Strengthening and protecting veteran family relationships

Content type

Defence & Veteran Family Research

Strengthening and Protecting Veteran Family Relationships is a research study looking at programs or services that aim to strengthen couple relationships where one (or both) partners are current or ex-serving Australian Defence Force members.

The research study will conduct focus groups with current or ex-serving ADF members and current or former partners of ADF members. It will:

  • explore programs or services designed to strengthen couple relationships
  • look at the suitability of relationship programs for ADF members and partners
  • consider what changes could be made to programs to ensure they meet members’ needs.

The project will run from July 2022 until late 2023.

The Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) is conducting this research with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs who funded and sponsored the study, supported by the Department of Defence.

The research team will share insights from the study with a range of stakeholders to inform the design and delivery of policies, programs, and services for military and veteran families. Key findings will also be shared with research participants and other military and defence force family forums, in a way that does not reveal the identity of individual participants.

The research has been approved by the Departments of Defence and Veterans’ Affairs Human Research Ethics Committee.

If you would like more information about the study, email:

And if you know somebody who might be interested in participating in the study, or if they would like to know more, please send them to this webpage. Please share with your networks.

Calling for participants

We are calling on current and ex-serving Australian Defence Force (ADF) members, and/or their current or former partners, to help us understand what types of relationship services or programs best suit their needs. The study will improve understandings of the types of programs or services that can strengthen Defence and veteran couple relationships and help to inform the development of services and supports for current and ex-serving members and their partners.

The study is open to current and ex-serving ADF members, current or former partners of ADF members (current or ex-serving), and professionals who work in the area of Defence and veteran couple relationships.

Participants need to be over 18 years of age and be able to participate in a 1.5–2-hour focus group in English.

As a thank you, current/former partners and ex-serving ADF members who participate in a focus group will be offered a $50 shopping voucher from Coles Myer.

To volunteer to participate in the study, contact the AIFS research team:

Phone: 03 9214 7992