So much more than a sporting event
Driving Opportunity Through Sport
The end of the Invictus Games Sydney 2018 marks a new beginning for our wounded, injured and ill serving and veteran defence personnel.
We have inspired the wider community to respect and embrace those who have served their country. We have encouraged active and connected lifestyles through programs targeting sport and mental wellbeing.
We have educated the community to realise the valuable contribution our veterans can make in civilian life. We have connected Government, corporate and ‘not for profit’ organisations around a common purpose to support our veterans and their families.
Encourage active and connected lifestyles
National sporting programs have been developed that will support veterans and their families so they can connect with their community through sport.
Veteran Sport Australia, led by the RSL, will oversee a fully integrated national sports program to connect veterans with the wider sporting fraternity in their local areas. Click here for more information or to get involved.
The Federal Office of Sport has announced a biannual sporting event for veterans as a lead in to future Invictus Games.
The Queensland Academy of Sport will offer grants to support future Invictus Games competitors with their training and development.
Invictus Games Sydney 2018 helped to drive increased recognition that mental health is often a hidden challenge faced by veterans and that an active and connected lifestyle can be a powerful healer. This has also prompted a wider discussion around mental health and wellbeing.
The Games has encouraged collaboration between different organisations; Open Arms (formerly the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service) is working with leading mental health advocates to focus on support solutions for the defence community.
Medibank, supported by organisations including Beyond Blue and RUOK, canvased a range of issues around mental health through the Games inspired forum, “An Unconquerable Mind”.
Inspire a shift in perceptions
Invictus Games Sydney 2018 has provided a platform to educate all Australians about the sacrifice of service and the challenges faced by the defence community.
The Invictus Games Sydney 2018 Education Project, developed and delivered nationally through the NSW Department of Education, provides a valuable educational opportunity centred on inclusivity, mental health, physical health, the unconquered human spirit and resilience. This will be available in schools for years to come. For more information on the Education Project click here or to review the curriculum materials visit the project site.
More than ten thousand primary and secondary school children attended the Invictus Games Sydney 2018, and more than six thousand participated in hands-on workshops during their visit. Activities included playing adaptive sports including basketball and sitting volleyball and interactive engineering sessions to understand the science behind prosthetics.
UNSW announced the launch of a Veterans Scholarship. Open to all current and former Australian Defence Force Personnel and their dependents, the scholarship supports the transition to a new career with study in any UNSW undergraduate or postgraduate coursework degree program. Visit UNSW for more information or to apply.
The UNSW Veterans Mentoring Program is part of a broader program aimed at easing the shift from military service to civilian life. UNSW will also manage a mentoring program for alumni who are veterans. The program will partner veterans with others who have similar experience and who understand the specific challenges involved.
Invictus Games Sydney 2018 has connected veterans and employers, whilst educating employers about the enormous potential of those who have served. During the Games we:
- hosted the With You With Me Careers Fair
- staged Symposium on Employment for families and employers to highlight the unique skill set of veterans
- established enduring links between our corporate partners. Jaguar Land Rover, Westpac, Sage, Aon and the Defence Industry are actively working together to amplify and promote veteran employment initiatives.
Awareness and Recognition
Coinciding with the Invictus Games Sydney 2018 several other initiatives were announced to support the defence community including a Veterans Card, investment into the Australian War Memorial to ensure more stories are told to homage to the ‘Invictus Generation’ and additional funding for Kookaburra Kids to support the children of veterans affected by mental health challenges.