$27 MILLION FOR NEW VETERAN WELLBEING GRANTS

Federal Member for Wide Bay and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Llew O’Brien has welcomed a new $27 million investment to help fund bigger, better and more innovative programs to support the wellbeing of current and former Australian Defence Force personnel and their families.

The Liberals and Nationals Government’s new Veteran Wellbeing Grants will combine the current Veteran and Community Grants and Supporting Younger Veterans programs as funding streams, with an additional $20 million in funding.

“This new grants round provides the opportunity for local groups to receive substantial funding up to $1.5 million for new projects, to improve existing services and support programs, and build the capacity for future services,” Mr O’Brien said.

“Wide Bay organisations have vital local knowledge of what measures will be most helpful to veterans within our communities, so if you’re a community group or organisation with a good idea for improving veteran wellbeing I encourage you to apply for this program so we can provide more support for the men and women who have served this nation and who now need our help more than ever.”

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel Andrew Gee said the new Veteran Wellbeing Grants program would help find and develop new ways to help the veteran community.

“I want to see ambitious and innovative ideas from right across the community that are going to make a real difference in the lives of our current and former service personnel and their families,” Minister Gee said.

“I have seen firsthand the positive impacts that some of the programs we fund have had on veteran health and wellbeing and we want more of it.

“We want to see more programs that bring veterans together, improve their mental and physical health, and make the difficult transition from military to civilian life easier.

“There will be scope in the new grants to target larger, longer-term projects with funding of up to $1.5 million, so groups can back their programs knowing the Australian Government is backing them.

“Funding will continue to be available for smaller, grassroots projects.

“This Government is committed to improving the lives of our Defence personnel, veterans and their families and we want to give every community group who shares this commitment an opportunity to get involved.”

Applications for the new Veteran Wellbeing Grants program will be available to all community organisations through a competitive grants process run by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs which is due to open in March.

More information about the Veteran Wellbeing Grants program will be released on the Community Grants Hub website when applications open. (www.communitygrants.gov.au).