The health and wellbeing of veterans and their families on the South Coast of NSW will receive a much-needed increase in local benefits with a new Veteran Wellbeing Centre in Nowra opening for business next week.
Services and support such as community and peer programs, wellbeing case services and coordinated community sporting activities, offered by the Nowra Veteran Wellbeing Centre will be available through a temporary location at Unit 1, 19 Nowra Lane, Nowra, from Monday 10 May.
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester said the opening at the wellbeing centre’s temporary location by the lead organisation RSL LifeCare, would mean the local veteran community could access a one-stop-shop of services and support.
“A key focus of these Veteran Wellbeing Centres is ensuring services and support that meet the needs of veterans and their families, including community and peer programs, wellbeing case services and coordinated community sporting activities,” Mr Chester said.
“RSL LifeCare, with the support of RSL NSW, is ensuring veterans are connected to a range of core services providing support for transition, employment, health and social connection.”
The first occupants of the temporary location will include Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling, RSL LifeCare Veteran Services and Veteran Sport Australia.
Senator for New South Wales Concetta Fierravanti-Wells said while the process of building the new Wellbeing Centre was underway, she was pleased to see the needs of the veteran community being served through this temporary shopfront.
“Nowra and the surrounding region has around 5000 veterans and their families, as well as two Defence bases in HMAS Albatross and HMAS Creswell, and having services up and running in a temporary capacity is encouraging,” she said.
“It is so important that our Australian Defence Force personnel, 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.
“I wish RSL LifeCare all the best and look forward to visiting the permanent location when it is finished.”
RSL LifeCare Chair Andrew Condon said the organisation was proud to have a physical footprint in the Nowra region to deliver services to veterans and their families.
“Nowra has a proud tradition of service and a great mix of current and ex-serving Defence Force members that we hope to connect with,” Mr Condon said.
“We will continue to consult and work with the local community to ensure that the Nowra Veteran Wellbeing Centre delivers services that are veteran-centric and recovery focused.”
RSL NSW President Ray James said it is important for them to continue to work with a variety of ex-service organisations to improve the health and wellbeing of veterans and their families, and to provide individualised services based on the needs of local veterans.
“When the Veteran Wellbeing Centre is open, 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,” Mr James said.
The Nowra Veteran Wellbeing Centre is one of six across Australia, partly funded by the federal government in partnership with ex-service organisations (ESOs) and state and territory governments.
Find more information about the Veteran Wellbeing Centres on the DVA website.