They spend years in training, experience some of the most stressful decision-making conditions on the planet and understand both team work and self-sufficiency in ways that are never similarly tested in civilian life – but once they leave the forces, Australian Defence Force personnel can find it hard to get a job and settle back into everyday life.
The University of South Australia has just entered an important partnership with the organisation, StoryRight, to deliver ex-service members training in the transition to civilian life and employment.
The StoryRight program offers one-day communication and presentation workshops, networking opportunities and mentoring by younger veterans who have, themselves, transitioned successfully back to “civvy street”.
Founded in South Australia earlier this year, the not-for-profit program is led by an experienced team drawn from industry, academia, and the younger veterans’ community. The program operates under the auspices of the Catalyst Foundation.
StoryRight's other industry partners include the Defence Teaming Centre, RSL Care, Veterans SA and the Jamie Larcombe Centre Partnerships Hub.
Offered in partnership with UniSA’s School of Creative Industries the program includes a one-day workshop where participants learn how to 'translate' their military skills and experience into language that civilian employers will understand.
StoryRight’s second workshop of the year takes place at UniSA City West this Thursday, September 6.
UniSA Head of School, Professor Jason Bainbridge says the program partnership builds on the University’s wide engagement with the defence sector.
“In this workshop we are focused on the vital aspects of communication that will help people to build a professional profile and network to make the bridge to employment,” Prof Banbridge says.
Participants learn how to construct a targeted personal statement and professional biography that can be used for their LinkedIn profile and delivered verbally at job interviews, in personal presentations or in media interviews.
“Our mission is to empower serving and ex-serving defence members, one story at a time,” Chair, StoryRight Australia Dr Sharon Mascall-Dare says.
“Several graduates from our first course have now secured jobs or study opportunities and demand for our workshops is growing nationally.”
A workshop will be held in Darwin at the end of October and there are plans to expand the program nationally with additional partners in Queensland, Northern Territory and Victoria in 2019.
StoryRight’s final workshop of the year will be held in Adelaide on Monday November 5, hosted by UniSA.
StoryRight success story: Oliver Andrews
Oliver Andrews is a former Cavalryman in the Australian Army. Since leaving the Army, he has commenced studying a Bachelor of Marketing and Communications at UniSA. He is a successful graduate of the StoryRight program and is an advocate for veterans transitioning from the ADF.
“StoryRight has given me the ability to transition with confidence. The program has equipped me with the skills and knowledge to effectively engage with civilian employers,” said Oliver.
“UniSA was more than accommodating while I was studying and still serving. They understood the unique requirements of my job and were able to provide a wealth of support when I had to fulfill my commitments to Army.”
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