If you are a veteran and need to connect into support networks, or just need someone to listen, you can call:

    barry heffernan veterans shed

    Barry Heffernan, Shed Founder + Co-ordinator

    The William Kibby VC Veterans Shed is an initiative of Vietnam Veterans Welfare Officer, Barry Heffernan


    Phone: 0407 713 377
    Email: bhe60800@bigpond.net.au


    Barry can be contacted by veterans who need to connect into veteran support networks, and he regularly travels Australia to meet with and support those who have come forward as victims of abuse while serving, regardless of how long ago it occurred.


    Barry is based in SA, but calls and requests for support can be accepted from anywhere in Australia.

    Absolute confidentiality assured - this voluntary service is provided by veterans, for veterans.




    The Veterans Shed is looking to compile a list of psychologists Australia wide who bulk bill, including in regions. Please comment below or send an email to Barry if you can help create this list.


    Community-Based Defence Abuse Support

    • COMBADAS is a community-based and veteran self-supported initiative of, and an adjunct to, the William Kibby VC Veterans Shed (the Veterans Shed), and aims to provide far more than just a ‘shed’ environment for veterans.

    • COMBADAS provides and encompasses a broad range of all-embracing programs and community-based enterprises aimed at offering support and ongoing care to members of the veteran community.

    • COMBADAS is a multi-focal approach to working with ex-ADF members in the community who still suffer the effects of abuse experienced while in the forces.

    • COMBADAS is a major Veterans Shed initiative, is a totally new and unique project in Australia, and provides multi-faceted support for ex-ADF members who have experienced abuse while serving their country, and who continue to live with the effects in civilian life. This is a distinctive and extremely timely enterprise.

    • COMBADAS supports both the veterans themselves, as well as their families, where required.


    • Many defence personnel have approached the Veterans Shed requesting assistance with issues related to abuse suffered during their service. COMBADAS has become a ‘default source of choice’ for support.

    • The Veterans Shed has become a ‘first and preferred point of call’ for those with grievances, and hence, is an ideal place from which to conduct support programs.

    • COMBADAS offers service background-based thinking, but with a neutral approach to claims.


    • COMBADAS will take up where DART (Defence Abuse Response Taskforce) leaves off and provide a ‘low-cost’ alternative assistance program.

    • An initial twelve month pilot program, will prove overall concepts, and build a structured, well thought out program which can be expanded upon and replicated in other regions of Australia.


    • COMBADAS will provide safe, supportive, non-judgemental community-based facilities for the support of ex-ADF members who have experienced abuse, and will address unmet emotional and social needs.

    • COMBADAS will provide emotional, psychological, and financial/legal assistance to family members of veterans, so as to better enable them to come to terms with, and handle, the emotional traumas experienced by their loved ones.



    COMBADAS will provide a range of services including:

    • COMBADAS provides mutually supportive comradeship and regular community-based interaction with people, who have some understanding of their service experiences, in a safe and supportive atmosphere.

    Complete confidentiality and anonymity is assured

    COMBADAS provides access to:

    • counselling and mental health support
    • pensions and welfare assistance
    • legal advice and support
    • respite for veterans
    • family respite
    • family and individual peer-to-peer support groups
    • employment opportunities
    • skills and workforce Training
    • political advocacy and support



    Small financial input by Government – large financial and social impact

    • COMBADAS aims to eventually be fully self-funding, but in the interim, short-term financial support is required, and it is anticipated that while some initial seed funding may be sourced from DVA and other interested government and non-government agencies, there is a need for COMBADAS to become financially self-sufficient into the future.

    • Funding is also being sought from private companies and benefactors. It is estimated that funds in the order of $100,000 per annum will be required for initial support work and the setting up of ancillary sheds, as well as for the financing of travel and accommodation for members of the Veterans Shed to extend their work to other states and individuals outside South Australia.

    The long-term aim of the initial COMBADAS project is to establish and provide, a sound, well-constructed, and well thought through pilot for a program which can ultimately be expanded throughout the entirety of Australia, and which can serve as a model for other community-based initiatives – not only in the field of abuse support, but in other allied fields where Federal and/or State Governmental programs may be either insufficient, inappropriate, or lacking entirely.


    COMBADAS is therefore highly recommended as a one-stop, community-based, peer-to-peer organisation for addressing the ongoing welfare of any members who have experienced abuse of any fashion while in the service of their country, and is an economically and emotionally sound means for providing that assistance.