Previously known as Veteran Sport Australia

Local Engagement

Invictus Australia employs Veteran Engagement Specialists in local communities, building connections with at-risk veterans and relevant services.

Invictus Australia has strong relationships with the ADF, service providers and local sporting groups to introduce veterans and their families to thriving local sporting communities. We build supportive environments that help all organisations achieve better outcomes. 

We actively encourage veterans & their families to reach out to us so we can find something that will work in your local community. If we’re not in your area, please get in touch as our national footprint and relationships mean we can help you find your tribe.

get in touch for sport in your area

We currently have VES based in the following areas, with plans to grow our footprint. 

Newcastle, servicing Northern NSW 

For local events, follow the local Facebook Group

Nowra, servicing Canberra and South Coast NSW

For local events, follow the Facebook Group

Rachel Kerrigan

Veteran Engagement Specialist- Northern NSW (Newcastle based)


“I really enjoy getting out there and bringing other veterans through that journey to health and well-being, as well as family and mateship, and all those things you miss outside the military.” 

Debbie Dimmock

Veteran Engagement Specialist- South Coast NSW (Nowra based)

“Sport saved me whilst holding down the fort and looking after two young kids when my husband deployed on back-to-back tours to Afghanistan, so I completely believe in this program. I’m enjoying working with sporting partners, including Bowls Australia, the NRL and parkrun, and increasing opportunities for veterans in the area.” 

Our VES introduce veterans and their families to sporting communities and encourage their ongoing participation. These VES roles are filled from the community –they are veterans or family members –who through their lived experience know intimately their community and their challenges, the local veteran networks and the difference that can be achieved through sport.  


Our VES 
approach:

1. Taking a proactive approach to engaging with and reaching out to ‘at risk’ members of the local veteran community
2. Connecting with, and improving collaboration between, local veteran, community and wellbeing-focused organisations 
3. Upskilling and increasing the capacity of local sporting clubs and recreation activities -leveraging VSA’s national ‘Sporting Partners’-to support them to embrace local veterans and their families 
4. Partnering with sports to generate sporting opportunities at a grassroots level for ‘at risk’ veterans(from participation through to volunteering opportunities), which all veterans and their families in the local community can also benefit from 
5. Supporting ‘at risk’ veterans during their first and subsequent sporting involvement, as required; 
6. Working as an ongoing source of support and advice regarding involvement in sport for local veterans and their families and referring them to external support providers where required 
7. Encouraging ongoing, sustained involvement with sporting communities. 

Case Study

We have been working with a local veteran community in Ballina to establish a chapter of the Association of Veteran Surfers, identifying veteran volunteers to play leading roles and connecting with the local RSL sub branch. Watch this video for more.  

The Chapter’s all about camaraderie and looking after each other. It’s about social connections. We’re focused on supporting the mental health and social wellbeing of our veteran members.” 

Phil Overton, veteran and President of the Hunter Coast chapter of the AVS 

“I can attest to the profound and instrumental value this event provided. It is an opportunity for people to be themselves in and environment free of judgment where many others in the room have had the same experience and a shared sense of empathy.”

Hon Ben Franklin MLC

BALLINA, JAN 2021

“Thank you for what you are doing for the veteran community.”

PARTICIPANT

former serving veteran 

“I want to thank you for all you have done to make today such a success…I am sitting here feeling a bit emotional, loving the fact that we did it. I have already had interest from one guy wanting to play bowls.”

Ray Silverstone

former serving veteran and volunteer