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The Hon Darren Chester MP
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Minister for Defence Personnel

MEDIA RELEASE

Saturday, 28 March 2020

Mates4Mates delivers top end veteran support

MATES4MATES will ensure veterans and their families are supported in the top end, having been selected as the lead organisation to deliver the Northern Territory’s $5 million Veteran Wellbeing Centre.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester said Mates4Mates have built a strong reputation for supporting veterans and their families, and as the lead organisation will work with other local organisations in developing the new Veteran Wellbeing Centre in the Northern Territory.

“Mates4Mates will be leading the Veteran Wellbeing Centre and will develop a plan to support the local ex-service community in areas such as transition and employment support, advocacy services and social connectedness, including a key focus of support for families of veterans,” Mr Chester said.

“Focus groups were held over the last month with ex-service organisations, veterans, Australian Defence Force (ADF) members, and their families, to better understand what services the local veteran community need to support their wellbeing. The results will assist Mates4Mates to develop a Veteran Wellbeing Centre to best support Northern Territory veterans and their families.

“Having visited the Mates4Mates Family Recovery Centre in Townsville I have seen the exceptional work they have done to bring current ADF personnel, veterans and their families together. I have no doubt the Northern Territory defence and ex-service community are in very capable hands.”

DVA held consultations with stakeholders, including the Northern Territory government and a local steering committee, to identify a lead provider for the Wellbeing Centre.

Mates4Mates CEO Troy Watson said as an organisation committed to providing support and rehabilitation services to veterans and their families, he welcomed the opportunity to lead the development of a Veteran Wellbeing Centre in Darwin with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Northern Territory Government and local veterans and stakeholders.

“Our focus is to provide a way forward for veterans and their families, as we’re currently doing through our Family Recovery Centres in Townsville, Brisbane and Tasmania in conjunction with RSL Queensland. We know that this model of care works well and provides one location to access a broad range of services, from psychology appointments to social connection activities, employment and advocacy services,” Mr Watson said.

“Moving forward, our intention is to continue consultations with local stakeholders, the community and veteran-organisations already based in the Northern Territory to ensure services will meet the needs of veterans and their families.”

Over the coming months, Mates4Mates will develop a Detailed Business Case for the Wellbeing Centre, which will include recommendations for the most appropriate location.

The Government committed $30 million to develop a network of six Veteran Wellbeing Centres across Australia in partnership with ex-service organisations (ESOs) and state and territory governments.

The Wellbeing Centres are expected to provide individualised wellbeing services based on local veteran’s needs such as transition and employment support, advocacy services and social connectedness, including a key focus of support for families of veterans.

For more information about the new Veteran Wellbeing Centres, visit the DVA website www.dva.gov.au/wellbeing-centres

ENDS

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Rachel Tharratt: 02 6277 7820
DVA Media: 02 6289 6466

Office of the Hon Darren Chester, Canberra ACT

Open Arms — Veterans and Families Counselling provides support for current and ex-serving ADF personnel and their families. Free and confidential help is available 24/7. Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 1800 011 046 or +61 8 8241 4546) or visit www.OpenArms.gov.au