$27 MILLION FOR NEW VETERAN WELLBEING GRANTS
The Australian Government is investing $27 million to help fund bigger, better and more innovative programs to support the wellbeing of current and former Australian Defence Force personnel and their families.
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel Andrew Gee said the new Veteran Wellbeing Grants program would help find and develop new ways to help the veteran community.
“I want to see ambitious and innovative ideas from right across the community that are going to make a real difference in the lives of our current and former service personnel and their families,” Minister Gee said.
“I have seen firsthand the positive impacts that some of the programs we fund have had on veteran health and wellbeing and we want more of it.
“We want to see more programs that bring veterans together, improve their mental and physical health, and make the difficult transition from military to civilian life easier.
“There will be scope in the new grants to target larger, longer-term projects with funding of up to $1.5 million, so groups can back their programs knowing the Australian Government is backing them.
“Funding will continue to be available for smaller, grassroots projects.
“If you’re a community group or organisation with a good idea for improving veteran wellbeing I encourage you to apply for this program so we can provide even more support for the men and women who have served this nation.
“Importantly, we want local projects from local groups that best suit the needs of the defence and veteran communities in those local areas. Experience tells us that those on the ground know what works in their community.
“This Government is committed to improving the lives of our Defence personnel, veterans and their families and we want to give every community group who shares this commitment an opportunity to get involved.”
The new Veteran Wellbeing Grants will combine the current Veteran and Community Grants and Supporting Younger Veterans programs as funding streams, with an additional $20 million in funding.
Applications for the new Veteran Wellbeing Grants program will be available to all community organisations through a competitive grants process run by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs which is due to open in March.
More information about the Veteran Wellbeing Grants program will be released on the Community Grants Hub website when applications open. (www.communitygrants.gov.au).
In the last decade or so a cornucopia of veterans’ service organisations has proliferated. The RSL and Legacy are now challenged with aging members and legatees and are perhaps seen by many as being anachronistic. Younger veterans aren’t attracted to either organisation at the rate needed for long-term survival.
It would be an interesting PhD student thesis to identify all the organisations providing services to veterans and our families and determine the degree of overlap between those services. The DVA funding, whatever the amount, has to be divided among an increasing number of providers.