The Hon Darren Chester MP
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Minister for Defence Personnel
Veterans and their families in north east Victoria are a step closer to the establishment of a Veteran Wellbeing Centre with the Returned Services League Victoria (RSL Victoria) announced as the lead organisation for its development.
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester said RSL Victoria would receive $5 million from the Australian Government for the Wodonga Centre, which will promote social connection, expand community engagement and provide integrated services for veterans and their families.
“RSL Victoria has a strong relationship with the ex-service community and brings a wealth of experience that will benefit the some 5,300 current and former Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel, and their families in the north east region,” Mr Chester said.
“Once completed, veterans and their families will be able to access services and programs in a welcoming environment where their unique experiences are understood and supported, and their military service is held in the utmost respect.
“As part of the next stage of development, RSL Victoria will be working to find an appropriate site for the centre. I commend RSL Victoria for their dedication and commitment to the serving and ex‑serving community in Victoria, and I look forward to the development of the Wellbeing Centre.”
RSL Victoria’s State President Dr Robert Webster OAM said that once established, the Wodonga Veterans and Families Wellbeing Centre will bring trauma-informed, contemporary and progressive veteran and family support services to Victoria’s far north-east.
“The Wodonga Veterans and Families Wellbeing Centre will be a one stop shop that will have RSL transition, health and wellbeing, advocacy advice, welfare and housing services sitting alongside complementary services from other ex-service organisations, government and private providers,” Dr Webster said.
“This holistic approach to veteran support, with services and providers accessible in the one location will cater to the needs of all veterans and their families, from those in need of acute care, through to those looking to transition back into civilian life.”
The Australian 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.
For more information, visit the DVA website about the new Veteran Wellbeing Centres.
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