What is an Ex-Service Organisation?

Ex-service organisations (ESOs) provide free support to current and former Australian Defence Force members. Their services may include:

  • lobbying to promote improved conditions and support for the serving and veteran communities
  • free support, particularly if you're seeking support and services from Defence or DVA
    • wellbeing support for current and former members and their families
    • help with seeking compensation or financial assistance from DVA
  • home and hospital visits, and aged care support
  • employment and vocational advice, and
  • social activities to provide mutual support and networking opportunities.

Many ESOs have advocacy services using wellbeing and compensation advocates with qualifications in the Course in Military Advocacy. These advocacy services can provide you with information about community and government services available to veterans and families. This may include assisting with rehabilitation and compensation advice pertaining to service- related injuries. 

If you are seeking an ESO advocacy service even just to ask questions please use the ATDP Advocacy Register – using the “Find an ESO advocacy service button” to the right.

If you are an ESO looking to be included on the Advocacy Register, there is a requirement that the organisation meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Veteran wellbeing is at the core of the organisation
  • The ESO has a membership primarily of Australian veterans, past and present members of the ADF, and/or their dependants
  • The ESO does not charge a fee for service

DVA does not provide specific advice on the establishment of an ESO. Please contact Support for businesses in Australia | business.gov.au for further assistance. For ATDP registration purposes, you will need to confirm that your organisation does have a membership for eligibility.

To speak with someone at DVA, call 1800 VETERAN (1800 838 372)

© Commonwealth of Australia. Authorised by the Australian Government, Canberra