The Minister for Defence, Peter Dutton, joined LNP Candidate for Bowman, Henry Pike, in Capalaba this week to hear firsthand from Redland young veterans about their experiences in adapting to civilian life.
Young Veterans Redlands aims to counter PTSD by recreating the comradeship experienced while serving and have helped many young veterans find a new lease of life and learn new skills by restoring motor vehicles.
Minister Dutton paid tribute to the service of the veterans and inspected the car projects that have helped bring the former ADF personnel together.
“Last year the NATO-led mission to Afghanistan drew to a close after 20 years of conflict, the deployment of almost 40,000 ADF personnel, and the loss of 41 Australian lives,” Minister Dutton said.
“Many of these local veterans have served in Afghanistan or Iraq and it is a priority of the Government to ensure that their service and sacrifice is honoured and they all receive the support they need.”
Mr Pike said that the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government has announced a $27 million investment to help fund innovative programs to support the wellbeing of current and former Australian Defence Force personnel and their families.
“The Federal Government wants to see more of the types of initiatives being run by the Redlands Young Veterans that have a positive impact on veteran health and wellbeing,” Mr Pike said.
“New funding will be targeted at local projects from local groups that best suit the needs of the defence and veteran communities at the grassroots level.”
“Additional funding will ensure we see more programs that bring veterans together, improve their mental and physical health, and make the difficult transition from military to civilian life easier,” Mr Pike said.
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.