Transitioning from the ADF

After years of service in the ADF, transitioning from full-time military to civilian life can present unique challenges for even the most accomplished veteran. Many Open Arms counsellors have a military background, and have also been trained to work with veterans, so they can help you make a successful transition into civilian life.

Common challenges

Some challenges faced when transitioning to civilian life include:

  • finding a new job outside defence
  • integrating into a new community
  • navigating a different medical system
  • finding appropriate housing
  • enrolling kids in a new school
  • establishing a different family dynamic

Stepping Out

Stepping Out is Open Arms most popular workshop for personnel transitioning back into civilian life.

Stepping Out will give you information and skills to manage your transition to civilian life. You will learn about:

  • the experience of change as part of life
  • the transition from the ADF to civilian life
  • skills for planning ahead
  • skills for staying motivated and adaptable
  • expectations, attitudes and troubleshooting
  • maintaining relationships and seeking support

The transition never really stops. Whether it’s three months, one year or five years after leaving the forces, we can help.

To learn more about managing the transition to civilian life, including information about the Stepping Out workshop, call 1800 011 046.

See also

  • Thriving civilian

    Thriving in civilian life

    New opportunities and unique challenges will present themselves. Whether it's a month or a year since you left the ADF, it pays to know what help is available.
  • two men running

    Living well

    A range of services are available to the current and ex-serving community and their families to stay healthy.
  • man hanging up army uniform
    Education workshop

    Stepping out

    A program that examines the civilian transition process in both practical and emotional terms.