Premier

Better Support For Our Veterans

06 July 2016

The Andrews Labor Government is providing more support for isolated veterans, partnering with the RSL to develop a specialised program.

Special Minister of State Gavin Jennings today addressed the Victorian RSL State Conference, announcing $400,000 for the partnership to develop and deliver a program to address the issue.

Our veterans gave us a great gift, but many have faced hardship after their service. Veterans protected us, and it’s our job to protect them. They’ve earned it – for the rest of their lives.

Social isolation can have significant impacts on a person’s quality of life and wellbeing. It can lead to a higher dependency on health, welfare and social services, or an increased likelihood of early admission to residential or nursing care homes.

The Labor Government’s $400,000 investment is consistent with the findings of the Victorian Veterans Council Veterans Sector Study Report, which is refreshing Victoria’s understanding of the veterans sector and the welfare and priorities of our veterans.

Victoria boasts the third highest population of veterans in Australia. Some 63,842 known veterans and their families call Victoria home, and 50 per cent are aged 75 or older. The Report found that the veteran community is changing, and we need to rethink our strategy.

The Veterans Sector Study Report found that although many veterans transition to civilian life with minimal disruption, a small number experience issues including isolation, mental health problems and substance abuse.

This year, the RSL celebrates its centenary anniversary. The organisation has almost 170,000 members, with roughly 65,000 in Victoria.

Quotes attributable to Special Minister of State Gavin Jennings

“The RSL has identified this project as a priority, and we’re making it happen.”

“Our veterans deserve more than just commemoration, they deserve the care and support they need to live happy and healthy lives.”

“The RSL is one of Australia’s most respected organisations, providing a crucial service for returned servicemen and women. We’re proud to give the RSL the support it needs.”

Quotes attributable to RSL Victorian President, Major General David McLachlan AO (Retired)

“We look forward to working with the Victorian Government on addressing social isolation among veterans of recent conflicts, along with other issues we will be raising at our State Conference.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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