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Our Story

No soldier needs to struggle alone

Due to Australia’s involvement in ongoing military conflicts over the last 15 years, our country is witnessing an increase in the number of soldiers who are failing to assimilate effectively back into society on their return from active duty or their resignation from the military.

Many of our troops may be aware that they are in need of help at some level, but continue the mental struggle (PTSD) in private. We are seeing more of these scenarios as time passes as this is taking its toll on our soldiers and their families.

Diggers Rest – ‘A Soldiers Retreat’ has been born by the desperate need to reconnect with our soldiers past and present.

No soldier needs to struggle alone and the sad truth is that we are losing roughly one Digger a week to suicide.

Rates of Returning Veteran Suicide

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Our Vision

We have 4 main outcomes for our Soldiers

One – To create a friendly, relaxed environment on 22 privately owned acres providing activities for any soldier, past and present, and his/her family who feels the need to reset their minds and reconnect.

Self-catering accommodation for these soldiers and their families will be free for periods of two to three days at a time. However, any soldiers in need of additional time will be encouraged to return on a regular basis.

In addition Diggers Rest will provide supplementary support to the QLD RSL Emergency Short Term Accommodation Policy as well as helping homeless veterans where possible.

Two – To provide a training facility complex (gym and pool) for veterans who live within striking distance of Diggers Rest, who desire a daily training regime, but do not require accommodation.

Three -To provide adventure programs designed to give the soldier a mission or task to work towards.

Four – Diggers Rest will also provide activities for Legacy – Children’s Project in the form of boating, camping and an equine program. Using Veterans to run and support these programs.

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Our Mission

Who is Diggers Rest and what are we asking for?

Diggers Rest “A Soldiers Retreat” was set up as an eco-friendly bush lodge based on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. The aim is to bring serving soldiers, younger Veterans and their families to a friendly environment to help them reconnect with family, society and themselves at no financial outlay to them.

Most of our Soldiers and Veterans served in Afghanistan, Iraqi, East Timor and Somalia. Many of these members now suffer chronic PTSD with suicide being their main option. We opened our doors with one mission and that was to just stop one of these potential suicides.

Diggers Rest is calling on Corporate Australia to help out here as we believe we do and have made a difference. For the period 1 Jan 2016 to 23 December 2016 we had a total of 363 Soldiers, Veterans and Family members visit with 646 nights slept at Diggers Rest and we had a total of 163 Day visitors. We also took in five homeless Veterans for various periods of time – offering them a safe place off the streets.

By asking Corporate Australia for a small monthly consistent donation, we can grow our one site in Queensland to another one on the Victorian/ New South Wales boarder as well as one in Western Australia.

Put simply, your small donation will be written off to tax, your company will receive a framed certificate to display your proud support of our Armed Services in your foyer and most importantly you will be saying “Thank you for your service to our great nation!” to these men and women.

If we can stop one more suicide we have achieved our mission.

All we are asking corporate businesses for is $100 per month.

Our Objectives

Relaxation, Support & Connection

  • To bring any serving, or ex member of the Army to a friendly bush setting environment to recoup and reinvigorate which will help them re-establish themselves confidently back into society.
  • To give these soldiers some good old fashioned ‘bush time’ around an open fire with their families in an eco-friendly lodge environment.
  • To organise, where appropriate, adventure trips into Southern Africa on a yearly basis.
  • To incorporate a Diggers Rest unofficial dive club where these soldiers and their families can become dive certified (PADI) allowing them the option to join a social dive club with their families. Alternatively, they will be offered the opportunity to give back to their community by participating in projects like the Great Barrier Reef Sea Urchin Project on a yearly basis.
  • To undertake boating day trips to Tangalooma and Stradbroke Islands for couples and families.

Our Founders

About Nick & Karen Forster-Jones

Nick Forster-Jones is a fourth generation soldier coming to Australia as a young man from Rhodesia in the early 80’s.

He served 7 years in the ADF mainly with the 3rd battalion Royal Australian Regiment. On his discharge he returned to Africa were he served two years in the South African police based in Johannesburg.

He has represented WA in Rugby Union from junior levels through to senior levels. (Captaining the WA u21). He played for the Australian Army as well as ASRU

He returned to Australia with his family in 2008 and has settled in Queensland. He runs a very successful business that takes him around Australia on a regular basis.

The key to the success at Diggers Rest is all the hard work done by his wife Karen. Karen runs all the day to day operations as well as fills in as the motherly figure to many of our veterans.

Contact us


Donations are very welcome and can be made via direct deposit to:
Diggers Rest
BSB: 064 466
Account: 10286794

Get in touch

The best way to connect with us is via email.

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Phone:  0488 280 884