Veterans’ Advocacy Research Project

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DVA commissioned the UNSW Social Policy Research Centre to undertake a research project under its Applied Research Program to look at the capacity of the veterans’ advocacy workforce, both now and into the future.

The project’s aim was to find out what may happen to the advocate workforce over the next few years. The project’s report provides a view of advocate availability, and helps identify geographical or other service gaps where DVA might consider providing additional support. It also provides information for ESOs to help them plan for the future provision of wellbeing and claims advocacy services for veterans and their families.

As part of this study, the researchers conducted two surveys, one aimed at ESOs and the other at advocates. ESOs were asked about their advocate workforce and plans for recruiting new advocates. Advocates were asked about their current and future availability and their experiences as an advocate.

Both surveys were released on 9 November 2020, and closed 31 January 2021. Interviews were held from 19 November 2020 to 15 February 2021.

Participation in the research was voluntary and open to all who provide services as an advocate to veterans and families, and survey responses were received from 593 advocates, and 58 ESOs. 

The UNSW’s report is available here:

If you would like to provide any feedback on the report, you can contact DVA by emailing advocacy.policy [at]

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