web-adAustralian defence company Omni has announced a $100,000 commitment to military charity Bravery Trust to fund veteran-specific financial mentors to Australian Defence Force (ADF) veterans.

Now in its 10th year, Omni has a deep history supporting Australia’s former servicemen and women and employs a large number of veterans. Entering its next decade, Omni said it wants to provide holistic, proactive support to veterans through partnering with Bravery Trust with the belief that industry must also play a role in supporting Australia’s veterans.

Omni’s donation to Bravery Trust will facilitate the employment of a ‘financial fitness mentor’ to provide early financial education in the same way military personnel can access medical services and physical fitness.

Bravery Trust provides urgent financial aid and financial counselling to veterans injured during service and those facing hardship. Seventy percent of those who reach out to Bravery Trust in a financial crisis are aged 50 years or younger and many have recently transitioned from the Australian Defence Force (ADF) involuntarily.

Omni founder and CEO Jon Hawkins said transition out of the ADF, especially medical discharge, can be sudden and unplanned and financial stress adds to the trauma. Just over a quarter of transitioning veterans are medically discharged- the number has risen from 10 percent in 2007 to 27 percent in 2021. “We know financial matters are a key pillar to veteran health and finances have been identified in the royal commission as a key factor in veteran suicide,” Hawkins said. “At Omni, we understand the importance of the private sector playing a proactive role in helping ADF personnel transition from service. As a veteran owned and operated company, we are proud to provide opportunities for ex-service personnel to apply their skills and continue contributing to our national security.

“We were pleased to see over $500 million committed to support veterans in the recent Federal Budget and at Omni we believe industry must also play a role in supporting our veterans. Not only in providing employment, but by facilitating the training and structures that will prevent crises and provide long-term support,” Hawkins added. “The benefits of physical exercise are well known across the Defence Force both in terms of supporting mental and physical wellbeing. Financial fitness, despite being so incredibly important, has not received the same focus and we look forward to partnering with Bravery Trust to assist the veteran community in this space.”

Bravery Trust CEO Belinda Wilson said the financial aspects of veteran support is vital. “Not all veterans and their families experience crisis. But we have an obligation as a nation to support those who do. We ask them to risk their lives for our freedom and far too many are slipping through the cracks, unsure or unable to find help when they most need it,” Wilson said. “Bravery Trust can assist with immediate financial aid and provide an independent, veteran-specific financial counselling service, to support engaging with creditors, landlords and banks, reducing debt and creating a positive, holistic future pathway. The funding announced today by Omni allows us to go one step further and assist veterans before a crisis hits – preparing them financially for life after the ADF. It’s a proactive approach to significantly improve outcomes for veterans after ADF discharge.” Wilson said.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare identified a higher risk of suicide for ex-serving males who separate for medical or other involuntary reasons; and the Interim Report of the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide found the rate of suicide among ex-serving males was higher for those with lower incomes.


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