We are very pleased to announce that Nicole Sadler has joined Phoenix Australia in the newly established position of Senior Specialist, Military and High Risk Organisations. Nicole comes to us from the most senior psychology position in the Australian Army, Director Strategic and Operational Mental Health/Head of Corps of the Australian Army Psychology Corps. At Phoenix Australia she will be initiating and leading projects and activities to reduce the burden of mental health problems associated with working in high risk organisations such as the military, the emergency services, and first responder agencies.
Nicole’s 23-year career as a full-time Army psychology officer has uniquely prepared her for this role, not to mention her family circumstances – born into a military family, the proud daughter of a Vietnam veteran, and the mother of a currently serving soldier. She has considerable expertise in military and veteran mental health, and understands the challenges for Australian Defence Force (ADF) members and their families.
Nicole has worked in recruitment, assessment, counselling, mental health promotion, training, research, strategic personnel planning, and policy development. She also deployed to support ADF personnel during peace monitoring operations in Bougainville, peacekeeping operations in East Timor, humanitarian assistance following the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami in South East Asia, and combat operations in the Middle East Area of Operations.
I am excited to be part of the Phoenix Australia team, and for the opportunity it gives me to continue to work in the area of military mental health while applying my skills and knowledge to other high risk organisations.”
Nicole notes just some of her career highlights as including her time as the Commanding Officer of the 1st Psychology Unit, managing psychology support to all ADF operations, and more recently her time as Director Strategic and Operational Mental Health/Head of Corps of the Australian Army Psychology Corps where she led a team responsible for the development and implementation of the ADF Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy, coordination of strategic level mental health research, and development and quality assurance of mental health programs and policies to support ADF operations. In this role she worked closely with national and international military mental health experts, and staff from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA), other government departments and militaries, emergency services and non-government agencies.
Nicole has a long association with Phoenix Australia. In the early 2000s she collaborated with Professors Forbes and Creamer on redesigning critical incident management protocols for the ADF. More recently she has worked with Phoenix Australia staff on projects to review ADF mental health screening processes and mental health program evaluation, and on the Longitudinal ADF Study Evaluating Resilience.
Nicole continues to serve as a Colonel in the Army Reserves and is one of the investigators on the joint DVA and Defence Transition and Wellbeing Research Programme. She has a Master of Psychology (Clinical) degree and is currently completing a PhD.
Nicole is married to Matthew, a senior manager in ACT government, and they have two adult children, Jamie and Jake, and, according to Nicole, a very delightful granddaughter, Ellie, and three completely over-indulged dogs.
Although she will be a regular visitor to Melbourne, Nicole is based in Canberra, and has set up the first Phoenix Australia office outside of Melbourne, in New Acton.