Todd Berry served for 18 years in the Australian Army, including the Commandos, before transitioning in 2003. Impacted by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), it took Todd another 15 years before he was confident to be able to return to the workforce.
Joining Conscia as a Health and Wellbeing Advisor, Todd provides guidance and wellbeing support to all staff. This is a role that has given his life clear purpose and aided him in his healing. In spite of his personal struggles, Todd has supported the veteran community as a Solider On Ambassador and also volunteered his time and expertise to Menslink, speaking to and supporting young men, to prevent suicide. Furthermore, Todd is an Ambassador of Frontline Yoga a service offering yoga to veterans and first responders, to assist in the management of PTSD.
Todd, like many veterans, is on a journey through PTSD. The combination of this, with Todd’s academic qualifications and approachable nature allows him to bring a lens of clarity when assisting others with complex personal issues to navigate their workplace journey or life more generally.
“Todd’s innovative role in our business have been a genuine ‘gamechanger’ and is one of our key points of difference as a business. The commitment to this endeavour has seen our staff receiving market leading employer support in both their work and personal lives. It enables a greater supporting and caring organisation which really helps our core asset, our people. Todd has been a fundamental influence in creating Conscia’s corporate culture where everyone subsequently takes care of everyone” – Jacqueline Bilston, Managing Director, Conscia.
Todd is regularly asked to be the key note speaker at events and forums and is co-author of a book to assist veteran’s, their families and society to deal with PTSD.
Todd’s story is one of success in spite of adversity.
Todd’s transition tips for other veterans
Identify your value. When transitioning from Defence we often have a propensity to under sell ourselves. During our time in uniform we have developed many unique skill sets but also many that are transferrable to the civilian workplace. Don’t make the mistake of underestimating your worth.
Focus on your recovery. If you are on a journey of rehabilitation make sure that you devote your energy to getting well. You cannot work effectively if you are not firing on all cylinders. Be prepared to take your time to become healthy.
Find your purpose. We all need a sense of purpose to live a rewarding and fulfilling life. Even if you are not ready to return to the workforce in any capacity I would recommend testing the waters with volunteer work with an organisation that has similar values to your own. There is a lot of empirical evidence that indicates that regular and routine volunteer work enhances your mental well-being.
Be open-minded. The vocation or job that best suits you may be completely different from what you are used to. Indeed, it may not even exist yet. When I was discharged from the ADF in 2007 I had never heard of a Health and Well-being Advisor. This is a position that suits me perfectly and is without a doubt the most rewarding and enjoyable job that I have ever had.
Contributing back to society. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge your limitations, my position at Conscia is part-time and I have very flexible working arrangements. Although I would love to be employed in a full-time capacity my mental health conditions restrict me on many levels. However, do not give up on yourself. You just do not know what the future will hold for you.