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Veterans transition to new kind of frontline service

South Australian veterans are receiving extra support to transition from one frontline to another – taking up roles in the emergency services and other government agencies to continue serving their local communities.

More than 1,000 veterans are employed in the state’s public sector, including over 120 staff currently serving part-time as Australian Defence Force (ADF) reservists.

South Australia Police, the Metropolitan Fire Service and SA Ambulance Service are among the growing number of employers welcoming veterans to their ranks, as the public sector – the state’s largest employer – increasingly recognises the value veterans bring to workplaces.

Skills and experience gained in the military are widely sought after in high-pressure emergency services roles, with agencies offering varied benefits to attract and retain veteran employees such as Defence Reserves Leave or, in some cases, retention of ADF leave entitlements.

SAPOL has joined the new South Australian Veteran Employer Network – launched by the Malinauskas Government last month – which brings together a group of dedicated employers focused on education and networking to help veterans and their partners find meaningful work.

Veterans SA will engage with more government agencies, including the MFS and SAAS, as it looks to expand the network and grow membership across public and private sector organisations.

The new program is in addition to the Veterans SA Career & Business Mentoring Program established to enable veteran community members to connect with experienced South Australian professionals and take the next steps in their careers.

Both programs are part of a $2.1 million State Budget commitment to improve outcomes for veterans and their families, with a host of initiatives being rolled out.

Government agencies can also draw on the Military Rank to Grade Guide which outlines how military ranks compare to public sector classifications – giving veterans confidence their skills align with and translate into a career in the public sector.

Each year, more than 6,000 veterans transition from the ADF, offering civilian employers specialist qualifications and technical expertise as well as transferrable skills in leadership, discipline, teamwork and the ability to work under pressure.

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