Today, ADA proudly announces a unique collaboration with the Australian Kookaburra Kids Foundation (AKKF), an organisation committed to empowering young people to thrive beyond the impacts of family mental illness; together, they are set to unveil and welcome ‘DIGGER’, the Plushie Pup with a Purpose.

DIGGER represents the commitment of ADA and AKKF to support the mental health and well-being of young individuals across Australia. With every plushie purchased, all proceeds will directly support the AKKF programs which supports the unique needs of young people from current and former Australian Defence Force (ADF) families. Through ADA’s longstanding partnership with AKKF, this initiative marks a significant stride in recognising the invaluable service of both human and four-legged heroes.

ADA is a proud founding partner of the Kookaburra Kids program. ADA’s contributions help Kookaburra Kids support young people who have family members protecting and serving our community on the front line.

Renée Coffey, CEO of Australian Kookaburra Kids Foundation, expressed her enthusiasm about the partnership, stating, “We are so excited to continue our partnership with Australian Defence Apparel. To date, ADA has generously contributed $75,000 to Australian Kookaburra Kids Foundation programs, providing crucial support to young people in families impacted by mental illness. Along with ADA’s unwavering support of Kookaburra Kids, this initiative marks a significant step forward in recognising the invaluable service of our heroic four-legged soldiers, who stand alongside their courageous human counterparts. We have eagerly anticipated the launch of this new endeavour in 2024, envisioning DIGGER, a beloved mascot, bringing joy to the hearts of many fortunate young people.”

Chris Dixon, CEO of Australian Defence Apparel echoed these sentiments, stating, “DIGGER embodies ADA’s commitment to supporting the mental health and well-being of young individuals across Australia and this initiative is a testament to our ongoing commitment to supporting young people from defence families facing adversity. Through the DIGGER Plushie Program and our partnership with AKKF, we aim to make a meaningful difference in the lives of these courageous individuals and provide a beacon of hope for children navigating difficult circumstances. We are proud to be a founding partner of the Australian Kookaburra Kids Foundation, and honoured to present DIGGER as a conduit for raising funds that empower young individuals.” remarked Chris Dixon.

ADA’s Jason Semple remarked “Early intervention with a focus on the provision of psychological and resilience measures, are essential tools for emotional regulation, which in turn provide proven cognitive avenues that allow our kids to transform post traumatic events into ‘post traumatic growth’.

Teaching our kids to harness the effects of adversity in a manner which promotes positivity and long term healthy psychological pathways, will promote resilience & happiness now and as they transition into adulthood.” he says.

The launch of DIGGER the Plushie German Shepherd marks the beginning of a journey filled with compassion and solidarity. ADA and AKKF remain steadfast in their commitment to fostering a brighter future for generations to come.