Veteran Scholarship Awarded to Support Transition into Civilian Employment

Soldier On participant and Australian veteran, Alexander Hering, has been awarded a First Choice College Scholarship to study a fully-funded Diploma to aid in the transition to civilian employment post-service.

In partnership with Soldier On’s Pathways Program, the First Choice College Veteran Scholarship Program has been established to enable current serving personnel, contemporary veterans or Defence family members to achieve their educational goals and secure meaningful long term employment pathways.

First Choice College Business Development Manager, Sarah Bray, said the College was thrilled to award the Scholarship to Alex, who will be completing a Diploma of Business to advance his career.

“There were many wonderful entries, all with their winning attributes…reading each of the stories re-emphasised why we are a huge supporter of this program. Helping veterans transition into the next stage of their career is something we are honoured to be involved in,” Ms Bray said.

Scholarship recipient, Alexander, dedicated 35 years to the Australian Defence Force before pursuing life outside the military.

“I am very grateful to have been chosen for this opportunity. As I look to starting a business of my own, a Diploma in Business Management will help me enhance the skills I already have through my career in Defence,” Alexander said.

Soldier On CEO, Ivan Slavich, said Soldier On is proud to work with education partners, such as First Choice College, to help enable veterans and their families to secure education opportunities.

“Soldier On works with a number of education providers around the country to deliver accessible learning to our Defence community. This collaboration with First Choice College is helping to enable veterans and their families to secure education opportunities that lead to new pathways into employment,” Mr Slavich said.

“We would like to thank Alexander for his service to our country and wish him all the best in his studies and future career,” Mr Slavich added.

Soldier On Supports Formal Establishment of the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide

Soldier On welcomes the formal establishment of a Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide and acknowledges the firm action taken by the Australian Government in addressing this issue.

Soldier On’s primary consideration during this process lies with ensuring the entire veteran community is equipped with the mental health and wellbeing support that they need to thrive.

On behalf of the interests of the veteran community, Soldier On has made a submission recommending a broad and inclusive Terms of Reference to allow for a full examination of the myriad of issues that contribute to defence and veteran suicide and the actions and strategies necessary to prevent these tragedies.

Soldier On’s submission recommended inquiries into the pre-enrolment factors when joining the Australian Defence Force, support provided by non-government organisations, current process of transitioning post service, as well as factors affecting the entire Defence family.

The Terms of Reference released on 9 July 2021 is reflective of these recommendations.

Soldier On intends to be an active participant in the Royal Commission and has established a working group to achieve this. Soldier On CEO, Ivan Slavich, said the formal establishment of a Royal Commission displays a positive step towards preventing veteran suicide.

“It is our hope that the Royal Commission and National Commissioner will work closely to create an ongoing response to the issue of Defence and veteran suicide, saving lives and improving the wellbeing of those who have served our Nation,” Mr Slavich said.

“Soldier On supports thousands of veterans and their family members and will work closely with them to continue to inform the Royal Commission and National Commissioner of the needs of our veteran community now and into the future,” Mr Slavich added.

Thales Australia Joins Soldier On to Pledge Support of Australian Veterans

National not-for-profit, Soldier On, has welcomed Thales Australia as a Gold Pledge partner.

The Soldier On Pledge partnership provides employment pathways for veterans and their families transitioning from the Australian Defence Force (ADF) into civilian life.

The Pledge allows organisations to thank ADF Personnel for their service and recognise the exemplary skills, leadership and training of those who have served Australia. Organisations that sign the Pledge commit to learning more about the skills and attributes that Defence personnel, veterans, and family members can bring to their organisation.

With a strong connection to the Australian Defence Force, Thales actively supports the veteran community with quality and meaningful employment opportunities for Defence personnel, contemporary veterans and their families throughout the business.  

As the latest company to sign the Soldier On Pledge, Thales joins more than 100 veteran-supportive companies working in partnership with Soldier On to enable veterans and their families to thrive.

Thales Australia CEO, Chris Jenkins, said joining the Pledge would enable Veterans to identify Thales as an attractive and supportive option for their future employment.

“We know there are unique challenges that Veterans can face when embarking on a civilian career. By signing this pledge, we’re signalling to the Veteran community and their families that Thales Australia supports them now and into their future,” Mr Jenkins said.

“We know the value that veterans bring to a workplace and to a team. Their leadership skills, teamwork, resilience, technical knowledge and intimate understanding of the customer environment are just a few of the reasons they are an asset to any organisation,” Mr Jenkins added.

Soldier On CEO, Ivan Slavich said Thales Australia is a welcomed addition to the Soldier On Pledge.  

“Soldier On is thrilled to have Thales Australia join the Pledge. It is terrific to see a veteran supportive organisation and trusted partner of the Australian Defence Force taking further steps to support the veteran community,” Mr Slavich said.

“For every organisation that signs the Pledge, we are one step closer to enabling more veterans and their families to secure their future. The addition of Thales Australia will see a significant increase in the meaningful opportunities available to the veteran community,” Mr Slavich said.

Pratt Foundation Donates $1 Million for Veteran Support Services

The Pratt Foundation has donated $1 million to aid the delivery of Soldier On’s life-changing support services.

Soldier On is Australia’s only national, fully integrated and holistic support services provider, offering assistance to serving Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel, contemporary veterans and their families.

Currently reaching more than one million members of the Defence community, Soldier On offers support services including a range of mental health and wellbeing programs, employment and transition support, education programs, as well as activities focused on connections with family, friends, and the broader community.

The Pratt Foundation’s generous donation will allow Soldier On to expand on the delivery of its life-changing support services, offering a wider range of activities and programs to members of the Defence community across Australia.

Established in 1978 by the late Richard Pratt and his wife Jeanne, the Pratt Foundation supports charitable activities, working to enrich the lives of the community.

The Pratt Foundation Director, Anthony Pratt, said the Foundation is thrilled to support those who have served and sacrificed for our Nation.

“The Pratt Foundation is honoured to donate $1 million to Soldier On Australia in support of Australia’s veterans who represent the best of our country. Soldier On plays a critical role in supporting our veterans in the areas of Health, Employment, Learning and Participation,” Mr Pratt said.

“The Pratt family has been proud to support the organisation’s work for many years through activities such as the annual Pollie Pedal bike ride,” Mr Pratt added.

Soldier On CEO, Ivan Slavich said Soldier On is honoured to receive this generous donation from the Pratt Foundation.

“This donation will go a long way in supporting the growth of Soldier On. Thanks to the generosity of the Pratt Foundation, Solider On will be able to increase the psychological services offered to our veteran community, engage with more veteran supportive employers and educators, and host a wider range of activities across the country to strengthen connections and advance the wellbeing of our community,” Mr Slavich said.

20 Veterans and Family Members Secure Job Interviews following Soldier On Event

More than 20 veterans and defence family members have secured job interviews following Soldier On’s first Pathways Networking Event in Adelaide since COVID-19 restricted prevented the regular gathering.

Hosted by Soldier On Pledge Partner, SACARE, at their Broadview Head Office, the event welcomed 60 Soldier On participants and 10 partner organisations.

Soldier On’s Pathways Networking Event works to connect current and ex-serving Defence personnel and their family members with veteran-supportive employers and advance their careers.

The Adelaide event allowed attendees to not only connect and network with prospective employers, but also find out more about the support services available to them.

Event hosts, SACARE, said the event provided an opportunity for organisations to connect and support the Defence community while growing their team.

Service Dog Anna was keen to network

“You never know who is out there – particularly the Defence partners. There is such a wealth of opportunity and knowing that employing a Defence partner supports a Defence family means a great deal to us,” SACARE said.

Soldier On CEO, Ivan Slavich, said the organisation is thrilled to see the continued success of the Pathways Networking Events across the Country. “Through the Pathways Program, Soldier On not only prepares individuals for their next career steps, but also works closely with veteran-supportive organsiations to assist in understanding the needs of the veteran community, recognising the impact that service has on the whole defence family. Pathways Networking Events allows us to bring these groups together to form meaningful connections and positive outcomes for all,” Mr Slavich added.

“With 20 participants securing interviews from the evening, the Adelaide event clearly demonstrated just how much talent there is within the defence community and cemented the role of Soldier On Pledge Partners as pro-active supporters of current and ex-serving ADF members, as well as their families,” Mr Slavich added.

The event saw attendance from Soldier On Pledge Partners including BAE Systems Australia, SAAB Australia, AMW Professional Services, Northrup Grumman Australia, Agile Mining, Australian Ocean Logistics, AeroPM and 4th Harmonic. Soldier On Education Partner Hessel group and representatives from the wider ex-service organisation community were also in attendance including Defence Health, Kookaburra kids and Open Arms.