Assistant Minister for Defence - Innovative program for wounded, injured and ill takes off in Canberra

Release details

Release type

Related ministers and contacts

The Hon Stuart Robert MP

Assistant Minister for Defence

Release content

30 May 2015

Assistant Minister for Defence, Stuart Robert reviewed a presentation by a group of Australian Defence Force men and women as part of the Arts for Recovery, Resilience, Teamwork and Skills (ARRTS) program.

The ground breaking program, delivered in partnership with the University of Canberra, has been designed for service personnel experiencing service related health and well-being issues in their rehabilitation and recovery.

Thursday night’s presentation was the culmination of four weeks of workshops in the arts. The aim of the program was to demonstrate to participants they are capable of learning new skills and adapting to different environments, therefore improving confidence, well-being and resilience.

Mr Robert said the program follows the recent success of the ADF Theatre Project/Sydney Theatre Company collaboration, The Long Way Home, which toured major cities in 2014.

“Last night’s presentation provided an insight into what can be achieved when a group of like minded people come together in a non-competitive, supportive environment to utilise the arts in their recovery,” Mr Robert said.

“What the group has achieved in such a short period of time is outstanding. The level of commitment and enthusiasm on the part of the participants and support staff has been outstanding.

“I feel privileged to have witnessed these Defence members actively engaging in their rehabilitation and sharing this experience with their families, their mates and the community.”

ADF trainers along with University of Canberra’s Faculty of Arts and Design academics offered participants an opportunity to explore the creative arts as a tool of self expression, thereby reducing social isolation and giving the participants a voice to express their individuality.

Brigadier Wayne Goodman took part in The Long Way Home and was enthusiastic about heading up the program.

“I am excited to have the opportunity to head the Arts for Recovery, Resilience, Teamwork and Skills program. It has provided an opportunity to build on what we learnt following The Long Way Home production,” he said.

“I have watched the group grow over the four weeks and I have been amazed at their progress. The group have improved confidence, well-being and resilience, demonstrating they are capable of learning new skills and are able to adapt to different environments,” Brigadier Goodman said.

“From reserved individuals, they have come together as a group, worked as a team and produced something worthy of the admiration of their mentors and colleagues.”

Media contact:

Richard Briedis (Minister Robert's Office) 0477 391 174

Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999

Other related releases