“With a vision of helping others, you can turn the most negative experiences in your life into endless opportunities” - Dane Christison (East Timor and Iraq Veteran).
After losing a mother at six years old and a sister at 15, Dane found inspiration from his grandfather, a former Regimental Sergeant Major and Order of Australia Medal recipient and as a result, a life in the military.
After joining the Army at 19, Dane served in East Timor and Iraq as a forward scout and gunner with the 5th 7th Royal Australian Regiment. Post discharge, he was a security manager at the London Stock Exchange in a counter-terrorism project during the 2005 London Bombings.
Through these experiences Dane suffered PTSD, severe anxiety, major depression and was diagnosed in 2009. After two years of fighting for his life with PTSD, he started a journey in self-development travelling to the United States to research advanced programs.
“It was Dane’s willingness to share his own journey and active support for others that came to RSL DefenceCare’s attention nearly three years ago,” said Robyn Collins, General Manager, RSL DefenceCare.
“Here was someone who hit rock bottom, worked out why and set about taking responsibility for his own healing.
“Most importantly Dane understands the issues some veterans face transitioning to civilian life and can explain them in everyday language. Dane still works hard on his own journey – he knows the challenges he faces and the work he has to do. His generosity of spirit in helping others is wonderful.”
Dane is the Founding CEO of Survive To Thrive Nation and has now helped hundreds of young veterans and families through volunteering, running programs and motivational speaking arrangements. Working in partnership with Onfit Training College, Dane has also helped more than 300 current and former Australian Defence Force families gain qualifications in Personal Training at a discounted rate.
Most recently, Dane has created an online self-development course, the “Post War Survive to Thrive Program” that is an 8 module coaching program with a phone app for daily goals with peer to peer support. The program teaches veterans and families the role that they can have in their own growth, recovery and success.
“Keeping your head above water just trying to survive is a dangerous place to be, especially when we have been conditioned to rely on leadership for direction. We need to teach people how to regain control of their own lives during the most difficult of circumstances and thrive again,” said Dane. After developing a close relationship with RSL DefenceCare over the past three years, Dane is proud to become an ambassador. “I love RSL DefenceCare. Nobody who served their country should be denied the right for help during financial difficulties - an organisation that helps those in crisis is an initiative I will stand proud to volunteer and promote any day.”
“RSL DefenceCare is proud to welcome Dane Christison as an Ambassador. He is an inspiration to others,” said Robyn