HERO Program

Helping on
Recovery and
Overcoming Burnout Program
is an initiative aimed at addressing the issue of burnout in Australian General Practice.

"The only resource we had to help us cope with this emotional, physical, and spiritual distress was ourselves."

This is an unprecedented time in Australian General Practice. We are in the eye of a perfect “burnout” storm. A number of factors are at play that have contributed to it over time. The Medicare freeze, lower pay in General Practice compared to other Specialties, with a domino effect of reduced graduates choosing General Practice as their Specialty of choice, and doctors who are choosing to retire a few years earlier due to burnout and overwhelm.

It seems like the pandemic was the straw that broke the camel’s back. On a macro level, there are a number of torches that are burning to address systemic issues: lobbying the government, GP practice owners purposefully switching to mixed billing, improving the uptake of GP Specialty for graduates, and other issues that place strain on the profession and the individual.

The fundamental reason for working in our field is a desire to help others. This desire is altruistic and necessitates a high level of empathy. However, it is that empathic response that creates the greatest risk of stress, burnout, vicarious trauma, and/or compassion fatigue. In short, the more we care, the greater our vulnerability.

THE BAD NEWS? No one is immune to these effects. We are all human and naturally feed off the emotional state of others around us. The transformation of the negative effects can be subtle or pronounced. The negative aspect of the work can lead some to struggle with finding and maintaining a healthy balance in their life.

THE GOOD NEWS? Through a series of techniques and self-awareness training, we will show you the art of preventing the toxic, unhealthy buildup of the negative and invasive effects of your work.

It is possible to encounter a positive awakening of feelings, including the passion for social justice, the joy of helping those in need, or a sense of connection and belonging to others when working in your chosen field. The rewards of working in your health field are endless.

The HERO Program is for General Practitioner Specialists who have chosen to dedicate a lifetime to helping others. This program will help you identify signs of wear, practical tools to cope with stress, and develop your own self-care plan. With these simple but effective strategies, you will be able to manage the cumulative negative impact of helping others over time.

It is our great pleasure to share the HERO Program with you in an atmosphere of collegial respect and creativity. We hope that you will get as much out of the training as we did in developing this program.

Join us on this vibrant and insightful journey at HERO


To effectively create a clear plan for managing existing burnout symptoms and preventing future work stress from becoming overwhelming.


  • Identify key behaviour patterns that contribute to burnout, compassion fatigue, and vicarious trauma
  • Understand how your values impact your fatigue
  • Address your helping mindset
  • Gain an understanding of Polyvagal Theory, the science of Mirror Neurons, and their impact on burnout, recovery, and prevention
  • Equip yourself with a toolkit of evidence-based strategies to boost resilience
  • Learn actionable steps to create boundaries and thereby prolong your healthy working life
  • Develop skills to clinically but compassionately distance yourself from the work
  • Practice mindfully
  • Apply self-awareness tools to your daily work
  • Understand the ABCs of resilience


You will face challenges in addressing four key areas of treatment that are important to your professional and personal lives, in addition to the learning outcomes mentioned above.

What symptoms of Compassion Fatigue are caused or worsened by working in areas where you have not received adequate training? What steps should you take to obtain this training?

This includes both Self-Care and Self-Management skills. What symptoms arise from overextending yourself at work and in your personal life? What boundaries need to be established or reinforced? What self-care or soothing skills need to be developed, reinforced, implemented, or reorganised?

Reaching out to others and utilising available resources is crucial for your recovery from Compassion Fatigue. Developing a personal “therapeutic community” is essential for preventing Compassion Fatigue. Breaking isolation and opening up can immediately alleviate problems associated with Compassion Fatigue. You will be challenged to identify and/or develop underutilised resources for support, nurturing, and personal growth.

What symptoms are caused by internal conflicts? You may know what you need to do for yourself but find it difficult to implement these strategies due to the demands of the day. These internal conflicts continue to disrupt your well-being, diverting valuable energy towards unresolved personal issues.


  • Introduction to HERO Program
  • Psychoeducation on Burnout
  • Activity: Discussion on Values and Aims
  • Introduction to Polyvagal Theory


  • Reflection
  • Goal
    • Understand how your past impacts your present
  • Main triggers to Burnout and Compassion Fatigue
  • Activity: Timeline Narrative


  • Goal
    • Reduce stress, anxiety, and overwhelm
  • Interventions
    • Take the sting out of the past
    • Self-management
    • Building a tool kit (i.e trigger list)
  • Activity: Self-regulating Tools
  • Polyvagal Theory and Application
  • Crystalised vs Fluid Intelligence Theory and Application


  • Reflection
  • Goal
    • Developing healthy boundaries and wise counsel
  • The Science of Connection
  • Activity: Letter from a Great Mentor
  • Boundary Setting


  • Reflection
  • Goal
    • Future Care
  • The Science of Resilience
  • Activity: Desire Statement


  • Reflective Practice
  • 1% Rule
  • Accountability to the Group and Future Mentorship
  • Train the Trainer



Join us on this vibrant and insightful journey at HERO

Program Facilitators

Shawn Goldberg

Shawn is passionate about the prevention and treatment of compassion fatigue and burnout. He is the Director and Principal Psychologist at Mind Up with vast experience in areas of abuse, trauma, drug and alcohol, and general mental health issues. Shawn thrives on supporting workers in the helping field faced with stress and trauma. He provides training that is dynamic, thought-provoking, and practical. Shawn shares his expertise and knowledge with respect and openness.

Dr Aadhil Aziz

Prior to becoming a GP, Dr. Aziz worked in Neurosurgery, renal transplant surgery, and medical, surgical, and cardiac ICU, which used to involve 36-hour shifts. He was a typical workaholic until his wife called him out on it and told him, “the kids don’t know you”. This was a wake-up call for him. He hopes to share with you what he’s learned and provide more constructive advice beyond the “take a break” and “it will be okay”. Yes, “it will be okay”, but Shawn and Dr. Aziz have developed a management plan that can be easily implemented into everyday lives and practice. This is a marathon, not a sprint!


Tell us how we can help you. Call (03) 9327 2769 or send us a message via the form below:

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