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August 14, 2023

RSL LifeCare successfully moves to the second stage in becoming the provider for a Veterans’ and Families’ Hub in both the Tweed-North Coast region and Queanbeyan.

RSL LifeCare has welcomed the opportunity by the Federal Government to submit a business case to deliver a Veterans’ and Families’ Hub in these critical regional areas in NSW. This means a step closer to improving access to much needed services in these communities for veterans and their families following success in their stage one grant applications to build these new Veteran and Family Hubs in partnership with RSL NSW.

The commitment to deliver these Veterans’ and Families’ Hubs is part of the Government’s $46.7 million commitment to deliver ten new Veterans’ and Families’ Hubs across the country.

RSL LifeCare, with support from RSL NSW, currently have four Veteran Wellbeing Centres that provide a holistic range of services to veterans and their families across the Nowra, Riverina, Northern Beaches regions, and in Newcastle (in a temporary centre). The services provided include health and wellbeing, education, housing, social support and connection, employment support, income and financial support, and support with making claims for entitlements and subsequent advocacy where required.

In consultation with the local communities and other ex-service organisations, the new Hubs will see a ‘hub and spoke’ model implemented by RSL LifeCare and RSL NSW through the network of sub-Branches. In the Tweed region this will allow more than 25,761 veterans and their families to access a similar range of services that are tailored to the needs of the local communities. The Queanbeyan Hub will provide support to more than 22,000 veterans and their families in the surrounding regions.

RSL LifeCare CEO Janet Muir said that advancing to this next stage in the bid process is an essential milestone for RSL LifeCare and RSL NSW, and their commitment to supporting veterans and their families. “Since its inception in 1911, RSL LifeCare has been dedicated to supporting Australian Defence Force personnel who have given so much to protect our country. Our Centres are the embodiment of this support,” Ms Muir said.

“As an organisation, we are very excited at the prospect of adding new centres to our veteran support network in the Tweed-North Coast and Queanbeyan regions, extending the support we can provide to even more veterans and their families.

“I want to give my thanks to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs for recognising the importance of these Centres and providing the funding needed for organisations across Australia to provide these important services, and to RSL NSW for its continued support as we look to continue building our network of support services across the State.”

RSL NSW President Ray James said veteran communities have witnessed the benefits of these Hubs in action since the Nowra and Riverina Veteran Wellbeing Centres were established and that RSL NSW and RSL LifeCare have a strong and sustainable business case to support how the organisations can operate the centres using their combined resources.

“RSL NSW is committed to supporting the Hubs because we know they work,” Mr James said. “Since 2021, RSL NSW sub-branches have donated over $5.2 million to RSL LifeCare to support the ongoing delivery of services to veterans and their families, and we welcome the commitment from the Australian Government to expand the services to other areas.”

Regarding the Tweed-North Coast Hub, Federal Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel, the Honourable Matt Keogh MP, said “with this $50,000 grant, RSL LifeCare Veteran Services, supported by RSL NSW will 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 the Tweed/North Coast region of NSW.”

And on the Queanbeyan Hub, he said “the Business case process allows for enhanced stakeholder consultation, to ensure the Hub is sustainable and best equipped to meet the needs of the local veteran community in Queanbeyan and Canberra.”

“RSL LifeCare Veteran Services and RSL NSW have a strong understanding of veteran community needs, with four similar facilities around New South Wales including the Veterans’ and Families’ Hub in Nowra which was also funded under the Veterans’ and Families’ Hubs program.”

RSL LifeCare Veteran Services will work with a consortium of ex-service organisations and local providers, such as Open Arms – Veterans and Families Counselling, to offer a one-stop-shop for the delivery of critical services and support at the centre of the Veteran Wellbeing Centre strategy.

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