Staying the Course: Strategies for Australian Student Veterans in Transition
The transition from military to civilian life is often challenging for veterans. International research shows higher education to be an important pathway that can help veterans navigate this change and improve their psycho-social wellbeing and career prospects. In this article, we examine how student veterans are being recognised and supported in the Australian higher education context. Our research finds the range of governmental and institutional support for student veterans to be limited, and in contrast to nations such as the United States. Nevertheless, we find recent examples of veteran-specific pathways and programs, and a growing momentum for change among university staff. Along with clear opportunities for the expansion and coordination of existing support, we highlight the need for a national framework that recognises higher education as an option for all those who have served in defence of the nation. We argue that supporting veterans is not only an equity issue, but also a matter of recognising how the skills and experience gained in the military make veterans valued members of the university community.