National Fundraising Ball 2018


On Saturday 15 September 2018, Soldier On hosted its fifth National Fundraising Ball at the National Arboretum in Canberra and what a spectacular evening it was! Nearly 450 guests joined us on the night and helped us to raise an impressive $208,000!

The evening was opened by the Military Wives’ Choir – Canberra, who were later joined by our host, Australian actor, singer and performer, Joel Jackson to perform a stunning rendition of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘The Chain’. Joel continued to entertain guests throughout the night, not only as the MC but provided engaging musical performances, including a touching performance of Hunters and Collectors ‘Throw Your Arms Around Me’ which saw many in the room take to the dancefloor.

Soldier On Chairman Lieutenant General Peter Leahy, AC (Ret’d), Vice Chief of the Defence Force Vice Admiral David Johnston, AO, RAN and CEO John Bale addressed the room. John took the opportunity to introduce Deputy CEO Mat Jones as the soon to be CEO of Soldier On. Mat shared a touching, personal story of why he has chosen to leave lucrative roles within Defence industry and to take on the vital position of CEO of Soldier On, paying tribute to a close friend.

The keynote speech was delivered by Commander Grant Edwards, APM who spoke of the struggles he has faced during his AFP career and how more is needed for those in uniform. It was a raw, and at times confronting, presentation of the adversities so many face everyday on the job and Grant was met with a standing ovation and ongoing thanks for sharing so openly to all in attendance.

Live auctions commenced, and a bidding war kicked off! Not long after, formalities were concluded with a closing address by the event lead, National Communications Director Melissa Russell. It was then time to really let the hair down, with the RMC Band hitting the stage. Our MC even took a spot on the dancefloor when the RMC band rocked the venue later in the evening.

Thank you to all who joined us on the night and of course to those who kindly donated auction and raffle items or provided support to the event. We look forward to doing it all again next year!














Soldier On and BAE Systems Australia partnership to secure the futures of those who have served

Soldier On and BAE Systems Australia today announced an enhanced partnership to support the health, employment and rehabilitation of Australia’s returned service personnel and their families.

Having partnered with Soldier On since 2015, BAE Systems Australia has today committed a donation of $250,000. This donation enables an expansion of Soldier On’s health and wellbeing, education, employment and social programs and will complement BAE Systems’ employee fundraising and volunteering program.

These programs are vitally important to the service community, with one in four ex-service men and women experiencing a mental health issue each year.

Soldier On’s programs focus on the prevention and treatment of these issues by providing physical and mental health rehabilitation, education, employment and career transition support, as well as creating meaningful connections and a sense of belonging.

Incoming Soldier On CEO Matt Jones said: “On average there are more than 5000 individuals leaving the Australian Defence Force and National Security Agencies each year. While not everyone needs or wants help, it’s important that they know it is not only available to them, but their family as well.”

“Soldier On is so grateful for the support of BAE Systems Australia. This major donation and our ongoing partnership, will not only allow us to support more service personnel and their families across the country, it sends the message that large organisations like BAE, care about those who have served our nation.”

BAE Systems Australia Chief Executive Gabby Costigan said: “We are grateful for the courage and sacrifice of the men and women who have served our country, and we’re proud to support the important work that Soldier On is doing to support them after their service.

“Our workforce is a passionate supporter of Soldier On and this partnership will facilitate meaningful support through a range of fundraising and volunteering opportunities.

“Together, BAE Systems Australia and Soldier On are creating and supporting a legacy for Australia’s service community and their families.”