Celebrating 100 years: Sam's story

In appreciation of 100 years of serving those who serve Australia, we’re talking with our customers to hear their special stories. Meet Sam Colebatch — read how this young Army veteran has transitioned with the help of CSC Customer Service.

22 Aug 2022

Following in the footsteps of his Army helicopter pilot brother, former soldier Sam Colebatch joined the Army in 2011 with a desire to do something meaningful.

“I joined the Army because of the stories I heard from my brother. He’s still my mentor. He talked me through what Army life is all about; I learned what I needed to know in terms of the level of fitness and the training required.”

After graduating from the 80-day recruit course at the Army Recruit Training Centre in Kapooka, Sam moved to Simpson Barracks, Victoria, a tri-service educational facility (i.e. Army, Navy and RAAF) and home of the Signals Corps. Later, Sam posted to Robertson Barracks in Darwin, and completed trailer and vehicle driver specialist courses to gain entry to the Corps of Transport. 

A keen sportsman, Sam loved to represent Defence in AFL and hockey, and later wheelchair basketball.

I can’t do it anymore but there was a time when I used to run 5 km every couple of days.

Unfortunately, his mental and physical health deteriorated, including unrelenting issues with his knees and back, and eventually Sam left the Army.

When I first tried to claim with CSC I found it difficult because I didn’t know the steps or procedures to take. I also found DVA unhelpful. But thanks to the efforts of CSC Customer Service, my GP and psychiatrist, I’ve been able to get my mental and physical health claims approved. It’s been a long and stressful journey, but I now have a permanent pension and Gold Card.

Sam credits our people for helping him through some extremely difficult times.

They have been so patient on the phone and have always tried to give me the right information. Customer Service has even taught me how to calculate the CPI! I’m a bit hopeless when it comes to maths sometimes!

Sam is currently sharing his lived experience with the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide.

CSC customer Sam

“My super has provided me with a comfortable retirement. I’m happy and fortunate that I don’t have to worry about simply surviving.”

Sam Colebatch, CSC customer since 2011

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