Swiss 8

Since 2018, Swiss 8 have been working to destigmatise mental health and provide support to men and women in need. We’ve spoken with veteran and Swiss 8 Founder Adrian Sutter about mental health, mateship and the importance of staying connected.


[Adrian Sutter]: The whole world was going through COVID lockdowns. The general public were experiencing what it was like to be a veteran transitioning out of the military. You’re anxious, you’re uncertain about your future, you don’t know if you’ve got a job. You’re isolated and you’ve had no connection with your mates in a long time.

My name’s Adrian Sutter. I’m an Australian Army combat veteran. I joined the Defence Force, I joined the army, when I was twenty. 

Then I left full-time service at the end of 2011. 

And, not straight away, but over the years to follow, I did notice a mental health kind of roller coaster pattern – I was really healthy and happy one day, depressed and anxious the next.

Around the same time, I started losing a lot of mates to suicide, and that’s when I realised that we needed to do something. We needed to get proactive, and that’s when we started Swiss 8. 

Swiss 8’s core mission is to solve mental health decline post-service.

Most of these people are suffering from isolation and loneliness, so staying connected to a community is essential; like, it’s required for health and happiness.

There is community groups out there, there’s rugby clubs, cricket teams – sport’s an amazing avenue, because you will find a new tribe or a new community in that sport. 

But a simple piece of advice, is stay connected.

[Shane]: People who are in the Defence Force, it’s like a family. Being part of Swiss 8, it’s given me a sense of family again; and just the sense of feeling accomplished as well – you’re doing something to help someone else out. 

[Lauchlan]: It doesn’t just have to be Swiss 8, it can be anything where you can get together and go do some things – go for a surf, have a barbecue. The best option for me, was to jump in and create a business.

[Adrian Sutter]: What I love most about being Australian is the values. A lot of them stem from Anzac values. Being a larrikin; honour and courage; and mateship and connection is a massive one. That is the value that I love the most about being Australian.

I find myself very lucky, I still have that sense of purpose in what I do. Because I am still in a way, serving my country, serving my mates. You wake up in the morning and you can look in the mirror and go, “I am doing something for other people”.

We are not defined by race, religion or culture but by the shared values of freedom, respect, fairness and equality opportunity. Find out more about the seven Australian values and what they mean.

Learn more about the Australian values.

This post is also available in: 简体中文 (Chinese Simplified) 繁體中文 (Chinese Traditional) Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese) العربية (Arabic)

On Thursday 29 February 2024 the Australian Values Program and its online engagement channels will be closed. We would like to thank everyone who shared their stories or engaged with the Australian Values Program in its three years of operation through the website, X, YouTube, Instagram and Facebook.

The values will continue to hold their place in our diverse and inclusive community through other initiatives, as well as playing an integral part of the visa application process and Australian Citizenship test. For more info visit the Australian Values page.