ACNC Tick of Charity Registration

The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) Tick of Charity Registration is designed to reassure the public that a charity is accountable and transparent.

The ACNC regulates the charity sector in Australia by collecting information and publishing the annual information statements and financial reports of registered charities, as well as provding education, guidence and advice to ensure charities are meeting and complying with obligations.

Soldier On is proud that we have received our Registered Charity tick from the ACNC. Find out more about our status as a Registered Charity here.

Soldier On ACNC Tick

Look out for each other this Christmas

The holiday season is traditionally a time of joy, family gatherings and parties. But for some veterans, the Christmas period can be marked by increased stress, isolation and loneliness; even if they are surrounded by the comfort of their loved ones.

For those veterans who have lost mates while deployed overseas, in training exercises or in other tragic circumstances, Christmas can serve as a reminder of those who are sadly no longer with us. Veterans may be saddened thinking of their mate’s family and friends and the loss they continue to experience, particularly on Christmas Day.

The stress of large gatherings, crowded shopping centres, family pressures and the expectation imposed by Christmas marketing to be joyful this time of year can also prove very difficult for many.

Veterans may not speak up about how they are feeling. Not wanting to disappoint their families, or feeling worried about ruining the occasion, they may hide their increased stress, anxiety, isolation and loneliness from their family and friends.

As many in our Soldier On community are veterans and family members or friends of veterans, we are asking you to look out for each other this Christmas. Check in on a mate who has served or ask your loved one how they are feeling.

If you are feeling overwhelmed by Christmas, please seek assistance. There are many sources of support including our Soldier On psychologists, who will be available to provide assistance in the lead up to Christmas and who are contactable via psychology@soldieron.org.au or through our Reintegration and Recovery Centres.

If you do not live near a Soldier On centre, we encourage you to see your GP. If you need support outside of business hours and over the holiday period, please contact VVCS 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 1800 011 046.

It is ok to put your hand up and say when you need a hand. Soldier On, other veteran support organisations and your friends and family are here to help.

From the entire psychology team at Soldier On, best wishes for the festive season. Look after yourselves and your loved ones.

To help us provide vital support services to veterans and their families, donate here – https://donation.giveeasy.org/soldier-on

Pollie Pedal 2017 – Albury to Sydney

Soldier On has been chosen as the charity partner for the Pollie Pedal cycling event in 2017.

Pollie Pedal was started in 1998 by Tony Abbott and has raised millions of dollars for charity.

We are seeking a small team to participate in this ride. This is a major fundraiser and awareness event for Soldier On. We are looking for riders who can share their story with politicians, the media and corporate Australia as well as a lot of people along the way.

The ride is over 8 days and approximately 1000km.

Soldier On is now accepting expressions of interest from Veterans who would like to be part of the ride. We aim to have selected the squad and have training programs in place by mid-January.

Important information

  • You need to organise your own travel arrangements to Albury and from Sydney.
  • You need to provide your own road bike.
  • You need to commit to an individual fundraising target of $1,000.
  • Meals and accommodation are covered; the only expenses en route are incidentals and bike spares.
  • The support crew includes doctors and a bike mechanic.

For more information or the expression of interest form, please email info@soldieron.org.au

Soldier On calls on government for funding to save veterans’ lives

MEDIA STATEMENT FROM SOLDIER ON


Soldier On calls on government for funding to save veterans’ lives

Yesterday the government released data about veteran suicide. This data tells a tragic story.

When a male is serving full time in the Australian Defence Force, the risk of him taking his own life is 53 percent lower than the national average. But when he leaves the Defence Force, this risk significantly increases to 13 percent higher than the national average.

If he is aged 18 – 24, the risk shockingly increases to almost twice that of the national average, adjusted for age.

This indicates the support network within the armed forces often safeguards our serving members from suicide, despite them enduring traumatic experiences. But when this support network disappears once a veteran leaves the Defence Force, the battle of dealing with his time as a soldier, sailor or airman can take a devastating toll without the comfort of his mates, unit, purpose and sense of identity.

While these statistics do not shock us, they do deeply sadden us; particularly when it is noted that these statistics only consider veteran suicide deaths until 2014.

Research from the Herald Sun earlier this year indicates the rate of veteran suicide has significantly increased since then. We must ask why? We must ask what more can we do?

For years Soldier On has been advocating that our veterans need more support. That’s why we started Soldier On in the first place. These findings reinforce that message.

This is not a new problem. We know previous generations of veterans struggled for the rest of their lives. However, what makes us different as a generation to those before us is we now have a much better understanding of the impacts of service in the defence forces. Yet despite this knowledge, we are still not providing the right support services and opportunities for them.

As a country, we can’t change history but we can stop it from repeating.

We often hear feedback from veterans supported by Soldier On that our services saved their life – a heartening and yet bittersweet expression of thanks.

We have support services and mechanisms for veterans and families that save lives, but we don’t have enough funding to reach veterans right across Australia.

We know our services are desperately needed in the regional Australia. We know this because locals often contact us asking why we don’t have services in those locations.

Currently, the only way we can reach more veterans and families is through the generosity of mums, dads, wives, husbands, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunties – the everyday people of Australia –  as well as corporates, philanthropists, grants and trusts.

In our existence, government funding has contributed to less than one percent of overall funds.

In four-and-a-half short years, Soldier On has achieved remarkable outcomes for veterans and families. But with government funding, we could achieve so much more.

As an organisation comprised of veterans, family members of veterans and passionate staff, we cannot sit by any longer and watch veteran suicide rates climb. We will not ignore that members of the veteran community are struggling.

We are putting the call out to the Australian Government: Provide Soldier On with funding so we can provide vital employment support, mental health support and social connected programs and activities to more veterans and families around Australia.

These support services are saving lives. Let us save more lives.

-ENDS-