As a child, Dr Brooke Mason found confidence in surfing and she became well respected among Hobart’s surfing community. In 2017, she spoke out about women getting no prize money after she won the West Coast Classic, kickstarting a trend for equal pay in surfing competitions.
But surfing also exposed her to a tragic event. In 2015, she saw her friend fatally attacked by a shark off Ballina in NSW. It happened two days into a year-long break from her medical degree at the University of Tasmania.
Brooke developed post-traumatic stress disorder, an experience that made her more aware of mental health issues. It’s knowledge she now uses as a GP registrar on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.
Brooke first promoted mental health as a teenager at the ABC’s Heywire Summit in 2013, when she co-founded the Fresh Face Friday body positivity campaign. A decade on, she’s still making important contributions to mental health.