MORE than $157,000 of funding under the latest round of Supporting Younger Veterans Grants, has been awarded to Flinders University, in concert with William Kibby VC Men’s Shed, to develop a program to support younger veterans undertaking tertiary education.
Today Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester and Federal Member for Boothby Nicolle Flint announced that this grant will support younger veterans studying, which will lead to improved pathways as they move into civilian life.
“The Government is putting veterans and families first by supporting the needs of younger veterans as they transition out of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and establish themselves into civilian life.
“This program assists with the establishment of a Veterans@Uni peer group which will provide transition, study and lifestyle support,” Mr Chester said.
“I offer my congratulations to Flinders University who will use some of this funding to also conduct some research on the barriers and enablers to younger veterans studying at the tertiary level,” Ms Flint said.
Flinders University Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Stirling says the initiative has the potential to make a difference in the lives of many who have served the nation.
“This grant will help equip those who have bravely served our nation to pursue new careers, by supporting younger veterans to successfully transition from service to study,” Professor Stirling says.
Flinders University’s grant recipient Associate Professor Ben Wadham says “Higher Education is a great pathway for some veterans.”
“Veterans often want to give back to the community and our research at Flinders University can help facilitate this. Therapists with military experience in particular have the advantage of having shared experience with veteran clients.”
Young veteran student Kane Hunt is currently completing a psychological science degree and is involved in helping other younger veteran students.
“The values that the army ingrained in me as a soldier – like hard work, initiative and teamwork, all kicked in when I started studying at university and gave me an advantage. I ultimately want to work with veterans and help, in some way, those guys who are facing the same issues after leaving the forces that I did,” Mr Hunt said.
The program will also explore collaboration with researchers at La Trobe University who are undertaking similar work under this grants program.
“This program will provide knowledge and capability in the younger veteran community and the tertiary institution, improving access to tertiary study for younger veterans involved in the initial phase of the program and future transitioning younger veterans,” Mr Chester said.
The next Supporting Younger Veterans Grant round is expected to open for applications in July 2019 and close in August 2019. Applications can be lodged online, through the Australian Government’s Community Grants Hub.