Thinking together for life changes

Published on Mrs Emily Thomas (author), ABIS Sarah Williams (photographer)

Topic(s): Health, Fitness and Wellbeing, Defence Community Organisation

Warrant Officer Shane Rossetto and wife Una at the Base Administration Centre, HMAS Albatross, Nowra. (photo: ABIS Sarah Williams)
Warrant Officer Shane Rossetto and wife Una at the Base Administration Centre, HMAS Albatross, Nowra.

Warrant Officer Shane Rosetto and his wife, Una, believe the transition back to civilian life is a family affair.

Warrant Officer Rosetto is not due to retire until 2021, but the couple is looking to the future.

“This is a big event in both your lives,” said Una.

“Partners have a foot in the Defence world as well and we also need to adjust to becoming “civilianised”.”

With that thought in mind they have both already attended an Australian Defence Force Transition Seminar in Nowra, New South Wales.

“We were surprised how much preparation you have to do before you get out,” Una said.

“Having your medical information transferred to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs is important to ensure you are covered in case of a medical issue arising from your Defence service.”

Una recommends transition seminars to other civilian partners.

“Two people at the same meeting can pick up different information,” she said.

“Depending on your circumstances, partners may have entitlements too and you won’t know unless you attend.”

Another advantage of attending the seminar, according to Una, is that partners may have a different view of what could be important, and they may dismiss something that could be of value.

“Some of the highlights for us included getting in contact with Military Super now to put a plan in action while we have time.”

The couple is also planning to register for the Department of Veterans’ Affairs Stepping Out program in 2020.

Visit to download the Australian Defence Force Transition Handbook, check out the Transition Seminar calendar, and get detailed information on the transition process.

Stepping Out is a two-day program which examines the transition process in both practical and emotional terms. It is run by Veterans and Veterans’ Families’ Counselling Service. For more information visit