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December 06, 2022

State-of-the-art Nowra Veteran Wellbeing Centre now open to veterans and their families

RSL LifeCare has officially opened its purpose built, state-of-the-art facility to permanently house the Nowra Veteran Wellbeing Centre, providing an expanded range of health and wellbeing services for veterans, current serving Australian Defence Force members, and their families in the Shoalhaven region.

Supported by the Australian Government and RSL NSW, the centre was officially opened by Federal Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel, the Honourable Matt Keogh MP and will support up to 20,000 veterans and their families across the region. Support and services offered includes across health, education and skills, housing, social support and connection, employment, income and finance, and recognition and respect.

RSL LifeCare CEO Janet Muir said the occasion and centre opening had long been anticipated and was welcomed by the local community, particularly the many veterans, current serving members of the ADF and their families living in Nowra and surrounding areas.

“Our service men and women are supported as part of their time in the Australian Defence Force (ADF), and we want to ensure that support continues once they leave active service.”

“RSL LifeCare recognises the importance of supporting those who have given so much to protect our country – a sentiment also recognised by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and RSL NSW, both of whom I want to thank for their funding and support of this centre and the service it will provide.”

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 business case to support how the organisations can operate the centres using their combined resources.

“RSL NSW is committed to supporting the centres for one reason; 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 I welcome the commitment from the Australian Government to expand the Veterans’ and Families’ Hub network.

“RSL NSW and RSL LifeCare are uniquely positioned to operate Veterans’ and Families’ Hubs in New South Wales.”

Federal Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel, the Honourable Matt Keogh MP said the veterans’ and families’ hubs were a fantastic resource to support the whole veteran community.

“Every community is different and I’m so glad RSL LifeCare, Open Arms and Invictus are working together to provide the integrated supports that veterans and families need in and around Nowra,” Minister Keogh said.

“The Government is committed to providing practical services and supports to Defence personnel, veterans and families to ensure a better future for the veteran community.”

Centre Manager and veteran (USMC), Jason Grimes said he looked forward to continuing to collaborate with local veterans to enhance their opportunities and experiences amongst communities.

“The Nowra Veteran Wellbeing Centre reflects the needs of the local region and is a place where veterans and their families can come and talk to one another, learn from one another and seek assistance from staff, many of whom are veterans themselves,” Mr Grimes said.

In addition to RSL LifeCare Veteran Services staff being located at the centre, staff from Open Arms – Veterans and Families Counselling and Invictus Australia will be co-located there, building the one-stop shop model for veterans and their families that is at the centre of the Veteran Wellbeing Centre strategy. The spaces within the centre will also be available for local ESOs to access and engage with veterans

Nowra is home to three separate defence bases in the local area.

The Nowra Veteran Wellbeing Centre was made possible through a $5million grant from the Australian Government, as part of the Veterans’ and Families’ Hubs Network, and will service the following areas:

Albion Park, Austinmer Thirroul, Berry, Bomaderry, Bowral, Braidwood, Bundanoon, Callala Beach, Coledale, Corrimal, Crookwell, Culburra Beach – Orient Point, Dapto – Point Kembla, Gerringong, Goulburn, Huskisson, Kiama – Jamberoo, Milton – Ulladulla, Mittagong, Mossvale, Picton – Thirlmere – Bargo, Queanbeyan, Shoalhaven Heads, St Georges Basin, Sussex Inlet, Taralga, Warilla, Wollongong, Woonona – Bulli, Yass.

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