South East Queensland veterans and families will benefit from the extensive experience of not-for-profit organisation Lives Lived Well, after the group was identified as the preferred candidate to operate the Liberal-National Government’s Veteran Wellbeing Centre in the region.
Lives Lived Well will now prepare a business case, in close consultation with the defence and veteran community, which will outline the exact location of the centre and further demonstrate their plans for providing critical support services for the local veteran community.
Former Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel Andrew Gee said the Government was delivering on its $5 million commitment to veterans in the region.
“There are around 72,000 veterans and family members in South East Queensland and this centre will be a welcome addition to the significant supports we already provide.
“We have already delivered six Veteran Wellbeing Centres around the country, with more on the way in South East Queensland and Tasmania, and I have seen firsthand the positive effects they have on local defence personnel, veterans and their families,” Former Minister Gee said.
“Lives Lived Well will bring a broad perspective to supporting veterans and families, leveraging their existing strong links with the veteran community.
“The group was chosen to lead the project last week, following a rigorous procurement process which saw a number of quality of applications and the genuine desire to support the wellbeing of veterans and their families across the South East Queensland region.
“I want to sincerely thank all those organisations that submitted impressive expressions of interest through this process and look forward to potential opportunities to work together in the future.
Member for Longman Mr Terry Young MP said the new centre will be an important additional support for the defence and veteran community in Longman and surrounding areas.
“Caring for our current and ex-service personnel is a key focus of mine and I’m pleased to deliver these additional resources to support them,” Mr Young said.
“Since being elected I have worked hard to secure funding for this project, including visiting The Oasis Townsville last November, to get a better understanding of how a ‘single front door’ service centre benefits local veterans.
“It is also vitally important that the Veteran and current serving members have a say in how this centre will operate and I will ensure their feedback is obtained and listened to.
“We have thousands of veterans and their families living in our region and I know they will welcome the progress on this new centre.
“For more than 40 years, Lives Lived Well have been working with individuals and families to deliver a wide range of mental health, medical, drug and alcohol support, and they bring a unique and exciting perspective to this project.
“They will leverage their existing service sites and outreach program to provide the care and advocacy that local veterans need and deserve.”
Lives Lived Well Chief Executive Officer, Mitchell Giles, said his organisation would work with the Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia Qld Branch (VVAA) and other ESOs to support serving members, veterans and their families.
“Lives Lived Well proposes establishing a new South East Queensland Veteran Wellbeing Centre that will act as a safe space where veterans and their families can come to be connected to a range of supports.
“Our Wellbeing Coordinators, located at the centre and our community-based hubs, will provide case management and assess for risks related to PTSD, trauma and suicide.
The coordinators will be highly skilled with extensive experience in supporting individuals and families to navigate challenges related to physical and mental health and financial and emotional well-being.
“We are grateful to the Australian Government for giving us this opportunity to support the veteran community of south-east Queensland.”
The Veteran Wellbeing Centre network is delivering integrated support to veterans and their families across Australia in partnership with ex-service organisations, and state and territory Governments.
These centres are available to all current and former serving Australian Defence Force members, including reservists, and their families.
For more information on Veteran Wellbeing Centres, visit dva.gov.au/health-and-treatment/work-and-social-life-programs/work-and-social-support/veteran-wellbeing.