Bravery Trust has welcomed the focus on improving veteran services and early intervention following last night’s Federal Budget announcement.

Bravery Trust has been granted $2.1 million over three years to expand its veteran specific financial counselling service and support the move from welfare to independence.

CEO Belinda Wilson said income, finance and employment are recognised as key factors to veteran wellbeing. She commended the Federal Government for recognising the need to evolve and find better ways of supporting veterans for the longer term.

“Empowering veterans through financial counselling and financial literacy, rather than welfare alone, leads to a better financial outcome for families and, importantly, restores pride and increases confidence,” she said.

Bravery Trust provides an immediate safety net such as food vouchers, emergency housing, utility bills and motor vehicle expenses when veterans face hardship, alongside providing financial counselling to help veterans out of hardship.

“Financial matters can be complex, especially for those who have limited earning capacity due to illness or injury. When financial circumstances change suddenly and unexpectedly, it is essential that those affected can receive financial support as quickly as possible,” Ms Wilson said.

“However, we’ve seen that welfare alone is not effectively supporting veterans to a sustainable future. “With the support of the Federal Government we’re now able to offer our services to more serving and ex-serving members of the Australian Defence Force, working alongside them for the longer term, both preventing financial crisis and better preparing families if crisis does hit.”

Ms Wilson said the initial trial of a veteran specific financial counselling service, in partnership with the ADF Financial Services Consumer Centre, had reported 97% of those who initially required financial aid did not need to return for further welfare when they worked with veteran specific financial counsellors. Participants reported an improved outlook on life and their future.

60% of those reaching out to Bravery Trust are younger than 50 years old. 74% have children.

Serving and ex-serving members of the ADF facing, and their families can call Bravery Trust on 1800 BRAVERY (1800 272 837)

Bravery Trust is a registered business name of the Australian Defence Force Assistance Trust, a nationally registered charity.