Advocacy (Compensation & Welfare Assistance)

What qualities are required to be an Advocate?

Advocates are the linchpin of our supporting services at the Centre. They understand the legislation affecting our current and former serving communities and have knowledge of a wide range of supporting services/organisations. Given the complexity of chronic physical health and psychological conditions, this broad understanding is essential.

Our Advocates are paid and volunteer, men and women between the ages of 25 and 70.

  • Have a lived experience in overcoming adversity
  • Empathy towards mental health issues
  • Commitment to training and ongoing professional development
  • Skills in assisting someone through problem-solving processes
  • Effective communication skills

Role of the Advocate:

Advocates understand that his or her role is to be dependable, maintaining the client’s privacy and working with them to facilitate suitable support for their needs. Advocates will:

  • Recognise the signs and symptoms of mental health issues, communicate effectively
  • Able to investigate the client’s claims, and work with
  • Work as part of a supportive and collaborative team
  • Provide empathy and support to clients
  • Facilitate pathways to professional help

Responsibilities of an Advocate:

  • Using software to manage clients and track progress of support
  • Participating in annual professional development
  • Engaging in regular professional supervision
  • Agree to report back to the Lead Advocate a regular basis as requested
  • Respect and maintain confidentiality

What commitment does being a volunteer Advocate involve?

  • Being an Advocate is a voluntary role
  • Working within a respectful environment where all persons be they staff, clients or visitors are treated with respect and treat others as they would want to be treated
  • The privacy and confidentiality of our current and former service men, women and their families must always be protected
  • After completing the Induction program – a minimum of 4 hours per week in providing advocacy services

Peer Support Worker 

What qualities are required to be a Veteran Support Worker?

The Veterans Community is struggling to support their Peers, an alarmingly high suicide rate is evidence of this. Through providing Advocacy services (compensation and Welfare assistance with Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) The Centre has learned the effectiveness of trained peers providing this service to those in need.

The military is a tightly knit community and often it takes a Peer to help them, not the military members chain of command or a medical professional.

Many young current serving and former military personnel don’t want to be involved in existing support programs. Some are not well enough and others are too time poor with careers and families. A structured program allowing them to help their Peers, to triage the situation and remain flexible around their lives is essential. This role is a crucial bridging (warm referral) to professional assistance (medical, financial, legal, etc).

Volunteer Support Workers (VSW) will be both men and women between the ages of 25 – 60 with military lived experience as either a serving member (current or former) or as an ADF family member.

  • Have a lived experience in overcoming adversity
  • Empathy towards mental health issues
  • Commitment to training and ongoing professional development
  • Skills in assisting someone through problem-solving processes
  • Effective communication skills

Role of the Veteran Support Worker:

An effective VSW understands that his or her role is to be dependable, engaged, authentic, and tuned into the needs of the veteran

  • Recognise the signs and symptoms of mental health issues
  • Give appropriate initial help and support to someone experiencing a mental health issue
  • Provide empathy and support
  • Facilitate pathways to professional help
  • Refer, refer, refer

Responsibilities of Veteran Support Workers:

  • Submitting basic statistical information for each time support is provided
  • Participating in annual professional development
  • Engaging in regular professional supervision
  • Agree to report back to the Project Coordinator on a regular basis as requested
  • Respect and maintain confidentiality

What commitment does being a Veteran Support Worker involve?

  • Being a VSW is a voluntary role
  • Working within a respectful environment where all persons be they staff, clients or visitors are treated with respect and treat others as they would want to be treated
  • The privacy and confidentiality of our current and former service men, women and their families must always be protected
  • After completing the Induction program – no more than two hours per week in providing support and referral information to veterans and their family members