Empowering women within the Defence community

08 March 2023

March 8 each year is International Women’s Day (IWD), where we take the opportunity to empower the women within the Defence Force community, whether they be servicewomen, veterans, or family members.

This year’s IWD theme of #EmbraceEquity revolves around inclusivity, and General Manager, Emma Whitehead is encouraging the veteran women community to reach out for support if they have been impacted by their service.  

“Veteran issues in the media can be seen as male-centric, but Mates4Mates is committed to ensuring its support services are beneficial for women who have served or are family members of veterans,” said Emma.

As Mates4Mates expands its service offerings, teams from across Australia and online have highlighted the increase in women accessing services over recent years.

“This growth of women walking through our centre doors, or logging in online, may be largely connected to an increase in activities and clinical programs which are specifically aimed at the needs and interests of women, such as dedicated Women’s Health Week activities in September.”

“As Mates4Mates continues to listen to veterans and their families, and to the statements made to the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide, there is still more work to be done to ensure the women within the Defence community are mentally, physically and socially supported.”

Among veteran women, the rates of suicide are more than two times higher than those of Australian women who have not served. For women whose partner is a veteran, it can be easy for them to ignore their own health needs and wellbeing while caring for their significant other. 

“No one should go through recovery alone, and at Mates4Mates, we are here for those who have been impacted by service, this includes servicewomen, female veterans, wives, mothers, and daughters.”

Mates4Mates provides support services to current and ex-serving Defence members, and their families experiencing service-related physical injuries, mental health issues and isolation. If you need support, take the first step to getting help by calling us today on 1300 4 MATES (62 837). 

If you are in immediate danger, please call 000. Or for 24-hour support, phone Open Arms: 1800 011 046 or Lifeline: 13 11 14


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