An Albanese Labor Government will invest in the wellbeing of Hawkesbury and Blue Mountains veterans by establishing a $5 million one-stop-shop for specialised services in the region, says Macquarie MP Susan Templeman.
Shadow Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel Shayne Neumann and Ms Templeman met recently with Windsor RSL Sub-Branch wellbeing advocate Bonnie Rieusset and NSW RSL President Ray James to hear insights into the needs of veterans as they enter the civilian world.
“Sadly, since recent conflicts we have seen too many veterans take their own lives … that’s why we are making this commitment of $5 million for a Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury region veterans’ hub, because we want to make sure that this one-stop shop can provide support for veterans’ wellbeing with their transition from military to civilian life,” Ms Templeman said.
“We want to make sure that they can get wrap-around services locally, including mental health services and support for both young families and young veterans.”
Local veterans will have “substantial input” into the centre’s development and location.
“Bonnie shared her experience of leaving the Defence Force and what she finds as she assists people in her role as wellbeing advocate – we’ve talked about what works and what could work better,” Ms Templeman said.
“I know every veteran and their close family members will have their own thoughts on this too, and, if we win the election, I will be seeking input from veterans, as well as current serving personnel and their families, about how we best support them.”
There are more than 2000 veterans and their families living in Macquarie, which is one of the larger veteran populations in NSW.
“Our Defence families contribute significantly to this region, with both Richmond RAAF and RAAF Glenbrook home to serving personnel and the lifestyle our area offers means many come to live here when their service has ended.”
Main image: Shadow Veterans’ Affairs Minister Shayne Neumann, RSL NSW Preisdent Ray James, OAM, Windsor RSL Sub-branch wellbeing advocate Bonnie Rieusset and Federal Member for Macquarie Susan Templeman at Richmond Club.