Joint media release — Construction begins on permanent Nowra Wellbeing Centre

Tuesday, 11 January 2022

The Hon Andrew Gee MP
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs
Minister for Defence Personnel
Federal Member for Calare

Senator Jim Molan AO DSC
Senator for New South Wales

Construction has begun on a new purpose built, state-of-the-art facility to permanently house the Nowra Veterans Wellbeing Centre, providing an expanded range of health and wellbeing services for our local veterans, current serving Australian Defence Force members and their families.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel Andrew Gee visited the site at 124 Wallace Street today to officially launch the building works.

“This is a momentous day for the Defence and veteran community here in Nowra and the surrounding region,” Minister Gee said.

“RSL LifeCare, with the support of RSL NSW, has been doing a great job running the Nowra Wellbeing Centre out of their temporary premises and has already made a real difference in the lives of current ADF members, ex-service personnel, and their families.

“This new, permanent home will take those services to the next level. It will be a place of healing and connection, and a hub for accessing health, education and employment support.

“The facility has been carefully designed with a mix of communal, recreational and clinical spaces to meet the needs of veterans and their families.

“It is part of the Australian Government’s $43.2 million investment in a network of Wellbeing Centres across the country and demonstrates our commitment to providing local services to support veterans, defence personnel and their families wherever they live.”

Senator for New South Wales Jim Molan said the new centre was a much needed addition to the region.

“The Nowra Wellbeing Centre will provide critical services to more than 7,000 local veterans and their families in the Shoalhaven and neighbouring local government areas, as well as personnel from nearby HMAS Albatross and HMAS Creswell,” Senator Molan said.

“Being in the military is tough, and life after the military can be difficult to navigate. Having local support networks and a place where you can come together with others who are in a similar position is just so important.”

RSL LifeCare Board Member and navy veteran Trevor Robertson said this Centre is the result of significant planning and consultation with local ex-service organisations and the veteran community to deliver a one-stop shop for service delivery that is veteran-centric and community driven.

“The Nowra Veteran Wellbeing Centre will provide critical services to over 7,000 veterans and their families in the Shoalhaven and neighbouring local government areas, including education, health and ADF transition support and it will be an essential resource for the community for generations to come”, Mr Robertson said.

“I would like to thank the DVA and the Federal Government for their support of the Veteran Wellbeing Centre model and RSL NSW, our partner charity, for supporting us in the delivery of services to veterans and their families.”

RSL NSW President Ray James said the League has observed an increased need for support services this year and he expects this continue with the pressure or COVID-19 restrictions, the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide, and the ADF’s withdrawal from the conflict in Afghanistan last year.

“I take this opportunity to reassure veterans and their families across the Shoalhaven that local support and services are available to them at the Nowra Veteran Wellbeing Centre.”

Construction on the Nowra Veteran Wellbeing Centre is expected to be finalised by mid-2022.

For more information on the National network of Veteran Wellbeing Centres, visit the Veteran Wellbeing Centres page

Media contacts

Minister Gee office: 0459 966 944
DVA Media: 02 6289 6466
Office of the Hon. Andrew Gee, Canberra ACT.

Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling provides 24/7 free confidential crisis support for current and ex-serving ADF personnel and their families on 1800 011 046 or the Open Arms website. Safe Zone Support provides anonymous counselling on 1800 142 072. Defence All-Hours Support Line provides support for ADF personnel on 1800 628 036 or the Department of Defence website. Defence Member and Family Helpline provides support for Defence families on 1800 624 608.