Karyn Hinder fights
WHEN a soldier goes to war, we don’t question whether they are capable of defending this land...
We don’t question if they can utilise their rifle to its intended purpose. We don’t question their skills or their dedication.
But when they leave the Defence Force, their years of dedicated training are not enough. They remove their uniforms and, suddenly, they’re simply not good enough to work in the civilian realm.
This is a battle many servicemen and women face when they transition. This is the battle Karyn Hinder watched many of her friends and colleagues fight again and again. Labelled ‘damaged goods’, these very Veterans have resorted to omitting their years’ in Defence from their resume. Labeling this work as being from a ‘government department’.
“We’re all ‘broken down old crocks’. We’re ‘has-beens’, we’ve ‘got a lot of baggage’. Therefore we’re unemployable … they don’t want to touch us. It’s unfortunate, because not everyone has those issues. Certainly I don’t,” a fellow Veteran told Karyn.
This Veteran is far from alone. The Veteran unemployment rate in Western Australia sits at 30 percent – five times’ the civilian unemployment rate. On top of this, 19 percent of Veterans working in the civilian realm are underemployed, forced to take whatever income comes their way, lest they be forced to seek the dole.