorsky is a credit to our police force and we are extremely proud that one of our Members has been recognised by winning this very first prestigious award."

Sen. Const. Bochorsky also received commendations from Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten in Federal Parliament.

"I would  like  to  add  my  sincere congratulations  on  behalf  of  the  House, and  particularly  the  government  members  of  the  House, to  Senior Constable Stephanie  Bochorsky for her incredible bravery,"Mr Morrison said. "I'm so pleased it has been recognised in the way it has been in this award."

"She said, 'I took an oath to serve and protect the community on or off duty, uniform or not,  24/7.'  Everyone  in  this  chamber  has  sworn  an  oath.  You  have  given  us  an  incredible  lesson  about  how  you live up to one. Thank you, Stephanie."