26 February 2015 New program to support transitioning Defence members

The Prince’s Charities Australia (PCA) and RMIT University today opened applications for a new program to support Defence members to transition into the business world.

The Prince’s Lead Your Own Business program (LYOB) arms participants with the skills needed to successfully start and operate a business enterprise, beyond their time of service.

In light of trends suggesting former Defence members are well positioned to succeed as business owners, consultants and entrepreneurs, PCA initiated the design of the LYOB program to provide a clear path into business.

Applications are welcome from ADF members who have a business idea and are leaving the Force, or for those who have transitioned up to 24 months ago. Scholarship and funding assistance opportunities are also available.

The course involves online learning, an intensive residential program in Melbourne in June, followed-by 12-months of mentoring by experienced industry experts.

PCA Chairman, Tony Beddison AO, said he was excited to see the program get underway in Australia for the first time, after a similar initiative in Canada has proven successful.

'The program is designed to be practical, hands-on and meet the needs of a diverse range of learning styles. It’s a unique opportunity for participants to learn from other former ADF members who have entered the world of business,' Mr Beddison said.

Support for the program is wide spread, including a personal endorsement from Air Chief Marshal M.C. Binskin AC, Chief of the Defence Force, a multitude of organisations offering scholarship opportunities for participants, principal partnership with Worldwide Support for Development (WSD), and corporate partnership with Defence Housing Australia.

Defence Housing Australia Managing Director, Peter Howman, said he was pleased to see an initiative developed for Defence members transitioning to civilian life.

'We’re proud to get behind The Prince’s Lead Your Own Business program in providing opportunities and support to Defence members as they leave the Force and consider their next move,' Mr Howman said.

Education provider RMIT University will facilitate the provision of support and educational resources to LYOB participants, as well as house the program’s intensive residential.

'RMIT is glad to welcome the transitioning Defence members into our small business and entrepreneurship college as part of The Prince’s Lead Your Own Business program,' Ian Palmer, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President of RMIT University’s Business College, said.

'As fully enrolled students of RMIT, participants will have access to fantastic networks and facilities to get the very best start in their business endeavours.'

Participants who complete all units are awarded a nationally recognised Certificate IV in Small Business Management.

The Prince’s Charities Australia is the coordinating presence for The Prince of Wales’ Australian charitable endeavours, many of which focus on the welfare of those who have served in the Forces, and their families.

His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales has a long-standing commitment to the Australian Defence Force, serving as Colonel-in-Chief to the Royal Australian Armoured Corps since 1977.

Applications for The Prince’s Lead Your Own Business are open from February 26, and close on April 24.

For more information, visit www.princeslyob.com.au/