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RSL Active & Invictus Games
In NSW, RSL DefenceCare runs RSL Active, a program encouraging working-age veterans and current members of the Australian Defence Force to be active in their communities.
RSL Active provides an adaptive sports program in a safe and welcoming environment to help those veterans who have suffered injuries and illnesses as a result of their service. It also provides a safe and welcoming environment for families.
RSL Active also operates as an opportunity for veterans and Defence force members to prepare for the 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 sending a team. Trials were held in the ACT earlier this year and the final team is expected to be announced soon.
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 www.invictusgames2018.org.
Operation K9 Assistance Dogs
Operation K9 is a joint program provided by RSL DefenceCare 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 in the Australian Defence Force and have a diagnosed PTSD that has been acquired during a military operation. All applicants must be over the age of 18.
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.