Blog by CEO Belinda Wilson
Last week’s announcement by the Fair Work Commission to raise the minimum wage by 5.2% is a great start for workers, but spare a thought for those who don’t, or can’t, work.
Bravery Trust supports veterans who have been injured whilst serving in the Australian Defence Force. Many of those we support are receiving a DVA pension, or are on the waiting list to secure an outcome about their financial future from DVA.
Whilst they wait, veterans who have served our nation and have put their lives on the line for our safety, can be left falling through the gaps, especially if they have been injured in the line of duty. Financial purgatory greets those who seek long-term financial outcomes.
Yet it is not the veterans nor their families that are to blame for their financial situation. For some, injury, both physical and mental, contributes significantly to being able to create financial wellness. So too does not having an immediate and stable financial lifeline when their world, and career, has been turned upside down through unexpected injury. A loss of purpose and identity can be the final insult.
The constant pressures of managing a household budget and dealing with rising costs are hitting hard for the veterans that we assist. Many are making the agonising decision to put the heater on, or chose to feed the family. Our welfare and financial counsellors are seeing more and more veteran families reaching out to get the help they need this winter, and wanting to learn ways to make their limited income stretch further as prices rise.
We have always recognised that it is far better to teach someone to fish than to hand out fish. We strive to go a few steps further and show people where to fish and how to cook the fish….but at times they also need help purchasing the fishing rod so that they can climb out of the financial purgatory and take back control.
Our services cover each of these steps, but more can be done by the community to support those who have served. We all have a role to play to ensure that those injured while protecting our freedoms are left no worse off.
Belinda Wilson is Chief Executive Officer of Bravery Trust, a national military charity providing financial aid and financial counselling to veterans who are ill or have been injured as a result of their service. Any serving or ex-serving member of the Defence Force facing financial hardship as a result of injury or illness sustained during service can call 1800 272 379 to make an appointment with Bravery Trust’s specialist staff.