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Soldier On marks 10 years of support and reflects on the veteran experience

three people wearing Soldier On branded t-shirts facing away from the camera

National veteran support charity, Soldier On, has celebrated 10 years of service.

From humble beginnings in 2012, the organisation has grown and developed over the past decade to provide comprehensive holistic support to the Australian veteran community.

In its first year, Soldier On assisted a total of 200 veterans, operating across three states. Now 10 years on, Soldier On supports more than 8,000 veterans and family members, delivering a wide range of programs and services in every state and territory.

Over the past decade, Soldier On has seen significant growth, expanding its operations to become the only truly national ex-service organisation in Australia, reaching more veterans and their families and offering a greater span of services across the country.

In 2021 alone, Soldier On’s Health and wellbeing program saw more than 3,000 appointments carried out. In this same period, the Pathways program placed 275 veterans and family members into jobs and offered more than 5,000 individual instances of employment and education support. More than 1,000 new participants joined the social connections program, and more than 6,000 veterans and family members participated in activities throughout the year.

Soldier On’s growth is not just a testament to the incredibly dedicated team, but also to our wide network of supporters. From our supporters, collaborators, volunteers and Ambassadors, Soldier On would not be able to achieve these outcomes without the support of the community.

Soldier On Chairman, LTGEN Peter Leahy, AC (Ret’d), said the veteran community has come a long way over this time but increased support is still needed today.

“10 years ago, we were faced with quite a grim outlook for many of our veterans and defence families. There was a distinct lack of support, connection and resources across the board creating a sense of isolation and anguish for many. Over the past 10 years, Soldier On has worked closely with other ex-service organisations, government bodies, corporate entities and the wider public to secure stronger futures for our veterans and their families,” Mr Leahy said.

“We are seeing veterans reconnecting with their mates, families and themselves, exploring advanced training and education opportunities to diversify and expand their incredible skillsets, connecting with veteran supportive employers to secure meaningful long-term civilian employment, and receiving specialised psychological care to improve their health and wellbeing long after their service experiences,”

“While the Australian community and organisations like Soldier On have achieved a great deal for the betterment of the veteran community over the past decade, the need for support has not dissipated. More action is needed from government bodies and the wider community to ensure that we are looking after those who have served our nation,” Mr Leahy added.

Soldier On will continue to advocate for the interests of the veteran community and pursue active change for the betterment of those we serve.

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Further reading

Soldier On Spring Journal 2023_front cover
Soldier On Spring Journal 2023
Enjoy a copy of Soldier On’s Spring Journal, proudly published by Country Wide Austral.
Profile image of Soldier On Ambassador Jody Hillier
Possibilities of life after ADF
Jody Hillier transitioned from an impressive military career into an equally remarkable civilian one...
Kristy Lewis_Pathways Program Story
Overcoming adversity with the Pathways Program
As a Defence spouse with four children, Kristy Lewis wants nothing more than to ensure her family are...