Engagement with the ex-service community
Throughout the year, the VVC continued to engage with ex-service organisations and the veteran community including regular updates from ex-service organisations such as RSL Victoria and Melbourne Legacy through its representatives on the VVC. The VVC met with stakeholders including the Minister for Veterans, Bravery Trust, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA), Deputy Commissioner for Victoria, the Australian National Veterans Arts Museum, Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling, the Commissioner of LGBTIQ+ Communities and many others. The VVC Chair also attended DVA Ex-Service Organisation Forums, and scholarship award presentations for the Australian Nurses Memorial Centre, which the VVC support as patriotic fund trustees.
Commemoration and Anzac Day services
The VVC supports ANZAC Day and other commemorations and events in local communities through the provision of funding from the Victorian Veterans Fund distributed under the Victoria Remembers Grant program.
Victoria remembers grant program highlights
The VVC through the Victoria Remembers Grant Program is proud to support community projects which promote a better understanding of the service and sacrifice of Victoria’s veterans in war and peacekeeping operations and commemorate those who have died in the performance of service or duty. A complete list of awarded grants is available on pages 15-18. Some recent initiatives and activities supported through the grant program are:
Post 1975 Obelisk – Austin Health
Austin Health received $30,000 in funding through the Victoria Remembers Minor Grant Program in 2020-21 to construct a new Obelisk in honour of all veterans who served in conflicts and peacekeeping operations post 1975. Austin Health’s Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital has a proud heritage of caring for veterans, war widows and first responders. Within the hospital’s grounds is the original 1921 Obelisk, and many plaques and gallery spaces that honour those who have served. The new Post 1975 Obelisk was installed in the Remembrance Garden of the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital and officially opened by the Minister for Veterans, the Hon Shaun Leane MP, on Sunday 20 June 2021, exactly 100 years after the original World War One Obelisk was officially launched by the then Governor of Victoria.
The Post-1975 Obelisk at Austin Health’s Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital was built in honour of all veterans who served in conflicts and peacekeeping operations after 1975.
Water Tower Mural, Tatura RSL Sub-Branch
The Victoria Remembers Grant Program awarded the Tatura RSL Sub-Branch with $27,787.30 in funding in 2019-20 to create a commemorative mural on the Tatura Water Tower. On one side the mural features Sir John Monash, who originally engineered the water tower in 1912, while the other side of the tower depicts red poppies, a traditional commemorative emblem for Remembrance Day. The mural was officially opened on Sunday 27 June 2021 and serves to highlight Sir John Monash, who commanded Australian troops to victory in World War One and honours the sacrifice of service personnel especially those from the Tatura region. The purpose of the artwork is to highlight the Tatura district’s rich military history to both locals and visitors alike and to promote greater knowledge and understanding of the district’s history. The Water Tower Mural is also nearby the Tatura War Museum, which houses memorabilia from the seven World War Two internment and Prisoner of War camps that were in the district.
The Tatura Water Tower project received Victoria Remembers Grant Program funding in 2019-20 and was officially launched in June 2021.
Anzac Day Proceeds Fund Grant Program highlights
The VVC through the ANZAC Day Proceeds Fund Grant Program is proud to support the welfare activities of Victoria’s ex-service organisations. A complete list of grants awarded in 2020-21 is available on pages 15-18. Some recent initiatives and activities supported include:
Melbourne Legacy, Youth Education Essentials
In 2020-21, Melbourne Legacy received $100,000 through the ANZAC Day Proceeds Fund for its Legacy Youth Education Essentials program. The focus of this program is to support junior legatees with their educational needs. Over 315 items were provided in the 12-month period, items included school, course and sport fees, laptops, uniforms, tutoring, school textbooks and stationery.
In 2020, Melbourne Legacy supported a 20-year-old Junior Legatee living in Geelong by paying for a “course start-up kit”. The youth stated that “my studies have assisted me in finding a part-time job within the fashion industry that covers fundamental experience like running an independent retail store, making garments, supply and demand within industry, pattern making, running a website, and working with someone who has fulfilled their own dream of running a fashion store. When I complete my course, I hope to work as a fashion illustrator, later moving onto design and eventually running my own retail store”.
Soldier On Victoria, Pathways Program
Soldier On Victoria received $50,000 via the ANZAC Day Proceeds Fund in 2019-20 for its Pathways Program which concluded in December 2020. The Soldier On Victoria Pathways Program provided one-on-one tailored employment and education support to 360 veterans and 33 family members, enabling them to secure their future career. The Soldier On program works in collaboration with veteran supportive organisations, called Soldier On Pledge Partners. The program introduces veterans and their families, to companies who recognise the high-level skills acquired in the Australian Defence Force and acquired by defence family members. Through this program Soldier On has been able to enhance the lives and wellbeing of veterans and their families, by providing pathways to secure meaningful employment.