The Hon Darren Chester MP
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Minister for Defence Personnel
VETERANS and their families are being encouraged to keep socially connected as part of Veterans’ Health Week, with $200,000 in funding available to community groups and ex-service organisations to assist with activities.
Veterans' Health Week will be held from Saturday, 24 October to Sunday, 1 November 2020 and communities are being encouraged to get creative to ensure events can still take place, with organisations able to apply for $720 in funding to support their activities.
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester said the global coronavirus pandemic had made it difficult for many people to physically see each other and finding ways to socially connect with one another was now more important than ever, particularly for the ex-service community.
“Social connection is one of the most important aspects for your mental health and wellbeing, and as part of Veterans’ Health Week this year we are encouraging those in the ex-service community to remain socially connected, with family, friends and local community,” Mr Chester said.
“This year we’re asking organisations to come up with more innovative ideas for hosting events, to get creative and create new opportunities to connect, either in person where possible or virtually over the phone or internet.
“This could include a fitness challenge or session, community meditation or yoga, community catch-ups or arts and crafts workshops to name a few — all either in person, or virtually. Ex-service organisations can also look to partner with other local community organisations to deliver their chosen activity.
“Veterans’ Health Week is a chance to remind veterans and their families to stay in touch with their local communities and participate in community events and remain socially connected.”
Each year the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) provides $200,000 in funding to assist community groups and ex-service organisations to host events for Veterans' Health Week. Applications are now open and organisations can apply to receive $720 to support their Veterans’ Health Week activity. To apply for funding visit www.dva.gov.au/vhw
“Supporting the mental health of veterans and their families is a key priority for this Government and Veterans’ Health Week is one way we can spread more awareness about the importance of social connection within local communities across Australia,” Mr Chester said.
“I encourage veterans and their families to look out for a Veterans' Health Week event hosted in their community, and to stay safe, but connected.”
Applications for funding close 9 October 2020. Applicants must be aware of local state or territory coronavirus restrictions that are in place and ensure their event is following all coronavirus guidelines.
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