Meaningful activity after military service

Having access to a range of personally meaningful activities is important for physical and mental health and well-being during the transition from military service to civilian life. Previous research demonstrates that meaningful activities including work and sport can provide former service members with a sense of purpose and belonging in life; support construction of a new “civilian”
identity; and may enable former service members to work through difficult or life-threatening events that occurred during service, including military sexual trauma, physical injury, and death and injury of comrades.

Many former members of the Australian Defence Force who participated in the Australian Military Transition Study reported health benefits from a range of personally meaningful activities, including paid and voluntary work, gardening, exercise, and art. In this presentation, I will explore how meaningful activities can be used by former service members, their families, and government and non-government organisations to improve health outcomes after military service. Also I will highlight an important (non-clinical) means for promoting veteran health and well-being, which has great potential to shift health outcomes during the transition from military service to civilian life.


This webinar took place 2 PM AEST Tuesday 20 August 2019.





More about Kylie Carra

Kylie Carra is a lecturer and PhD researcher at the La Trobe Rural Health School in Bendigo, Victoria. She has 10+ years of clinical experience as an occupational therapy clinician, with skills in acute and long-term rehabilitation in various healthcare settings. Her PhD research focuses on exploring links between meaningful activity and health during the transition from military service to civilian life. She graduated with a Bachelor of Health Science (Occupational Therapy) in 2002 and with a Master of Health Science in 2012.

Latest publications:

Download: Plain Language Summary Australian Military Transition Study

Carra, K., Hyett, N., Kenny, A., & Curtin, M. (2018). Strengthening occupational therapy practice with communities affected by traumaBritish Journal of Occupational Therapy (early online view), doi: 10.1177/0308022618795594

Carra, K., & Curtin, M. (2017). Post-traumatic growth among Australian farming women after a floodJournal of Loss and Trauma, 22(5), 453-463. doi:10.1080/15325024.2017.1310506