Port Adelaide ADF Veterans Program
The growth PCL’s ADF Veterans program has experienced over the last three years is significant, and a strong indicator that there is a real need for meaningful courses of this nature.

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Geoff Brock MP

Minister for Veterans Affairs

The State Government has teamed up with the Port Adelaide Football Club to support an AFL-first program helping South Australian veterans to discover a new sense of purpose and community connection post-service.

Port Adelaide’s Australian Defence Force (ADF) Veterans Program – the only program of its kind run by an AFL club – brings former defence personnel and ex-AFL players together for a six-week program, empowering veterans to hear from past players and learn new skills as they transition into the next stage of their lives.

The program, which kicks off next month, draws parallels between the elite environments of both fields – and offers ways to tackle the uncertainty that many experience after either career.

Sessions will be hosted by past Port Adelaide players, skilled professionals and local organisations, with key themes including goal setting, relationships, leadership and mental health and wellbeing.

The State Government is investing $240,000, through Veterans SA, to ensure the program can continue to support the veteran community over the next four years.

Established in 2021 and run by the not-for-profit charity arm of the club, Power Community Limited, the ADF Veterans Program has relied on federal and third-party support – this new funding means the program can expand and help more veterans.

This year’s intake will be open to more than 80 veterans, an increase of 30 participants, while the additional government support will enable regular events to be held throughout the year and promote long-term connections between veterans and players after the program ends.

To date, the program has reached 133 people with 51 participants successfully completing last year’s program – which was fully booked out in two weeks, demonstrating the need for a program like this that helps veterans find new meaning.

The investment is part of a $2.1 million State Budget commitment to improve outcomes for veterans and their families, with a host of initiatives being rolled out.

Applications are now open for the 2024 ADF Veterans Program and veterans are encouraged to register by emailing wnortheast@pafc.com.au. More information is available on the Port Adelaide Football Club’s website.

Port Adelaide has a strong and proud connection to military service, with 164 past players serving for their country over the club’s 154-year history.

Quotes attributable to Geoff Brock     
South Australia is leading the way with this program which provides veterans a unique way to connect with their community and helps them realise meaningful and successful lives post-service.

No other AFL club is supporting veterans in this way and the Government welcomes innovative measures to equip those who have served with the tools they need to transition into civilian life.

I commend Power Community Limited for their leadership in this space and am pleased to deliver additional support to expand the program and provide an even better experience for participants in 2024 and beyond.

Quotes attributable to Power Community Limited Community Programs Team Leader, Will Northeast
The growth PCL’s ADF Veterans program has experienced over the last three years is significant, and a strong indicator that there is a real need for meaningful courses of this nature.

The program brings past AFL players in to share their experiences and tools that have helped them their own transitions, while also creating a safe and inclusive community for participants to form a new identity and foster a sense of belonging.

It has also created unique pathways for multiple participants, with some of them now volunteering with the football department and working within the program.

Quotes attributable to 2021 program inaugural participant and now co-facilitator, Ash Muir
I can confidently say that PCL’s ADF Veterans program changed my life. It gave me a new sense of community, purpose, and identity outside of the service.

I now work with PCL and co-facilitate the program, and both working and being a part of this community has given me a new lease on life, and a new pathway to focus my energy into. The impact this has had on my life is immeasurable.

I am incredibly grateful that this grant will mean the program will continue, and expand, for years to come as I know there are many more veterans out there that will benefit significantly from being a part of this program and community.