A Newcastle Army health officer has been nationally recognised for creating an online COVID-19 health training package for the ADF.

Captain Liz Daly won a 2021 Telstra Brilliant Women in Digital Health award, which is designed to recognise and celebrate women working in digital health across Australia. 

Captain Daly was one of just 25 women nationally to take out the inaugural title.

The 36-year-old is a general service officer in the Royal Australian Army Medical Corps and helped develop the COVID-19 ADF Awareness Course for deployed personnel as part of Operation COVID-19 Assist. 

The training was designed to quickly prepare personnel who do not have a medical background to conduct medical-support tasks and other duties as part of the Australian Government response to the pandemic.

More than 70,000 personnel across Navy, Army and Air Force have completed the suite of training packages developed in partnership between Joint Health Command, the Australian Defence College and single service representatives, which was also translated into five different languages and made available for Australia’s international military partners – the course has been used to educate people in 53 countries.

Captain Daly credits the Army for giving her the opportunity to expand her career opportunities, particularly in innovation.

“I have always been a little entrepreneurial,” she said. 

“I love promoting women who can do anything and I had a great boss in the Army who still encourages and supports me. He always pushes me to think outside the box, say yes to every opportunity and encourages me to find solutions. 

“This award is STEM-focused, which is a male-dominated career area, so this recognises women are doing really interesting and innovative things across Australia.”

The Army has provided Captain Daly with amazing career opportunities. In 2020, alongside her colleague, nursing officer Captain Maddy Secco, she helped develop an online peer support program for Army junior health officers called EMERGE. For this work, both women were awarded an Army commendation.  

“We wanted to create a safe and inclusive place for all Army junior health officers to ask questions, promote their achievements, and provide information and guidance on specific tasks like health support plans and networking events,” Captain Daly said. 

“We pitched the idea to the Directorate of Army Health, showed them a concept then rolled it out to reach junior health officers during COVID-19. 

“This helped provide additional support online during the trying times of the pandemic.” 

EMERGE now has a team of five running the peer support network.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel Andrew Gee said Captain Daly was an excellent example of the high calibre of ADF members.

“I congratulate Captain Daly on her award. She has demonstrated the leadership, drive and ambition we have come to appreciate from our Defence personnel,” Mr Gee said.

“Captain Daly is one of our many members who have gone above and beyond their regular duties to make an outstanding contribution to our national COVID-19 response.”

For anyone thinking about joining the ADF, Captain Daly said to go for it. 

“Back yourself!” she said.

“We have a professional organisation with strategic intent and amazing individuals. I love the job, the people and seeing everyone working together as a team to achieve amazing outcomes.” 

To find out more about joining the Army as a health officer, visit www.defencejobs.gov.au/jobs/army/health-officer or call 13 19 01.

For more information on other Defence careers, visit www.defencejobs.gov.au