Published: 03 July 2023
Win for WA Veterans and Families
A consortium of organisations supporting veterans and their families, convened by RSLWA has been awarded a $50,000 grant from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, to deliver a business case for a new Veterans’ and Families’ Hub in the Perth’s South West.
RSLWA CEO Vince Connelly said this Federal Government investment would greatly assist the shared mission of veteran service organisations in WA – helping veterans and their families thrive in our local communities.
“Our research indicates many veterans want to access services like health and wellness support, financial advice, employment and social activities, but don’t always know how to connect to these services,” he said.
To map out a plan for the hub, RSLWA is in consortium with some of the veteran community’s most experienced service organisations including: Legacy, Soldier On, Fortem, the Royal Australian Air Force Association WA (RAAFA) and the Australian Special Air Service Association (ASASA), alongside the City of Rockingham, Resolute, Oqea, Go2Health, Above and Beyond Dental, Redimed, Ear Science Australia and Rocky Bay.
Federal Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Matt Keogh MP said with this $50,000 grant, RSLWA would be able to undertake further consultation with key local veteran, family and service provider stakeholders, allowing them to identify local needs and opportunities and maximise benefits for veterans and families across Perth’s south.
“RSLWA’s first Hub, Veteran Central in Perth’s CBD showcases the success of how the provision of services all in the same place can make the lives of veterans and their families much easier,” he said.
Federal Member for Brand Madeleine King MP said the Brand community has a proud association with the Australian Defence.
“Brand is home to more than 8,000 Defence personnel and veterans, and HMAS Stirling is, as I've said often, the largest naval base in the country,” she said.
“This hub will provide tailored services, including support for the all-important transition to civilian life; advocacy and mental health services; and a range of community activities.”
WA Minister for Veterans’ Issues Paul Papalia CSC, MLA said ANZAC House is a great demonstration of a successful veteran hub model. “I applaud RSLWA’s continued commitment to providing crucial services to WA veterans in collaboration with recognised service providers.” “RSLWA’s invitation to explore ways to support other first responders is an important acknowledgement of the shared challenges faced by our front line workers.”
Legacy WA CEO Matt Granger said they were proud to be associated with the Veterans’ and Families’ Hub and looked forward to contributing to its ongoing success.
Solider On CEO Amy Cooper welcomed the announcement, saying it would assist more members of the veteran community to access vital services they need and deserve. “It’s pleasing to see the Government recognising the value of these services through its expansion of the Hub network,” she said.
ASASA-WA Branch president David Thomas said the DVA grant was an exciting development and they were excited to be part of the consortium that would evaluate a hub in Rockingham. “Collaborating with other ex-service organisations will lead to some exciting opportunities and I’m sure that ASASA will find working with RSLWA to be productive and rewarding with an outcome that benefits all veterans and families in need,” he said.
Redimed CEO Dr Hanh Nguyen said they were thrilled to be part of the consortium led by RSLWA to provide specialised medical services for veterans in the southwest metro region of WA.
“As a consortium, we understand the pressing healthcare challenges faced by veterans, particularly in areas such as skin cancer and rehabilitative care,” he said.
Dr Richard Magtengaard, Director of Resolute said, “Resolute – for those who serve, is honoured and excited to be working with the high watermark of veteran service providers caring for our Defence, Veteran and First Responder communities, and their families.”
OQEA CEO Martyn Weir said, “It is reflection of the contemporary approach to deliver a new proactive wellbeing model. We look forward to evolving the model where technology can support improved health outcomes for your veterans.”
Fortem Australia regional manager Lara Chambers said they looked forward to working with RSLWA and the consortium to achieve comprehensive, holistic care and support that would improve outcomes for veterans and first responders.
New partnerships are also expected to be formed in this next stage of developing how, and where, the hub will operate. Options under consideration include a shopfront-style presence, a co-location with one or more existing organisations, or a standalone presence. “We will be considering innovative ways to collaborate, such as the use of outreach and ancillary services such as a café, childcare or physical activity spaces. The possibilities at this stage are really exciting,” Mr Connelly added.
Detailed consultation and engagement activities will be taking place over the coming months with businesses, veterans and serving members to support the development of a solution that truly meets local needs. If you are interested in talking more about the Rockingham Hub, please email COO@rslwa.org.au.
The business case will be assessed by DVA and additional grant funding of up to $5 million will be made available by the end of 2023 to enable the RSLWA-led consortium to progress the project to operations in 2024, or sooner depending on the location and service model.