Over the past year the Victorian Veterans Council (VVC) has remained focused to ensure the objectives of the VVC are met. In particular, the VVC has been proactive in seeking opportunities to enhance its profile, so that ultimately, its work is directed towards supporting Victorian veterans and their families; and reporting to the Minister for Veterans on current and emerging issues affecting each generation of our veteran community.
All of this requires a strong obligation and I am grateful to my fellow VVC members for their dedicated support. This year’s report provides examples that demonstrate this obligation and commitment and I am pleased to share the following highlights with you.
A key success factor when developing advice for the Minister is effective consultation and collaboration with the ex-service community. In addition to monthly updates from both RSL and Legacy via their representatives on Council, the VVC received a variety of briefings and papers encompassing a number of significant initiatives within the veteran’s community. The VVC acknowledges the vital services and support provided by Victoria’s ex-service community to meet the wide-ranging needs of our veterans. It is a privilege to witness the efforts of these dedicated organisations and to see firsthand the goodwill resulting from their tireless efforts.
To remain responsive to issues impacting on veterans and their families, the VVC is reviewing our communications strategy to improve how we can best engage with each generation of veterans. The Council will remain flexible in developing methods to ensure we can more widely communicate with the veteran community into the future.
Last year I was pleased to announce that the VVC entered into a partnership with RMIT University to deliver the Victorian ANZAC Tertiary Multimedia Award. The award has been developed to engage tertiary students from across Victoria to explore the ANZAC legacy. This award adds a tertiary-level element to the existing education activities offered to secondary students as part of the Premier’s Spirit of ANZAC Prize. My thanks to Dr Ross Bastiaan and Ms Liz Brown for their continual efforts in developing this initiative.
The VVC has specific responsibility for the distribution of the ANZAC Day Proceeds Fund to support a range of welfare activities for veterans and their families. Those activities are detailed later in this report. The VVC also has responsibility for distributing the Victorian Veterans Fund and is committed to supporting education and commemorative events through the Victoria Remembers Minor Grant Program. It is through disbursement of these funds that education and commemoration to honour the service of our veterans continues. A full list of grant recipients is provided in this report.
Leveraging from the Australian Institute of Company Directors training program conducted in May 2018, the VVC has strengthened our governance framework with particular focus on risk management. A planning day was conducted in February 2019 to establish a new work plan for the next reporting period; this work plan will attribute activities directly to VVC objectives and include success measures.
During this year the VVC welcomed three new members to the Council. The appointment of Lieutenant Commander Peta Irving RAN (Rtd) has strengthened Council representation for Navy and female veterans. Mr Bruce Mildenhall’s appointment affords Council an in depth understanding of the Victorian Veterans Act 2005, the legislation that established the Victorian Veterans Council. Mr Geoff Brewer was appointed as the new Melbourne Legacy representative following Lieutenant Colonel Justin Elwin’s departure in November 2018.
The VVC plays an important role in recognising the service, sacrifice and needs of each generation of Victorian veterans and I would like to express my sincere thanks to the many individuals and organisations who work with the VVC and alongside our veterans. Your commitment and dedication to the mutual goal of respecting, honouring and supporting our veterans is highly respected and valued.
Finally, I would like to offer my heartfelt appreciation for the support and guidance my colleagues have afforded me during this year. I look forward to progressing the VVC’s efforts to support and serve each generation of Victoria’s veterans in the coming year.
I am pleased to present the 2018-2019 VVC Annual Report.
Lieutenant Colonel, Chair