Campbelltown Matters with Greg Warren: Western Sydney University’s veterans program should be praised and applauded | Campbelltown-Macarthur Advertiser
I was browsing the Campbelltown-Macarthur Advertiser website last week when I came across a thread that really caught my eye.
The story focused on an initiative by the University of Western Sydney to support current and former Australian Defense Force personnel and reservists with their studies.
As a former veteran myself and shadow minister of veterans affairs, I was excited to read about the student veteran program and how it works.
Veterans face many challenges.
One of the biggest issues is suicide, and that’s why a Royal Commission on Defense and Veteran Suicide has been announced.
The transition from ADF life to civilian life is also extremely difficult.
Think about it – when I was 17, I spent three months at the Kapooka Army Recruit Training Center in Wagga Wagga.
These six months have been dedicated to helping me prepare to make the transition from civilian life to the regular Australian Army.
When I came out I was practically patted on the back and sent on my way.
There was no real time or effort to prepare me for a life or career after ADF.
This is why Western Sydney University’s Veteran Student Program is so important.
The program will allow current ADF personnel, veterans, and reservists to access programs and services while studying and even while considering studying.
That’s a huge head start.
Often when we talk about the sacrifices made by ADF personnel, many people immediately think of war and conflict.
But that’s just not the case.
ADF members sacrifice time away from loved ones, which means they miss important milestones like children’s birthdays.
Their families and friends also sacrifice this quality time.
Many current and former ADF members also suffer physical and mental scars as a result of their service.
That is why anything that can be done to better support our veterans is a positive step.
This is why Western Sydney University’s Student Veterans Program is to be praised and applauded.