Showcasing what's working in veteran wellbeing

Showcasing what's working in veteran wellbeing

It is hard to disagree that COVID-19 pandemic has caused more changes in the way we as a society function than any event since World War II. Many thousands in the workforce have been forced to, or voluntarily, restructure the way they do their jobs. Some workplaces have been decentralised for many and working remotely or from home has become the norm.

It is broadband internet that has made much of this possible and it is evident the broadband was rolled out just in time. Conferences, meetings and many forums are now conducted via the internet and words like webinar and zoom are now commonplace in our day to day vocabulary. Even after the pandemic it is likely our new web-based habits will be here to stay.

One organisation that is demonstrating success thought the facilitation of online events, and began doing so before the pandemic, is Wellbeing Australia. A not-for profit network, Wellbeing Australia centres on bringing together people and organisations committed to developing healthy relationships that lead to individual and community wellbeing. They place a particular emphasis on the areas of family, education and the workplace.

For the second year running Wellbeing Australia is the lead organisation in the Veteran Wellbeing Summit. With the motto of 'Action, Hope, Transformation' VWS 2020 is an online summit recommended for current and ex-ADF, their partners and family members, their support networks, medical and allied health professionals.

The webinars can be accessed at no cost and showcase and share what is working in the area of veteran wellbeing. This is the third week of Veterans Wellbeing Seminars this year following on from the highly successful March and June events. Last year the VWS reached over 10,000 participants. Wellbeing Australia advise that VWS 2019 was their first hit-out as a totally online summit.

They collected a lot of data and did analysis to find out what veterans, their partners, families and support network are finding useful to be proactive and nurture their wellbeing. The Director of Wellbeing Australia, Jacqui Van de Velde, says that "as the seminar is online, people can participate from home or anywhere with an internet connection. We are reaching people who have been socially and geographically isolated. The feedback from participants has been positive and encouraging. If the Summit saves one life, it has all been worth it."

You can go online and register for as much or as little of the summit you like over the course of Veterans' Health Week, October 24 - November 1. The VWS 2020 program is as follows:

Oct 24 10am - Webinar Heart and mind in partnership - the heart's empowering role in building resilience, wellness and positive relationships. Presenter: Klaus Baur.

Oct 25 2pm -Workshop Yoga as a delivery system: An integrated mind body approach to build optimal wellbeing. Facilitator: Brad Williamson.

Oct 26 10am - Webinar NSW Government Veterans Employment Program. Presenters: Craig "Dallas" Delaney and Megan Banton.

Oct 26 11:30 am - Webinar Servulink: Empowering Veterans and Families to connect with services, support and community. Presenters: Matt Brennan and Ian Storie.

Oct 26 2pm - Workshop Releasing your automatic stress reaction to a memory. Facilitator: Jenny Johnston.

Oct 27 10am - Webinar PTSD Resurrected and Warriors 4 Life - Love in Action. Presenters: Paul Davidson, Dave Marrett, Mark Franzi.

Oct 28 2pm - Workshop Having helpful conversations using a solution focus: it's not just for the 'psychs' - how can we all use the SF approach to help people move towards a better place? Facilitators: Emma Burns, David Hains and Major Raharuhi Koia RF Chaplain Cl 3 (NZDF).

Oct 28 7pm - Webinar Caring for Kids: Parenting after transition. Presenter: Katrina Streatfeild.

Oct 28 8pm - workshop MindRight. Facilitator: Tom Moore.

Oct 29 10am - Webinar Reconnecting with self. Presenter: Michelle Wotton.

Oct 29 7pm- Workshop MindRight. Facilitator: Tom Moore.

Oct 30 9am - Webinar Action, Hope, & Transformation with Veterans in the US. Presenters: Mark Mitchell, Val Reyes, Tess Banko, Nate Graeser, Jim Zenner.

Oct 31 10am - Workshop The Psychological Effects of Service. Facilitator: Megan Fry.

VWS 2020 is a free event and you can participate in from home or the office, as an individual or a small group. It may be an opportunity for the more 'tech savvy' in our Mid North Coast veterans community to take those without IT experience under their wing and participate together.

To find out more go to