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OPEC College & Soldier On Scholarship winners announced

Soldier On and OPEC College are delighted to announce that two bursaries have been awarded for the inaugural scholarship program. The new scheme, which is designed to enable Veterans and their families to achieve their educational goals and find new pathways into long-term meaningful employment, had so many high quality applications that OPEC College has decided to award two scholarships.

Prudence Slaughter, Pathways Program Director said; “We are delighted to announce that two applicants have been awarded scholarships from the new OPEC College & Soldier On Scholarship Program and wish the students the best for their course study. The initiative offering a fully-funded course arose from our Education partnership with OPEC College as part of Soldier On’s Pathways Program which provides free employment and education support to Veterans and their families.”

“We were very impressed with the high calibre of all applications received from members of the Veteran community. Two compelling stories really stood out and so we are delighted to announce two scholarships have been awarded instead of one as originally intended,” said David Kirkby, General Manager, OPEC College.

Congratulation to the winners of OPEC College’s Scholarship:

  • Douglas Brand
  • Julie Hering

After leaving the Australian Army, Douglas has spent time considering his future career options and would like to become a teacher. Like many ex-service men and women it took time to adjust to civilian life after a long career in the ADF. The scholarship is enabling Douglas to get started on his new career, providing him with a fully-funded Teaching support course.

Douglas was excited to receive the scholarship; “Thanks to Soldier On and OPEC College for this exciting opportunity. I’m looking forward to the course. I’ve thought about getting into teaching for such a long time.”

“Soldier On and the mates I’ve met there, have really helped me get the confidence to pursue further education and teaching. I’m excited to get started on the first step to my future career.”

Julie joined the Army reserves aged 17 before changing careers. Her husband has been in the Army for 35 years and like many Defence partners Julie has worked hard to maintain a meaningful career whilst moving around. Julie worked as a mental health nurse supporting the Defence Force and for the police, and later working as a forensic specialist on crime scenes Julie developed PTSD. Julie’s ultimate career goal now is to work as a mental health return to work specialist.

On receiving the good news about receiving the bursary, Julie said; “This course is really life-changing for me! In fact it’s life-changing for five families – as we have grown up children with their families. By helping me this scholarship is also helping them – the stronger the career I have for myself, the better we can help our children.”  

“Moving around with PTSD, Soldier On has been my rock. Everywhere we’ve moved, we’ve been able to connect with Soldier On, and for me, as a Defence Partner, it’s been a good way to make friends, like at the coffee catch-ups.”

“My ultimate goal now is to be a mental health return to work specialist. Thank you to Soldier On and OPEC College. This course will enable me to get there.”  


Soldier On’s Pathways Program is delighted to partner with OPEC College for this scholarship Program and we thank them for their generosity.

Applications for the OPEC College scholarship program are now closed.

Are you looking to upskill or re-train or would like to accelerate your career? Contact the Soldier On Education team on education@soldieron.org.au  

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