Brisbane's first veteran & family wellbeing centre now open26 October 2023
RSL Queensland has opened its first Veteran & Family Wellbeing Centre in Brisbane, providing a centralised space of health and wellbeing support for veterans and their families.
Spanning the entire 1,500 square metre top floor of the two-storey building, the RSL Queensland Veteran & Family Wellbeing Centre – which is fully funded by RSL Queensland – brings together an array of support services and programs delivered by RSL Queensland and Mates4Mates.
As the first of its kind in South-East Queensland, the Centre was purpose-built to bring together a variety of complementary services under one roof, helping to make it easier for Defence members and their families to find the support they need.
The RSL Queensland Veteran & Family Wellbeing Centre in Brisbane is now open.
RSL Queensland CEO Rob Skoda said the Centre would provide centralised holistic support to the growing veteran community.
“With Queensland being home to the largest population of current and ex-serving Australian Defence Force members, it was vital that we established a space where the Defence community could access support,” Mr Skoda said.
“This Centre symbolises RSL Queensland’s commitment to meeting the evolving needs of the Defence community and addressing the call for increased support.
“Co-located with Mates4Mates, this Centre forms part of our vision to provide care, commemoration and camaraderie to the veteran community through the delivery of meaningful support services”.
RSL Queensland Patron, Her Excellency the Honourable Dr Jeannette Young AC PSM, Governor of Queensland addresses the invited guests.
Located at 274 Stafford Road, Stafford, the Centre encompasses a range of programs in one location. The RSL Queensland Veteran & Family Wellbeing Centre offers advocacy, physical rehabilitation, mental health and wellbeing services, financial guidance, employment assistance, and social connection activities.
Designed with veterans in mind, this purpose-built facility is equipped with a rehabilitation gym, consultation and multipurpose rooms, a Veterans Lounge, and an outdoor entertaining space.
The Centre was thoughtfully designed to encourage a welcoming and collaborative environment where Defence members and their families can feel at home.
The official opening by RSL Queensland State President Major General Stephen Day DSC AM and Her Excellency the Honourable Dr Jeannette Young AC PSM, Governor of Queensland.
Mates4Mates General Manager Emma Whitehead said the challenges facing veterans and their families today are varied and complex.
“These challenges can include physical injuries, mental health impacts and social disconnection,” Ms Whitehead said.
“Almost 10,000 veterans and their families have directly benefited from Mates4Mates services to date which includes mental health and wellbeing services, physical rehabilitation services, social connection activities and Skills for Recovery Programs.”
(L-R) RSL Queensland State President Major General Stephen Day DSC AM, Centre Manager Lauren Williams, Her Excellency the Honourable Dr Jeannette Young AC PSM, Governor of Queensland.
Through a holistic approach, the Centre aims to foster purpose, connection and wellbeing focused outcomes amongst the wider Defence and veteran community and build off the organisation’s already growing state-wide impact.
Last year alone, RSL Queensland increased its charitable support by 60% in line with the rising demand for support services; welcoming an additional 3,500 new clients and submitting 6,250 claims and appeals to the Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA).
Distributing more than $3million in financial support to help cover groceries, fuel, bills and accommodation for veterans and their families in times of urgent need, the impact of RSL Queensland’s services continues to be felt across the Defence community.