Commander Stephen Dunning RAN (Ret’d)

Mental health and disability advocate for veterans

2024 SA Senior Australian of the Year Nominee

Commander Stephen Dunning RAN (Ret’d) has made a profound difference to veterans – especially those experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder – and people with a disability. 

A survivor of a serious car accident, a qualified mental health practitioner and an Australian Defence Force (ADF) Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Trainer, Stephen has trained more than 600 ADF personnel, defence civilians and others in suicide prevention strategies.  

As a board member, Stephen was instrumental in growing the Community Bridging Services, a leading services provider for people with a disability across South Australia. He was also the Navy Aide de Camp to four state governors in a volunteer capacity. 

Medically retired from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs since 2019, Stephen has been a volunteer advocacy and peer support person, helping serving and non-serving members access mental health rehabilitation and recovery services.  

Stephen’s compassion and advocacy has provided life-saving help to countless veterans and serving members.