Improved services to support Australian Defence Force (ADF) members and their families during the transition from military life to civilian life is on the rise, with government and key groups offering initiatives to assist with the process.
As previously reported on Defence Connect WithYouWithMe’s initiative, one that helps veterans transition from military life to civilian life through mentoring programs, is now being embraced by the government, with Minister for Veteran Affairs, Dan Tehan, announcing the roll-out of new support services to ADF members.
Mr Tehan said the new support services would include individual coaching and mentoring with a focus on helping ADF personnel find meaningful post-service employment. Support will be available for 12 months following separation.
"It’s so important we make the transition from military to civilian life as smooth as possible because we know that can reduce stress and give people a launch pad to succeed at the next stage of their lives," Minister Tehan said.
ADF members will also have appropriate documentation available by the time they leave Defence, as promised at the launch of the Prime Minister’s Veterans’ Employment Program in November last year.
Defence transition offices at Townsville, Holsworthy and Adelaide will pilot the new services and operating model before the remaining transition offices across Australia come online throughout 2017.
"The improvements to the transition process will focus on coaching and mentoring and will allow Defence to better identify those who may need additional support and to refer them to available services," said Minister Tehan.
"Defence transition offices will implement the improved transition services and help members and their families during the transition from the Australian Defence Force."
Defence currently provides transition services to approximately 5,500 separating ADF members each year through 13 transition offices located across Australia.
Speaking to Defence Connect, co-founder and managing director of WithYouWithMe Tom Moore said they welcome the government’s announcement and efforts to support veterans in transition.
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"We welcome today's announcement from the government. Any resources which are being directed to helping veterans transition is a good thing.
"We've seen from WithYouWithMe's program that mentors are highly effective at helping veterans taking the next step. It's important though that veterans are also being supported in selecting specific career paths which give them purpose, and also developing them for roles in the civilian sector.
"We already have hundreds of veterans on our program and it's great to hear that even more will be supported."