As an advocate for mental health issues and the Australian Defence Force, Captain Ian Carter has already put what he has learned at UNSW Canberra into practice.  

Captain Carter, a Ground Liaison Officer in the Australian Army, will graduate this week as a Master of Strategic People Management.  

The men and women of the ADF deserve the best leaders and advocates this nation has to offer,” Captain Carter said.  

“Whilst I certainly do not see myself as a shining light when it comes to charismatic leadership, I do consider myself to be a fierce champion of our military family and mental health issues. 

He chose to study Strategic People Management because of its universal applications, and he said it has helped him make a difference in his work outside of Defence as a suicide prevention lived experience presenter and advocate.  

“Through having a greater understanding of how to influence strategy and shape actions, I have been lucky enough to be selected as a member of the NSW Ministry of Health’s Lived Experience Advisory Group which provides guidance on the PremierPriority Towards Zero Suicide Prevention Strategy,” Captain Carter said.  

The alarming rate in which men take their own lives is a key focus for Captain Carter, and he is looking into what can be done to improve services.  

I am hopeful that I will be able to put these skills into further use within the ADF, as well in the not-too-distant future through something like an ADF Lived Experience Network, which could help reduce the terrible toll both for current serving members and veterans. 

Based in Sydney, Captain Carter completed all of his study online. He said studying as a mature student with a full-time job and family was trying at times, but ultimately rewarding.  

Much like every other student I found meeting deadlines quite challenging at times, but maintaining a healthy work/life/study balance was by far the most difficult aspect of studying,” Captain Carter said.  

“That being said, the support I received from work and home helped tremendously, I can’t thank my wife and daughters enough for putting up with me (and the mountains of research papers and books strewn around the house) these past couple of years.” 

Captain Carter hopes his studies will help him progress to a Sub-Unit Command position in the next few years, but at this stage he is focusing on his current role and his advocacy in grass roots suicide prevention.  

“I am currently working on a project related to post traumatic growth, which will hopefully prove beneficial for those who have experienced suicidal ideation, childhood and/or adult sexual assault, parental alienation, and other such traumatic experiences,” Captain Carter said.   

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