Military Spouse Employment & Career Development

June, 2016

This report reflects work carried out to contribute to the improvement of military spouse career and employment assistant and outcomes in Australia, the USA, Canada and the UK. This research focuses on the Australian Defence Force.


Military spouses embody the type of skills and attributes required by today’s workers and sought after by employers, yet evidence suggests that due to the unique aspects of military life, such as relocation and separation, the employment and career development of military spouses is compromised and marked by unemployment, underemployment and career discontent. It is widely acknowledged that the support provided by families is essential to the serving member’s wellbeing and their ability to do their job. Work is an important part of life and a good job is good for health and wellbeing. The compromised career development of spouses is negatively impacting individual and family mental, financial, and social health and wellbeing. The implications are widespread and concern defence capability and national security, labour force participation and gender equality. This should be concerning for those who care about ADF family wellbeing, those who are responsible for it, those who rely on it for operational effectiveness and those who benefit from having a fully functioning all-volunteer Defence Force.

Full Reference

McCue, A., 2017. Military (ADF) Spouse Employment & Career Development Report prepared for The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust of Australia.

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