South Australia’s veteran community is diverse and widely dispersed across the state.

Data collected in the 2021 Census revealed that there are 47,852 people in South Australia who have served in the ADF. In addition to those who have worn the ADF uniform, the veteran community also includes their partners, children, parents, siblings, friends and carers.

The latest census data identifies that approximately 50% of those who have ever served in South Australia are of working-age. Some of these people are still serving, either in the regular service (3,940 people) or the reserves service (2,053), but there is a significant number of former service people contributing to their workplaces and communities every day.

The majority of working-age veterans (aged 17 to 64 years) are located in the northern suburbs. Outside of the metro area, the largest number of working-age veterans reside in the Adelaide Hills, Fleurieu Peninsula (including Kangaroo Island) and the Barossa, Light and Lower North region.

This data is an essential source of information for Veterans SA, providing insights into the state’s veteran population – where they live, their connection with family and other social networks, as well as their health and wellbeing.

Importantly, the data provides the most comprehensive information about South Australia’s veteran population and will enable better targeting of policies and programs for the current and former serving community.

Our community is supported by a range of local service organisations and community groups.

Whether you are completing further study, supporting your family, looking for social connections or building your career, there is a support organisation or group that can help.

South Australia’s Major Defence Precincts:

Edinburgh Defence Precinct

Edinburgh Defence Precinct

The Edinburgh Defence Precinct is South Australia’s largest defence establishment, with four sites and over 6,000 personnel on site.

Located approximately 25 km from the Adelaide CBD, between Salisbury and Elizabeth, the precinct is home to RAAF Edinburgh, Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG) headquarters and the Edinburgh Parks garrison supports. The precinct also incorporates the Woomera Range Complex.

Those on site are predominantly RAAF personnel, but also include Army personnel, Defence civilians and contractors.

More information

Woodside Barracks

Woodside Barracks

The Woodside Barracks is an Army base located in the Adelaide Hills, about 27 km from the CBD, and is currently the headquarters for the 16th Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery.

Previously, the base has been used a training facility during World War Two and as a refugee camp housing over 3,000 residents.

More information

Woomera Range Complex

Woomera Range Complex

Located 500 km north of Adelaide, the Woomera Range Complex comprises RAAF Woomera, the Woomera Village and the Woomera Test Range – the largest land-based test range in the world.

RAAF Base Woomera presents a strong community spirit with organisations such as the Sports Club, CFS and local radio station regularly facilitating events and activities to bring the community together.

More information 

Other Locations:

  • The Keswick Barracks are the headquarters of the Australian Army in South Australia. The barracks are located on Anzac Highway at Keswick, a short distance south of the Adelaide CBD. Currently, 9th Brigade, 10th/27th Battalion, Royal South Australia Regiment and 3rd Health Support Battalion are based at the barracks, as well as the Army Cadet units.
  • The Royal Australian Navy base in South Australia is located about 25 km north-west of the Adelaide CBD at Osborne. The precinct is also home to the Osborne Naval Shipyard, the nation’s premier naval industry hub.
  • The Warradale Barracks is an Australian Army base located approximately 13 km south of the Adelaide CBD. The base is home to the 9th Combat Service Support Battalion, an Army reserve logistics unit within the 9th Brigade.

Veterans SA is committed to ensuring that the wider South Australian community understands and acknowledges current and former serving ADF personnel and their families. We are developing a number of resources to support the understanding that those who serve, and their families, actively contribute to the benefit of the community.

The Understanding the Veteran Community video (below) introduces these concepts and has been developed to challenge stereotypes and narratives often associated with veterans and help educate the broader community on what “defence life” looks like.

Additional Resources: