Community connection for older Canberrans, veterans and their families

Australian Greens

The ACT Government is providing $160,000 in grants for organisations to create a more accessible and connected Canberra for older people, veterans and their families as restrictions ease over the coming months and we reconnect as a community.

Assistant Minister for Seniors, Veterans, Families and Community Services Emma Davidson says that community organisations deliver fantastic support services to assist Canberra’s social recovery from COVID-19, helping our city emerge as a more inclusive, accessible and supported place to live.

“Lockdown has been incredibly hard for Canberrans, where physical distancing requirements have challenged the ways people connect with their communities and usual support networks. Our community sector plays a vital role, as a trusted service provider, in the COVID-19 response and will continue to as we shift towards social recovery,” Minister Davidson said.

“With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Canberrans have been creative, innovative and adaptive in continuing to connect with their communities. These grants support these amazing organisations and ideas so we can emerge from restrictions with a better way of connecting to one another, one which is more accessible, inclusive and improves wellbeing for all.”

Organisations can apply for up to $10,000 for projects that respond to the needs of older Canberra, veterans and their families and support community connection. Projects may be a direct response to needs arising from COVID-19 and all projects will need to meet ACT Public Health Directions as they evolve.

Canberra Dance Theatre used funding from the first round of grants, earlier this year, to organise ‘GOLD: Canberra’s Outrageous Dancing Seniors’ which delivered a performance from older Canberrans at the National Portrait Gallery, followed by a taster class for people who wanted to try dancing.

Jacqui Simmonds, Artistic Director at Canberra Dance Theatre said: “GOLD Audience members were impressed by the performers’ agility, coordination and memory, and class participants by the fun workout for mind and body. Lockdown meant that the final two events of the program had to be postponed but GOLD are now practising being outrageous online. They are maintaining their fitness, connection with each other and with the program through twice weekly dance classes on Zoom.”

President at Veterans Motorcycle Club Federal Chapter, Stephen Bones, said the 2020-21 Veterans Grant helped update furniture within their Veterans Support Centre so more veterans and their families could access the space and connect with people who share similar experiences.

“This much needed upgrade offers a safe and welcoming facility for members and their families. An updated Veterans Support Centre is a perfect support and reconnection hub for veterans and their families to reunite, make connections and seek support after the COVID-19 lockdowns,” Mr Bones said.

Applications are open now and close at 5pm, Tuesday 1 February 2022.

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