They spend years in training, experience some of the most stressful decision-making conditions on the planet and understand both team work and self-sufficiency in ways that are never similarly tested in civilian life, but once they leave the forces, Australian Defence Force personnel can find it hard to get a job and settle back into everyday life.
The StoryRight program offers one-day communication and presentation workshops, networking opportunities and mentoring by younger veterans who have, themselves, transitioned successfully back to 'civvy street'.
Founded in South Australia earlier this year, the not-for-profit program is led by an experienced team drawn from industry, academia and the younger veterans’ community. The program operates under the auspices of the Catalyst Foundation. StoryRight's other industry partners include the Defence Teaming Centre, RSL Care, Veterans SA and the Jamie Larcombe Centre Partnerships Hub.
Offered in partnership with UniSA’s School of Creative Industries the program includes a one-day workshop where participants learn how to 'translate' their military skills and experience into language that civilian employers will understand.
StoryRight’s second workshop of the year takes place at UniSA City West on Thursday, 6 September.
UniSA head of school, Professor Jason Bainbridge, said the program partnership builds on the University’s wide engagement with the defence sector.
"In this workshop we are focused on the vital aspects of communication that will help people to build a professional profile and network to make the bridge to employment," he said.
Participants learn how to construct a targeted personal statement and professional biography that can be used for their LinkedIn profile and delivered verbally at job interviews, in personal presentations or in media interviews.
"Our mission is to empower serving and ex-serving defence members, one story at a time. Several graduates from our first course have now secured jobs or study opportunities and demand for our workshops is growing nationally," chair of StoryRight Australia Dr Sharon Mascall-Dare said.
A workshop will be held in Darwin at the end of October and there are plans to expand the program nationally with additional partners in Queensland, Northern Territory and Victoria in 2019.
StoryRight’s final workshop of the year will be held in Adelaide on Monday, 5 November, hosted by UniSA.