The death of a friend in a bomb blast in Afghanistan was a watershed moment for Australian John Bale, his wife Dr Danielle Clout and colleague Cavin Wilson. The tragedy highlighted the lack of support for service personnel injured physically and psychologically in the line of duty and the families left behind.
In 2012, the three Australians made a commitment to do something about it, and Soldier On was born.
Soldier On has grown into Australia’s only national, fully integrated support services provider for members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and their families. Through the delivery of holistic services, Soldier On provides support to those who have served and continue to serve in the ADF.
As a national charity, we support more than 5,000 veterans and their family members through our Health and Wellbeing services, Employment Support, Learning and Education Programs, as well as Participation and Social Connection activities. Our services help individuals build resilience and create meaningful connections with family, community and employers. These programs are made possible through the generous support of the Australian community and our Corporate Partners.
Soldier On is a leader in supporting those who have served and continue to serve in the Australian Defence Force. With an exemplary track record of providing practical and emotional assistance critical to building successful post-service lives, Soldier On is now also recognised as an essential first port of call for veterans and their families as they transition from the Defence Force to civilian life.
The transition from military to civilian life presents significant challenges including loss of identity, purpose and belonging for many veterans and their families; as well as social isolation; a higher risk of developing anxiety disorders or PTSD; a higher risk of some cancers, and a suicide risk of up to 2.2 times higher than the same Australian group of a given age.
On the 10th October 2017, Soldier On extended our support services to include all service personnel from national security agencies who have served, and continue to serve, side by side with the ADF. This also included individuals and their families from the Australian Federal Police, Australian Border Force, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and other security agencies. In 2019, John Bale co-founded Fortem Australia; a service that now delivers these services for first responder families to proactively look after their wellbeing and mental fitness.
Soldier On aims to help enable veterans and their families to thrive by providing a connected and holistic model of support in their transition journey.
Soldier On offers a full range of support services across health and wellbeing and social participation, including psychological support for better mental health, education and employment, as well as facilitation of social connections through sports and community networks, and advice on staying fit and healthy.
Soldier On is committed to working side-by-side with veterans and their families to help secure their futures and enable them to thrive in every area of civilian life. But we need your help. Soldier On relies on external funding to enable us to continue to deliver and grow these programs.