Celebrating its 10th anniversary by giving back – Omni has announced a $100,000 donation to support ADF veterans injured during service and those facing financial hardship.
At their 10th anniversary celebratory event in Canberra, Omni marked the occasion by announcing additional funding for national military charity Bravery Trust to appoint a veteran-specific financial mentor, targeting education and early intervention before crisis hits.
Veterans can face complicated financial changes without adequate support, especially those medically discharged. In some cases, this leads to a cycle of debt, which makes recovery even harder. Despite its importance, financial fitness has not received the same focus – until now.
Central to Omni’s business is to give back and support the veterans who have put their lives on the line to protect Australia’s national security. Guided by the core values of respect, trust, agility, and humility, Omni has been a proud partner of Bravery Trust for the last eight years, and today’s announcement marks a new chapter in providing proactive and holistic support for ADF Veterans.
Founded in 2012, by ADF veteran Jon Hawkins, Omni is a leading Australian sovereign defence SME and a proud employer of over 400 personnel, a large number of which are Veterans who have served in the ADF, Police and Intelligence communities.
Over its first decade, Omni has expanded from a small family start-up to a leading sovereign defence SME, working across all five domains to provide consulting, vetting, security, aerospace, maritime and intelligence capabilities.
Bravery Trust currently provides urgent financial aid and financial counselling to veterans injured during service and those facing hardship. 70% of those who reach out to Bravery Trust in a financial crisis are aged 50 years or younger. Many have recently transitioned from the Australian Defence Force (ADF) involuntarily.
Omni Founder and CEO Jon Hawkins said transition out of the ADF, especially medical discharge, can be sudden and unplanned and “financial stress can add to the trauma.” Just over a quarter of transitioning veterans are medically discharged- the number has risen from 10% in 2007 to 27% in 2021.*
“We know financial matters are a key pillar to veteran health; and finances have been identified in the royal commission as a key factor in veteran suicide,” Mr Hawkins said.
“While we were pleased to see over $500 million committed to support Veterans in the recent Federal Budget, at Omni we believe industry must also play a role in supporting our Veterans. Not only in providing employment, but by facilitating the training and structures that will prevent crises and provide long-term support.
“The benefits of physical exercise are well known across the Defence Force both in terms of supporting mental and physical wellbeing. Financial fitness, despite being so incredibly important, has not received the same focus.”
Bravery Trust CEO Belinda Wilson said the financial aspects of veteran support were incredibly important.
“Not all veterans and their families experience crisis. But we have an obligation as a nation to support those who do. We ask them to risk their lives for our freedom and far too many are slipping through the cracks, unsure or unable to find help when they most need it,” Ms Wilson said.
“Bravery Trust can assist with immediate financial aid and provide an independent, veteran-specific financial counselling service, supporting engagement with creditors, landlords and banks, to reduce debt and create a positive, holistic future pathway.
“The funding announced today by Omni allows us to go one step further and assist veterans before a crisis hits – preparing them financially for life after the ADF and setting them up for long-term success. It is a proactive approach to significantly improve outcomes for veterans after ADF discharge.”
The funding from Omni will support the employment of a dedicated financial fitness trainer who will:
- Assist serving members who are considering transitioning by providing them with financial education tools to prepare for life after service.
- Provide families with budgeting skills and help them plan for life events.
- Offer ongoing support to veterans and their families through regular check-ups as a case manager.
Omni has been a Corporate Partner of Bravery Trust since 2014 supporting the provision of welfare to veterans and veteran specific financial counselling.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare identified a higher risk of suicide for ex-serving males who separate for medical or other involuntary reasons; and the Interim Report of the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide found the rate of suicide among ex-serving males was higher for those with lower incomes.*
Any veteran injured during service who is experiencing financial hardship can email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 1800 BRAVERY (1800 272 837)
*Taken from the Interim Report of the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide