Veterans

Support for Veterans at La Trobe

Have you served in the Australian Defence Force? La Trobe University is developing new support systems and a dedicated student veteran peer network so you can connect with other veterans.

Below you will find information about financial, academic and personal support for veterans at La Trobe.

For further information and/or advice, please contact:

Support Coordinator, Transition and Success

Email: support.coordinator@latrobe.edu.au

Research Projects

From the military to the academy: supporting younger military veterans in Australian higher education

In February 2019, the Centre for Higher Education Equity and Diversity Research (CHEEDR) received funding for a new project aimed at increasing access and support of student veterans in Australian higher education. The project is led by Associate Professor Andrew Harvey and Lisa Andrewartha, with colleagues from the Australian Student Veterans Association, Australian Catholic University, Charles Darwin University, and Western Sydney University. Funding has been provided by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs through the Supporting Younger Veterans Grant Program ($181,000).

This project builds on previous research led by CHEEDR highlighting the unique combination of skills, experiences, and perspectives that student veterans bring to higher education. The aims of this project are to: increase recruitment and identification of veterans on campus; provide tailored support and advice to student veterans; increase peer support for student veterans; and embed support for student veterans in mainstream university practices. The team will also advocate for changes to university application processes so Australian Defence Force experience and prior learning can be consistently recognised.

Supporting younger veterans to succeed in higher education

In 2017, the Centre for Higher Education Equity and Diversity Research (CHEEDR) received a $21,976 grant from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs Supporting Younger Veterans program. The grants program supports the needs of younger military veterans as they leave the Australian Defence Force and integrate back into civilian life. The successful project was led by A/Prof Andrew Harvey and Lisa Andrewartha. Working with the Australian Student Veterans Association (ASVA), the researchers aimed to redress the lack of national research into the number of younger veterans at university, their specific needs and strengths, and their graduate outcomes.

Our research found that veterans were largely invisible within Australian higher education. The project identified the need for: improved processes for identifying and monitoring student veterans; greater institutional awareness and recognition of the unique strengths and challenges of student veterans; and increased support for student veterans to promote their well being and success at university. The final report was submitted to the Department of Veteran’s Affairs in June 2018.

PTSD assistance dog puppy pilot program at La Trobe University

In 2018, the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester announced La Trobe would run a pilot program to train 20 PTSD assistance dogs on behalf of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. The pilot is part of a four-year, $2 million national project funded by the Australian Government, and led by La Trobe’s School of Psychology and Public Health.

As of early 2019, eight puppies – a mixture of Lagotto Romagnolos and Labrador Retrievers – are living with Bendigo staff and students for up to 12 months, while they train to become mental health assistance dogs. Later in 2019, the program will expand to the Melbourne campus and possibly other regional campuses. Lead researcher, Dr Tiffani Howell, said it is hoped that the dogs, once living with veterans, will reduce their symptoms of PTSD. “We expect that the dogs will improve the veterans’ sleep quality, as well as confidence to socialise with others in their community and engage in everyday life,” she said.

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs is overseeing the trial, along with a team of experts in dog training, the human-dog relationship, risk management, PTSD, and veteran mental health issues. The project is led by Dr Tiffani Howell and Professor Pauleen Bennett from La Trobe’s School of Psychology and Public Health.

For more information, please visit:

https://www.latrobe.edu.au/news/articles/2019/release/puppies-start-journey-to-help-with-ptsd

https://www.latrobe.edu.au/news/articles/2018/release/la-trobe-leads-assistance-dog-project

Financial Support

La Trobe offers a range of financial support including:

  • The La Trobe Access Scholarship is offered to a number of students who can demonstrate financial hardship and/or educational disadvantage.
  • There are many other scholarships (La Trobe specific and external opportunities) listed on our website.
  • Some financial assistance is available related to specific areas of your study, including ASSC and SHE Employment Grants to assist during placements, and grants should you choose to undertake part of your study overseas.
  • There is a range of financial support information and services available to help support students experiencing financial difficulties.
  • The La Trobe Student Union offers a financial counselling service.

Applying to La Trobe

Visit How to apply for information on applying to La Trobe.

Personal and Academic Support

La Trobe has a broad range of academic support services to assist students including:

  • Drop-in learning support for one-on-one assistance from Peer Learning Advisors and Student Learning Lecturers.
  • Starting out at uni provides useful resources and guides for all students, whether they’re starting out or need additional guidance along the way.
  • Student learning provides information to help you develop skills throughout your course

A range of additional support services are also available to help you throughout your time at La Trobe including:

Australian Student Veterans Association (ASVA)

ASVA's mission is to promote the academic success, empowerment, and professional development of student veterans at university through advocacy and supporting resources.

https://www.asva.org.au/

Publications

Harvey, A., Andrewartha, L., Sharp, M. & Wyatt-Smith, M. (2018). Supporting younger military veterans to succeed in Australian higher educationReport for the Australian Government Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Melbourne: Centre for Higher Education Equity and Diversity Research, La Trobe University.

Andrewartha, L.Harvey, A. (2019). Supporting Military Veterans in Australian Higher EducationJournal of Veterans Studies4(1), 94–109.

Harvey, A.Andrewartha, L. (2018, August 9). Why some veterans feel alienated on campus and how universities can helpThe Conversation.