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Centre to help veterans and their families build connections and access support services

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A support centre for veterans and their families is poised to be opened on the Sunshine Coast.

RSL Queensland and veterans’ charity Mates4Mates are set to expand wellbeing services in the region, with the help of a $1.8 million grant from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

They will provide additional services tailored to the needs of local veterans.

RSL Queensland deputy CEO – veteran services Troy Watson said the funding was an important investment to ensure there was a consistent and collaborative approach to supporting veterans and their families.

“As an organisation, our focus is to provide a range of health and wellbeing services to support veterans and their families, something we’re currently doing through our Veteran and Family Wellbeing Centres in Brisbane, Cairns, Townsville, as well as the Northern Territory and Tasmania with Mates4Mates,” he said.

“This announcement complements our recently opened RSL Queensland Veteran and Family Wellbeing Centre in Brisbane and will support us in collaborating further with ex-service organisations on the Coast who are doing great work to support the veteran community.

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“The establishment of these centres is to provide a physical presence for veterans and their families to go to for support, while also focusing on improving collaboration across the community and veteran sector – ultimately improving the outcomes possible for veterans and their families.

“We recognise that there is a large population of veterans on the Sunshine Coast and we’re honoured to have the opportunity to consolidate and expand our services on the Sunshine Coast and provide more veterans and their families with support.”

Ex-servicemen and servicewomen pay their respects on ANZAC Day.

It’s estimated there are almost 13,000 veterans and about 500 active personnel in the region.

RSL Queensland Sunshine Coast and Regional District president Ian Hall said the new centre would enable veterans and their families to build connections through the district, in addition to accessing a range of support services.

“The RSL Queensland Veteran and Family Wellbeing Centre, along with the RSL Sunshine Coast and Regional District, will provide veterans with a holistic approach to receiving the support they need in one centralised location,” he said.

Mates4Mates chief executive officer Emma Whitehead said the model of support worked well and provided one location for veterans and their families to access a broad range of services and programs, from mental health to physical rehabilitation services and social connection activities.

RSL Queensland’s Veteran and Family Wellbeing Centre on the Sunshine Coast will be located at level 2, 21 Carnaby Street, Maroochydore.

It will provide a range of health and wellbeing programs in addition to support services such as advocacy and employment.

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