Transitioning Has Never Been Easier

RAAF

In 2007, Louise O’Neill transitioned from the Royal Australian Air Force. The support available today is “vastly different” to her experience.

Now, Mrs O’Neill is a transition coach and helps people who were once in her shoes.

“It is rewarding to see ADF personnel seek assistance that is available, and the difference that it makes to their lives post-transition,” Mrs O’Neill said.

“Once they know I have also been through the transition process they are more accepting of the support that is available.”

Mrs O’Neill is based in the RAAF Williamtown Transition Centre, which has been praised for the support it offers to transitioning members.

Assistance includes career coaching modules for resume writing, interviewing skills and financial advice. In some cases, training funding is available to support a person’s employment goal after transition.

Mrs O’Neill’s colleague and Royal Australian Navy veteran, Christine Black, has similar enriched feelings. She transferred from the Navy in 2002.

Part of her rewarding work is seeing personnel take advantage of the Defence Force Transition Program (DFTP).

“The Defence Force Transition Program is free for personnel to access and it’s available for up to two years post-transition,” Ms Black said.

“The job search preparation workshop and most of the career transition coaching modules are available at any stage in their career as well. You don’t have to be transitioning to access those.”

The level of support available to transitioning people has improved significantly in recent years. Along with the training course funding there is personality profiling that helps to identify potential career paths.

“It is rewarding to see ADF personnel seek assistance that is available, and the difference that it makes to their lives post transition.”

Peter Webeck is also a transition coach based at RAAF Williamtown.

“By the end [of transition], they’ve found their strength and their feet, moving off confidently and it’s great to be a part of that journey,” Mr Webeck said.

“You’ve guided them and reassured them that everything will be okay. It’s great to see them finally acknowledge and be comfortable with the fact that, yes, everything actually is OK.”

About 6000 personnel transition every year. It’s compulsory to meet with a transition coach when separating and family members are encouraged to be a part of the journey.

It’s recommended personnel attend a transition seminar every four years even if they’re not nearing the end of their ADF career.

Seminars have information specifically tailored for those medically separating, transferring to the reserves, retiring and for their families. These seminars can be accessed in person or virtually.

“By the end [of transition], they’ve found their strength and their feet, moving off confidently and it’s great to be a part of that journey.”

There are 14 transition centres around Australia, including at RAAF Bases Amberley, Richmond and Williamtown.

There are 12 outreach locations including at RAAF Bases Pearce, Sale, Tindal and Wagga Wagga.

Nationwide, 24 transition seminars will be held from May until the end of the year.

More information is available at defence.gov.au/transition.

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