Further funding for veterans’ support groups

July 9, 2020 BY

In the office: The Ballarat RSL’s staff may return to their Midlands base in August, boosted by a new grant they were allocated during lockdown. Photo: EDWINA WILLIAMS

THE Ballarat RSL Sub-Branch and the Ballarat Veterans’ Assistance Centre are both receiving Federal grants to boost their work supporting the district’s war veterans.

The RSL has been allocated $36,000 through the Building Excellence in Support and Training program to continue their financial work and advocacy, while the Veterans’ Assistance Centre is getting $30,000 from the Veterans and Community Grants program, for the installation of an easily accessible toilet.

Lynne Redman, RSL support services officer said their bundle will benefit the pension and welfare programs, and they have received about $11,000 more than they did through the grants program last year.

“That’s the main work we do. We have two fully trained pension advocates, and one who’s almost fully trained, and they see ex-servicepeople and put in claims to DVA for them. It’s a lot of work and a complicated system,” she said.

“The money that we raise normally through our Anzac Day token and poppy sales goes to direct welfare to support people, so this grant will assist with that.

“The grant will help keep us going because this year we didn’t have our normal Anzac Day appeal, so the funds from that are much less.”

Federal member for Ballarat, Catherine King said the Veterans’ Assistance Centre is still very new, but doing valuable work.

“They are already doing a wonderful job supporting a too often forgotten segment of our community,” she said.

“I am delighted that this grant will allow the Assistance Centre to install an all-accessibility toilet, ensuring everyone in our community, and particularly all veterans, will be able to take full advantage of what the centre has to offer.”

In lockdown since Monday, March 23, the Ballarat RSL sub-branch at the Midlands Golf Club is planned to reopen on 7 August.

President, Alan Douglass said the pension officers, welfare officer, secretary and administration manager are expected to be back on site then, open from 11am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.