SHINE for Kids Young Offenders Mentoring Program

  • Veterans wanted to volunteer for Young Offenders Mentoring Program in Western Sydney and NSW Mid North Coast
  • Support and mentor a young person (aged 10 – 21) who is transitioning from a Juvenile Justice Centre into the community
  • On-going training, support and supervision will be provided by SHINE for Kids

Soldier On and SHINE for Kids have combined forces in a new youth mentoring program.

Soldier On will recruit veterans as volunteer mentors for a mentoring program which aims to support young people transitioning from a Juvenile Justice Centre into the community.  The program is managed and run by SHINE for Kids and funded by the NSW Department of Justice.

This is available for veterans aged 24 years or older and located in Western Sydney and the Mid North Coast of NSW.

SHINE for Kids

SHINE for Kids supports children, young people and families who have relatives in the criminal justice system, working to address the barriers and challenges faced by those with a family member in custody. Their ‘Stand As One’ program provides mentoring aimed at young people who are moving from the Juvenile Justice System back into the community.

After leaving custody, many young people may be at risk of re-offending, but evidence suggests that this is dependent on the degree of support an individual receives upon leaving a Juvenile Justice Centre. This mentoring program works towards reducing recidivism for young offenders, promotes better life choices to enable an individual’s potential.

Mentor

As a mentor in this program, you will begin your relationship with a mentee at least three months prior to their release date with contact on a fortnightly basis. Once released, you will provide one on one support to the young person for 12 months, participating in social outings and other activities that have been designed to meet the needs and interests of the individual. As a positive and committed role model, you will give a young person the opportunity they need to break the cycle of incarceration.

All volunteers must attend an assessment interview and undergo checks and training before being matched with a young person. Mentors will receive ongoing support and supervision from SHINE for Kids.

Applicants will be required to undergo a background check, including a Criminal Record Check and Working with Children Check.

If you are interested in this opportunity, download the form here. 

Please send your completed form to nsw@soldieron.org.au, or

Soldier On

Attention: Shine for Kids Mentoring Program

PO Box 537

Concord NSW 2137

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Soldier On Calls on Pubs and Clubs to Support Veterans This Anzac Day

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This Anzac Day, Soldier On is asking pubs and clubs across Australia to support our modern-day veterans by placing donation tins on your bar counters and service areas.

Why get behind this campaign?

Since 1990, over 290,000 men and women have served our country in the Australian Defence Force. From wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to peacekeeping missions in East Timor and Rwanda, our national heroes have undertaken extraordinary tasks in defence of our nation.

But this service to our country can take a toll and some veterans struggle to readjust to a normal life. That’s where Soldier On comes in.

Who is Soldier On?

Soldier On is a national not-for-profit focused on providing veterans and their families with mental health support, employment and education support and reintegration support. These vital support services help veterans and their families overcome any impacts from their service and build successful futures.

By placing Soldier On donation tins around your establishment this Anzac Day, you will be directly supporting our younger generation of veterans. The money raised will allow us to provide more services to more veterans and families around Australia.

Soldier On is regularly profiled in the Australian media and has many high-profile ambassadors, including comedian Hamish Blake and Sunrise co-host Samantha Armytage, as well as former Prime Ministers The Hon. John Howard OC, AM, The Hon. Kevin Rudd, The Hon. Julia Gillard and The Hon. Tony Abbott MP.

How do I get involved?

Supporting our veterans and families this Anzac Day is simple and easy.

1. Email us your interest in taking part – fundraise@soldieron.org.au

2. We will then send donation tins to you.

3. On Anzac Day (or throughout April) pop the supplied Soldier On donation tins on your counters.

4. After the day is done and dusted, deposit the collected funds into our bank account using the provided bank deposit slip.

Have any questions or want to know more about Soldier On? Visit our website www.soldieron.org.au, email our fundraising team at fundraise@soldieron.org.au or pick up the phone and call us on (02) 6188 6112.

Statement from Soldier On

Last year was a difficult year for the veteran community. It was estimated more than 70 veterans took their own life, with many more veterans’ lives impacted by mental health issues, family relationship breakdowns, violence, alcohol and substance abuse, incarceration and homelessness.

In 2016, these issues gained increased media coverage and Australia gained a better understanding of what our veterans have experienced and the challenges they face in the years after service.

As a country, we started to appreciate why after undertaking one of the most demanding, admirable and courageous jobs – defending our country – our veterans and their families need support readjusting to normal life. There is still much for us to understand, but these are important steps forward.

Just as important were the steps taken to better recognise our veterans’ remarkable skillsets, experiences and personal attributes.

It is our duty as a country – and it should be our honour – to provide our veterans and their families with the right support and opportunities once they leave the Defence Force. This ensures they can overcome any mental impacts from their service, readjust to a normal life and continue to be incredible leaders in our community.

Last year Soldier On developed and launched a world-class Veteran and Family Support Program, and with industry partnerships, we are changing the lives of veterans and families around Australia. But unfortunately, without government funding, there are only so many veterans and families we can support.

We constantly receive calls for support from regional Australia. Locals asking us why we aren’t in places like Darwin, northern Queensland, country New South Wales and many other locations.

They can see the difference our services are making and they desperately want their local veterans to benefit too.

Soldier On wants to let you know, we have heard your calls and we have taken action.

Last Thursday, Soldier On presented the Australian government with our 2017/18 Federal Budget Submission for consideration.

In our budget submission, we outlined the need for an effective response to the current issues veterans face by establishing community based regional services, expanding psychology services to meet the needs of families, and improved collaboration and coordination across the sector.

We proposed the government invest in:

  • An expansion of Soldier On’s services to six regional locations and, in doing so, positively impact at least 48,200 veterans;
  • Psychological services to partners and children and those delivered through virtual infrastructure; and
  • An independent peak advocacy body for the veterans’ support services sector.

As Soldier On approaches our fifth anniversary, our mission remains to achieve the best reintegrated generation of veterans in Australia’s history. We are not there yet. But we are working hard to achieve it, and last week’s budget submission will hopefully take us one step closer.

Let 2017 be the year of action and change for our national heroes and their families.

Veterans and Depression

Whilst there is growing recognition that trauma can result in difficulties such as PTSD, there tends to be less focus on depression, which is actually the highest reported mental health problem in Australian military populations. Depression in the military and veterans often co-occurs with PTSD. It is also commonly seen in people dealing with life-changing injuries and chronic pain.

Depression is a common response to trauma and loss. The more trauma someone experiences, the higher the risk of experiencing depression. We know that for a variety of reasons it takes most people many years to access help, if at all. The longer one waits the more entrenched these difficulties can become.

Signs you may be experiencing low mood/depression

There are a lot of misconceptions about depression, but here are some common signs that could indicate it may be a problem:

  • Low self-esteem or self-worth, including negative thoughts or feelings about oneself
  • Disrupted sleep including sleeping too much or too little (insomnia)
  • Changes in appetite or weight
  • Difficulties managing feelings, such as anger or anxiety
  • Poor concentration and memory
  • Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • Reduced or absent sex drive
  • Finding it difficult to motivate yourself to do things which now seem to be too much effort or meaningless
  • Reduced pain tolerance
  • Low energy levels

What can you do if you or someone you know is experiencing low mood or depression?

If you have been experiencing some or many of the above, it is a good idea to let someone know such as a trusted family member or friend. You should also seek professional help, which you can do with your doctor or one of Soldier On’s psychologists.

Depression by its nature can make it feel like things will not get better but we know there are a range of different strategies that help, including evidence-bases psychological therapies such as CBT and Interpersonal Therapy. Practical strategies to facilitate recovery include having a regular schedule, engaging in pleasurable activities and exercise.

If you are experiencing thoughts of harming yourself and/or others

At times, people may feel so low and unable to see a way forward that they experience thoughts of suicide. These sometimes occur with thoughts of harming others. Soldier On’s psychologists work with clients struggling with these types of thoughts to keep the clients and those around them safe. This involves managing the immediate risk, safety planning and providing evidence-based psychological therapies to help clients to not act on and move past these difficult thoughts and feelings.

It is only when there is a serious risk of harm to self or others that psychologists are ethically bound to breach confidentiality and contact crisis mental health services for additional support. Our psychologists actively involve clients in this process, and encourage them to also involve their family, friends and support networks in risk management, where appropriate. At these times, our psychologists will also look to inform all those involved in their client’s care to ensure they receive ongoing support. This way of working fits with the Mental Health Act principal of managing mental health crises in the least restrictive environment to ensure safe and effective care.

If you are experiencing thoughts of harming yourself and/or others, we want to let you know that there is help available.



|| Soldier On psychologists are available in Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, Currumbin and Perth (from late January). Our psychology services are free of charge to veterans and their family members. Please email psychology@soldieron.org.au to book a session or to find out more information. There are also several other support services available to you, including VVCS (1800 011 046), Lifeline (13 11 14), beyondblue (1300 22 4636), other veteran organisations, and your GP.

Soldier On also offers Employment Support Services and Social Connected activities to help veterans and their families forge new career paths after leaving the military and encourage them to reconnect with themselves, their loved ones and the community. ||

Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race 2017

Are you a veteran or the family member of a veteran who would love to take part in this year’s Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race?

Soldier On is fortunate enough to have been given 5 riding places for the Swisse People’s Ride at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race 2017. This ride is at 7am on Saturday, 28th January 2017 and is 111kms in length.

All you need to do is get to and from Geelong for the ride and be the holder of a Cycling Australia license. Entry to the event is covered and a riding jersey (which you must wear on the day) is included.

If you are interested please contact info@soldieron.org.au ASAP.

Please note that Soldier On will not have staff present at the ride this year.

#CadelRoadRace

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