On 16 Sep 2022, 1 Brigade held the Human Performance Optimisation (HPO) Symposium at the Darwin Convention Centre. The event was hosted by Charlie King.

From building a bulletproof performance mindset to identifying the trends and direction of current health research, hear from the experts on how to achieve optimal health to benefit you and your team. The event is designed to facilitate your knowledge on the three domains of human performance optimisation: the physical, cognitive and socio-cultural domains.

The 1 Brigade HPO Symposium featured presentations by:

  • LTCOL Jacqueline Costello, informed us of the current direction of HPO in FORCOMD and allowed us to understand what exactly HPO is.
  • DR Mick Drew, the director of Defence Health Research at Joint Capabilities Group identified trends and the direction of current research.
  • LT Joanne Stannard, a PhD candidate, discussed her studies on the pivotal role that the junior leader has on human performance and the findings from her research with 5 RAR and 7 RAR so far.
  • MAJ Emma Williams, discussed HPO across Army and her experience as a physiotherapist within Army.
  • Curtis McGrath OAM, former 1 Bde soldier and gold medal athlete provided an opportunity to hear a lived experience discussion from one of Australia's favourite athletes.
  • Rosie Stanimirovic, from the Australian Institute of Sport discussed athletes hijacked moments, with insights on how this phenomena may translate onto the battlefield.
  • Dr Michael Lloyd, the former head psychologist for Cricket Australia with extensive experience in high performance, mental skills, cognitive performance, culture change and leadership. Dr Lloyd is currently a researcher in the fields of performance, routines, motivation, pre-competition, emotion and arousal state.

There is an event survey available for in-person attendees to complete after the Symposium.

Thank you to all who attended in-person and online, the questions asked generated a thought-provoking discussion. The event was livestreamed here on The Cove, check out presentations from the Seminar below.


Introduction & Welcome to Country by Charlie King, Brigadier Foxall, and Nicole Brown


Triumph over Tragedy by Curtis McGrath, OAM


Mind – Body – Teams – Tools: Human Performance Optimisation in Forces Command by Lieutenant Colonel Jacqueline Costello


Human Performance in AHQ by Major Emma Williams


Human Performance in SOCOMD by Angela Uphill


Current Trends in Performance Optimisation by Dr Michael Drew


Partnerships with RSL QLD by Katie Maloney


Injury Patterns & Reporting by Lieutenant Joanne Stannard


Optimising Mental Performance in Competition by Rose Stanimirovic


Plenary Session with Symposium Guests