Chester Media Release – Expanding services for veterans and their families in partnership with Australia Post

A program to improve easy access to general information about mental health services, counselling, rehabilitation, and transition and support services for veterans and their families has been launched in Mount Gambier, South Australia and North Lakes in the Moreton Bay area of Queensland as part pilot the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) is conducting with Australia Post.

download 16Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester said the trial is part of the Turnbull Government’s ongoing commitment to put veterans and their families first.

“This pilot, in partnership with Australia Post, is exploring the opportunity for DVA to further expand its reach to veterans and their families by tapping into the extensive network of Australia Post outlets,” Mr Chester said.

“The pilot provides easy access to general information about mental health services, counselling, rehabilitation, and transition and support services to veterans and their families who may not have had prior contact with DVA.

“This expansion to a further two sites will provide more information about the way this service is accessed by veterans and their families in metropolitan and regional areas and will help us assess the benefits of the service further.”

The pilot supplements DVA’s existing face-to-face service delivery network by leveraging the large Australia-wide footprint of Australia Post, it does not replace any existing DVA program or service.

Information is available via the in-store Australia Post kiosk facilities, as well as the Australia Post concierge service, in-store posters, brochures and videos.

A feedback form is available via the in-store iMac in which DVA is seeking ongoing user feedback to continue improving the service. The pilot will be evaluated before its conclusion at the end of June 2018.

18th April 2018

Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for support and free and confidential counselling. Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 8 8241 4546). VVCS is a service founded by Vietnam veterans.

ALP Media Release – More Support to Help Veterans get Jobs

The Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten and the Shadow Minister of Veterans’ Affairs Amanda Rishworth have today announced that a Shorten Labor Government will commit $121 million to a comprehensive Veterans Employment Policy to provide greater support to our defence personnel as they transition to civilian life.

 

 

 

Labor’s plan will help our veterans into good jobs by doing more to boost recognition of their significant skills and experiences, and better support veterans moving into the civilian workforce.

Best estimates cite veterans’ unemployment as sitting at 30 per cent. For those who did not medically discharge, there is an estimated 11.2 per cent unemployment rate – which is more than double the national rate. This is unacceptable.

Helping business to train veterans

A Shorten Labor Government will provide eligible business with a training grant of up to $5,000 in order to help veterans gain the skills and experience they need to move into a civilian job.

Whilst businesses are open to employing veterans, there can be specific short term skills gaps which act as a barrier to employment for an otherwise suitable veteran applicant. This grant is designed to bridge this gap.

In addition, Labor will fund an education campaign on the many benefits and translatable skills of veterans, to be developed by the Industry Advisory Committee

A new veterans’ employment service

A Shorten Labor Government will establish an employment and transition service which provides greater individualised, tailored support to transitioning veterans over a longer period of time.

Labor will establish a Defence Employment and Transition Service. This will be teamed with additional Transition Advisers, who understand both the unique skills and experience of our ADF personnel and how to best translate these skills for civilian employers.

Labor will ensure Advisers are trained and equipped to provide one-on-one support and advice to transitioning ADF personnel to give them greater opportunities, tailored assistance and effective support for longer. This expanded role will also undertake a comprehensive audit of the skills obtained by veterans during their service and ensure appropriate civilian recognition is obtained. Transition Advisers will also assess other barriers to successful transition such as secure housing and good social support.

Labor will extend access to this support for up to five years, following a period of intensive support during the first 12 months.

Expanded access to additional education and civilian training.

Labor will enable better access to additional education and civilian training for transitioning ADF members by reducing the length of service required to access the Career Training Assistance Scheme and increase funding for members, starting from $5,000 and increasing to $7,500 depending on the years served.

Labor will review access to training assistance to ensure that those with a higher risk following their time in the ADF can receive greater support.

Translating the experience of veterans

A Shorten Labor Government will work:
– to ensure that veterans receive recognition of prior skills and experience within civilian professional organisations and institutions;

– with States and Territories to expand the Queensland initiative of translating service personnel’s rank and length of service to a tertiary entrance score;

– with peak professional bodies to identify any current ADF training which meets professional civilian standards and work to ensure these are recognised outside of the ADF; and

– with Defence to establish a temporary security clearance for veterans to utilise as they apply for civilian work, providing a greater incentive to prospective employers.

When our men and women undertake to serve their country, we make a commitment to them and their family to support them after their time in the ADF. That is why Labor believes this is the first step to ensure those working in the defence force can move into meaningful employment, which is a key element of successful transition from the ADF to civilian life.

The Veterans Employment Policy will be funded through existing Defence resources.

Further information on Labor’s policy can be found here.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Online Program Gives Veterans Tools To Thrive

Veterans struggling with transition and mental health issues will be able to access online peer-to-peer support through a new pilot partnership from RSL Queensland and Survive to Thrive Nation.

The pilot will enable veterans to access the Post War: Survive to Thrive personal development coaching program.

RSL Queensland General Manager Scott Denner said Survive to Thrive provided a valuable forum for veterans to build resilience and regain control of their lives.

“A significant difference with the Survive to Thrive program is that it has been developed by a veteran to address the issues he was facing in his own life,” Mr Denner said.

“There is sometimes a perception among veterans that civilian health professionals cannot understand what they are going through, but they can recognise the military mindset that underlies the Survive to Thrive program.

“As well as providing personal development coaching, Survive to Thrive allows veterans to connect with others who have been through similar experiences and come out the other side.”

“It is also a great option for veterans who are living in rural or remote areas, who may have limited access to face-to-face support programs,” Mr Denner said.

He said an independent evaluation by the Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation (GMRF) indicated that veterans experienced positive outcomes after participating in the program, particularly if combined with clinical therapies.

Survive to Thrive founder and former infantry soldier Dane Christison said he had developed the program after suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) himself.

“I began clinical treatment, but I found the courses and programs were tailored for civilians; they didn’t answer the questions I had,” Mr Christison said.

“It wasn’t until I stopped blaming everyone else and took back the power for my own recovery that I began to see how I could move forward.

“Survive to Thrive teaches participants to accept their situation but not tolerate it. We give them the training structure and tools to allow them to take control of their own recovery and boost their wellbeing, confidence and self-esteem.”

Former Army bomb disposal technician Corey Stamp said Survive to Thrive had made a big difference in his life since he discharged two years ago.

“It was what I needed when I got out,” Mr Stamp said.

“I had a breakdown after my first tour of Afghanistan in 2010 but I wanted to go back so I just suppressed everything I was feeling.

“To a certain extent, Defence provides a safety blanket – losing that, combined with losing the routine and all my mates was a real shock to the system.

“Survive to Thrive gave me back the structure that I was missing from Defence, as well as giving me the strength to take ownership of what I was going through and to stop playing the victim,” he said.

Mr Denner said through the pilot program, RSL would provide licences to eligible veterans who might not otherwise be able to afford the program.

“Veterans will get ongoing 24/7 access to the Survive to Thrive portal, including eight coaching modules and an online support group where participants encourage, inspire and motivate each other.”

————————

Veterans interested in the program should contact [email protected]ion.com or visit www.survivetothrivenation.com/contact-us

WITHYOUWITHME – A Veteran Owned Employment Support Organisation

WithYouWithMe is a veteran owned tech start up that solves the problem of effectively transitioning personnel from the ADF to the Australian private sector.

download 62

It is partnering with Australian businesses to  educate the Australian working force on the true value of veterans in the work place.

It has a variety of business ready to hire Veterans across construction, sales, project management, operations, logistics, cyber and others.

The program is free for all veterans and will provide free training, preparation and placement into a position.

READ MORE

TRANSITION – Raw Four Corners episode shines light on post-retirement struggles

This confronting Four Corners episode on the transition issues suffered by elite athletes after retirement, which include but are not limited to depression, worthlessness, injuries, reliance on prescription medicine and the battle to find work, is similar to the re-entry problems faced by many military persons returning to civilian life.

READ MORE

Sports psychologist Dr Clive Jones believes athletes need to prepare for retirement as soon as they begin their careers.

“When an athlete’s sense of value, significance and belonging are enmeshed to their sporting commitments and achievements, then their sense of self will be threatened incredibly upon retirement,” he told The New Daily.

“They are at risk of losing any sense of value and worth as a person and ultimately may start to feel they do not have a place in society anymore because who they are and what they offered us as a society is now finished, gone.”