Veterans’ association welcomes federal funding

Vietnam Veterans Peacekeepers and Peacemakers Memorial Service at Ettalong Beach Memorial on November 11

The Ettalong-based Vietnam Veterans’, Peacekeepers & Peacemakers Association Central Coast Sub-branch has received nearly $30,000 to help support local veterans.

The sub-branch was successful in a grant of $28,954 as part of the Federal Government’s Building Excellence in Support and Training (BEST) Program.

Defence military advocate at the Ettalong branch, Dr Stephen Karsai, said funds would go towards buying new equipment to keep up with the demands of sending claims into the Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA).

“This has been on the cards for quite some time, but the DVA requires all our submissions electronically from veterans, whereas we used to submit it via paper,” Karsai said.

“It will be a relief on our current pension advocates like myself.

“We are flat out at the moment, trying to keep up with the demands at the moment.”

Federal Member for Robertson, Lucy Wicks, said the BEST Program assists ex-service organisations to deliver support services.

“This additional funding will help local organisations provide veterans even greater transition support, assistance with claims and entitlements, and access to services such as rehabilitation and wellbeing programs,” Wicks said.

“These additional funds will help with the costs of support staff, equipment and services that directly support veterans and their families.

“It will make a real difference to those on the ground, providing critical support and resources for veterans in our region.

“I would like to thank all ESOs that provide advocacy services across the Central Coast who continue to offer vital services to our local veteran community.”

The Brisbane Water Legacy group has also received $10,362.

To apply for future rounds of the BEST Program or for further information, including a full list of successful recipients, visit the Community Grants Hub website at

Maisy Rae