Construction is underway on a multi-million-dollar, purpose built veteran hub in Victoria’s north-east, which will see veterans and their families have access to prime support services.
Invited guests had a sneak peak at what will be the Tim Fischer AC Veteran and Families Wellbeing Centre in the Victorian border town of Wodonga.
RSL Victoria purchased the site at 149 High Street after receiving five-million dollars in federal government funding in 2020 to establish the Centre. The Centre will join the RSL’s network of veteran support centres around the state.
RSL Victoria President, Dr Robert Webster OAM, says the Centre will provide holistic care and support for veterans and their families, and will provide access to services delivered from a range of government and ex-service organisations.
"That’s the critical part of the wellbeing centre. We are not going to try to be everything to everybody but rather provide a direction or way-finding for people along the way"
Dr Robert Webster OAM
"The Centre will support veterans of my vintage and older, and the young men and women who are currently serving or recently served."
Dr Robert Webster OAM
Colonel Clare Kellaway is the Commandant of the Army Logistics Training Centre (ALTC).
She says this Centre will be critical in helping alleviate worry and stress.
“That is what this Centre is about. It’s bringing together all of those services into one location so that they [veterans] don’t have to worry. They can move forward and live meaningful, purposeful, healthy and happy lives as veterans and as families.”
"The conversations that will be had in that building will save people’s lives"
Colonel Clare Kellaway
Federal MP for Indi, Dr Helen Haines says there is a diverse veteran and defence community on the border and across Indi, with the local defence industry contributing over 180 million dollars into the local economy each year.
She says the Centre will be an asset to the region.
“Each year, importantly, we welcome dozens of new families and defence personnel to our region. It’s really important we look after the families who come with our defence personnel. It’s really important we look after our spouses.”
In attendance was Judy and Dominic, the family of the late former politician and Vietnam veteran Tim Fischer, and Glenn Ferrarotto on behalf of Don Spinks AM, Repatriation Commissioner.
The Tim Fischer AC Veteran and Families Wellbeing Centre will officially open later this year.