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Veterans Affairs

Visit by The Governor General, His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd) and Her Excellency, Mrs Linda Hurley to The V Centre Veteran Empowerment Program, Melbourne

Vasey RSL Care 2 mins read
His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd) addresses guests on his visit to The V Centre - with CEO Janna Voloshin and Chair Mike O'Meara OAM.

On Friday 13 October, the Chair, CEO and staff of Vasey RSL Care were delighted to welcome His Excellency, Governor General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd) and Her Excellency, Mrs Linda Hurley on a visit to The V Centre, now just weeks away from opening to receive its first participants to undertake The V Centre Veteran Empowerment Program.

The V Centre Veteran Empowerment Program is a veteran-specific program combining a safe place to live with wrap-around support services. Veterans who are homeless, at risk of homelessness or in inadequate housing, will get the support they need to achieve lasting change and a life that they value.

The project was born out of need among younger veterans and has been years in preparation and development.

“It is a major part of our 10-year strategic plan to address the changing needs of the veteran community,” says Vasey RSL Care Board Chair Mike O’Meara OAM. “We are thrilled that Their Excellencies have taken the time to visit this new and innovative program: it has been our great pleasure to have had the opportunity to show them around the site and to answer their questions.”

Not all veterans make a smooth transition from the military to civilian life:

  • Veteran suicide rates are significantly higher than the general population.
  • Veteran homelessness rates are nearly three times the general population.
  • Around 300 veterans become homeless each year.

 

The V Centre Veteran Empowerment Program Model of Care has been informed by similar programs overseas with expert input from veteran and homelessness experts in Australia.

“We are now very close to opening The V Centre and beginning to help veterans who are currently homeless and in need of a helping hand,” says Mike O’Meara. “But we are not out of the woods yet: we still need to find $12.7 million to finish the refurbishment and operate the Centre for the first three years, until alternative income channels are established. We are optimistic this will happen and we are progressing in good faith. We are 100% committed to this initiative and believe in its power to change lives – and save lives.”

Their Excellencies joined staff and special guests for addresses by Mike O’Meara and CEO, Janna Voloshin, followed by a tour of the new facilities lead by Vasey RSL Care Executive General Manager, Chris Gray, himself a veteran, and stayed for afternoon tea.

“It has been a great honour to host Their Excellencies at our new V Centre and to talk about how we plan to support those veterans who ‘fall through the cracks’,” says Vasey RSL Care Chief Executive Officer, Janna Voloshin. “We owe it to these veterans to support them in their time of need just as they have done for us when our country needed them.”

The V Centre is due to be completed by mid-November and an opening event will take place later in the year.


About us:

Vasey RSL Care 


Contact details:

Fran Ludgate, Communications and Community Engagement Officer

T: 0499 490 039 

E: fran.ludgate@vaseyrslcare.org.au 

Heidi Flower, Government Relations Adviser  

T: 0436 609 385

E: heidi.flower@vaseyrslcare.org.au 

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