Family support

There are support services available for eligible partners of those who served, including pensions, counselling and childcare.

As a partner or family member of those who served, you may be eligible for support services to help you through challenging times. 

Department of Veterans’ Affairs family support 

The Department of Veterans' Affairs provides support services, including: 

  • pensions 
  • counselling 
  • childcare.

Open Arms  

Open Arms provides free and confidential counselling for Australian Defence Force (ADF) members and their families. This includes support for:  

  • current serving members to help build resilience and improve mental health 
  • ex-serving members to help work through mental health and wellbeing issues after leaving the service 
  • families to help build strong relationships 
  • partners and some ex-partners.

Legacy – supporting veterans’ families since 1923

Legacy cares for the families of veterans who’ve lost their lives or their health as a result of their service to our country. 

Their work focuses on but is not limited to: 

  • relieving hardship through financial assistance 
  • advocacy and entitlement claim support 
  • programs and events that promote social inclusion, resilience and wellbeing 
  • opportunities to promote self-reliance through education.  

Partners of Veterans Association of Australia

Partners of Veterans Association of Australia is a support network for partners of current and ex-serving members of the ADF and their allies, including links to helpful tips and articles.

Royal Australian Navy family support

The Royal Australian Navy provides contacts and helplines for current and former Navy members, their partners and their families. 

Keeping Watch

The Royal Australian Navy’s Keeping Watch program is a welfare fund. It helps serving members of the Royal Australian Navy and their families who are in financial need, such as: 

  • essential living expenses after a family crisis such as a house fire, or unexpected death or serious illness of a loved one
  • medical treatment or health support for situations not fully covered by Medicare or private health insurance
  • child-care costs when the usual at-home carer is not able to look after their young family during an unexpected family crisis. 

Soldier on Australia

Soldier on Australia provides support for defence personnel and veterans, and their families. This includes: 

  • health and wellbeing services 
  • employment support 
  • learning and education programs 
  • participation and social connection.

RSL veteran support 

RSL veteran support provides financial and other support services for:

  • current or former members of the Australian Defence Force
  • our allies
  • dependents of either group.

You do not have to be a member of the RSL to receive assistance.

Find a full list of ex-service organisations that offer support to Veterans and their families on our Ex-service organisations page.

Emergency accommodation support 

Find services that assist serving and ex-ADF personnel, veterans and their families with emergency accommodation and family violence support in Victoria on our Accommodation and housing page.