Tonight’s Super Rugby match at GIO Stadium is sure to be a good one, with the Brumbies pushing to defeat the Crusaders after their 25-20 loss to the Jaguares last week.
But this game is special in more ways than one, with players and spectators pausing for a minutes’ silence to pay tribute to ANZAC Day. This year, the Brumbies have invited not-for-profit Soldier On to be part of the commemoration, recognising the important work they do in our community for those who serve, and have served, our country.
Melissa Russell, Director of National Communications for Soldier On, says that they’re grateful for the support, and hope to raise more awareness for the crucial services they provide.
“Soldier On supports service personnel (and their families) who have served Australia from the 1990s onwards. Our main goal is to help them reconnect with their families and the broader community, and remove some of the isolation that often occurs post-service.”
Soldier On has centres across the country, which offer:
- free and uncapped counselling sessions for individuals and family members
- free employment support services
- training and education at no or low cost
- free social connection activities
“There’s a lot of life to live post-service, so we want to help in any way we can,” says Melissa. “Whether it be counselling sessions, helping with a resume or finding a new job, training to do something new, or simply connecting with likeminded people who understand what you’re going through.
“Activity wise, there’s so much on offer. From coffee catch ups to learning to surf, playing golf, doing yoga, joining a music group or book club, and much more. Last weekend we had our Family Ties program, where five families spent a weekend together joining in various activities and reconnecting. Sometimes we get free tickets to games which we can gift to veterans, and for some it may be the first time they’ve been out and enjoyed a crowd with their kids since they’ve returned home. It’s just so important.”
Melissa says they’re incredibly grateful for any assistance they receive from the community, as only 0.004% of funding has come from the government.
“It’s only through the help of generous individuals, businesses and philanthropists that we are able to keep offering our services,” says Melissa.
“We welcome all donations and assistance with fundraising, including fun runs, bake sales, and other innovative ideas. We also welcome volunteers who can help with fundraising events, such as our National Ball at the end of the year, and even administration work in the office.
“You can also help by referring someone you know. With a limited advertising budget, word of mouth is essential in letting those who need our services know we are here and ready to help.
“We’re currently running a #Thankyou2018 campaign, where people can leave their messages of support on our website, and they are delivered overseas. It’s been wonderful to see some of the kind messages that have come through.”
Read the touching story of how Solider On started, or make a donation. If you know anyone who would benefit from Soldier On services, encourage them to get in touch via Facebook, Soldier On, or by calling 1300 620 380.
This community message is brought to you by Bendigo Bank, Official Community Banking Partner of the Brumbies.
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