Letter from Chair and CEO

The purpose of this letter is to thank you for your ongoing support to Soldier On and to outline some exciting changes that will be occurring within Soldier On over the next few months. As one of our most valuable supporters we wanted to tell you about these changes before they take effect. We hope you will be as excited as we are about the prospects for further enhancing the support that, working together, we provide to the veteran community. We will adjust our focus to provide an integrated and holistic transition program to wrap around the veteran and their family and offer a full range of psychological, family and community inclusion, and educational and employment ready services. Over the last four years we have learned much from our work within the veteran community.  While there are many issues that make it difficult for veterans to reintegrate back into the community we have learned that the key issue is around the process of transition from military life back into the civilian community.

The transition journey is frustrating and often stressful for veterans as they leave behind their unit, their community and their job. For many, the journey of transition provokes and contributes to family relationship break down and compounds mental and physical health and wellbeing issues. Transition does not just mean leaving the Australia Defence Force, it can be a lifelong process of re-integration back into society.

Transition is a journey that also profoundly impacts partners and children as well as extended family and community networks. To be effective the transition journey should empower, connect and strengthen the veteran’s resilience, while supporting the family unit.  The journey is unique to each veteran. It is a dynamic and complex process that requires agile service delivery capable of responding to unfolding circumstances.

A critical component of the transition journey is productive and purposeful employment. Soldier On is committed to working with Australian industry, the Government and other Service Organisations to create policies and programs that facilitate veteran friendly workplaces. The incredible skills and expertise of our ex-serving men and women have the potential to significantly enhance the capabilities and capacity of Australian industry. For those that are unable to work we will provide volunteering options to ensure the Australian community continues to benefit from the service that veterans can offer. The community can in turn offer opportunities for veterans to continue to engage and connect socially, with purpose.

For Soldier On these changes mark the beginning of a new phase of our organisational journey.  Since our inception four years ago, we have successfully raised community and political awareness of the needs of contemporary veterans. We have built a community of individuals, families, and corporate organisations (large and small) committed to working together to fund services and activities that empower, engage and connect veterans and their families. This next phase will keep the very best of the services we have become known for, while increasing our ability to provide more services across Australia.

Our mission to achieve the best reintegrated generation of serving and ex-serving men and women in Australia’s history has been, and continues to be, actively executed as we grow our service provision across Australia.  Importantly, we have become a provider of advice, support and services trusted by government, veterans, families and the Australian community. This is a level of trust that we do not take for granted and we look forward to continuing to work with you on the next phase of our journey. Together we will engage more actively in all elements of our community to provide a level of services that are the best in the world.

We thank you for everything you have done to support those who have been affected by their service and we look forward to building this incredible community with you. In doing so, having the best re-integrated generation of veterans and their families in our country’s history won’t be an aim, it will be a reality.

Regards,

John Bale, CEO and Co-Founder           Peter Leahy AC, Chairman of The Board

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Media Release: Raytheon Australia Partners with Soldier On in Support of Veterans and their Families

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE RAYTHEON AUSTRALIA AND SOLDIER ON

Raytheon Australia partners with Soldier On in support of veterans and their families

Michael Ward, Managing Director of Raytheon Australia and John Bale, CEO and co-founder of Soldier On today announced that Raytheon Australia will provide $150,000 in sponsorship over three years to fund Solider On’s Canberra-based Reintegration Officer.

Soldier On’s Reintegration Officers are at the forefront of helping veterans and their families and interacted with over 500 veterans last year. Their important role provides support to veterans and their families, including aiding veterans to gain access to training, education and job programs.

Managing Director of Raytheon Australia, Michael Ward said that as an Australian defence industry leader, Raytheon Australia is pleased to partner with Soldier On.  “The support we provide for the Canberra based Reintegration Officer will help veterans transition from the Australian Defence Force to the civilian workforce.”

“Raytheon Australia proudly employs former serving ADF members.  These individuals bring unique experiences and skills that add value to our business and contribute to better national security outcomes for Australia.”

“Supporting veterans is everyone’s responsibility and I am pleased that Raytheon Australia’s contribution will make a real difference to the lives of veterans and their families,” Ward said.

Mr Bale said that thanks to the support of organisations like Raytheon Australia, Soldier On is able to support thousands of veterans and their families all across Australia.

“Demand for our support is increasing and we are committed to funding integrated and holistic programs that underpin the reintegration and recovery of veterans and their families.”

“Transitioning from the ADF to civilian life can be an incredibly lonely, stressful experience. In some circumstances an unsupported transition can result in relationship breakdown, homelessness, and poor mental health and wellbeing.”

“With the support of Raytheon Australia, Soldier On is able to walk alongside veterans through the transition process, and provide the much needed support to assist their integration into the civilian workforce,” Bale concluded.

-ENDS-

For more information, please contact:

Nicole Thomson-Pride

Communications & Media Manager

Soldier On

nicole.thomson-pride@soldieron.org.au | 0428 076 773

 

Brad Rowswell

Senior Communications Manager

Raytheon Australia

brad.rowswell@raytheon.com.au | 0476 827 338

Nominations are open for positions on the SOLDIER ON ADVISORY GROUP

The purpose of the Soldier On Advisory Group is to create a consultative body for Veterans and family members utilising Soldier On services. This body will empower the Veteran community to have greater influence on matters that affect them, within the context of Soldier On programs and services.

Reporting directly to the Deputy Chief Executive Officer, the Soldier On Advisory Group will give the Veteran community a voice and ensure the Veteran perspective is considered in the design and delivery of programs and services. Incorporating these thoughts and elements into current and future programs will also ensure effective allocation of resources. In addition, the Advisory Group will have the opportunity to present to the Soldier On Board throughout the year.

The Soldier On Advisory Group liaises between Veterans, the Chief Executive Officer and the wider Soldier On community to ensure that veteran interests are represented and reflected.

Soldier On Advisory Group Composition

The Soldier On Advisory Group will be comprised of both veterans and family members and will be facilitated by Soldier On employees. A group of twelve people will be invited to participate for approximately one year. Advisory members will be rotated on and off on an annual basis with the goal of transitioning half the group every year to ensure continued enthusiasm and diversity of views. Subject matter experts will also be invited to attend and provide specialist input on specific matters. It is acknowledged that not all members will be available for all meetings. The Soldier On Advisory Board must to the extent practicable consist of:

  • Seven Veterans from a range of states and territories representing a mix of male and female veterans of different ages;
  • Three Family members with a cross section of family structures and ages;
  • Two engaged members of the Veteran community;
  • Up to three subject matter experts, depending on the topic of discussion

Veterans will be appointed to the Advisory Group through nomination and selection by an internal Soldier On selection panel. The prime objective will be to maintain a diverse range of backgrounds and viewpoints.

Meetings will be held 3 times per year commencing in September 2016.

To nominate please do so online via the following link (http://goo.gl/forms/rk6uYTc0rqRDssyx1)

Nominations Close

21 August 2016

Please note: these positions are on a volunteer basis and you do NOT need to live in, or travel to, Canberra to be appointed to the Advisory Group.

 

Clinical Psychology Services at Soldier On – Sydney & Canberra

Soldier On is focused on providing support to all Australians who have been wounded, physically or psychologically, through their service in the Australian Defence Force, the Emergency Services, the AFP and DFAT, as well as their families. Many of these people are dealing with significant mental illness, social isolation, relationship stress and a lack of empowerment.  Many are also struggling to transition from active service to medical retirement or new areas of employment. Soldier On’s vision is to have the best reintegrated generation of service men and women in the history of Australia.

Soldier On is pleased to announce that we now have two experienced clinical psychologists in both Canberra and Sydney who provide the following:

  • Individual counseling for adults and adolescents
  • Couples and relationship counseling
  • Counselling for families

This service is available to anyone who has been affected by their service, be they current or ex-serving members, and to the partners and families who support them.

Our discreet counselling service is not just for military veterans but for anyone who has been affected by their service.

We offer evidenced-based psychological treatment to address a range of mental health issues, including:

  • Trauma and stress-related issues
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Pain and injury adjustment concerns

Referrals can be made by means of a GP Mental Health Care Plan (Medicare) or in accordance with an individual’s accepted entitlements through DVA (White or Gold Card). All of our services are bulk-billed. There are no out of pocket expenses for anyone accessing our mental health services.

To access services, or to make an enquiry, please email us on psychology@soldieron.org.au or phone one of our Psychologists on 02-6188-6143/4 in Canberra or 02-6188-6150 in Sydney.