Joint media release — Grand launch of Townsville Veteran Wellbeing Centre

Saturday, 16 October 2021

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

Phillip Thompson OAM MP
Federal Member for Herbert

Australia’s largest veteran community will now have further access to fundamental support services following the grand launch of The Oasis Townsville Veteran Wellbeing Centre today.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel Andrew Gee said the completion of The Oasis Townsville Centre will result in better access to essential services for veterans in Northern Queensland.

“One of my first priorities as Minister was to visit the country’s largest garrison city to speak with our veterans and their families and to hear their stories. That trip included a tour of The Oasis with the local Member for Herbert and veteran champion Phil Thompson,” Minister Gee said.

“I was very impressed with The Oasis when I was in Townsville. Now that The Oasis is fully operational, the city has an extraordinary fit-for-purpose community facility to provide targeted supporting for our local veterans and their families.

“The Oasis has demonstrated that there is a new and innovative way our country can care for our men and women in uniform, veterans and their families. It is a one-stop- shop offering important services and support, as our ex-servicemen and women deserve nothing less.

“The Oasis exemplifies why the Australian Government is investing $40.7 million to establish a network of Veteran Wellbeing Centres across Australia in partnership with ex-service organisations and state and territory Governments.

“Not only does The Oasis provide access to health services, ex-service organisations and community groups all in the one location, it’s also where our veterans and their families can connect, catch up with friends and comrades and check in on each other.

“Veterans and their loved ones can also access help via a full spectrum of services to support health and wellbeing, advocacy, education, skills and employment assistance for Australian Defence Force personnel transitioning into civilian life. Housing and accommodation support for the veteran community will also available to those most in need.

“Once the border re-opens, I look forward to returning to Townsville. I am eager to visit The Oasis and meet the ex-service organisations on the ground that do such incredible work in assisting the local veteran community.”

Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson said getting the centre established was a team effort from the whole community.

“We have the largest veteran community in Australia and this centre will provide much-needed services for our local veterans and Defence personnel,” Mr Thompson said.

“Projects like this couldn’t happen without the dedication of many local community organisations and people who are passionate about veterans.

“This has come to fruition not just because of our $5 million investment, but more importantly the hard work of so many people to see this vision being realised.”

Veteran Wellbeing Centres are a main feature of the Australian Government’s commitment to putting our veterans and their families first, and complements the more than $4.3 billion a year dedicated to support veteran health.

For more information about the Veteran Wellbeing Centres, visit the DVA website.

Media contacts

Minister Gee office: 0459 966 944
DVA Media: 02 6289 6466

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.