Support Services Network
Australian Commando Association NSW sees the value in a great Network. We want to be a catalyst for positive support by connecting people to organisations which are specialising in veteran support services. This page is dedicated to those wonderful services that we recommend for any and all service personnel, friends and family to reach out to.
4 AUSSIE HEROES FOUNDATION
With an emphasis on such things as early intervention, professional care, meaningful support, camaraderie, improving self esteem, affordability, rehabilitation, and quality of life, coupled with short-term accommodation in a relaxed rural environment, the concept of 4 Aussie War Vets Retreats was born.
Camp Courage, the first of several Retreats Australia wide, is planned for opening in South East Queensland early 2020. Following a number of approaches, and understanding that the world-best-practice rehabilitation Programs being developed by the Foundation would suit first responders, a decision was taken by the Board of Directors to expand the focus of our rehabilitation work to include this very important and worthy group.
This necessitated a change of name to The 4 Aussie Heroes Foundation.
The end-result aim of Camp Courage and its programs is a dramatically enhanced quality of life for those military and first responder personnel, past and present who come to us with PTSD and related mental health issues, as a result of serving our great Nation and our Communities. Programs involving the partners and children of this demographic are also catered for. We ask all sectors of the Australian Community, to help us to achieve this aim.
BLACK DOG INSTITUTE
The Black Dog Institute is dedicated to understanding, preventing and treating mental illness. We are about creating a world where mental illness is treated with the same level of concern, immediacy and seriousness as physical illness; where scientists work to discover the causes of illness and new treatments, and where discoveries are immediately put into practice through health services, technology and community education.
Designed for active military, emergency services personnel and those who want to support them, Brother Shave is an innovative new subscription service that provides necessary shaving products at a huge cost savings, with a percentage of profits going to aid those suffering from physical wounds, PTSD, anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses. Of course, we men folk have to shave every day in order to maintain the required standard, right? The major razor companies are charging a premium for an everyday product that simply does not cost that much to manufacture.
COMMANDO WELFARE TRUST
The CWT provides support to members of Special Operations Command Units (SOCOMD) and their families. Due to their specialist skills and training, Special Forces personnel are at the front line performing a dangerous and often confronting job. Sadly many of those killed in recent combat operations are from SOCOMD units and many of those who returned suffer physical and mental illnesses related to their service.
The Commando Welfare Trust was created to provide beneficiaries with support that is outside the scope of, but complementary to, existing Defence and non-Defence support mechanisms (eg. Legacy, DVA). The CWT is able to provide support in unique ways including; Payment of school fees, Modified equipment such as wheelchairs & computers; Family reunion travel and financial aid such including back to school help.
DEPARTMENT OF VETERAN AFFAIRS
The Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) is a primary service delivery agency responsible for developing and implementing programs that assist the veteran and defence force communities. DVA also provides administrative support and staff for the Repatriation Commission and the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission (MRCC). The Department also administers other legislation, including the Defence Service Homes Act 1918 and the War Graves Act 1980.
Engage is an online portal that current, transitioning, and former ADF members; their families, and/or those involved in their support can use to locate support services. Engage simplifies the process of accessing support by providing information on not-for-profit services available from a range of service providers.
HOMES FOR HEROES
RSL LifeCare founded the Contemporary Veterans Homelessness and Assistance Program – Homes for Heroes – at Narrabeen in Sydney. The program is available to veterans of contemporary conflicts, ex-servicemen and women post-1991, and the families of those cohorts, provided they are genuinely homeless. In addition to permanent residents, we periodically provide accommodation to families and veterans on a short stay basis. There is no other dedicated homeless accommodation for contemporary veterans in NSW.
The program provides holistic support to its participants. We have taken the ‘housing first’ approach advocated by Mission Australia and woven through many ‘wraparound’ programs and services. Every resident is required to give back to the program. For instance, by doing volunteer work, mentoring others, or engaging in education, training, and rehabilitation opportunities. The Homes for Heroes program is not a hotel service. The program is intended to provide the young men and woman returning from conflict, the stability, security, support, and opportunity to get back on their feet.
Legacy is a charity providing services to Australian families suffering after the injury or death of a spouse or parent, during or after their defence force service. They currently care for 52,000 beneficiaries, including 1,845 children and disabled dependants throughout Australia.
LIVIN, is not founded or run by former or current ADF. members. It is all about living your life at the top and breaking the stigma around mental health. Connecting, supporting and encouraging one another to talk about their feelings and challenges because “It Ain’t Weak to Speak”. Through the development of cutting edge education programs, apparel and community awareness initiatives.
Mates 4 Mates provide the following services to veterans and families
Physical Rehabilitation and Wellbeing
Rehabilitation Adventure Challenges
Our innovative, multi-phase restorative program involving expedition-style horse pack trips (led by experienced instructors, many of whom are combat veterans and program graduates themselves) inspires ex-service personnel to move beyond the difficulties they have experienced, towards a life of growth and hope. This unique experience challenges these individuals, evokes change, and helps them to develop new ways to approach and solve problems. Together, we can challenge ourselves to reconnect, reintegrate and restore purpose.
Founded by Australia's Vietnam veterans, Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling (formerly VVCS) is Australia’s leading provider of high quality mental health assessment and clinical counselling services for Australian veterans and their families. Open Arms is focused on meeting client needs through a combination of proven clinical practices and new and emerging evidence-based approaches.
The Vietnam War was a difficult chapter in Australia's history. For those who served, the experience forged strong bonds and a commitment to look out for each other. This deep sense of mateship led Vietnam veterans to lobby for a specialised counselling and support service for veterans and their families.
The result was the Vietnam Veterans’ Counselling Service (VVCS). VVCS was established by the Australian Government in 1982. Since then, access to VVCS has been extended to veterans of all conflicts, their families, and other members of the ADF and ex-service community. In 2007 the service was renamed VVCS – Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service.Eligibility has further expanded and in 2018VVCS became Open Arms.
OVERWATCH AUSTRALIA is a not for profit organisation tasked with reaching out and assisting former Australian Defence Force (ADF) members. This organisation is a peer-to-peer, boots on the ground, first response organisation formed to assist former ADF members who are at risk or in crisis. Once engaged, OVERWATCH AUSTRALIA will then act as a bridge to other Ex-Services Organisations (ESOs) better equipped to help with the needs of this personnel.All OVERWATCH AUSTRALIA first responders are former or current serving members of the ADF. We strive for peer-to-peer support, Navy to Navy, Air Force to Air Force, Army to Army. We are one of the very few organisations that actively communicate with former ADF members and provide assistance when in crisis rather than waiting for them to come to us.
‘REDSIX is aimed at helping lower the growing suicide rate amongst the veteran community’.
Getting those who are feeling down, out of their current environment for a while or networking with other defence members is a great way to see what other options are available to you, how others deal & treat illnesses or injuries occurred while serving and also become more aware of services or programs readily available in your area.
Talking to someone who has experienced acts of military conflict is a lot easier than talking to someone who hasn’t.
RED SIX has got your six.
RENT CHOICE PROGRAM
The NSW Government has a program for former members of the permanent Australian Defence Force called Rent Choice Veterans. This program may be suitable for you if you are a former member of the permanent Australian Defence Force who has been on active service during wartime and/or in an operational area, including peacekeeping, since 1 August 1990.
In partnership with RSL DefenceCare, the program supports eligible veterans and their families to:
find a rental property,
get a lease or stay in their current accommodation,
pay the rent for up to three years, and
gain skills and work opportunities to support financial independence
RSL DEFENCE CARE
RSL DefenceCare is a charity and not-for-profit organisation helping Australian veterans and their families in times of injury, illness or crisis. We understand that each veteran's situation is unique and we aim to help without judgement. We also promote the support of our veterans amongst the wider Australian community.
Since 1990, more than 290,000 brave men and women have served our country in the Australian Defence Force. From wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to peacekeeping missions in East Timor, Bougainville, Cambodia, the Solomon Islands, Somalia and Rwanda, our veterans have undertaken extraordinary tasks in defence of our nation. At Soldier On, we recognise that throughout these operations, the ADF and greater National Security Community have worked side by side. This is why we now also offer support to Australian Federal Police, Australian Border Force, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and other security agencies.Our aim is to help build resilient individuals capable of developing and expanding meaningful connection with family, community and employers.
Swiss 8 is a digital program that teaches veterans and civilians alike, how to implement 8 core principles of health and lifestyle. This research based app is designed to reduce anxiety and help you and your workforce, get motivated and be better at life.
Disasters are our business. Veterans are our passion.
Team Rubicon Australia unites the skills and experiences of Australian Defence Force veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams around the globe. Our mission: To stand up the pre-eminent disaster response organisation in the Pacific Rim and, in doing so, change the narrative around the Australian Veteran.
THE WARRIORS RETURN
Fresh from active service around the world, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a significant and widespread issue affecting Veterans and their families. The Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defence provide treatment to our service personnel, however the range of services provided can be limited, restricted or unavailable. Many ex-service personnel may not have PTSD, but suffer significant difficulty in readjusting to civilian life. Grief (loss of brotherhood), isolation, poor coping skills, relationship issues and many other difficulties are rife amongst the men and women who have sacrificed to protect this nation. Warriors Return fills the gaps for these desperately needed services! and is run BY Veterans and Veterans’ families, for Veterans and Veterans’ families. We are a bottom up organisation, based on, and responsive to, the ACTUAL requirements of Veterans.
TRUE GRIT AUSTRALIA
True Grit Australia provides social activities and events such as obstacle courses, runs and other challenges designed to motivate and enhance or maintain fitness of veterans or serving ADF members.
Imagine having served your country proudly and returned to a place where you feel like a foreigner. Many who have served our nation both at home and at war have come back to a society they do not feel understands them or accepts them. This isn’t the fault of our community or of the veteran, rather it is a mixture of high level training that every member of the defence forces must undertake and the lack of ability for the branch they served with to put time and resources in retraining them for life in the civilian world.
Our vulnerable, at risk and homeless veterans are almost always affected by mental health injuries, sustained both in combat and other areas of life. What makes them worthy of our undivided attention is the fact they once signed a blank cheque for their nation that could have seen them sacrifice their lives in defence of our freedoms, liberties and way of life.For these reasons and many more, V360A have sworn to locate, identify and assist every veteran with service in the Australian Defence Force, who is in need of support, assistance or other intervention to ensure they are successful in their journey through life. Our motto is, “To help today’s veterans succeed in tomorrow’s world and to provide solutions for veteran homelessness and suicide prevention".
WITH YOU WITH ME
No one should have to go it alone. We’ve been there side by side with thousands of veterans on their transition journey, and while programs like ours have a key role to play, transition success starts at home. WITH YOU WITH ME build job ready veterans in order to fill the large skill gaps in the tech fields.
Wounded Heroes Association is a national community organisation established to support Australian servicemen and women and their families, and to ease the financial, emotional and personal hardships of contemporary military life.