Inside this edition:
Transition & History
PTSD & Complex Trauma
Jamieson Foley Pty Ltd, Consulting Engineers has been a major sponsor of Soldier On since 2013. We are Forensic Engineers, involved in the investigation of accidents and incidents which almost inevitably result in physical and psychological trauma for those directly and indirectly involved. We see this every day. I have a background with Vietnam veterans and are acutely aware of the effects of being deployed to a theatre of war with no front, or any prospect of a quick military victory. On 10 September 2013 I saw off Liam Haven from Holsworthy Military Base. Liam’s objective was to walk from Holsworthy to the Australian War Memorial in 13 days in order to raise awareness for wounded veterans and to raise money. The reason this firm has committed significant funds to undertake this work is partly because I was a conscript for the Vietnam War (although ultimately I was not required) but I have seen friends return who needed such support as Solider On now gives. Liam was blinded in 2009 by an improvised explosive device planted by a cowardly enemy within Iraq. We all owe a huge debt to these servicemen and servicewomen – more than we can ever repay.
Liam Haven and John Jamieson on arrival in Canberra following the Governor General’s welcome at the Australian War Memorial, September 23, 2013.
Jamieson Foley & Associates | Suite 2201, Level 22 101 Grafton Street Bondi Junction NSW 2022 DX 12008 Bondi Junction | Ph: 02 8095 6433 Fax: 02 9386 1168 | www.jamiesonfoley.com.au
How’s everyone coping with the move? It’s not unusual for defence force families to experience disruptions. When you’re on the move it can be difficult for the kids to uproot themselves and leave their friends behind. A fly in fly out lifestyle can put a lot of stress on your relationships, that’s understandable. You might need a bit of support. Anglicare’s Family and Wellbeing Team specialises in working with defence force families. Together we can develop a strategy to iron out the bumps in the road and keep everyone moving forward in a healthy family environment.
1300 114 397 betterrelationships.com.au
Call the Anglicare Family and Wellbeing Team.
ADF Super is the new superannuation scheme for members of the Australian Defence Force. ADF Super gives you more flexibility in how you manage your super.
Visit us at adfsuper.gov.au
Defence force personnel image courtesy of Department of Defence
Contents Regular Items 5 6 23
Soldier On Update State Updates Book review
Feature Stories 7 8
Study a diploma free of charge
9 10 13 14
Letter of support
Helping veterans build successful futures
Transition and history Giving back & finding peace Post-traumatic stress disorder and complex trauma
17 #22pushupchallenge 18 Soldier On's national fundraising ball 21 Fundraising heroes
SOLDIER ON Spring 2016
Soldier On Get in touch Postal address PO Box 5186 Braddon ACT 2612 Ph: 1300 620 380
About Us Soldier On is a national not-for-profit focused on helping veterans and their families build successful futures. Our mission is to achieve the best reintegrated generation of serving and ex-serving defence personnel in Australia’s history. We believe the best way to achieve this is by offering a range of support, services, resources and opportunities to veterans and their families, including: §§ Mental Health Support Services—Soldier On is focused on providing support to Australian veterans who have been psychologically wounded from their service to our country and we have psychologists available in Sydney and Canberra, and we are currently recruiting for a psychologist in Melbourne and Perth. We offer evidence-based psychological treatment to address a range of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, trauma and stress related issues and pain and injury adjustment concerns. As well as individual counselling for adults and adolescents, we also offer relationship and family counselling. §§ Social Connectedness—We offer a range of wellbeing activities and programs to help veterans reconnect with themselves, their loved ones and the wider community. Some of the social inclusion activities and programs we run include regular coffee catch ups, yoga and art classes, Surf Therapy program, golf days, sailing days and more! §§ Employment and Education Support—Soldier On has partnered with a number of organisations to offer veterans employment, training and education opportunities. In addition to this, Soldier On also offers a range of employment and career services and resources, including career guidance and pathways, transition support and help with preparing your CV or for job interviews. To support Soldier On, please head to our website at SOLDIERON.ORG.AU
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Soldier On Update We are all looking for purpose in life, especially veterans who joined the Defence Force to be a part of something bigger. But when that chosen Defence career can no longer be served, it is critical that a sense of purpose is maintained once you take off your uniform and re-build your life in the civilian world.
hat life will look like once a soldier, sailor or airmen no longer wears the uniform can hold a lot of fear for our Defence personnel. In fact, our research indicates one of the biggest stressors a veteran will ever face is leaving – or even just the thought of leaving – the Defence Force. In the blink of an eye you have lost your career, your mates and your identity. If this is one of the biggest stressors a veteran and their family will ever face, then we feel the need to focus on providing adequate support, services and resources to help guide you through this process. That is why on 1 July, this year, Soldier On pivoted as an organisation to place a greater focus on helping veterans and their families transition from the defence force and reintegrate back into society and build successful futures. In line with this, Soldier On recently developed a suite of services and resources to help veterans and their families transition from the Defence Force and build successful futures. These services and resources include career guidance and pathways, education and training opportunities to up-skill or re-skill, resources to help you prepare your CV or for a job interview, and job placement opportunities. These services are offered in addition to the services we currently offer such as psychology services and social connectedness activities and programs. This holistic framework offered by Soldier On enhances the services currently provided through Defence and Department of Veterans’ Affairs, but does not replace them. We are recruiting psychologists for each of our centres because we recognise that mental health support must advise all of the work that we do. Further to this, we have or are recruiting highly skilled transition support officers in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Canberra and hope to have Transition Officers in all of our centres in the near
future to support the thousands of veterans who transition every year. They will provide the required services, such as career guidance, to help ex-defence personnel find a new career and/or volunteering opportunities that are purposeful, regardless of rank, corps or how they left the service. We are pleased to be working with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on his recently announced Veterans’ Employment Initiative and to develop a national framework that provides more opportunities for veterans and spouses into Australian Industry. Not through obligation, but in recognition of their valuable skills and leadership. That’s the message we want to send to Australia: Just because a defence force member can no longer deploy overseas, doesn’t mean they are no longer a valuable resource and employee to another organisation. These men and women are highly trained and highly capable individuals. We aim to roll out our new transition and employment services around Australia over the next couple of months. Please keep an eye on our website, Facebook page, and Twitter account for more updates. We are extremely excited about this new holistic framework – focusing on mental health support, social connectedness and employment and education support – because we believe it is a significant step forward in providing veterans with the support they need, and deserve, to build successful futures during life after the Defence Force.
John Bale, CEO
Helping our wounded warriors
State Updates O
ver the past few months, Soldier On has been very busy around the country, with many new and exciting changes which will enable us able to reach more veterans and their families to provide a greater range of activities, programs, and support to those who need it most. Soldier On continues to provide a variety of programs and activities for veterans and their families to aid recovery, including coffee catch ups, yoga, writing and music workshops, art classes, family fun days, personal training, employment assistance and psychological support. Other activities include: §§ Family sailing days, which allow veterans and their families to sail with the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club in beautiful Pittwater §§ Art therapy programs, which connect veterans through joy, inspiration, and creativity §§ Learn to Surf weekends, which allows veterans and their families to take a welldeserved break while learning something fun and new §§ Golf days for veterans to play and learn new skills of the game §§ Opportunities to be involved in cycling events, where participants push themselves to the limit. These activities are great for creating connections and providing veterans with a short term purpose and goals to work towards. Reintegration officers also work to connect veterans and their families to other ex-service organisations, and refer them to other services which may assist them, both within Soldier On and to other external organisations. For more information about any of these activities, or to get involved, please contact Soldier On in your state.
NSW – email@example.com ACT – firstname.lastname@example.org VIC – email@example.com SA – firstname.lastname@example.org QLD – email@example.com WA/NT - firstname.lastname@example.org
SOLDIER ON Spring 2016
Study a Diploma
his year thanks to a partnership between Citadel Group, Australian Business Academy (ABA) and Soldier On, over 70 veterans and their spouses studied a diploma through ABA free of charge. Next year we will re-open applications. In the meantime, if you are interested in studying a diploma through Soldier On’s partnership, please email the team for more information or to go on the waitlist – email@example.com. Currently diplomas are available in the following areas: §§ §§ §§ §§ §§
Business Administration Leadership and Management Human Resource Management Information Technology Accounting
PERSONAL INSURANCE FOR VETERANS AND ADF MEMBERS
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Helping our wounded warriors
Build Successful Futures
Soon we will be rolling out our new transition and employment services around the country.
oon Soldier On will be implementing a holistic framework to help veterans and their families build successful futures. In addition to the support and services we have become known for – psychology services, wellbeing programs and social connectedness activities – we will be offering transition and employment support, services, resources and opportunities to help veterans and their families successfully transition from the Defence Force and find a new career/ purpose. These new services include career guidance with one of our Transition Support Officers who will work with you to help you achieve your career goals. Currently we provide various certificate and diploma level education
opportunities to gain further qualifications and will continue to build on these offerings to help veterans and their spouses re-skill to find new employment. We will also be providing a range of online resources, such as sample CVs and job application guides, to assist you through to job search process. Advertising job opportunities is an integral part of the program and our Veteran Employment Job Board will provide information on job opportunities available to veterans and their spouses through our various employment partners.
We are securing opportunities across all industries and continue to develop internships, work placements and train into employment programs.
We are securing opportunities across all industries and continue to develop internships, work placements and train into employment programs. You may have recently seen opportunities through CommBank and Countrywide Austral (the publisher of this very journal), focused on flexible working arrangements for veterans and spouses. Please keep an eye on our website, Facebook page and Twitter account to find out more over the coming weeks and months.
SOLDIER ON Spring 2016
Letter Support of
Soldier On recently received this letter of support.
Helping our wounded warriors
History By Gary Brown, Transition Support Officer, Soldier On In mid-August Australia came together to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the largest single Australian battle in Vietnam and remember the tragic loss of 17 young Australian soldiers. At the battle of Long Tan, the 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (6RAR) encountered a far superior force in the rubber plantations of Long Tan. The Australian soldiers of D Coy 6RAR, supported by artillery, cavalry and air support, ‘won the day’ by demonstrating the values of the Australian Army and broader Australian Defence Force: Courage, Initiative and Team Work. The anniversary of Long Tan prompted me to draw on my own recent experience having visited Gallipoli last year during the centenary of the landings at Anzac Cove. This is my story.
was extremely fortunate to have the privilege to attend the 100th anniversary of Anzac Day and subsequent commemoration activities. Before departing, it was suggested that I may like to share or record some personal insights of my experiences and journey to Gallipoli. With over 10,000 attendees it would be presumptuous of me to generalise on the motivation of why people invest their own time, considerable amount of money and effort to make their own personal journey. As I walked the shores of Anzac Cove and the battlefields in the hills surrounding, including Lone Pine, The Nek and Chunuk Bair, I reflected on mateship and what it meant to the men that had willingly volunteered to serve our fledging nation over 100 years ago. From all walks of life and all parts of Australia it was seen as an adventure as the true horrors of war had not been realised at that time. The Australian movie Gallipoli directed by Peter Weir immortalises the battle at The Nek. It portrays waves of Australian soldiers (Light Horseman) charging from the safety of their trenches, knowing that there is every possibility they will face imminent death. There were four waves of Australian soldiers, which suffered overwhelming casualties. I asked myself: §§ What drives intelligent men to do this? §§ W ere they just following orders or not wanting to let their mates down? §§ Is this what true mateship is all about? §§ What would I have done if I was there?
SOLDIER ON Spring 2016
The Allies which included the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) actually invaded Turkey. So as part of my journey I also reflected on the enemy, and the enormous sacrifices they made. The Turkish soldier was well lead, equipped, organised, motivated and undoubtedly courageous. They were a formidable force and a respected foe. Tragically, too many Turkish soldiers also paid the ultimate price as there was around 4-5 times as many causalities compared to the allies during the Gallipoli campaign. This resulted in 4-5 times the number of mothers that wept and mourned for their husbands and sons.
From a military stand point the Gallipoli Campaign was an abject failure (a combined number of 117,000 soldiers were killed) …
From a military stand point the Gallipoli Campaign was an abject failure (a combined number of 117,000 soldiers were killed) and some eight months after their landing the Anzac’s silently and ‘sure of foot’ evacuated the shores of Anzac Cove remarkably without any casualties. For the Anzacs leaving Gallipoli, it was bitter sweet as they left behind their dead mates in unmarked and makeshift graves and burial grounds in and around the battlefields of Gallipoli. As you would expect given the number of casualties, there are a number cemetery’s scattered around the
shores of Anzac Cove and the battlefields of Gallipoli. These graves and remains are now attended and in the respectful hands of Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC). The enduring legacy of the Anzac spirit lives in the heart and minds of all Australians as we acknowledge the courage and sacrifice of those who contributed so much in shaping the identity of Australia. The Anzac’s are epitomised then and now, by the essence of mateship and they will never be forgotten … nor will I ever forget my visit to Gallipoli on April 25, 2015. I now often wonder, with the benefit of my own military experience, how does the legacy of Gallipoli, Western Front, Kokoda, Long Tan, and more recently, Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan transcend through the generations of men and women – old and young, that have served our country? In a modern and sophisticated culture, what is the social impact and what price as a nation are we prepared to continue to pay? It is a question that we and other free nations continue to grapple with as we struggle to formulate a way of transitioning our veterans back into the fold with dignity, respect and honour. As a free and democratic society this is a challenge that we must acknowledge and deal with, with a sense of urgency. Our nation has an enduring debt to our veterans past and present.
Helping our wounded warriors
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The RAAF Museum, located at Point Cook, is home to an amazing range of historic military aircraft. A great chance to view these rare machines is at the interactive flying displays, which are held every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday at 1:00 pm (weat her permitting). The Museum has a vast collection of historical material on show, including several hangars with static aircraft, and offers visitors an exciting experience and insight into the history of the Air Force. Models, books, patches, clothing and mementos can be purchased at the Museum shop.
Giving Back &
Finding Peace This month a group of eight veterans, who deployed to Timor-Lesté during their service with the Australian Defence Force, will head over to Dili, Timor-Lesté to participate in a volunteer program. The program is funded by Thales and is focused on helping veterans impacted by their deployment to Timor-Lesté find some peace and start to heal.
nna Vandierendonck, activities coordinator at Soldier On, explains the group of veterans, will join up with a team from Mary MacKillop International in Dili to convert an old bus into a mobile learning centre. Since this was written there have been some changes to the final line up. “The mobile learning centre will be fitted out with Tetun Literacy books, music equipment and other educational resources,” explains Anna. “The bus will then be used each day by experienced Mary MacKillop International trainers to visit a range of pre-schools, primary schools, orphanages and disability centres in the wider Dili area. They will conduct fun and interactive activities with children, such as craft, music, puppet shows and group reading activities.” Improving literacy skills and interest in education amongst children is essential for long-term development of TimorLesté because as a nation Timor-Lesté has an extremely high illiteracy rate. But much more than just a program to benefit the people of Timor-Lesté, Soldier On’s Timor-Lesté volunteer program provides a range of benefits to those who take part in it. The veterans heading over to Dili with Soldier On have in one way or another been impacted by their service, and more specifically impacted by their time spent in East Timor. Brett Rufus, Clinical Psychologist at Soldier On, explains that the program can often provide closure for those taking part. Not only do they feel positive about giving back to a community, but they have the chance to re-visit Timor-Lesté
and see firsthand the difference Australia made as a nation and they made as individuals. “People who deployed to Timor-Lesté during the early intervention, in particular, would have seen it at its worse and may not have had the opportunity to see how things have changed since then,” explains Brett. “They may have wondered all these years about what’s changed and if their efforts made a difference. This program allows them to go back there and witness the progress made first hand.” Brett also explains the importance of reexposure to an experience. He says one of the things that keeps trauma alive is avoidance of reminders and memories of the traumatic experiences. This makes sense as people want to avoid remembering the trauma, but what it does is prevent those experiences from being integrated into memory in a constructive way. By allowing veterans to return to Timor under professional supervision and at an appropriate point in their recovery, they are often able to progress towards making peace with what they have seen and experienced. This is the second time Soldier On has run the Timor-Lesté volunteer program. Last year the participants thoroughly enjoyed the experience, with many stating that this experience was powerful, positive and affirming. Let’s hope it is the same experience for those heading to Dili in September.
This article first appeared in Contact: Air, Land & Sea Helping our wounded warriors
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Complex Trauma:
signs inÂ yourself
and others SOLDIER ONâ€ƒ Spring 2016
In recent weeks there has been much media coverage and awareness about the wellbeing of veterans and the mental health issues some experience. It is important to note that from their service in the Defence Force veterans can experience a range of mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, stress, social alienation and posttraumatic stress disorder. Over a series of articles, our psychologists will explore each condition so you have an understanding of what each condition is as well as how to recognise the signs. The first of these articles will look at PTSD.
What is PTSD? PTSD was first recognised as a mental health condition in Vietnam War Veterans but was called other terms before then, such as shell shock and battle fatigue. PTSD can develop when you have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event. It can sometimes take many months or years after the trauma for PTSD to develop. Whilst it varies from person to person, some of the common signs that you may be struggling with PTSD include:
PTSD can develop when you have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event. It can sometimes take many months or years after the trauma for PTSD to develop.
ivid flashbacks in which V it feels like the trauma is happening again
Intrusive thoughts and images
Intense physical and emotional distress at reminders of the trauma (triggers can include smells, sights, sounds or touch)
§§ A lertness and feeling on edge (including finding it hard to sleep or to concentrate; being easily upset or startled) §§ A voiding feelings or memories (including using drugs or alcohol; being unable to express affection; feeling detached and numb; avoiding any reminders of the trauma)
Complex trauma In clinical practice we often find that serving members and veterans have rarely experienced only a single traumatic event that led to PTSD. Often the traumas experienced or witnessed occur over a prolonged period of time. For others, they have experienced traumas dating back to their childhood. Often clients talk about nightmares and flashbacks of a number of real or feared traumatic events. Others feel numb and cut off from their feelings or cannot recall what has happened but then find themselves becoming panicked or angry or crying and not knowing why. People experiencing complex trauma often struggle to manage their feelings and have difficulties trusting others. This can make it very difficult to attend mental health services, which is one of the reasons we aim to provide a safe space where clients can start to trust others again, piece together what has happened to them and regain their lives. u Helping our wounded warriors
Secondary trauma Traumatic events do not only impact on the person who has experienced or witnessed it. Secondary trauma refers to the presence of PTSD-like symptoms in those around us, such as family members, who have been indirectly exposed to traumatic events. We are not exactly sure how this works but secondary trauma can affect the whole family and in recognition of this, at Soldier On we provide psychology services to family members as well as to our veterans. In fact, we offer psychology services to spouses, partners, children, parents or siblings.
Support offered by Soldier On Soldier On offers free and confidential clinical psychology and counselling services at our Canberra and Sydney Reintegration Centres and are currently recruiting in other States and Territories. We use recommended, evidence based therapies for PTSD and complex trauma, including trauma focused Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (t-CBT) and Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR). We work with clients to tailor treatment to their needs and offer a range of individual, couples and family therapies. We also encourage clients to link in with other services to facilitate recovery, such as reintegration services and the range of activities offered by Soldier On and other community organisations.
SOLDIER ON Spring 2016
A message from our Director of Psychology, Dr Michelle Buchholz “The reason that I encourage people to seek support and treatment for mental health concerns is because I know that it can work and that it can bring relief. Counselling is not just talking about your feelings. Mental health professionals can help you to understand your symptoms, and show you that you’re not “going crazy” and that there is a way forward. They also can help to teach you new skills to help improve and protect your mental health. These are skills that we don’t tend to learn anywhere else in our daily lives, and can help us to deal with negative thoughts and feelings, and help to bring us out of dark places. I also want to highlight that there are lots of options for seeking help that you can start to access right now. Soldier On has psychologists in the ACT and in NSW. The Veterans and Veterans’ Families Counselling Service (VVCS) also offers services with counsellors, and has a 24-hour contact number in case you need assistance outside of business hours. And if you speak with your GP, they will also be able to refer you to a suitable clinician, usually under Medicare or DVA depending on your circumstances. Please don’t wait, please start the process of seeking assistance. Your mental health is so important and there are people who can assist you to find your way forward, even if it doesn’t feel like it right now.”
he #22PushUpChallenge is going viral around the world. It originated in America where it is reported on average 22 veterans are taking their own life every day. This is a very serious and tragic issue. While the numbers represent the issue in America, the sentiment represents an issue many countries around the world are experiencing. That’s why it didn’t take long for the challenge to spread to the UK, Canada and Australia. We want to take this opportunity to thank you all for raising awareness about veteran wellbeing. We have seen images and footage of many of you completing the challenge. Our own CEO and Co-Founder, John Bale did 22 push ups on video at the beginning of August and nominated a number of our Brand Ambassadors. He has commented about the challenge on a number of radio shows and online print publications, as well as on Weekend Sunrise and Channel 7 news. We think all this media coverage is proof the challenge is helping to raise awareness. Many people have asked us about how to donate $22 to Soldier On to make a difference. To those looking to donate, please visit: https://donation.giveeasy.org/soldier-on. Helping our wounded warriors
Soldier On’s National Fundraising Ball On Saturday 27th August the Soldier On National Fundraising Ball was held at the Hotel Realm in Canberra. The night was an amazing success.
SOLDIER ON Spring 2016
C Hamish Blake kept the room laughing with his quick wit and cheeky humour, and guests were entertained with performances by Fred Smith and Diesel. Guests were also treated to a live painting of John Howard by speed artist Joe Zappfino, which was later auctioned and signed by John Howard on the night. Most importantly, everyone wanted to the chance to win the 10kg block of chocolate in the raffle. Along with the fun, guests were also reminded of the importance of their support, with a moving speech from Soldier On service ambassador Sarah Watson. Sarah courageously shared the story of her battle with PTSD and her road to recovery, allowing guests to understand the positive impact Soldier On can have in the lives of veterans and their families. After the formalities, The Rising Suns from the band of the Royal Military College provided the music for guests to let their hair down and dance. The National Fundraising Ball is an important event on the Soldier On calendar, as the money raised assists us to deliver vital support and services to veterans and their families. Without the amazing supporters, volunteers and corporate sponsors who attend, the Ball would not be possible. We would like to thank everyone who donated time, money, or came along on the night to support us and learn more about the work we do. And a special shout out to the ADFA cadets who volunteered their time and worked tirelessly all night. Save the dates if you are interested in attending our upcoming black tie fundraisers. Sydney will be held on 1 April 2017 and Canberra will be held on 26 August 2017.
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New York Marathon Team
David and Joshua Wyatt Dave Wyatt is a member of the Australian Defence Force, who was diagnosed with PTSD last year as a result of overseas deployments. This year Dave took long service leave and is travelling around parts of Australia to raise these funds for Soldier On and awareness about the impacts of PTSD, while participating in the Australian Sleddog Sports Association season with his two Siberian Huskies. To date he has raised $3,700, and has also raised additional funds for Soldier On through the sale of merchandise. His nine-year-old son, Joshua, also recently raised money for Soldier On. In late August he ran the Junior Spartan Race in Brisbane and raised a staggering $1,140 for Soldier On. Thank you Dave and Joshua for your support. You have helped us make a difference to the lives of veterans and their families.
p Above Photo courtesy of Najodia Photographics. t Left Photo courtesy of Aurora Images.
At the beginning of this year 10 runners – nine of whom are veterans – signed up to run the New York Marathon and raise money for Soldier On. To date they have raised a staggering $109,134 (and counting!). Their goal is to raise $150,000 for Soldier On. This vital funding will help us support more veterans in more places around Australia to build successful futures. What makes this story even more remarkable is many of them had never ran a marathon when they signed up. Heck, many of them had never even ran a half marathon. Actually many of them wouldn’t have even have called themselves ‘runners’. But despite their lack of running experience, under the guidance of running coach Andre Obradovic, they have all trained with courage and determination throughout the year and are ready to tackle the New York Marathon. They have worked hard to raise an amazing amount of money for us and those we serve. We would like say a huge thank you and good luck to all 10 of our runners hitting the New York pavement in November. To find out more about them, or to donate, visit https://everydayhero.com.au/event/ soldieronnycmarathon2016 Helping our wounded warriors
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Ph: 07 4955 5778 georgesthaimackay.com.au Proudly Supporting Soldier On
Win a Copy of Seeing the Elephant Seeing the Elephant Author – Portland Jones Publisher – Margaret River Press Seeing the Elephant is poignant story of a remarkable relationship between Frank Stevens, an Australian soldier sent to the Vietnamese Highlands as part of the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam (AATTV).
ogether with his Vietnamese translator, Minh, he recruited and trained the local hill tribes during the Vietnam War. The story is told through letters from Frank to his grandfather. Once Frank returns home the letters document his struggle to cope with life in Australia after the war. Nearly fifty years later, Minh, now living in Australia and seriously ill, reads through Frank’s letters and remembers the experiences that he shared with Frank, and discovers that even amongst his traumatic memories, there is consolation and joy. To win one of three copies of Seeing the Elephant email firstname.lastname@example.org by 9 November 2016 and tell us in 15 words or less what you admire most about our veterans.
Helping our wounded warriors
Our Corporate Partners Soldier On are grateful for the support of so many Corporate partners and sponsors. Please see below for the organisations that provide vital funding that keeps Solder On and its support alive.
Military Shop has handled Soldier On’s merchandise
In Kind Supporters
for no charge since the charity was founded in 2012. Most recently, they also donated a large sum of money as part of their Australia in the Great War campaign.
Principal In-Kind Partners
Citadel Group, and their associated business the
Australian Business Academy and Frontier People have supported Soldier On from its founding. First as a sponsor of one of Soldier On’s major events,Liam Haven’s One Foot Forward March, Citadel now provides a number of free places for veterans to gain Diploma and Certificate level qualifications. They also assist with employment support, mentoring and filling vacant positions within the Soldier On team.
CSIRO is supporting
Soldier On through the provision of premises for a number of our Reintegration and Recovery Centres. This has allowed Soldier On to provide expanded services to a much higher number of veterans and their families, saving many thousands of dollars on rent.
Southern Cross Austereo are Soldier
On’s Regional Media Partner, and assist in spreading awareness throughout their extensive network of radio and television stations. Providing free advertising and sharing the stories of our wounded, we are grateful for their generous support!
SOLDIER ON Spring 2016
Jamieson Foley Audi Centre Canberra Hewlett Packard AUS.
ACT Fitness Partner
Ainslie Group Clubs ACT Elgas
GoodGuys Canberra Lockheed Martin
Free Counselling Sessions provided in our Sydney and Canberra Centres Soldier On recognises a veteran’s time in the Defence Force doesn’t just impact him or her; it can impact the whole family. Whether you are the mum, dad, wife, husband, child or even sibling of a veteran, you may feel the need to talk to one of our experienced psychologists in Sydney or Canberra about issues either you or your veteran are experiencing. We off er a range of psychology services, including individual counselling for adults and adolescents, as well as couples and relationship counselling and counselling for families. Our psychological treatment is evidenced-based and can address a range of mental health concerns, including trauma and stressrelated issues, depression, anxiety, relationship diffi culties and pain and injury adjustment concerns. We are currently recruiting for a psychologist in Melbourne and Perth. We hope to off er these same services in those locations too.
Soldier On Spring 2016