Welcome to the Military Wife Life Podcast
Military Wife Life- Episode 88
In this week’s podcast episode, I talk to NSW Legacy President Nikki Hollis about how Legacy started, what they’re about and who they support.
Nikki and I also talk about;
- How a dependant of an ADF member or Veteran can access support
- Why a dependant can put their hand up for support at anytime
- What you can access support through Legacy for and the process
- Breaking down the misconception that Legacy is only for older widows
- The help they offer for ADF families experiencing hardship due to the member or veteran having a physical disability or mental illness
- Why Legacy need our support through donations now more than ever
- Their major yearly fundraising efforts- Badge Week and Anzac Day
- How to volunteer as a Legatee and the difference you can make
Military Wife Life- Episode 87
In this week’s podcast episode, I talk to spouse Amanda about why she doesn’t allow her Army Husbands job to control her life.
Amanda and I also talk about;
- Not really knowing, in the beginning, what it meant to be an Army spouse
- Why she was hesitant to even acknowledge she was a spouse
- Moving in together and experiencing a deployment 6 months into the relationship
- A horrible experience with another Army wife and how it impacted her forming a support network
- Being MWDU for the majority of their relationship and why it works for their family
- 3 kids and 6 deployments and how she juggles being solo, working and family life alone
- Why going back to work fulltime after her 3rd baby just wasn’t going to work
- The physical toll juggling it all had on her and the positive changes she made
- Starting her own online business to allow her to slow down while continuing her career
Military Wife Life- Episode 86
In this week’s podcast episode, I talk to RAAF spouse Katie about being posted to Tindal, the location at the bottom of her preference sheet.
Katie and I also talk about;
- Having no knowledge of defence life and going into the relationship blind
- Moving out of home in NSW to relocating to WA on her first posting with her military member
- Finding her feet in WA and why it is where Katie and her Husband would love to end up
- Why Katie embraces being able to move around the country and live in different locations
- Getting the news they would be posting to Tindal and why Katie cried
- Deciding to make the most out of their remote posting to Tindal despite all they had heard
- Why the Tindal defence community and all it has to offer has been a highlight of the posting
- Living in the married patch and the advantages of having other defence families so close
- How embracing her love of writing led Katie to self publish a book and has given her a new focus
- Why Katie wants to highlight the positives of a posting to Tindal so others don’t fear it like she did
Military Wife Life- Episode 85
Today’s podcast episode is on a topic that isn’t often spoken about, Miscarriage.
1 in 4 women will experience a miscarriage. The vast majority of miscarriages will happen in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, often at a time when the exciting and happy news has only been shared with a few friends and family members if any.
It can be a lonely time. There is often no answers as to why you experience a miscarriage or anything you can do to prevent one.
Today seven brave spouses are sharing their journey to becoming pregnant, the extra complexities defence life adds to starting or expanding a family, their heartbreaking miscarriage experiences and coping with the isolation and grief that follows.
Experiencing the loss of a baby brings with it an indescribable ache that is always there. With time, you might learn to live with that ache but it never goes away. You never get over the baby you so very much wanted and imagined and planned a future for.
Morgan, Toni, Rose, Emily, Jess, Brooke and Sam all hope that this podcast episode will allow others who have also experienced a miscarriage to feel that little bit less alone or that it may help someone who experience’s a miscarriage in years to come, to understand that there are others out there who walk beside you in your grief.
These are their stories.
TRIGGER WARNING- Today’s episode contains discussion of miscarriage. If anything comes up for you and you would like to access support you can call SANDS on 1300 072 637 or Open Arms on 1800 011 046 24 hours/7 days a week.
Some other useful support services are linked below;
Military Wife Life- Episode 84
In this week’s podcast episode, I talk to Belinda Wilson, CEO of Veteran and Family financial support organisation Bravery Trust.
Belinda and I talk about;
- The support Bravery Trust offer Veterans who have a physical injury or mental illness as a result of their service
- Why Bravery Trust offers financial support to Veterans and their families during and after their service
- When a Veteran or Spouse should put their hand up for financial assistance
- Why financial problems often hinder a Veterans recovery from a physical or mental illness
- The immediate support Bravery Trust offers and why long term financial education is key
- Types of financial support they offer, from helping get your car back on the road to putting food on the table
- Why seeking support before reaching crisis point is encouraged by Bravery Trust
- The investment Bravery Trust has made in a pilot financial counselling program
- Why Bravery Trust hope their financial counselling program will continue
- The importance of providing a collaborative approach with key Veteran organisations
- How ADF families access support and the simple process of receiving financial help
To access financial support through Bravery Trust you can call 1800 272 837 or visit their website https://www.braverytrust.org.au/
Military Wife Life- Episode 83
In this week’s podcast episode, I talk to Army couple Julia and Jai about why good communication is key.
We also talk about;
- what happened when they met each other just 10 days before Jai was due to deploy
- some of the things a defence member thinks about before getting into a relationship
- how they used email to build a strong foundation before Jai returned from deployment
- an unexpected injury for Jai, the 9 month rehab and why there was a silver lining
- another deployment, planning a wedding, and returning to a new house
- good communication and how it made Jai’s transition back home easier
- MWDU, COVID and the significant impact border closures have had on their lives
- accepting the COVID situation and trying to stay flexible with plans
- focusing on long term goals to stay connected and moving forward
Military Wife Life- Episode 82
In this week’s podcast episode, I talk to spouse Kim about being adaptable and being ok with “going with the flow.”
Kim and I also talk about;
- what happens when defence suddenly becomes part of your plan
- a not-so-great first move and why Kim didn’t let it set the tone for spouse life
- her husband deploying a month into their first posting
- how Kim used that first deployment to establish a friend network
- navigating finding work as a spouse in an area where jobs are scarce
- how their family cope with sea postings every 2 years
- communicating your needs with the military member when they’re home
- being able to hand some of the mental load over to her husband when he is home
- connecting with the defence community and the importance of spouse support
- taking the time to acknowledge your feelings when plans change and moving forward
Military Wife Life- Episode 81
In this week’s podcast episode, I talk to spouse Ash about buying a business and the isolation of working from home.
Ash and I also talk about;
- why having a friendship before dating her now-husband created a great foundation
- how working on base gave Ash an understanding of how military works
- going from working on base with her husband to being a stay at home mum and business owner
- why Ash decided to buy a business and the huge changes working for yourself brings
- their next posting and looking forward to having family and friend support
- being a defence spouse with a physical disability, finding suitable housing and doctors in location
To check out and support Ash’s business, pop over to her website Defence Gifts
Military Wife Life- Episode 80
In this week’s podcast episode, I talk to spouse Bianca about infertility and defence life.
Bianca and I also talk about;
- coping with all that comes with IVF when your Husband is away
- why it took multiple rounds of IVF, surgeries and 3 doctors to try something out of the box
- the conversation with a long lost friend that would be the reason she would finally fall pregnant
- how she kept faith for 12 years before eventually becoming a Mum
- why she feels being a defence kid herself will give her a deeper understanding of her daughter’s experience
- the positives and negatives of being a defence kid and what she plans on doing differently
Military Wife Life- Episode 79
In this week’s podcast episode, I talk to spouse Sarah about being a blended family and the military lifestyle.
Sarah and I also talk about;
- the injuries that have kept her Husband home for the majority of their relationship
- why having support from her husband’s rehab unit made all the difference
- waiting on their next posting and what it means for their blended family
- why choosing to live separated may be their only and best option in the future
- the positive impact Open Arms has had on their relationship and their family
- why support from the spouse community has been invaluable for Sarah
- the unknown and looking at her Husband discharging to keep their family together
Military Wife Life- Episode 78
In this week’s podcast episode, I talk to Army spouse Mel about a service dog called Maxx and how he saved her husband.
Mel and I also talk about;
- What it’s like when your Husband deploys every two years
- Her Husband’s decision to be proactive in seeking mental health support
- Why a service dog was the right fit for her Husband and their family
- The Defence Community Dog program and the support the Defence Bank Foundation gives the program
- The impact Maxx has had on her Husband’s everyday life and their family life
- The type of support Maxx provides and why Mel being the third wheel is a good thing
The DCD program provides highly trained service dogs to serving and ex-serving ADF members who need support to deal with injuries and illnesses including Post-traumatic Stress Disorder.
Every dog in the program is rescued from a pound or shelter and trained at the Bathurst Correctional Centre with the assistance of professional dog trainers and inmates at the centre.
Military Wife Life- Episode 77
In this week’s podcast episode, I talk to Air Force spouse Renee about what it’s like when your Husband is a Military Police Officer, her struggles when it comes to finding employment and why following your passion is so important.
Renee and I also talk about;
- How she and her husband met, by chance, at a swing dance class
- Why her husband wanting to apply for the Air Force was a joint decision
- The stability defence offered their family at a time of uncertainty
- Why her husband joined as a reservist and then went full time and why she wouldn’t recommend that path
- What is required, day to day, of a Military Police Officer, time away and deployments
- Posting around the country and reinventing herself a little at each new location
- Her passion for swing dance and writing and how they have both helped her at various points
To find out how you can purchase one of Renee’s books click here for details.
Military Wife Life- Episode 76
In this week’s podcast episode, I talk to National Music Director of the Australian Military Wives Choir Cath Parsons about her journey as a spouse and where the idea for the AMWChoir came from.
Cath and I also talk about;
- How the Choir went from being a handful of people in Canberra to 12 locations around Australia
- Why the Choir is about what we do as spouses rather than what our military partners do at work
- How the Choir creates a safe space for spouses and why all singing abilities are welcome
- Why the Choir isn’t about rank or service and the main focus is about connection and social inclusion
- How COVID restrictions resulted in zoom rehearsals and even greater access for those wanting to join
- Where to get involved and the types of songs they sing *hint, hint the Choir is far from boring when it comes to song choice, think Tay Tay and Bruno Mars).
To find out how you can join your local AMWChoir or to find out more about the AMWChoir click through to the website for details https://www.amwchoir.com/
Military Wife Life- Episode 75
In this week’s podcast episode, I talk to Zoe about the first few years of being an Army spouse and the ups and downs of spending 8 out of the last 12 months apart from her military husband.
Zoe and I also talk about;
- Why keeping busy was key while her Husband was away doing his initial training
- Her first posting experience only a few hours from home
- Being flexible with her work options & open to posting around Australia
- Finding out about support & DCO years into her spouse journey
- A deployment, bushfire assist & COVID tasking all in 12 months
- The toll frequent separations have had on her, her husband and their son
- Why the unpredictable nature of defence life has meant she has been unable to return to work
- Her husbands transition home after being gone 8 out of 12 months
- The struggle of living together again and her surprise at how hard that can be
- Her positive outlook on posting, work-life and future separations
Military Wife Life- Episode 74
This week’s podcast episode is all about money! Some useful tips on how to spend it, save it and invest it.
Defence Bank‘s Stuart Payne, Celia Cannavan and Emma Dalglish talk us through;
- Budgeting and how to work out our money goals
- How to make use of free helpful resources like https://moneysmart.gov.au/
- How to come up with an achievable savings plan
- Credit Cards and why you should pay more than the minimum
- Credit scores explained and how using facilities like afterpay can impact it
- Simple steps you can take to help your credit score
- Investing and how to work out which type is right for you
- Your super and the ways you can boost it even when self-employed or unemployed
PLEASE NOTE: Any information and advice offered in this episode is not intended to replace more in-depth consultation with your chosen bank or financial advisor but it is to set you on the path to researching more about budgeting, money goals, credit cards and credit scores, investing and super contributions. You and your military member need to consider all options and do what’s right for you and your family.
Military Wife Life- Episode 73
This week on the podcast, I talk to spouse Lauren about what it’s like to go from being a full time defence family to a reserves family and then back to full time defence.
Lauren and I also talk about;
- What changes when you’re no longer full time defence
- How it works when your partner is now a reservist
- The freedom and opportunities reserve time brings for the whole family
- Why they decided to go back to being a full time defence family
- How COVID played into their decision
- Why Lauren decided against going MWDU
- What that now means for the future plans they had made
- Why making the decision to post interstate was the hardest one yet
Military Wife Life- Episode 72
This week’s podcast episode is all about the Kookaburra Kids Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation supporting children aged 8-18 years, living in families affected by mental illness.
I talk to Community Engagement Manager, Sarah Hartley about;
- Why they introduced a program just for defence kids
- What the Kookaburra Kids Defence Kids Program is all about
- Why age-appropriate prevention and early intervention mental health services are important
- Why support for kids living in families affected by mental illness makes a difference
- How Kookaburra Kids make use of a peer-based social and activity-based format to help kids
- Why you DON’T need a formal mental health diagnosis to access support for your kids
- What other programs Kookaburra Kids offers and the online option defence kids can access
To find out more info about the Kookaburra Kids Foundation or to access their programs visit their website www.kookaburrakids.org.au
Military Wife Life- Episode 71
This week on the podcast, I talk to Morgan about the ups and downs of her first few years as a Military spouse.
Morgan and I talk about;
- The 18 month wait for her partner to leave for initial training
- The transition from civilian couple to a military couple
- Her partner leaving for Cerberus and having no contact
- Morgan’s last-minute decision to move with her partner while he completed IET’s
- Not being able to find work and the impact that had on their relationship
- Their first posting to Sydney and first deployment experience
- What happened when Morgan found out she was pregnant just weeks into the deployment
- Making plans to move back to be with family while she was pregnant
- Experiencing a miscarriage with no close friends or family in location
- How her miscarriage created a fast friendship with another spouse
- The support Morgan received from her partner’s ship, chaplain and defence
- Her partner’s emergency trip home to support her through the miscarriage
- Posting back to their home state and how friendships changed
- What now and what Morgan has learnt along the way
TRIGGER WARNING- This podcast episode talks about miscarriage. If this episode brings anything up for you or you feel you need to reach out for support please call the FREE counselling service OPEN ARMS. This service is available to spouses, ADF members and Veterans 24/7 on 1800 011 046.
Military Wife Life- Episode 70
This week’s podcast episode is all about Open Arms, a FREE counselling service available to spouses, current ADF members, veterans and their families.
I talk to National Manager of Open Arms, Dr Stephanie Hodson about;
- Who can access support and services through Open Arms
- Why the service changed its name from VVCS to Open Arms
- What type of support you can access in-person and over the phone
- When you should reach out for support & some signs to look out for
- How to access Open Arms support and services and the process
- Why accessing Open Arms, before you reach breaking point, is encouraged
- The resources and programs available to the military community via Open Arms
Open Arms is a 24-hour, 7 day a week service. For further information or to access support and services, you can call 1800 011 046.
Please note: Anyone who has served at least one day in the ADF, their spouses and families can access support via Open Arms. Even if you are new to military life and haven’t completed your paperwork (to be recognised as a couple) you can still reach out for support and Open Arms will talk you through whatever you are struggling with and also, if needed, refer you onto other services.
Military Wife Life- Episode 69
This week on the podcast I talk to British spouse Cheryl about her Australian posting experience.
- Her military member being sent to Iraq in the first year of their relationship
- Some of the differences between the British and Australian military
- Why a lot of military families choose MWDU in the UK
- What it was like to move to Australia and find her feet in Oz
- How COVID and living in Victoria during lockdown has impacted their Australian Posting experience
- Her positive review of living on base at Puckapunyal
- The uncertainty surrounding when they will be allowed to post out
- Why Cheryl isn’t rushing to return home and is happy to stay in Australia longer
Military Wife Life- Episode 68
After realising studies about Australian defence kids were rare, this week’s podcast guest, Dr Marg Rogers from the University of New England, decided to change that.
Dr Rogers focused her PhD studies on giving 2-5 year old defence kids a voice by centring her research around deployment, separation, how kids in the 2-5 year old age bracket are affected and how they can be best supported.
- Collecting the data from the defence kids using the mosaic approach which allowed them to engage in art-based activities and prompt talk about what was going on at home.
- Why her research looked at the problem’s families had rather than the ways families coped and got support.
- How her research led her to discover there are very few Australian resources to help 2-5 year old’s from defence families.
- Why focusing research on the 2-5 year old age bracket will lead to better outcomes for those kids in the future
- Her surprise at finding out that there are no known early childhood programs for educators and parents of defence kids.
- Her key research findings and her hope that her recommendations will have a real impact on improving the experience of 2-5 year old defence kids
- How she is using those findings to build resources and programs to help defence kids & families and how you can access those for FREE
- Future plans and how you and your child can get involved in Dr Rogers research and help shape future help and support
To access Dr Rogers research findings, free resources and programs visit the Early Childhood Defence Programs page here https://ecdefenceprograms.com/
Military Wife Life- Episode 67
This week on the podcast I talk to RAAF spouse Jess about her first posting experience and coming to terms with being a defence spouse.
Jess and I also talk about;
- How she went from having no connection to defence to being engaged, married with two kids and on a first posting in under 4 years
- Being naive to the reality of what being a defence spouse would mean because of the “love bubble” effect
- Still trying to come to terms with the idea of being a defence family even after moving to their first posting location
- Feeling like they aren’t a real defence family because they haven’t experienced separation or deployment yet
- COVID and the impact it has had on making connections and finding supports in her new location
- Coming to terms with accessing help and accepting that she is entitled to support no matter what her situation
- Acknowledging her feelings are valid even if it seems like someone else has it harder than her
- Excitement at being able to get out into the community and make friends and supports when COVID restrictions ease
Military Wife Life- Episode 66
This week on the podcast I talk to current Patron of the Defence Community Organisation Belinda Johnston about the ups and downs of being a spouse and her role as DCO Patron.
Belinda and I also talk about;
- How she juggles career, family and separation alongside her husband David’s role as Vice Chief of the Defence Force
- What being Patron of the Defence Community Organisation involves and why she looks forward to connecting with more spouses and families
- Acknowledging the various types of ADF families and why they should access supports and services via DCO
- The balance of being a spouse and also adapting to now being the parent of an ADF member
- Taking on different roles at different times and seeing the good in each posting location
- The importance of making connections and getting out into the community
Military Wife Life- Episode 65
This week on the podcast I talk to Army spouse Kelly about her Husband’s PTSD and the impact it has had on their relationship.
- Going from being a child of a military member to a military spouse and the huge difference
- Bringing four kids into the relationship and how they all coped
- Working out how to communicate with each other and work as a family unit
- Being a spouse, finding the information you need and building a support network
- PTSD, her Husband’s first symptoms and the help he and she received
- How PTSD has affected their sex life and the work they’re now doing to improve it
- Why being open about her sex life and its challenges is so important
- Accessing Open Arms to work on herself and the flow-on effect
Military Wife Life- Episode 64
So you’ve decided that now is the right time to look at buying a house….yay, go you!
But if you’re like me, you have so many questions (so many) and a military member who isn’t really down for providing ALL of the answers!
Sometime’s you just need it explained in plain old non-military speak which is why Defence Bank’s Kym Bowles and I talk you through all of the potential grants and ADF schemes you (aka your military member) may be able to apply for when it comes to buying a house.
- First steps once you decide to save for a house
- Which Grants and ADF schemes you may be able to apply for
- The First Home Loan Deposit Scheme (aka FHLDS) explained
- Who can apply for the FHLDS and are there exemptions for ADF members
- The Defence Home Ownership Assistance Scheme (aka DHOAS) explained
- When to apply and how the DHOAS payments actually work
- The Home Purchase Assistance Scheme (aka HPAS) explained
- When an ADF member can apply for HPAS and some things to be aware of
- Home Purchase or Sale Expenses Allowance (aka HPSEA) explained
For links to even more information and to check your eligibility for any of the grants or schemes discussed in this week’s podcast episode, click through to this BLOG post.
The BLOG post also details any available exemptions for each grant and scheme, for ADF members, by state and territory.
Military Wife Life- Episode 63
This week I talk to new spouse Jade about the transition from civilian couple to a Defence couple at a young age.
- What the lead up to your partner joining Defence is like
- What happens when they leave for recruits
- How to cope with feeling like “just” the girlfriend
- Where to find information and access support services
- The strength she found while her partner was away
- How to, as a couple, stay on the same page
- What happens when your partner graduates recruits
- Coming back together as a couple & communicating
- Finding your feet as a Defence couple & the new norm
- First posting, living together and growing up overnight
- Finding work and wanting to share the financial load
- Making friends and settling into your posting location
Military Wife Life- Episode 62
Today’s podcast guest is someone who has undoubtedly had an impact on all of our lives. Spouses and Defence members. Past and present.
She isn’t a spouse. She, at the time, had no prior connection to Defence but what she would go on to do in the Defence space, back in the 1980’s, would result in so many of the services and conditions provided for all of us today.
Her name is Sue Hamilton and she is the author of what would go on to be known as the Hamilton Report. A report that was the first of its kind. A report that identified all of the issues that service in the Australian Defence Force creates for the spouses and families of its members.
There was nothing like it before and dare I say there has been nothing like it since.
In this episode I talk to Sue about;
* Her journey around the country to talk to spouses
* The key issues that were identified back then and still (to a certain extent) exist today
* How a number of serendipitous events and key people resulted in her report recommendations being implemented
* Why she is still so passionate about advocating for Defence families
* How Defence can and should adapt to meet the needs of the 2020 spouse and defence family
* Why the Government’s announcement of an increase in the ADF’s capability should signal a shift in the way and type of support offered to spouses and families
Military Wife Life- Episode 61
This week I talk with Jasmine Cooper Sutton, Director of charity Prince’s Trust Australia.
Why providing ADF spouses with access to their programs is important
How connecting with like-minded people can help you overcome business blocks
How the Prince’s Trust programs can help you find a way forward with your business or idea
Help understanding the small business landscape and opportunities
Why sometimes the answer isn’t always to start your own business
Click through to the Prince’s Trust website to find out more information or to register your interest in one of their programs.
Military Wife Life- Episode 60
This week I talk with RAAF spouse Annabel about what it’s like to do an overseas posting to the UK and experiencing lock down while being so far from home.
The process of posting overseas
The importance of open communication
Acknowledging the lived experience of the military member and the spouse will always be different
How to stay on the same page as a couple
Making looking after your mental health a priority
The uncertainty of moving back to Victoria during COVID & lockdown
Military Wife Life- Episode 59
This week on the Podcast I talk to General Manager of the Defence Special Needs Support Group Kim Collins.
Kim talks about what support and programs are available for defence families with a dependent or spouse with special needs and how to access it.
Kim also talks about some of the challenges defence families with special needs face and what area’s DSNSG are pushing for change and improvements in.
Military Wife Life- Episode 58
This week on the podcast I talk to Navy couple Courtney and Jay about defence life, how they nurture their relationship and Jay’s recent 6 month deployment.
Spouse Courtney came on the podcast a few months back (on episode 47) to talk about first postings, moving and managing her chronic illness. Courtney also talked about navigating defence life knowing her husbands job will take him away a lot and her decision to move to be closer to family and friend supports while he was deployed.
TRIGGER WARNING- Today’s episode contains discussion of miscarriage. If anything comes up for you and you would like to access support you can call SANDS on 1300 072 637 or Open Arms on 1800 011 046 24 hours/7 days a week.
To find out more about the Cheese Therapy subscription box check them out here https://www.cheesetherapy.com.au/
Military Wife Life- Episode 57
This week I talk with Minister For Defence Personnel & Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester about the important role partners and families play for ADF members, veterans and the defence force overall.
We also have an open and real conversation about:
- Why ADF members, on average, only stay in defence for 8 years
- Minister Chester’s take on the typical 2020 defence partner & family
- The key issues ADF partners & families face and areas in need of improvement
- Access to flexible work arrangements & the culture that often prevents members from making use of it
- The inconsistent support and programs offered across Australia
- Minister Chester’s priorities going forward & his appreciation for all that partners and families do
Military Wife Life- Episode 56
- Her husband’s decision to join the military and why it was important it was a joint decision
- The pull her husband felt between his young family and training whilst they all lived on base
- Making use of any and all available support services as soon as possible
- The isolation Brooke has felt due to working from home & now COVID restrictions
- The importance of having a positive mindset and focusing on how military life CAN work for you
- Their commitment to staying on the same page with what is and isn’t working for their family
Military Wife Life- Episode 55
Military Wife Life- Episode 54
Military Wife Life- Episode 53
Partner employment, if it was a relationship on socials it would be listed as “its complicated.”
It’s an area that almost all ADF partners will face challenges in at one point or another whether it be because of relocation, unconscious employer bias, the extra responsibilities we take on that may restrict us and our capacity and the list goes on.
The last ADF families survey showed 14% of partners are unemployed (double the unemployment average), 12% are underemployed and 81% say they have made employment sacrifices because of their partner’s ADF career and those stats were collected in 2017 pre COVID.
But behind the scenes there are people working to break down employment barriers for partners. People like the team at Defence Families Australia who advocate for more initiatives to assist partners to gain and maintain meaningful employment and are working to educate Australian businesses on what they can do to recruit, hire and retain partners as valuable employees.
People like national employer Defence Bank who, in 2019 received the PM’S Excellence in Supporting Spouse Employment award and have also made it their mission to go above and beyond not just ticking the boxes of being a partner friendly employer but providing partners with next level career support, benefits and workplace policy.
And people like Career Practitioner, Churchill fellow and Partner Amanda McCue who is leading the way in this space with her research into partner employment overseas in the hope of improving employment outcomes for Australian partners.
Military Wife Life- Episode 52 (Part 2)
This week on the Podcast Part 2 of Sarah’s story.
Last week, in Part 1 of episode 52, Sarah talked about how her last minute decision to join her Husband in a regional location ended up resulting in a diagnosis for her son and uncovering his “mysterious” medical condition. Sarah walked us through the process of becoming recognised as a family with special needs and what happens when they post. We also talked about Sarah’s determination to continue her teaching career in various locations across the country despite the many curve balls her family have been thrown.
This week Sarah will talk us through her husband’s sudden breakdown and admission to hospital, how she supported him throughout that time and his PTSD diagnosis. We talk about what happens when you’re suddenly looking at discharge from Defence. How she is able to see the silver lining no matter what situation her family is in and what she’s looking forward to when they post back to their forever home and support network in Queensland.
Today’s episode contains discussion of PTSD and Mental Health. If anything comes up for you and you would like to access support there are various options available;
Counselling- Call Open Arms day or night (7 days) on 1800 011 046
The Defence Family Helpline day or night (7 days) on 1800 624 608
Chaplains, All services- To contact a Chaplain please call the Defence Service Centre on 1800 333 362 and ask for the Duty Chaplain in your area.
Military Wife Life- Episode 52 (Part 1)
This week on the Podcast I talk to spouse Sarah about how her last minute decision to join her Husband in a regional location ended up resulting in a diagnosis for her son and uncovering his “mysterious” medical condition. Sarah walks us through the process of becoming recognised as a family with special needs and what happens when you post. We also talk about Sarah’s determination to continue her teaching career in various locations across the country despite the many curve balls her family have been thrown.
Next week, Part 2 of this episode- Sarah will talk us through her husbands admission to hospital and how she supported him throughout that time. His PTSD diagnosis. What happens when you’re suddenly looking at discharge from Defence. How she is able to see the silver lining no matter what situation her family is in and what she’s looking forward to when they post back to their home and support network in Queensland.
Military Wife Life- Episode 51
In this weeks episode, as part of Domestic Violence Prevention month, I talk to Domestic Violence Case Manager and Military spouse Jess about the cycle of violence DV victims experience and how military life sometimes adds to the isolation they go through. We also talk about how a spouse can safely leave a DV relationship, what supports they can access and why DV victims can’t “just leave” an abusive relationship.
I also talk with former spouse Sarah who has recently left a 15 year abusive relationship. Sarah walks us through her DV experience. She talks about the red flags she didn’t recognise, how alone she sometimes felt, how and why she finally left, the support she accessed and her life now.
Please note: Sarah’s name and voice have been changed to protect her families identity.
Todays episode contains discussion of domestic violence. If anything comes up for you and you would like to access support there are various options available to Australian Military Spouses.
Sexual assault, domestic/family violence and abuse support- Call 1800 RESPECT day or night (7 days)
Counselling- Call Open Arms day or night (7 days) on 1800 011 046
To access emergency accommodation via SAFE (Special Accommodation for Emergencies scheme)- Call the Defence Family Helpline on 1800 624 608
Chaplains, All services- To contact a Chaplain please call the Defence Service Centre on 1800 333 362 and ask for the Duty Chaplain in your area.
Mensline– A telephone and online counselling service for men with emotional health and relationship concerns Call 1300 78 99 78.
Military Wife Life- Episode 50
Welcome to something a little different!
Today’s episode is made up of some of the best moments from past episodes in celebration of the podcasts 50th episode. This week we also hit 20k downloads and this month marks ONE year since the MWL podcast started.
So, so, so much to celebrate but what those milestones actually mean is that for one year the MWL community has been supporting me and has been supporting you. That we have all listened to 50 episodes of spouses telling their stories and allowing them to be seen and heard. That for over 50 episodes we have shared in the ups and downs of military life, felt that little bit less alone, listened to the advice and wisdom of other spouses and most importantly connected.
So get comfy and enjoy listening to episode 50 of the podcast!
Military Wife Life- Episode 49
This week on the Podcast I talk to spouse Clare about the red tape and cost that comes with posting to different states when you’re a Lawyer. Clare also talks about how she manages a chronic illness and the importance of having a support network and interests outside of defence and her career.
Military Wife Life- Episode 48
This week on the Podcast I talk to Lisa about what it’s like to be a spouse with 30 years of Military life under your belt. Lisa talks about how she is navigating having to post away from her adult children, the transition back to spending time with her Husband and being a couple again and how she found it going back to work without a defined career path and now that she is older.
Military Wife Life- Episode 47
This week on the Podcast I talk to spouse Courtney about first postings, moving and managing chronic illness. We also talk about how she navigates knowing her Military member will be at sea a lot and her decision to move to be closer to family and friend supports while her Husband is deployed.
Military Wife Life- Episode 46
This week on the Podcast I talk to spouse Suze about how she moved past a bad first deployment and decided to learn the skills and coping mechanisms needed to not just survive but thrive future separations and deployments. Suze talks about how some bad advice from others to not tell her partner that she wasn’t OK, affected her mental health. We also talk about finding employment, accessing Open Arms and everything inbetween.
Military Wife Life- PART 3 Current Info & Support for ADF families during COVID19
This week’s podcast episode is the third in a series dedicated to bringing you current information relevant to you, as a spouse and as part of an ADF family, during COVID19.
Military Wife Life- PART 2 Current Info & Support for ADF families during COVID19
This week’s podcast episode is the second in a series dedicated to bringing you current information relevant to you, as a spouse and as part of an ADF family, during COVID19.
Military Wife Life- PART 1 Current Info & Support for ADF families during COVID19
This weeks podcast episode is the first in a series dedicated to bringing you current information relevant to you, as a spouse and as part of an ADF family, during COVID19.
Military Wife Life- Episode 45
This week on the Podcast I talk to Clinical Psychologist Dr Jodie Lowinger about how we can thrive as Military spouses. Whether we are just entering the role of a spouse or have been doing it for years and years, Jodie talks about how being kind to ourselves, understanding that our best is good enough and focusing on the certainty within the uncertainty can help us cope with the ups and downs of spouse life. We also talk about getting on the same page as the military member, helping them understand the challenges (we as spouses face) and working through problems and resentment to live the life we want.
PLEASE NOTE: This episode was recorded before the COVID 19 crisis but a lot of the advice and information can also be applied to what us, as spouses, may be going through and feeling at the moment.
If you would like to connect with Dr Lowinger you can do so via her website www.sydneyanxietyclinic.com/
Military Wife Life- Episode 44
This week on the Podcast I talk to Army spouse Bec about a service dog called Gus and how he saved her husband, her marriage and her family. Gus was matched to her Husband through the Defence Community Dog Program, a program that is funded by the Defence Bank Foundation.
The DCD program provides highly trained service dogs to serving and ex-serving ADF members who need support to deal with injuries and illnesses including Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. Every dog in the program is rescued from a pound or shelter and trained at the Bathurst Correctional Centre with the assistance of professional dog trainers and inmates at the centre.
Military Wife Life- Episode 43
This week on the Podcast I talk to spouse Hannah about her first posting, the isolation you can feel even though you might be living in a City, accessing couples counselling through Open Arms and the plan for her Husband to possibly transition out of Defence.
Military Wife Life- Episode 42
This week on the Podcast I talk to Claire, a Navy partner who is using her personal and business experience to make a difference for all of us. Claire has a passion for supporting woman achieve their goals through coworking spaces (her coworking program is currently underway in Canberra). Think a space and place you can go to and work alongside other’s with onsite childcare. For many of us spouses who have recently posted, work or study from home and are without childcare or even just those of us who want to be able to interact with other adults (it gets pretty lonely at home or working solo) coworking spaces are a no brainer.
You can find out more about what Claire is doing via CoworkCoplay.space or CoworkCoplay on Facebook.
Military Wife Life- Episode 41
This week on the Podcast I talk to Army spouse Bec about what it’s like to post in and out of the same few locations while juggling mum and work life, separation and deployments. Bec also talks about the day she was told her Husband, who was just a few weeks into a deployment overseas, had been diagnosed with Cancer and the years that followed that diagnosis. But the one constant Bec talks about is that the Military community went above and beyond rallying around her and her family and that she will forever be grateful for the love and support their family was shown.
Military Wife Life- Episode 40
This week on the Podcast I talk to Shayne Vining, Deputy Director of National Operations at the Defence Community Organisation to get the low down on what DCO do and when and why we should access information and support from them. We touch on the broad range of programs and services focusing on the 24 hour Defence Family Hotline, the SMART programs, PEAP (Partner employment assistance program) and the Welcome Days, Coffee meetups and Walk and Talk mornings.
To find out more information about DCO and what they offer visit www.defence.gov.au/dco or to make use of the 24 hour Defence Family Hotline call 1800 624 608. Families don’t have to wait until they are facing difficulties to contact the helpline. The helpline can provide information and advice 24-7, everyday of the year.
Military Wife Life- Episode 39
This week on the Podcast I talk to spouse Anastasia about how she brushed off a bad first deployment. Anastasia talks about how she started to resent her military person and felt she didn’t cope with the 6 month separation very well. She became depressed and really felt like she was in a holding pattern while her partner was away. But Anastasia was determined to go into a second 6 month deployment prepared and with a positive mindset and she says it made all the difference.
Military Wife Life- Episode 38
This week on the Podcast I talk to Jess about the pros and cons of working for yourself when you’re a Military spouse. Setting up your own business is often an appealing option to a lot of us due to the nature of the Defence lifestyle and needing to be able to take your work with you from state to state. Jess lets us in on just what goes into moving your family and your business across country.
To learn more about Jess’s business look her up on Instagram @jaylee_photography or visit her website www.jaylee-photography.com.au
Military Wife Life- Episode 37
This week on the Podcast I talk to Kat John, speaker, coach and someone who’s mission is to help us master our minds so our souls can come back to life! This episode is about us focusing on sparking that connection with what WE really want out of life. We talk about how we can follow through with the vision for our life despite the brick walls we come up against and the lack of control we might feel we have because of the Military lifestyle. We also talk about what it means to shift the plan to align with Military life while holding the vision and not giving up on YOU and what you want for YOUR life.
To learn more about what Kat John does look her up on Instagram @kat.john or visit her website www.katjohn.com.au
Military Wife Life- Episode 36
This week on the Podcast I talk to Shari about what it’s like to be the spouse of a Submariner. We talk no communication for months on end, the tight knit community that Shari calls the Navy within the Navy and how that community and Defence rallied around their family when their 16 year old son was diagnosed with a brain tumour.
Military Wife Life- Episode 35
This week on the Podcast I talk to Madeline about juggling being an Army spouse alongside being a young Uni student who lives at home with her parents. Madeline and her boyfriend live in the same town and have been together for over 4 years. They have been through separations and a deployment but she says she feels like she hasn’t found her spouse tribe yet and doesn’t really fit into a box when it comes to support. Madeline also talks about the worry she feels about finishing her double degree and posting with her partner (for the first time) soon after, with no experience or contacts in a field she has studied hard in and will be ready and excited to get started working in, but may not be able to due to the location they get posted.