www.landforces.com.auNational veteran support charity, Soldier On, has celebrated 10 years of service recently. From humble beginnings in 2012, the organisation has grown and developed over the past decade to provide comprehensive holistic support to the Australian veteran community. In its first year, Soldier On assisted a total of 200 veterans, operating across three states. Now 10 years on, Soldier On supports more than 8,000 veterans and family members, delivering a wide range of programs and services in every state and territory.

Over the past decade, Soldier On has seen significant growth, expanding its operations to become the only truly national ex-service organisation in Australia, reaching more veterans and their families and offering a grater span of services across the country. In 2021 alone, Soldier On’s Health and wellbeing program saw more than 3,000 appointments carried out. In this same period, the Pathways program placed 275 veterans and family members into jobs and offered more than 5,000 individual instances of employment and education support. More than 1,000 new participants joined the social connections program, and more than 6,000 veterans and family members participated in activities throughout the year.

Soldier On Chairman Lt. Gen. Peter Leahy, AC (ret’d), said the veteran community has come a long way over this time, but increased support is still needed today. “Ten years ago, we were faced with quite a grim outlook for many of our veterans and defence families. There was a distinct lack of support, connection and resources across the board creating a sense of isolation and anguish for many. Over the past 10 years, Soldier On has worked closely with other ex-service organisations, government bodies, corporate entities and the wider public to secure stronger futures for our veterans and their families,” Leahy said. “We are seeing veterans reconnecting with their mates, families and themselves, exploring advanced training and education opportunities to diversify and expand their incredible skillsets, connecting with veteran supportive employers to secure meaningful long-term civilian employment, and receiving specialised psychological care to improve their health and wellbeing long after their service experiences. While the Australian community and organisations like Soldier On have achieved a great deal for the betterment of the veteran community over the past decade, the need for support has not dissipated. More action is needed from government bodies and the wider community to ensure that we are looking after those who have served our nation,” Leahy added.

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