Samuel’s journey from defence to digital career
- Last updated:
- 25 October 2022 11:08AM
- First published:
- 25 October 2022 10:26AM
Samuel Harris is a former Army Supply Chain Specialist Corporal, who spent 14 years in the Australian Defence Force.
During this time Samuel also worked as a welfare assistance officer, where he initiated and used digital technology and gaming solutions to support veterans’ social and emotional well-being.
Using digital tools veterans
After leaving the army Samuel identified an opportunity to use his digital skills to provide support to veterans who were isolated because they lived in regional areas, or because of injury or illness.
Samuel said for veterans who live outside of major cities, or with mobility issues, there really aren’t many returned service organisations that are accessible.
Samuel saw an opportunity to use his digital skills and technology to help fill this gap and support veterans to connect and create a support network system for them after leaving the ADF.
This led Samuel to establish the Veteran Gaming Australia (VGA) a charity which aims to improve veteran wellbeing and decrease reasons for isolation, hardship and health issues, by developing a community around a shared love of online gaming.
Samuel was able to setup the VGA thanks to his digital and business skills, which he developed while working in the ADF and through self-learning and a general interest in digital technology.
For members, the VGA offers more than just an online gaming community, it provides a way to connect, find information and support, and share and teach one another digital skills.
He said it’s been great to see how VGA members help one another learn to use digital technology and improve their digital skills.
In a lot of cases the digital skills they’re teaching one another—such as online education, video and photo editing, graphic design, as well as IT hardware and networking—are highly employable skills.
In relation to digital skills, Samuel said that society is moving into a digital age of technology and it’s vital that everyone has digital skills, not only to improve their career prospects, but also to connect with others and access a host of online services and information.
Samuel’s advice to veterans considering digital skills training is to just do it, jump in, get involved and start learning. People with digital skills are well paid and these skills are required in so many different careers and jobs today.
The Queensland Government is currently offering veterans and their immediate families free digital skills training through the Veterans Digital Capability and Skilling Program.