Veterans SA community event

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As Veterans SA turns its focus to delivering outcomes in the year ahead, we recognise the impact achieved in collaboration with the community in 2023/2024.

Veterans SA is proud to have deployed a wide range of initiatives over this time, many which were firsts for the state, or Australia, and delivered significant impact for our veteran community.

One specific pilot initiative launched in May 2024 was the Veterans SA Tertiary Scholarship Program.

This program was developed in response to community feedback about the financial barriers to higher education faced by former serving Australian Defence Force (ADF) members and partners. The program offers ADF members and partners financial support to undertake training or higher education study that improves their job prospects.

In other firsts, South Australia became the first state to honour current and former ADF families with an official day of recognition on 15 May – Veterans’ Families Day. The state also introduced War Widows Day on 19 October recognising the resilience and enduring sacrifice of Australian War Widows.

To meet the unique needs of Defence and veteran partners, the popular MindRight and StoryRight Program workshops run by Military and Emergency Service Health Australia (MESHA) were expanded under a partnership with Veterans SA.

In an Australian first, the tailored program of workshops have been designed to equip veterans and ADF partners with the tools for success – both personally and professionally. The workshops can be undertaken in isolation or together, with each uniquely designed to fulfill distinct needs in the transition process.

To further support and enhance the employment outcomes of veterans and their families, Veterans SA also established the SA Veterans Employer Network.

The network brings together employers with a genuine interest and commitment to improving employment outcomes for veterans and their partners, and aims to improve these outcomes via networking, candidate sharing, mentoring and guidance for other veteran employers.

We are excited about the opportunities this network provides and look forward to seeing the program’s continued success in the years to come.

Over the last year, there has also been a focused effort in delivering additional outreach activities to veterans in regional areas, connecting them with and increasing awareness of support services available to the community.

Successful events were held in the Riverland, Gawler and Wallaroo, with ‘The Copper Coast Veterans’ Forum’ bringing together over 40 veterans from the local community.

Veterans SA was proud to partner with the Port Adelaide Football Club’s Australian Defence Force Veterans Program for another year, and announced a $240,000 grant to support the continuation and expansion of the program over the next four years.

The program is the first of its kind to be run by an AFL club and serves to help local veterans re-identify their sense of purpose and community connections through a six-week program.

Veterans SA is proud of the impact achieved in 2023/2024, and remains committed to delivering lasting impact for current, former and future serving members and their families.

The Veterans SA 2024/2025 Strategic Action Plan will be released in quarter 3 2024 and we look forward to putting our new plan into action.

Details on the Veterans SA’s 2023/24 Action Plan Outcomes achieved under the agency’s four strategic pillars can be found below:

  • Continued to raise awareness of the vitally important role that veterans play in our community, and promoted Home Base SA as a reliable online resource for current and former serving members and their families.
  • Supported the delivery of a second ‘Cowork Coplay’ program to support ADF Partners connect with each other, undertake work that matters to them and learn about available resources and services, while their children are cared for.
  • Continued regional outreach activities to connect veterans in regional areas with support services and increase awareness of services available to the community, including delivery of the Copper Coast Veterans’ Forum. For example, the Copper Coast Veterans’ Forum brought together over 40 veterans from the Wallaroo area to learn about matters of importance to their community.
  • Delivered a second Veterans SA Career & Business Mentoring Program, and commenced a third program, to support the professional development of current and former serving ADF members and Defence spouses.
  • Supported cohesion across the veteran community by facilitating networking and educational activities at Community Connection
  • Continued participation in online and face-to-face events such as ADF Transition Seminars, Defence Welcome Days, Commonwealth State and Territory Committee (CSTC) meetings and Veterans’ Wellbeing Taskforce meetings. This included providing state-specific feedback where available and participating in working groups developed.
  • Launched a new scholarship fund to unlock higher education opportunities for veterans and partners.
  • Delivered MindRight and StoryRight Program workshops, designed to equip veterans and partners with tools for success – both personally and professionally.
  • Funded the adaptation of the MindRight and StoryRight Programs to be relevant to Defence spouses.
  • Established the SA Veteran Employer Network, to connect employers who understand the value of veteran and Defence spouse experience in the workplace, as well as connect candidates with genuine employers.
  • Honoured current and former ADF families with an official day of recognition – – making South Australia the first state to formally recognise veteran families in this way.
  • Collaborated with Department for Human Services to advocate for and support the expansion of eligibility for veteran concessions.
  • Shared stories that highlighted the successes of veterans and their families.
  • Promoted veteran related programs and events through social media and other networks.
  • Provided support to the Royal Commission into Veteran Suicides during the tenth public hearing in Adelaide, demonstrating how the South Australian Government is supporting positive and long-term change for the veteran community.
  • Provided a $240,000 funding boost to support the Port Adelaide Australian Defence Force Veterans Program, giving veterans the opportunity to discuss transition, goal setting, mental health, leadership and more.
  • Facilitated a round table discussion to learn about the challenges faced by veterans and Defence spouses in the teaching profession who have relocated from interstate to help inform advocacy for process and policy changes.
  • Collaborated with the Department for Education to better support children of ADF families within the education system through introduction of an education tick box on enrolment forms.
  • Delivered a program of community forums that provided the opportunity for the veteran community to provide feedback directly to the agency on matters of importance.