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Local veterans to access 'the services and support they need all in one place'

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A centralised health and wellbeing hub to support local veterans and their families has opened on the Sunshine Coast.

The RSL Queensland Veteran and Family Wellbeing Centre, on Carnaby Street in Maroochydore, brings together services and programs delivered by RSL Queensland, Mates4Mates and the RSL Sunshine Coast and Regional District Office to support the nearly 12,500 veterans in the region.

The centre is expected to make it easier for veterans, defence members and their families to access a range of health and wellbeing support programs and services, building on the support currently available in the region.

RSL Queensland deputy CEO veteran services Troy Watson said the centre represented a major long-term investment by RSL Queensland and Mates4Mates in the veteran and defence community on the Sunshine Coast.

“Queensland has the largest population of current and ex-serving Australian Defence Force members, and it is vital that we extended the support and establish a space where the veteran and defence community could access support,” Mr Watson said.

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“This centre symbolises RSL Queensland’s commitment to meeting the evolving needs of the veteran community and improving collaboration across the ex-service organisation community and veteran sector – while delivering a diverse range of health and wellbeing services.”

“Co-locating with Mates4Mates and the RSL Sunshine Coast and Regional District Office has enabled a complementary suite of meaningful support services to achieve our collective vision to provide care, commemoration and camaraderie to the veteran community throughout their defence journey.

Member for Fisher Andrew Wallace at the opening of the RSL Queensland Veteran and Family Wellbeing Centre.

“This centre aligns with the services we are already providing at our existing Veteran and Family Wellbeing Centres in Brisbane, Cairns (and) Townsville, as well as the Northern Territory and Tasmania with Mates4Mates.”

Mates4Mates South-East Queensland regional manager Laura Duckworth said the centre demonstrated their commitment to the defence and veteran community on the Sunshine Coast.

“Mates4Mates has been providing outreach services to the Sunshine Coast community for over five years – we know there is a need for our services here,” Ms Duckworth said.

“We are excited to now have a permanent space within the RSL Queensland Veteran and Family Wellbeing Centre on the Sunshine Coast to provide veterans and their family members access to with more services, more often.”

RSL Sunshine Coast and Regional District president Grendell Antony said he looked forward to connecting with more local veterans and their families.

“The centre offers veterans and their families across the region a centralised location, where they can access the services and support they need all in one place,” he said.

“Veterans throughout the Sunshine Coast, from Caloundra to Cooroy, will now have greater access to support with all three organisations, allowing us to build on our collective impact across the region.”

The centre was assisted by a $1.8 million grant from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, awarded at the end of last year.

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