VETERANS and their families in Adelaide are a step closer to having a one-stop shop to access localised services and support based at the landmark Veteran Wellbeing Centre at the Repat.
Following extensive consultation with the veteran community, four service providers have been chosen to provide services to veterans and their families through the Veteran Wellbeing Centre:
· Plympton Veterans Centre – A community of learning where volunteer advocates can learn from each other to ensure the best possible outcomes for veterans and their families
· Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling – Australia’s leading provider of high quality mental health assessment and clinical counselling for Australian veterans and their families
· Returned and Services League (RSL) South Australia – Established in 1916, RSL SA has more than 9000 members and a network of 130 sub-branches, and its core business revolves around advocacy, services, mateship, commemoration and sustainability within the veteran community
· Soldier On – A national not-for-profit organisation that supports Australian Defence Force personnel, veterans and their families to build better futures
Federal Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester said the service providers’ tenancy will ensure the delivery of dedicated, high quality care to veterans.
“The Adelaide Veteran Wellbeing Centre will house assistance from government, health services, ex-service organisations (ESOs), other veteran services providers and community groups all in the one location,” Mr Chester said.
“The Federal and South Australian Governments are committed to putting veterans and their families first, and it is important we all work together to continue to improve their health and wellbeing, and to provide individualised services based on local veterans’ needs.
“I thank the South Australian Government for their commitment to this project and acknowledge the strong advocacy of the Member for Boothby, Nicolle Flint, in supporting veterans and their families in her local community.”
The new Centre will be based within the former Sleep Studies Centre and Schools Patriotic Fund (SPF) Hall buildings at the Repat in Daw Park. Veterans and their families will be able to access services and programs in a friendly, welcoming environment where their unique experiences are understood and supported, and their military service is respected.
South Australian Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade said the Marshall Liberal Government was committed to reactivating the Repat as a thriving health precinct, which maintains the close ties the site has in providing care to the veterans’ community over eight decades.
“The chosen service providers have significant experience in delivering high quality services to veterans and the veteran community. Having them co-located in the Centre will strengthen relationships, improve service coordination, advocacy and integrate health promotion activities, to achieve better health and wellbeing outcomes for our veterans and their families,” Mr Wade said.
“Veterans have strong connections to the Repat. The Veteran Wellbeing Centre will be an important part of the veteran community and we are looking forward to the establishment of this milestone in veteran care.”
The services available through the providers will include accredited veteran wellbeing and compensation advocacy services, mental health assessment and clinical counselling, and a range of health and wellbeing programs including employment, education and social connection.
The Centre will sit within a broader ‘Veterans’ Precinct’ at the Repat site, ensuring the Repat Chapel, Remembrance Gardens, Museum and SPF Hall are protected and preserved as community assets.
Member for Boothby Nicolle Flint said the $5 million provided by the Federal Government to the SA Veteran Wellbeing Centre delivered on an election commitment to provide more localised support to veterans and their families.
“It is so important that our veterans and their families have a dedicated place where they can go to connect with one another and to also access the assistance they need,” Ms Flint said.
“The Veteran Wellbeing Centre is a key feature of the new Repat Precinct and has only come about because of the tireless efforts of our veterans who campaigned to put a stop to the closure of the Repat.
“The reactivated Repat is in the heart of my local community and I worked hard to see the Federal and State Governments join forces to redevelop this important health precinct, including to return a Veterans presence to the Repat.”
The chosen service providers will be the first of a number of organisations to contribute to the development of the Veteran Wellbeing Centre. An Expression of Interest is open until 8 January seeking organisations to register their interest and in supplying services to veterans and the veteran community, within or in partnership with the Centre. The Expression of Interest document and response template can be accessed at www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/veteranshealth.
Works are underway for the new Veteran Wellbeing Centre and are expected to be completed by April 2021.
The Australian Government committed $30 million at the 2019 election to develop a network of six Veteran Wellbeing Centres across Australia in partnership with ESOs and state and territory governments.