Friday, September 26 2014

Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC
Special Minister of State


The creative talents of members of Victoria’s ex-service community will be celebrated today at the official launch of the 2014 Victorian Veteran Community Story Writing and Art Competition (SWAC) exhibition.

Today I have the privilege of viewing the 401 entries that have been submitted across the categories of writing, art, craft and photography.  I am delighted that this annual exhibition, now in its 52nd year, is still being widely celebrated by members of the Victorian veteran community.

The SWAC began in 1962 at the Repatriation General Hospital as therapy for returned soldiers and has continued after the hospitals transfer to the state of Victoria in January 1995 when it became a campus of Austin Health.

For members of the ex-service community, participating in SWAC can play an important role in enhancing their health and wellbeing.  For many it helps to heal the impact war has had on their lives and provides an opportunity for them to have their work publicly acknowledged.

The competition is a joint initiative of Victorian ex-service organisations, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital.  Growing in popularity every year, SWAC continues to enrich the lives of entrants and receives generous sponsorship from the corporate and community sectors.

I am pleased to be able to join current and past SWAC competition entrants and their families, and members of the veteran community here today to view the entries and congratulate them on their efforts.

The art, craft, photography and story writing entries will be on display at the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital for public viewing for one week from Monday, 29 September 2014.

For more information about the SWAC please visit the DVA website

Media inquiries:

Minister Ronaldson: Robert Hardie 6277 7820 or 0418 432 909

Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203

Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) and Veterans Line can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for crisis support and free and confidential counselling. Phone 1800 011 046

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