VVCS is now Open Arms - Veterans & Families Counselling

The Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) changed its name to Open Arms - Veterans and Families Counselling in October 2018.

Open Arms continues to provide the same professional, confidential service, with 24/7 support available to all current and ex-serving ADF members and their families.

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Frequently asked questions

What is your new name?

As of October 2018, VVCS is operating as Open Arms, with the tagline veterans and families counselling.

The new branding also acknowledges that VVCS is a service founded by Vietnam Veterans.

Our name is changing but our phone number and professional service are not. We continue to provide free and confidential support to current and former ADF members and their families 24/7 on 1800 011 046.

Why change the brand?

Our organisation provides counselling support to veterans and their families when they need it most. But unfortunately, other than existing clients, many people who could greatly benefit from our services do not know who we are or how we can help.

Research showed that our previous name, which was regularly shortened to an acronym, was unclear, and the branding was uninviting, and not well recognised.

This new brand is an opportunity to better represent what we are all about with a fresh look that is more meaningful and recognisable, at a time when we are expanding the group of people who are eligible to use our services.

What does the new Open Arms logo represent?

Open arms are a very powerful symbol of support, safety, and security, particularly for Vietnam veterans, spent long periods in the jungle during the war.

Their lifeline was the Huey helicopter, which they would call to either take them out to safety at the end of an operation, or to provide critical supplies, like food, water, or ammunition.

But to let the pilot know where to land, one soldier had to stand in a field with open arms, completely vulnerable.

Our new logo reminds us of those brave soldiers, while also representing so much more about those who serve—families welcoming soldiers home, land crew directing planes, and, of course, our policy to welcome those who need support with open arms.

Who decided to change the name and brand?

In 2017, the VVCS National Advisory Committee—which includes representatives of our key stakeholders—recognised that to better promote the valuable services we provide, we needed a more recognisable and memorable brand. Based on their advice the then Minister for Veterans Affairs, tasked the National Advisory Committee with overseeing the development of a new name and brand for the organisation.

How did you arrive at this new brand?

The new name and brand were developed based on market research and extensive consultation with Vietnam veterans, current personnel, reservists, partners, families, contemporary veterans, and peer network advisers across Australia.

The results of the research were presented to the National Advisory Committee who unanimously agreed that the name Open Arms, and the tagline veterans and families counselling best represented our important work.

Isn’t this change going to make it harder for people to find support? How will people know it is the same service?

Targeted promotion will let our main clients and stakeholders know about the change. This will include direct communication, advertising, editorials, videos, and a new website.

As our new brand is more recognisable and clearly represents what we do, we expect that, over time, it will better connect with potential clients, so that increasing numbers of people will contact us to get the support they need.