Centre for Continuing Education

Skills Training and Reintegration Initiative for Veterans Education

STRIVE. Supporting Australia’s contemporary veterans.

Professor The Honourable Dame Marie Bashir
I am indeed proud to add my voice to this initiative of The University of Sydney to support a continuing educational experience at the University for those men and women of our armed services who have served in recent years in conflict zones far from homeland and family. As a young student in the post-World War II years, I recall the valuable stability and educational enrichment which a similar scheme provided for our World War II veterans, many of whom went on in civilian life to contribute significantly to our nation. This is an inspired investment in the lives of our veterans who had been prepared to give their lives for their nation and its people. It is also a most valuable investment in our nation Australia.

Marie Bashir Signature
Professor the Honourable Dame Marie Bashir AD CVO

The University of Sydney recognises the critical need to support contemporary veterans as they return to civilian life and careers, and has established an educational initiative, provided with our compliments to recently returned ex-service men and women.

The Skills Training and Reintegration Initiative for Veterans Education (STRIVE) provides a tailored program in the critical analytic and business skills as well as coaching needed to assist servicemen and women reintegrating into the civilian business environment.

The STRIVE program is focused on delivering the best outcomes in support of our contemporary veterans.

How you can help

The STRIVE program is and will always be a free initiative for returning veterans transitioning to the civilian workforce. We need your help and support to keep it that way.

Please donate to support Australia’s bravest – everything helps.

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Eligibility Criteria


  • Served in the Australian Defence Force and discharged within the past 5 years OR
  • Currently serving in the Australian Defence Force and soon to be discharged

Excludes commissioned officers and those who have received ADFA or Duntroon Education.

Course Content

The STRIVE program is structured as a combination of in-class intensive meetings, self-directed study, and online tutoring sessions. Total commitment (a combination of in-class intensive meetings, self-directed study, and online tutoring sessions) is approximately 90 hours over ~14 weeks, designed to be compatible with normal work schedules. Participants completing this course successfully will be awarded a certificate of attendance.


Coaching and activities intended to help identify core capabilities, professional skills and experience. 6 × 1-hour sessions with a personal coach and 4 hours preparing goals interspersed within the 6 coaching sessions.

Applying for a job

Applying for a job: writing the application, preparing for the interview:

  • What does a good quality resume look like?
  • What should you include on your resume?
  • How to prepare for job interviews.
  • What to expect at a job interview, and how is it usually structured.
  • Examples of behavioural-based interview questions and how to answer these effectively.
  • Examples of questions that you can ask the interviewer at the end of the interview.
  • How to find a job outside of the usual job boards and recruitment agencies.
  • Create an action plan to map your contacts and leverage your own network to help find you a job.

Soldiers Marching

Flexibility – how to adjust to a changing work context

  • Change thinking habits which reduce your control over your feelings.
  • Manage your thoughts and feelings so you can increase your confidence.
  • Leave behind habits which limit your success in life.
  • Take on new beliefs and positive mindsets so you can reach your true potential.

Planning time and balancing priorities

  • How to set realistic goals (SMART).
  • Aligning organisational goals with your own.
  • Prioritising work goals.
  • Deciding when to delegate.
  • Organising work schedules for self and team.
  • Effective time management strategies.

Soldier Flag

Influential communications

  • What communication is and how it occurs.
  • The different ways in which communication can take place.
  • How to make the most of non-verbal and para-verbal communication.
  • How to interpret and convey the intending meaning.
  • How to listen effectively and respond appropriately.
  • How to best respond in different contexts.
  • To use appreciative inquiry as a communication tool.
  • A variety of techniques and strategies for communicating more effectively in the workplace.

Thinking critically and ethically and problem solving

  • Recognise the structure of arguments, and represent that structure in a clear, standardised form.
  • Identify different types of reasoning, such as deductive and inductive reasoning, and the methods of evaluation appropriate to each.
  • Apply critical analysis skills to real arguments from a variety of contexts, and identify the generialisability of these skills and their applicability to other disciplines.

Soldier ANZAC Commemorations

Team dynamics in a changing work context

  • Communicating for maximising team outcomes.
  • Set clear team objectives.
  • Identify team functions and assign appropriate roles to team members.
  • Provide input / added value to ensure the effectiveness of the team.
  • Manage through conflict and difficult situations.
  • Follow agreed protocols for conducting team meetings.

Report writing

  • Demonstrate written communication skills expected of a business professional.
  • Make and defend a reasoned argument in writing.
  • Draw conclusions based on evidence.
  • Make evident skilful use of high-quality and credible arguments.
  • Show detailed attention to, and successful execution of, a wide range of conventions particular to specific writing tasks, including organisation, content, presentation, formatting, and stylistic choices.
  • Demonstrate an ability to critique texts.

Using information technology

  • Demonstrate competence in the use of the World Wide Web as a research tool.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of basic computer fundamentals and how they are implemented in modern hardware and software.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of storage techniques for image and audio data.

Meet the employers event

The STRIVE program is working to partner with local business organisations to support networking events between student participants and potential employers as part of the training experience.

Except Coaching, each unit comprises 10 hours of study (7 hours workshop and 3 hours homework).

Supporters and endorsements

We are proud that the STRIVE program is supported by a wide range of Great Australians – from academics through to former Governors.

Chief Patron


Founding Supporter

  • SoldierOn - "We are proud that SoldierOn is the first organisation to support the STRIVE program."


  • Dr Michael Spence - Vice-Chancellor and Principal, The University of Sydney
  • Professor Bruce Robinson - Dean of Medicine, The University of Sydney
  • Anne and Hugh Harley - Anne, a former lawyer and now a farmer, and Hugh Harley, a financial services leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers Australia, and already generous supporters of the University of Sydney, have extended their generosity to support the STRIVE program. CCE wishes to thank both Anne and Hugh.


  • Susie McKelvey
  • Hugh Simpson

Course Features

  • An educational program assisting contemporary veterans transitioning to the civilian workforce provided without charge to recently returned ex-service men and women.

What others say about this course.

  • In my view the STRIVE program offers an alternative and completely different approach to the transition process in a very relaxed non-military environment run by very professional instructors. I was very impressed with the content and conduct of this program and would like to thank the University of Sydney, instructors and all support staff who provided us with a relaxed learning environment. I now believe I have the information and tools that I need to progress with my transition to a successful civilian life. Thank you one and all.

  • I was very impressed with the course and the flexible approach taken. The tutors were all excellent and were able to tailor their presentations on the go to suit the audience.