The Centre for Advanced Training Systems (University of Newcastle) has had the privilege of co-designing a comprehensive virtually reality based stress management training platform with the Australia Defence Force (ADF). The platform, supported by the Defence Innovation Hub, has been developed based on the principles on the ADF resilience program, BattleSMART, and has a focus on providing exercises that establish procedural competence.
The Centre for Advanced Training Systems over the last five years has continued to deepen and extend our partnership with the ADF, with outstanding support from 1st Psychology Unit, the Operational Mental Health team in Joint Health Command, COL Neanne Bennett, COL Laura Sinclair, LTCOL Andrew Cohn, MAJ Nicole Walker, CAPT Samantha Jackson, and also with invaluable input from Professor Eugene Aidman (DST Group) and the Land Capability Division (LT COL Dan Harrison). We recently hit a milestone in the partnership with the first of eight modules being evaluated at the Army School of Health. This would not have been possible without incredible input and guidance from MAJ Nicole Walker (Senior Psychology, Health Specialist Wing, Army of School of Health) and LTCOL Stuart Baldwinson (Commanding Officer, Army School of Health).
The trial was an overwhelming success with strong end-user and instructor support for the approach to delivering iterative, repeatable and engaging skills training. Special thanks to the staff from the Med Tech Wing and the Elands River Platoon for volunteering their time, to shape this transformational training technology.