The Hon Darren Chester MP
Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel
Phillip Thompson OAM MP
Member for Herbert
Joint Media Release
ENSURING veterans and their families are receiving all the support they need will be on top of the agenda when Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel Darren Chester is hosted by the Member for Herbert, Phillip Thompson OAM, in Townsville today.
Mr Chester said Townsville is one of Australia’s largest garrison cities and also home to more than 6,500 veterans and their families, and supporting the mental and physical health of current and former Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel is a priority.
“This Government is committed to putting veterans and their families first, and Townsville is uniquely positioned with a local member who is a veteran, as well as two key organisations in Mates4Mates and The Oasis who complement the support available through the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA),” Mr Chester said.
“Mates4Mates and The Oasis do an amazing job in providing enduring physical and psychological support for our veterans and their families, and are vital in assisting DVA and Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling service to deliver on-the-ground solutions to the local communities.
“During the election the Government committed $30 million to a network of six Veterans’ Wellbeing Centres, including one here at The Oasis, which is something Mr Thompson advocated for and I have no doubt the ex-service community are thankful for his leadership in this area.”
As part of the visit to Townsville, Mr Chester will also visit the Human Performance Centre at Lavarack Barracks, which helps ensure soldiers in North Queensland are at their best by advancing their physical, psychological and social health. The Centre takes a ‘Whole of Soldier, Whole of Life’ approach to managing individual human performance, providing family support services, resilience training, and health and wellbeing management.
Mr Thompson said the Centre’s care model seeks to reduce the risk of injury, and to support the return of injured personnel to work, with the Centre conducting an injury prevention trial for personnel in the North Queensland region.
“This approach better supports soldiers to transition to life after the Army, with the Centre focused on providing consistent physical training, injury management and rehabilitation throughout service,” Mr Thompson said.
“With the Minister in Townsville, I will also be taking the opportunity for him to meet with some of the veterans that I have spoken with to ensure he is hearing from the people on the ground about further improvements that can be made for our veterans and our families.”