Meet Our Applications Team
Bravery Trust’s applications officers are often the first point of contact for current and former ADF servicemen and women and their families when they reach out for help. The applications team know it’s not easy to ask for help and understand that people are more comfortable asking for support if they feel that they’ll be treated with respect and understanding.Most of our financial hardship enquiries are from those who are overwhelmed with a combination of physical and mental illness as a result of their service. They want sound advice about the type of assistance we can offer them, including clarifying their financial hardship eligibility, assessing their domestic needs and providing financial relief through the payment of overdue utilities bills, household items, education costs, and food and fuel vouchers. Referrals to other ex-service organisations is also an important aspect of the applications officers’ role to ensure the level of support provided is as comprehensive as possible.
This is where the experience, care and diligence of Maria, Julie, Liz and Nicky comes in. Their “front line” work is the most important work the Trust does:
Maria Miller heads the applications team in Perth, providing delegation approvals and reporting functions as part of her overall role as financial controller. She has a Bachelor of Commerce and is currently studying for her CPA. As one of the longest serving Trust employees, Maria has seen firsthand the enormous value of our work, not just in monetary terms but in the real life changes our assistance has provided for service personnel and their families in need. Maria is a busy mum of two active primary school children and feels a strong connection with the children of our applicants, wanting to see the best outcomes for them. After spending seven years living in a far-north WA mining town she has developed a joy for camping holidays and tries to take any opportunity to spend time with her husband and young children.
Brisbane based Julie Petherick-Collins is a self-described “army brat”, having grown up in a family entrenched in military service, starting with her great grandfather and continuing on with her grandfather, father, uncles, and her brother all serving in uniform. Julie has over 20 years’ experience in community service roles and in veterans support. She understands the complex issues faced by those experiencing PTSD and a range of other conditions which have caused hardship in their lives as a result of their service. She is truly passionate about helping those who have served our nation. Julie’s other passion is travel – she has travelled the far corners of the globe and has lived and worked in many countries, revelling in experiencing new cultures. The only continent she is yet to explore is Antarctica, but it is definitely on her bucket list.
Liz Bowman is also Brisbane based and hails from a military background which goes back to Scotland’s Battle of Culloden in 1745. Each generation of her family since then has served their country in a military uniform. Her father was a rifleman in the Black Watch during WWII where he met her mother who was serving in the Women’s Land Army in England. Both of her brothers served long careers in the ADF with the elder serving in Vietnam. Liz joined the RAAF in 1977 and served for over 16 years. Most recently, Liz worked for Defence Health Limited, so she has a deep understanding of the health issues affecting the ADF community. Liz’s service in the ADF, and as a serving mother, as well as her personal journey as the wife of a veteran with PTSD, all contribute to her passionate commitment to serving the Defence community with great compassion and understanding.
Nicky Sligo works in the Trust’s Perth office and has a strong background in counselling, mediation and financial counselling. She was also a Defence wife so she inherently understands the complexities of life in the ADF. She has four adult children as well as being a foster carer for at risk children. Nicky’s husband is a FIFO worker with irregular rosters and she is aware of the substantial impact of FIFO work on families, including mental illness and substance abuse. She has family members and friends who have been diagnosed with PTSD and other mental illnesses so understands the effect on the individual and their wider family. Nicky has travelled extensively and has lived in Hong Kong, Ireland and the United Kingdom. Her compassion, empathy and extensive prior work experience enables her to make an important contribution to current and former serving members in need of our support.