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Rehabilitation success stories

DVA works with individuals and service providers to achieve positive rehabilitation outcomes. Whether your rehabilitation relates to injury or illness arising from service, we provide the support to enable you to return to work and enjoy a good quality of life. Read more about how DVA clients have benefited from rehabilitation programs:

  • Headshot of Charles wearing a sky blue surgical cap and navy blue medical "scrub" clothing
    Charles Cannard — finding my new niche

    Charles Cannard enlisted in the Army in March 2009 and became a gunner in the Royal Regiment of the Australian Artillery.

  • Headshot of Dom Freestone sitting in the driver's seat of a silver car installed with disability modifications
    Dom Freestone — challenge yourself

    I joined the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) on 21 September 2003. I was training to be a Ground Support Equipment Fitting Engineer, or GSE, which is basically a diesel mechanic.

  • Headshot of Chris Pooley with several new houses behind him.
    Chris Pooley — Find your direction

    I joined the Army on 21 March 2000. I did a trip to Rifle Company Butterworth in Malaysia for a three-month training exercise.
    (Published March 2019)

  • Headshot of Anthony Freebairn with heavy industrial machinery, a including tractor, behind him.
    Anthony Freebairn — Tomorrow is always a new day

    I joined the Royal Australian Navy as an electrician in 2001. I always wanted to join the Forces from school and the Navy had a position for me ready to go straight out of school so I didn’t have to wait. It was good, I thought it was the right decision to make.
    (Published February 2019)

  • Unshaved smiling face of a middle aged man
    Simon Mills — Get it right, get it sorted, and get on with your life

    I was in the Australian Army, both Regular and Reserve. I joined the Regular Army when I was 20 in 1982 and I left in 1988. I went straight from full-time Army at Keswick Barracks to 8 Transport Squadron, which is the Reserve element.
    (Published January 2019)

  • Man wearing leather jacket standing in front of Anzac Centenary banner
    Brian Kajewski — winning my battle

    I spent my service in both the Army and the Reserves. I began in the Reserves in 1985. Back in those days, you didn’t have to do your training at Kapooka and I did my training at Jezzine Barracks in Townsville.
    (Published February 2018)

  • Man wearing backpack standing on rocks while overlooking the ocean
    Larry — finding my blue space

    I already had a professional career before I joined the Army in November 1994, so it was later in my life when I joined the Army. I had three generations of Army in my family and I decided that joining later on was just a different approach for me.
    (Published February 2018)

  • a man wearing head phone and operating on a machine.
    Mark Toogood — post-traumatic growth

    I joined the Army Reserves in 1997, after I initially joined recruit training during my Year 11 and Year 12 holidays. I started in the Army Reserves, however East Timor kicked off in 1999 and I had the opportunity to help out with that, so off I went.
    (Published December 2017)

  • Man wearing a hard-hat and an orange safety vest standing in front of a building with scaffolding
    Richie Neal — building a new career

    I remember the medical officer of my unit just said "let's look at a medical discharge for you, what do you reckon?" I said, "I think it is a good idea".
    (Published December 2017)

  • Tyson Byrne-Baxter
    Tyson Byrne-Baxter — transitioning to civilian life with a young family to support

    I joined the Army in 2009, straight out of school. I completed Grade 11 at one school before I transferred to a trade school where I did 6 months of a carpentry apprenticeship, but I ended up dropping out to join the Defence Force because that is what I was interested in doing.
    (Published November 2016)

  • Ben Webb
    Ben Webb — maintaining good habits

    I joined the Army straight out of school starting in February 2001. I spent my first 5 years in Artillery and then transferred across to RAEME (Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers) and got a trade as an electrician. I then got a medical discharge in 2013 and started again.
    (Published May 2016)

  • Tom Pulleine
    Tom Pulleine — having clear goals for life after service

    I joined the Army in September 1997. When I joined I didn't really know what I wanted to do, I originally went to join the Navy but no Navy recruiter came out! I then watched a video on the Army and thought "that looks good", and I joined.
    (Published May 2016)

  • Darren Hunt
    Darren Hunt — clear skies after the storm

    I joined the Army in September 1989 in Adelaide. My father was in the Military, my grandfather was also in the Military, so there was a tradition there. I felt a sense of honour to follow in their footsteps.
    (Published February 2016)

  • Roylene Glasgow
    Roylene Glasgow — keeping air in the tyre

    I enrolled in the Army Reserves in Adelaide in 1980 whilst still in high school. After completing my recruit training in 1981 I joined the transport squadron here in Adelaide. I served until 1989, just short of ten years’ service.
    (Published February 2016)

  • Ashley Durham
    Ashley Durham – Fighting Fit

    On night navigation at Kapooka, the guy behind me didn’t quite stop in time, bashed into me, I went down the embankment and went end over end. – Hear also from Ashley Durham’s employer Nicole Roberts in the story below about what his employment has brought to the workplace.
    (Published December 2015)

  • Nicole Roberts
    Nicole Roberts - What Veterans bring to the workplace

    Nicole Roberts is the Manager of the YMCA Wodonga Sports and Leisure Centre. Here she talks about her experience in hiring ex-ADF member Ashley Durham and what he has achieved since his employment began.
    (Published December 2015)

  • A yacht on the sea
    James Prascevic - Skipper of the Ship

    I was 22 years old when I joined the army. I had my own business as a plumber but didn’t think that I’d have a business until I turned 30. I was bored so started thinking “Is this it?” I wanted a challenge and to fight for the country. When I saw an ad with soldiers flying a helicopter and thought that it looked like fun so I submitted the application.
    (Published April 2015)

  • Roy Mellon
    Roy Mellon - There is Life after the Army

    I joined the Army in 2003 when I was 17, straight out of high school; I had a boy’s attitude and just wanted to drive tanks. However, my real career progression was going to be a carpenter in the Army.
    (Published December 2014)

  • Geoff Rose
    Geoff Rose - VVRS Pointed me in the Right Direction

    An accidental set-back I was delivering my motorbike to the railway station because I was about to go on a posting from Brisbane to Sydney…but I never made it to the railway station. I woke up in the hospital in Brisbane 3 days later.
    (Published October 2014)

  • Terry
    Terry - Setting the Wheels in Motion

    After a few years I started experiencing difficulties with my knees due to the cumulative effect of the physical demands of the job and underwent surgery in 2000. When my injuries continued, I was medically downgraded but continued to make a valuable contribution to the ADF as a specialist vehicle mechanic.
    (Published October 2014)

  • Bronson Horan
    Bronson Horan - My Road to Recovery

    I joined the Australian Army as a commando officer in May 2007. While on patrol in Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan, an improvised explosive device exploded and killed one of our group. I suffered severe, traumatic brain injuries and three other Australian soldiers were injured as well.
    (Published March 2014)

  • Jason Brown
    Jason Brown - Retrain to re-connect with Life

    I joined the Navy in 1984, and served for just over 5 years. When I resigned in 1989 for medical and psychological reasons, I knew I was facing a career change.
    (Published February 2014)

  • Katrina Maher
    Katrina Maher - Life after Service – What now?

    I enlisted as a Clerk in the RAAF in 1993, unfortunately a few years later I sustained an injury on a training exercise. A knee reconstruction left me with post-operative complications and resulted in the difficult decision to transition out of the ADF in 2009.
    (Published February 2014)