Soldier On’s Veteran and Family Support Program
At Soldier On, we continue to adapt to meet the needs of veterans and families. This means providing services for the entire family, in areas that truly support connection with the greater community, whether participants are still serving or have separated from service.
In order to do so, Soldier On is focused on three key areas: Social Connectedness, Employment and Education, and Psychological Support. Whether our participants need to access services in one or all of these areas, our staff are here to help veterans and their families connect with others and to build successful futures.
Veterans and their families are welcome at any of our centres across the country and can engage with staff on the ground to find out more about our services. We can also provide many of our services remotely, via phone and online resources.
In the twelve months since we have been operating as a professional service delivery organisation for veterans and their families we have:
- Delivered 250% more counselling services for veterans and their families (from 300 sessions in 2015/2016 to over 850 in 2016/2017)
- Been contacted by over 500 veterans or their family members about potential employment opportunities with 74% of applicants securing a job
- Expanded our service delivery footprint with Reintegration Centres in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth and offices in Albury, Adelaide, Currumbin and Newcastle.
When you contact or drop in to one of our centres, you will be met by one of our friendly Veteran and Family Support Officers or Corporate Support Officers. They can talk you through all the services that are available at each centre. Together you can decide how you would like to engage with the Soldier On community and what support you would like to access.
Social Connection Services
One of the key aims at Soldier On is to provide veterans and their families with the opportunity to connect with others who understand the nature of service. Many of the regular activities across the country include:
Coffee Catch Ups – A great way to meet your local Soldier On team, our amazing volunteers, veterans and their families. Coffee catch ups are held on a regular basis at our centres, at regional cafes and through the support of other organisations. Your state based Soldier On team will be able to let you know where your closest coffee catch up is being held.
Classes – Many of our centres hold regular classes including art, writing and music. We encourage participants at all levels of experience to get involved. For many, this is a fantastic way to express themselves in creative ways and enables interactions with others.
Physical Activities – Looking after your body is important and many of our centres offer regular physical activities such as yoga, sailing, cycling and golf.
Sports Recovery Programs – Soldier On’s sports recovery program focuses on developing partnerships and implementing pilot programs with several of Australia’s national sporting organisations, corporate supporters and international partners. Programs run throughout the year for sports such as surfing, rowing, golf, cycling and tennis.
Employment and Education Support
Many of our Veteran and Family Support Officers specialise in employment, education and vocational support. Our services are aimed at complimenting those that are available through Defence and DVA and offer lifelong support for ex-servicemen and women as well as their families. Our staff can help to identify pathways into employment, translate skills, further develop resumes, navigate the job market and support individuals through the application process.
Through our support to the Prime Minister’s Veterans’ Employment Initiative, we are engaged directly with industry and developing flexible recruiting models and programs, such as internships, work placements and training for employment models.
For those who may not be ready to return to paid employment, we are developing volunteer programs that enable you to remain engaged, learn new skills and support ongoing recovery.
Most importantly, Soldier On will continue to provide all of this support regardless of how long you have been out of service.
Along with dedicated staff to support your transition into a civilian lifestyle and assist with your physical and psychological recovery, Soldier On employs psychologists throughout our centres.
Psychological support can be a vital component of recovery, and for the support of the individuals family. Professional advice and sessions with a psychologist have been demonstrated to assist in coping with the effects of service including those related to psychological or physical injuries, and adjustment during periods of transition.
With specific experience in supporting those who have served, our psychologists provide sessions free of charge for veterans and their families. Services can be provided to individuals (both adult and adolescents), couples and families.
Funding and Governance
Soldier On does not currently receive any government funding and relies on community, corporate and philanthropic donors to deliver our services at no cost to veterans and their families. Funds are allocated across the organisation and nation according to identified need to ensure equity, access and sustainability. The majority of our paid staff are delivering services and programs directly to veterans and families, while 100% of our staff are directly involved with the veteran community through our various activities and events across the country.
As a growing organisation, we partner with like-minded organisations wherever possible to deliver services to veterans and their families in a timely, efficient and effective manner.
The Australian Charities and Not for Profit Commission (ACNC), has endorsed Soldier On, demonstrating that the organisation has and continues to meet ACNC governance standards and is a transparent organisation.
Soldier On is governed by an Independent Board of Directors who receive no remuneration or expenses from the organisation. Soldier On Chairman, former Chief of Army LTGEN Peter Leahy AC (Ret’d) and seven other independent Directors ensure the organisation is always operating in the best interests of veterans and their families. The Board determines how resources are allocated within the organisation, including the funding of services, programs and staff salaries.
If you would like to know more about Soldier On, or the activities and services available in your area, please contact Soldier On HQ or your state centre.
Phone: 1300 620 380
WA and NT: firstname.lastname@example.org