Working Spirit

~Michelle Saleeba


Karyn Hinder is the Founder of Working Spirit an organisation she set up to help veterans and serving personnel transition to civilian employment. This year Working Spirit is our Defence associated beneficiary and the genesis behind the theme for the 2018 event, Transition.


Karyn  Hinder

Life transitions are something we all experience, whether it is becoming a parent, supporting a sick child or partner, relocating, or embarking upon a new career. The threads of our lives reweave themselves often in unimaginable and unexpected forms. Army Art wanted to encourage a proactive engagement with what can be a difficult process, to assist people as they reorient themselves and move through any transition process, positively adapting to change.

Karyn, who has served for the past 25 years in both the Australian Army and Royal Australian Air Force, identified a key challenge faced by military personnel is the lack of understanding by civilian employers of military skill sets, and the perception that these skills are not transferable. After undertaking specialised training herself and being invited to observe a US Military transition platform as the guest of the US Chamber of Commerce, Karyn launched Working Spirit in November 2016.

Working Spirit works collaboratively with their clients to effectively translate skill sets from a military to a civilian context. Equally importantly Working Spirit engages with industry to showcase that each veteran has unique skills and demonstrates how these are translatable to a wide variety of sectors. One initiative, The Corporate Fellowship Work Experience Program, provides the opportunity for transitioning ADF members and veterans to create valuable connections and expand their networks, while dem