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Expanding horizons with Emergency Australia

Emergency Australia, a registered training organisation (RTO), is offering subsidised training through the New South Wales Government Smart and Skilled program until 20th December 2022.

“We have a great opportunity for veterans and their recognised partners to do fully funded training through us, as long as they commence before the 20th of December. This is through NSW Smart and Skilled, funded by the NSW government. They can do their practicals in the new year up until the end of June,” says Founder and Managing Director of Emergency Australia, Sean O’Loughlin.

Sean started his military journey as a Section Commander in the 1st Battalion Royal Australian Regiment in Townsville. He was deployed to East Timor in 2007 on Op Astute, providing peacekeeping operations in Dili and the rural areas during the elections. In 2009, he was deployed to Afghanistan as part of the Operational Mentor Liaison Team, embedded in the Afghan National Army in the Baluchi Valley.

His time in Afghanistan inspired the establishment of Emergency Australia, with hopes to employ like-minded veterans coming from similar backgrounds. Being a registered paramedic and veteran, he understands what opportunities are needed to enable veterans to thrive.

Since its establishment in Bathurst back in 2013, Emergency Australia has trained over 7,000 students, many of whom are veterans. The training organisation began working closely with Soldier On as an Education Partner back in 2019, with Sean having met with Soldier On’s current Interim CEO, Prue Slaughter, in Sydney to discuss the potential that could come from collaboration.

“Emergency Australia and Soldier On have the same core beliefs in our veterans and the constant pursuit of giving back to our veteran community. Our veterans provide enormous value to our communities, and both organisations have the responsibility to ensure our veterans and their families are given every opportunity to succeed in civilian life,” says Sean.

“By combining these skills, experiences and geographic locations, a truly unique and wholistic service is being delivered across the Asia Pacific region, even reaching as far as Vanuatu, providing training to their ambulance service.”

During COVID-19 in 2020, Emergency Australia built its High-Fidelity Training and Simulation Centre in the centre of Brisbane, which Sean says was a “labour of love to prepare people the best we could to replicate real-life situations.”

Soldier On Interim CEO, Prue Slaughter says, “Soldier On’s Educational Partner Programs like Emergency Australia RTO are continually positively impacting the lives of our participants. These programs provide the opportunity to upskill through civilian ready qualifications in enriching, veteran friendly and supportive environments.”

The centre has become the flagship simulation facility in Australia for first responders operating in high-pressure, high-threat environments. Inspiration for this facility came from Sean’s own military experiences and the needs identified in training to truly prepare individuals and teams to perform under pressure.

The 360-degree augmented reality environment is unique in that it provides complete audio-visual immersion for participants in a training simulation. For enhanced resilience training, participants even have the option to wear Astroskins and Hexoskins to assess their vital signs, allowing the trainer to assess the biometric responses of participants, such as their stress response.

Many courses are taught in national parks, showcasing some of the most breathtaking locations Australia has to offer. Being in a remote location and working as a close team provides many benefits, both from a training perspective and on a psychosocial level, for participants.

Soldier On Pathways participant Ben Whiting first got involved with Soldier On to understand better retraining and networking opportunities that were available. He undertook Emergency Australia’s Cert ll in Medical First Response and Remote First Aid, and Operation and Recovery of 4WD Vehicles.

“Most training providers don’t make the experience as realistic and exciting as Emergency Australia. Because there are a lot of other veterans attending the courses, it’s like returning to a family that truly understands you. It was a great opportunity to reconnect and bounce off each other through discussions of our various reintegration experiences into civilian life. NSW Smart and Skilled allows us to undertake the training for free, which is greatly appreciated.”

Enrolments for funding through Smart and Skilled for Emergency Australia programs close on 20th December. Further details on the courses and eligibility can be found here

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