Veteran advocacy groups share $40,946 in grants

Australian Spirit participants including veterans, artists and poets. Archive 2017

Four Central Coast organisations which provide advocacy services to veterans and their families will share in $40,946 of funding thanks to the Federal Government’s Building Excellence in Support and Training (BEST) grants program.

Member for Robertson, Lucy Wicks, said ex- service organisations, community organisations and other local veteran groups play a crucial role in supporting the health and welfare of the veteran community.

“The BEST grants program provides these groups with an opportunity to expand on their services, therefore providing further support to veterans and their families,” Wicks said.

As part of the latest round of funding Brisbane Water Legacy will receive $11, 737, which CEO Peter Lawley said would be very welcome.

“We receive no government funding outside of this grant and rely on fundraisers, donations and return on our investments to care for more than 1,600 war widows in the region,” Lawley said.

“We have had grants in previous years, but this is the most we have received.

“It will be used to fund administrative staff to aid our volunteers in applying on behalf of war widows for DVA Gold pensions.

“Many of them are on aged pensions and there is a lot of work involved in getting them on the DVA pension.

“Our pension committee, chaired by a volunteer legatee, conducts regular reviews and makes many applications on behalf of our widows.”

Also receiving funding are: Terrigal Wamberal RSL Sub-Branch ($2,000); Vietnam Veterans Peacekeepers & and Peacemakers Association of Australia, Central Coast Sub-Branch ($24,631); and Woy Woy Ettalong/Hardys Bay RSL Sub-Branch ($2,577).

“These organisations are committed to helping the veterans and their families across the Central Coast,” Wicks said.

“I congratulate and thank these organisations which continually support veterans and their families, as well as providing encouragement to veterans who may require additional assistance.”

This latest round of BEST funding saw $4.2M provided nationally to support organisations.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester said staying connected with local ESOs and other veteran groups is vital in ensuring our veteran community is receiving the support needed.

“These organisations complement the support provided by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and show just how deeply the community is committed to putting veterans and their families first,” Chester said.

“At this time more than ever, advocacy services through ESOs can help our veterans and their families with their claims, entitlements and other services.”

Media release, Aug 4
Member for Robertson, Lucy Wicks