Former Leongatha woman and Constable of Victoria Police Varli Blake pictured right with fellow Wonthaggi Police members last year. Constable Blake was one of three officers seriously injured in an explosion on January 4.
FOR over a decade former Leongatha woman and brave Victoria Police member Varli Blake dreamed of becoming a police officer.
Last July, just six months ago the 32 year-old achieved that dream graduating from the Victorian Police Academy in Glen Waverly – Constable Varli Blake.
On Saturday, January 4 Varli, who was now a constable at the South Melbourne Police Station, along with two colleagues was called to a Middle Park to a flat where a man had been threatening self-harm.
It was here the true dangers of the job became a reality.
Upon arrival, firefighters gained entry to the second floor flat and as Varli and two other police members entered a large explosion occurred.
The three police officers were seriously injured and were taken to The Alfred hospital suffering serious burns.
Varli and First Constable Emma Quick were among the worst injured in the explosion and both remain in The Alfred Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit.
The third officer Sergeant Tony Scully remains in the burns unit of The Alfred Hospital.
Two firefighters were also injured, along with the male occupant.
Through a statement released by Victoria Police, Varli’s parents said she was doing her dream job.
“It has been Varli’s dream for over 10 years to become a police officer and make a difference in the community,” Cathy and Tony said.
The three families of the injured officers last week issued a joint statement speaking of their horror at the “deeply distressing” tragedy.
“We would like to send our thanks to Victoria Police, the hospital staff who have worked so hard to help our loved ones, and those kind and caring people who all helped out at the scene – we are all truly grateful,” it read.
“This has been a deeply distressing experience for all of us.
“We are horrified that this has happened, but are enormously grateful for the many expressions of support and sympathy.”
In the days following the incident Chief Commissioner Ken Lay visited the officers and their families at the Alfred Hospital’s intensive care unit.
Mr Lay said the Victorian Police Force was “extraordinarily proud” of their bravery.
“This is an enormously difficult time for them,” Mr Lay said.
“There’s a lot that we don’t know (or what) it’s going to look like in the future.
“There are still some very significant injuries that our members have got. They’ve still got a considerable road to travel until they recover.”
Show your support
A RECOVERY fund has been set-up to support Varli and her colleagues as they recover from their horrific injuries.
Victoria Police, The Police Association and BankVic last week came together to launch the fund
The new recovery fund, an initiative undertaken by the injured members’ fellow officers from the St Kilda and South Melbourne police stations, has been set up to assist the three members and their families cope with the years of recovery and rehabilitation that lie ahead of them.
Chief Commissioner Ken Lay, Police Association Secretary Greg Davies and BankVic Chairman John Mugavin, have invited the public and employees to donate to the fund from which every cent donated will go to the injured members.
Victoria Police and the Police Association kick started the fund with a $10,000 donation each. VicBank donated an undisclosed amount.
You can donate to the “The Tony, Emma, and Varli Recovery Fund” online, or at any BankVic or Westpac branch by using the following account details:
Account Name: “The Tony, Emma and Varli Recovery Fund”
BSB: 704 230 Account Number: 100 484 824.
Alternatively, cheques made to “The Tony, Emma and Varli Recovery Fund” can be posted to BankVic, 121 Cardigan Street, Carlton Victoria 3053