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Cedars Equine Program.

Horses and humans have a lot in common. Horses mirror human behaviour and are very responsive to body language and seem to have a sixth sense in mental awareness and communication.

The Cedars Equine Program has been developed for those having suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and who feel somewhat isolated and distanced from other humans to have an opportunity to get acquainted, in touching and handling horses. Just feeling the heartbeat of one of these big magnificent animals can bring tears to the eyes of a soldier who has had no human contact for some time.

The program offers five days of hands on horsemanship and training under the care and guidance of Scott Brodie who is an accomplished trainer, horseman and ex-serviceman himself.

A morning and afternoon session daily of two hours each, covers the very basics of initial respect and introduction to natural horsemanship through to lunging the horse. This develops strength, confidence and understanding. The Cedars Equine program is an introduction to horsemanship and offers opportunities to those interested in furthering their interest in horses to acquiring jobs in the industry.

The Cedars sits in its own tranquil valley with beautiful views of the escarpment. The river runs through itand there is an abundance of wildlife. Kangaroo Valley is just a two hour drive from Sydney.

Please contact us to register your interest or get more information.

Invictus Games

Named after the Latin for "unconquered” the Invictus Games are an international multi-day sporting event for wounded servicemen and women that are championed by Prince Harry and were first held in London in 2014 with subsequent Games held in Orlando in 2016.

The Games inspire recovery and support rehabilitation, not just of the servicemen and women involved, but also for all who witness their physical and mental rehabilitation. They generate awareness, understanding and respect for those who have served their country.

The next Games are scheduled to be held in Toronto in 2017, and Australia is looking to field a team of 40 to 60 athletes. To do this, we need to start recruiting people now.

Prince Harry announced on 12 November 2016, that the 2018 Invictus Games have been awarded to Sydney, Australia.

17 nations will compete in eleven different adaptive sports with events being held across Greater Sydney, including Sydney Olympic Park and on and around Sydney Harbour.

The 2018 Invictus Games will be managed by the Australian International Military Games and the ADF and RSL will again partner together to enter an Australian team.

More information on the 2018 Invictus Games can be found at

Memorial Assistance — provides assistance to current and ex-serving Australian Defence members and their families when there is a death in the family.

Providing financial assistance to supplement any funeral assistance provided by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs for eligible veterans and will provide support upon the death of any family member. Families are offered counselling, bereavement support and if they cannot afford a funeral, financial assistance to help them through this difficult and sensitive time. For more information please click here.

Please contact us to register your interest or get more information.

New Start Fund - for homeless veterans and their families.

Providing financial assistance to homeless Australian veterans who have fallen on hard times since leaving the Australian Defence Force. This fund will initially provide a pack of basic toiletries, food vouchers and household goods when they first arrive as well as furniture and white goods for their accommodation and later when they are back on their feet, assistance with expenses such as a rental bond to help them with their journey of recovery. For more information please click here.

Please contact us to register your interest or get more information.

Operation K9 Assistance Dogs

Operation K9 is a joint program provided by RSL  DefenceCare, the Returned Services League, and the Royal Society for the Blind (RSB). Operation K9 dogs are provided to Veterans of the Australian Defence Forces (ADF) who have a diagnosed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

An Operation K9 dog is an accredited assistance dog that can provide benefits in terms of supporting independence and social interactions as well as a range of client specific tasks tailored to the veteran’s needs.

To be eligible to apply for an Operation K9 Dog, the applicant must have served or currently be serving in the Australian Defence Force and have a diagnosed PTSD that has been acquired during a military operation. All applicants must be 18 years of age.

Please contact us to register your interest or get more information.

Post War Survive to Thrive Program.

The Post War Survive to Thrive Program is the world’s first online personal development program directed specifically at current and former service personnel and their families. The program teaches veterans effective roles that they can have in their personal growth, recovery and transition into civilian life. It aims to turn Post Traumatic Stress into Post Traumatic Success by teaching veterans how to regain purpose in their lives, overcome being a victim of their condition and circumstances, and become the victor. The program aims to teach veterans how to get positive results by regaining control in the six key areas of happiness; spiritually, psychologically and emotionally, physically, within relationships, re-engagement in communities and society, and financially.

The program was created through first-hand experience of learning to Survive and Thrive with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Anxiety, Depression, and the impact of transitioning from military to civilian life. The program was created by a former infantry soldier, East Timor and Iraq veteran Dane Christison. “I was isolated and could hardly leave my house for years, I had gone through clinical treatment and I was barely surviving, I had to find out what I could do to regain control of my own life and thrive. At the end of the day I realised this is my road and mine alone, others may walk it with you, but nobody can walk it for you.”

The course consists of 8 modules distinctly categorised into “survival methods” and “thriving methods.” Accompany Dane on his own real life journey of his personal challenges of PTSD and transitioning adversities relating directly to veterans and their families. The program does not just focus on the problems, it offers real coaching solutions that veterans can apply to their daily life to regain confidence, overcome stress and personal adversities to survive and thrive. The power of the program is that Dane is able to relate and create a personal connection with participants - educating, inspiring, and motivating the individual to set realistic goals and achieve results.

RSL DefenceCare’s assistance to date, has been paramount in the delivery of the program to members and veterans in financial crisis. But due to demand, further funding is urgently required to enable The Post War Survive to Thrive program to be made readily available to Defence members, veterans and their families with no additional financial burden in their time of need. We call upon the public and corporate industries to generously contribute towards giving back to those who gave.

Click here to see a media release on this program

Donate to this program by clicking here

Recovery Needs — meeting urgent medical needs that veterans can not afford.

RSL DefenceCare pays for house cleaning, lawn mowing services, gardening and other necessities for families, enabling them to focus on getting their lives back on track with dignity. Family members are often without local support. When they are ill or in need, RSL DefenceCare is one of only a few organisations they can turn to for help. For more information click here.

Please contact us to register your interest or get more information.