Soldier On Programs Shortlisted in Australian Defence Industry Awards

Soldier On has been shortlisted for the Australian Defence Industry Awards 2021.

The Australian Defence Industry Awards recognises excellence from defence professionals, organisations and businesses across the country and awards them a prestigious accolade for their achievements over the past year.

Soldier On has been recognised as a finalist in the Australian Defence Industry Awards in the categories of Veteran Support Program of the Year, and Training and Mentorship Program of the Year.

Soldier On is Australia’s only national, fully integrated and holistic support services provider, offering assistance to serving Defence personnel, contemporary veterans and their families. Currently reaching more than 5,000 members of the Defence community, Soldier On offers support services including a range of mental health and wellbeing services, employment and transition support and education programs, as well as activities, focused on connections with family, friends, and the broader community.

The Veteran Support Program of the Year award recognises the veteran support program, association or organisation that has most effectively supported ADF veterans transitioning out of service and/or into new career opportunities post-service. Soldier On has previously been awarded Veteran Support Program of the Year in 2019, and again in 2020.

The Training and Mentorship Program of the Year award recognises the defence business that has most effectively capitalised on market opportunities and driven demonstrable growth through developing and delivering the most effective training and mentorship program for new industry participants or those defence professionals transitioning into new roles.

Soldier On CEO, Ivan Slavich, said the organisation is thrilled to be recognised as part of the awards alongside esteemed members of the Defence community.

“Soldier On is incredibly proud of the programs that our team delivers to the veteran community, enabling them to thrive in all areas of their life post-service. The Soldier On team is committed to providing our veteran community with the recourses that will see them utilising their exceptional skills and experiences to excel in civilian life. Recognition as finalists in these categories is a wonderful compliment to the fantastic work of Soldier On’s dedicated and hardworking team members across the country,” Mr Slavich said.

“The sheer number of submissions, plus the ongoing and continued support of our of partners and judges, provides a great level of confidence for Australia’s defence industry and is representative of the depth of talent we have in our sector – I would like to thank all of those who nominated and each entrant for their submissions, and I wish everyone the best of luck on the night,” Defence Connect Director, William Magee, said.

The winners will be announced at a black-tie gala event hosted in Canberra on Tuesday, 7 December.

SOLDIER ON EXTENDS SUPPORT SERVICES TO AFGHAN SECURITY FORCES

Soldier On has expanded the delivery of its support services to include Afghan Security forces and their families, together with those who assisted the Australian Defence Force (ADF) in their development in Afghanistan.

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

Currently reaching more than 6,000 members of the Defence community, Soldier On offers support services including a range of mental health and wellbeing services, employment and transition support and education programs, as well as activities, focused on connections with family, friends, and the broader community.

These services will now be made available to members of the Afghan Security forces and those who have played key roles in the ADF’s responses to this conflict, including those who have supported our troops in Afghanistan such as Interpreters.

Soldier On CEO, Ivan Slavich, said the decision to expand the provision of services reflects the need to assist those who have supported the ADF.

“The developments in Afghanistan pose new and resurfacing difficulties for those who have participated in this conflict and those who still carry the wounds of their service, as well as the families who have been impacted. This is not limited to those who served in the ADF,” Mr Slavich said.

“Many Afghan citizens have acted as key supporters and allies of our Australian forces in Afghanistan. These individuals face many of the challenges that our Australian troops have faced, including mental health difficulties, career uncertainty, and social isolation. As we have done with our Australian troops, we must support our veteran community,” Mr Slavich said.

Solder On Chairman Peter Leahy Addresses Sky News Regarding Returned Afghanistan Veterans

“Many of our veterans who have returned from Afghanistan and Iraq have already suffered psychological damages. We know that there are instances of PTSD, we know that there are instances of suicide is far too high. There are people who are inherently vulnerable to these developments right now. There will also be soldiers, sailors and aviators out there who will be experience shock and confusion over the developments. I get a sense of loss. A sense of loss for might have been in Afghanistan, a sense of loss for those who have been killed, wounded and psychologically damaged. For those who are bothered by what is happening, don’t do anything rash, seek out help from the many resources available to you. Soldier On is here to help.”- Peter Leahy, Soldier On Chairman

Soldier On provides ongoing support, however, we do not deliver crisis support. If you are in a crisis, please contact one of the following organisations:

LIFELINE

13 11 14

24 hours, 7 days a week

BEYOND BLUE

1300 224 636

24 hours, 7 days a week

OPEN ARMS

1800 011 046

24 hours, 7 days a week

EMERGENCY

000

24 hours, 7 days a week

Soldier On Serves Veteran Community Through Challenging Times

Nearly two decades after Australia joined the war in Afghanistan, the Nation’s capital has fallen under Taliban control.   

During this time, Soldier On’s primary consideration lies with the promotion of positive mental health and wellbeing for the veteran community, with the delivery of life-changing support services to those who have participated in this conflict, and those who still carry the wounds of their service, as well as the families who have been impacted.

More than 39,000 Australian military personnel have served in Afghanistan since 2001. Of these, many have suffered physical and psychological injuries, 41 personnel have lost their lives in combat, and many more have taken their own lives as a result of their service.  

Soldier On CEO, Ivan Slavich, said the developments in Afghanistan may present new or resurfacing challenges for our Defence community.

“While our time in Afghanistan has amounted to great loss and sacrifice from our service personnel, as well as their families and the supporters of our forces, the impact on the lives of the Afghan people has been immeasurable. We must remember the tireless work of our brave personnel, the progress that their sacrifices have allowed, and ensure they remain supported,” Mr Slavich said.

“Now more than ever, it is important to encourage those experiencing difficulties to reach out for support. Whether it’s professional support or simply checking in on a mate, staying connected is crucial to our veteran’s health and wellbeing during these times,” Mr Slavich said.

Soldier On offers support to all serving and ex-serving personnel and their family members across the country, as well as online, and encourages the Defence community to reach out for assistance.

During this time, Soldier On’s Psychology team is available to support those who have been triggered by recent activity in Afghanistan or have a family member who may be experiencing difficulties. Soldier On also offers a range of social connection activities and programs to encourage service personnel and their family members to reconnect with themselves, each other and to build links with the wider community.  While the COVID-19 pandemic may prevent many from connecting through face-to-face activities, the Soldier On team has established a variety of online activities to keep participants connected and social.

For more information about support services available around Australia, go to www.soldieron.org.au

Soldier On Tasmania Turns One!

Soldier On Tasmania has recently celebrated one year of operation.  

And what a year it has been!  

Soldier On Tasmania has achieved a tremendous amount in this short time. Thanks to the dedication of the amazing team, as well as the incredible support of the local defence community, Soldier on has been able to provide support to our serving and ex-serving veterans and their families across the state.  

The Soldier On Tasmania team has focused on building stronger relationships with established veteran support networks. Facilitating offices across diverse locations including Launceston RSL, New Town Shopping Centre, Devonport RSL, Kingston Neighbourhood House, West Moonah Community House, Legacy House Hobart and the TPI North Hobart Defence Expo, the Tasmanian team have been able to provide accessible support that is far-reaching across the state.  

In its first year, Soldier On Tasmania has engaged 37 participants, secured 17 jobs for veterans and their family members, helped a participant open a business, secured three traineeships and one apprenticeship. The team has facilitated a successful Defence & Veteran Services show with 18 exhibitors, collaborated with Defence Health to form the Defence Interagency, and built relationships with an astounding 62 organisations providing services and opportunities for the defence community.  

The team has been thrilled to represent Soldier On at a number of key local defence community events over the year, including the unveiling of the Partners of Veterans Association Plaque at Lindisfarne, and the memorial of National Military Working Dogs.  

It is full steam ahead for the Tasmanian team as they enter their second year, with tremendous advancements and new initiatives in the veteran support space. Thank you to all those who have been a part of Soldier On’s first year in Tasmania and stay tuned for everything to come.   

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.

Toyota Finance Australia Commits to Support Australian Veterans

Soldier On welcomes Toyota Finance Australia (TFA) as its newest Gold Pledge partner for 2021.

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

The Pledge allows organisations to thank Australian Defence Force 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.

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

TFA Vice President of Sales Daniel Chessari said, “becoming a Soldier On Pledge Partnerallows TFA to further support communities within Australia by providing employment opportunities to people with diverse skills & backgrounds.”

Soldier On CEO, Ivan Slavich said Soldier On is honoured to welcome TFA as its newest Gold Pledge partner in 2021.  

“Soldier On is thrilled to have Toyota Finance join the Pledge. In signing the Pledge, Toyota Finance commits to understanding the needs of the veteran community, recognizing the impact that service has on the whole defence family, and doing what they can to support them in securing their futures. We look forward to working with Toyota Finance to provide greater opportunities to our serving and ex-serving veterans and their families,” Mr Slavich said.

Soldier On Acknowledges Advanced Veteran Support Practices by World Fuel Services Australia

National not-for-profit, Soldier On, has recognised World Fuel Services Australia as a Platinum Pledge partner today at a ceremony held in Canberra.

World Fuel Services Australia has been working with Solider On’s Pathways Program team over the past year to further develop their veteran supportive practices to enable veterans and their families to secure their future careers.

The Pathways Program provides free employment and education support to serving and ex-serving veterans and their families. As part of the program, the Soldier On Pledge supports organisations in improving their veteran-supportive mechanisms, while connecting jobseekers with veteran-supportive employers and enabling new pathways for veterans and their families transitioning from the Australian Defence Force into civilian life.

Originally signing the Solider On Pledge as a Bronze Pledge Partner in 2020, World Fuel Services Australia has worked with the Soldier On team to advance their status to Platinum in 2021. 

The partnership has recently seen success with two veterans gaining meaningful long-term employment with World Fuel Services Australia.

Soldier On CEO, Ivan Slavich said it has been an honour to work with World Fuel Services Australia to improve their practices and continue their support of our veteran community.

“It is wonderful to see an active supporter of the veteran community stepping up and further enhancing the support they provide. With the award of Platinum Pledge status, Soldier On recognises World Fuel Service Australia’s dedication and commitment to supporting veteran employment and its drive to always strive for more – instilling veteran and family-supportive processes and workplace culture across their organisation,” Mr Slavich said.   

“We hope that more organisations like World Fuel Service Australia will come on board. For every company that signs the Soldier On Pledge, we are one step closer to enabling more veterans and their families to secure their future,” Mr. Slavich added.

The Soldier On Pledge gives organisations a chance to publicly thank Australian Defence Force 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.

World Fuel Service Australia Senior Director and former Australian Regular Army Brigadier, David Wainwright, said the company is committed to supporting veterans and fostering an inclusive environment that ensures that any veteran joining the team is set up for success.

“We know and value the unique skills sets that any veteran brings to the team, and understand their needs, first-hand.  As a company, we pride ourselves as an inclusive team, that both empowers, and invests in our people who have served,” Mr Wainwright said.

Mathew Brummell, a former Australian Regular Army Warrant Officer and latest member of the WFS Australia team, said he was delighted to have been a participant in the Pathways Program and was fortunate to be able to draw upon the tailored support available which enabled his smooth transition to a new career.   

“I personally appreciated the advice and guidance that I was provided. It enabled me to join the World Fuel Services team and work in an environment that genuinely values the skills sets and principles that are important to any veteran,” Mr Brummell.