18 Nov 2021

The Victorian Veterans Council Annual Report 2020-2021 demonstrates Victorian Veterans Council (VVC) obligation and commitment and shares highlights with you.

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.

Chairperson’s foreword

Chairperson's foreword from Roger Clifton.

As the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic have continued over the past year, our diverse Victorian veteran community has continued to show inspiring adaptability, mateship and generosity.

The Victorian Veterans Council is proud to be working alongside this community to continue advocating for the needs and wellbeing of veterans and their families.

Broadening our connections

Over the past year, the Victorian Veterans Council has continued building and deepening its relationships throughout the veteran community and beyond. These connections are our greatest asset when it comes to understanding the diverse experiences of veterans and raising awareness of their skills and contributions.

During a busy year for many, we are grateful to the organisations who took the time to meet with us, including the Bravery Trust, Open Arms, the Australian National Veterans Art Museum, and senior figures at the Commonwealth’s Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

This year also saw an impressive example of collaboration in the veteran sector, through the opening of the Vivian Bulwinkel Veterans and Families Wellbeing Centre, a one-stop support and wellbeing hub for veterans and their families jointly run by Melbourne Legacy and RSL Victoria.

Celebrating our diversity

Like Victoria more broadly, our veteran community is incredibly diverse. The Victorian Veterans Council is committed to ensuring the many diverse communities within our veteran community are properly recognised and represented.

I thank our Deputy Chair, Pelagia Markogiannakis JP, and Council member, Peta Irving, for keeping us particularly informed about the issues affecting women veterans on both a state and national scale.

We have also met with representatives such as the Commissioner for LGBTIQ+ Communities and look forward to continuing to meet with further leaders across diverse communities in the coming year.

Crucial commemoration and support

During these challenging times, supporting and honouring our ex-service community is so crucial.

The Victorian Veterans Council has continued to assist the Victorian Government to direct funds where they are needed most by assessing applications for two grant programs - the ANZAC Day Proceeds Fund, which supports welfare activities, and the Victoria Remembers Grant Program, which supports commemoration and educational projects.

These grants have a powerful impact on people’s lives. For instance, $100,000 from the ANZAC Day Proceeds Fund went to Melbourne Legacy to support the educational needs of children of veterans. More than 315 items were provided, including course fees, uniforms and laptops.

The Council acknowledges the hard work of all those who contributed to commemorations across Victoria over the past year, including Remembrance Day and ANZAC Day, which was often challenging in an unpredictable pandemic environment.

A strong voice for veterans

I thank the Minister for Veterans, the Hon Shaun Leane MP, for meeting with me regularly so the Victorian Veterans Council can be a strong voice for veterans to the Victorian Government.

Under the Minister’s instruction, we have also begun to prepare for a new Veteran Sector Study, which will provide fresh insights into the makeup of the veteran sector and the welfare and priorities of our veterans. We welcome the inclusion of a question around Australian Defence Force service in the 2021 Census, which will provide further data about our veteran community.

Our Council welcomed some exciting new members this year, being Ken Tsirigotis from Melbourne Legacy and Dan Caines, both contemporary veterans. We extend a huge thanks to Elizabeth Brown, who retired from membership in September 2020.

In all of our endeavours we have been supported by the Government’s hard-working Veterans Branch, which is now based in the newly-formed Department of Families, Fairness and Housing. This Department is leading the Government’s policies and services dedicated to community wellbeing.

Community resources

We are making great progress in developing a dedicated website for the Victorian Veterans Council, which we hope will provide great information for veterans and their families. This has been spearheaded by Council member Sharyn Bolitho, supported by Ken Tsirigotis.

I thank fellow Council member Anita Hogan for also expanding our presence on social media so we can better connect with the community.

I would also like to thank Dr Ross Bastiaan AM RFD, the Chair of our Funding Sub-Committee, and Bruce Mildenhall, Chair of the Governance Sub-Committee, along with their committees themselves for their tireless work over the past year.

About the Victorian Veterans Council

The Victorian Veterans Council (VVC) is an independent statutory body established in August 2006 under the Veterans Act 2005 (the Act).

The VVC plays an important role in supporting Victorian veterans and their families and is responsible for reporting to the Minister for Veterans on issues affecting the Victorian veteran community.

Under the Act, the VVC has specific responsibility for the distribution of the ANZAC Day Proceeds Fund and Victorian Veterans Fund. The VVC also assists the Victorian Government by providing:

  • general advice to the Minister for Veterans on issues affecting Victoria’s veterans including the current and future needs of veterans and their families
  • advice to the Director of Consumer Affairs on matters relating to the regulation of patriotic funds
  • advice on a range of government programs and initiatives such as, the Premier’s Spirit of Anzac Prize, the Victorian Anzac Tertiary Multimedia Prize, and the Veterans Accommodation Project.

The VVC is supported by the Veterans Branch within the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFH).

Objectives and functions of the Victorian Veterans Council

The objectives and functions of the VVC are detailed in Sections 5 and 6 of the Veterans Act 2005 (the Act).


The objectives of the VVC are to:

  • promote the wellbeing of all members of the Victorian ex- service community
  • promote the commemoration of those who have died in the performance of service or duty
  • develop a better understanding amongst Victorians of the service and sacrifice of Victoria’s veterans in war and peacekeeping operations and the contributions of Victoria’s ex-service community
  • actively promote the significance of, and key values associated with, the spirit of ANZAC
  • promote cooperation and collaboration across organisations dealing with veterans’ welfare and other ex-service community issues, including the Trustees of the Shrine of Remembrance.


The functions of the VVC are to:

  • ensure that the objectives of the VVC are met to the maximum extent that is practicable
  • monitor and advise the Minister for Veterans on issues affecting Victoria’s ex-service community
  • investigate and report on any aspect of veterans’ affairs referred by the Minister
  • consult with the ex-service community when developing advice for the Minister
  • support the welfare activities of ex-service organisations through the ANZAC Day Proceeds Fund (in accordance with the ANZAC Day Act 1958)
  • fund activities furthering its objectives through the Victorian Veterans Fund (in accordance with Section 20 of the Act)
  • advise the Minister administering Part 4 of the Act or the Director of Consumer Affairs on matters in relation to the regulation of patriotic funds under Part 4 of the Act.

Members of the Victorian Veterans Council

Lists members of the Victorian Veterans Council during the annual reporting period July 2020 – June 2021.

Roger Clifton, Chair

(Appointed 15 October 2019)

Roger has an extensive family background in the military with his father and uncles serving in World War Two. Both his father’s brothers paid the ultimate sacrifice with one being lost on HMAS Sydney when she was sunk off the Western Australian coast, and the other killed in action while serving in the Middle East and Mentioned in Despatches.

Roger served in Vietnam with 104 Signal Squadron in the early 70s as a conscript. He later had a four-decade career in Advertising and Marketing, as Managing Director of the Melbourne offices of three international advertising agencies, one of which he was a principal. He retired from full time work in 2008. Roger is also a Trustee of the Shrine of Remembrance and a Director of William Angliss Institute of TAFE.

Lieutenant Commander Pelagia Markogiannakis, Deputy Chair

(Appointed 6 February 2018, appointed Deputy Chair 29 January 2020)

Pela has been a Navy Reservist since 1986 and has attained the rank of Lieutenant Commander. She has held a variety of logistics, engineering and infrastructure related roles.

Pela is an engineer and certified project professional. She has been the Aide-de-Camp in Waiting to His Excellency the Governor of New South Wales and to His Excellency the Administrator of the Commonwealth of Australia. She is currently serving in a staff role to Shore Force at Fleet Headquarters, Sydney and is the Staff Officer for Reserves in Victoria reporting to the Head of Reserves in Canberra. Pela currently holds the executive infrastructure governance role with Major Road Projects Victoria.

Dr Ross Bastiaan AM RFD

(Appointed 1 January 2013)

Ross enlisted in the Army Reserve in 1975 and was attached to 3 Army Field Ambulance. In the Royal Australian Army Dental Corps (Res) he was promoted to Colonel Consultant and was attached to Defence Health Services Branch, Canberra.

Ross served on the Council of the Australian War Memorial from 1995 to 2009. Since 1990 he has personally placed over 290 multi-lingual, large bronze commemorative plaques at various locations around the world from Europe to the Great Ocean Road in Victoria. He has also written three books on WWI and WWII. Since 1978, Ross has worked in private practice as a periodontist.

Wing Commander Sharyn Bolitho RAAFAR

(Appointed 4 November 2015)

Sharyn Bolitho joined the Royal Australian Air Force in 1987 and during her time in the RAAF she held postings on the staff of the Chief of Defence Force (working for Admiral Chris Barrie at the time of the terrorist attack on 11 September 2001) and was later responsible for joint operational personnel issues relating to deployment in 2002, receiving a Commendation from Commander Australian Theatre.

Sharyn was appointed Commanding Officer of Combat Support Unit East Sale in December 2008, transitioning to Commanding Officer No 30 (City of Sale) Squadron when it was reformed 1 July 2010. She left the Permanent Air Force in May 2012 to remain in Sale and accepted an appointment as Manager Economic Development at Wellington Shire Council. Sharyn transitioned back to RAAFAR in 2017 at RAAF Base East Sale and is now in an Executive Support and Heritage role.

Dan Cairnes

(Appointed 8 June 2021)

Dan served in the Australian Regular Army as an artillery officer where he fulfilled a range of regimental, operational and training appointments. The majority of his service was with 8th/12th Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery.

His operational deployments include Iraq (Operation Catalyst) and border protection (Operation Relex II). On leaving the Army, Dan entered the construction industry where he has worked in trade and management roles on building and infrastructure projects. Dan is a graduate of the Royal Military College, Duntroon and RMIT University.

Anita Hogan

(Appointed 24 March 2020)

Anita is a Royal Australian Navy veteran. She joined the Australian Defence Force at the age of 16 and served from 1994 to 2004. During that time, she trained as a Dental Assistant and worked at several ADF bases. After leaving the Australian Defence Force, Anita retrained and works as a Medication Endorsed Enrolled Nurse. Anita has lived experience of many of the issues facing contemporary veterans transitioning to civilian life.

She is a member of the RSL Cranbourne-Dandenong Sub-Branch where she has formed strong connections with the younger veteran cohort and provided welfare and advocacy support to them and is the Veterans Welfare Officer of the Armed Merchant Cruiser and Landing Ship Infantry Association of Australia. Anita is currently undertaking post-graduate studies in Suicidology and is a member of the Australian Institute of Suicide Research and prevention.

Lieutenant Commander Peta Irving RAN (RTD)

(Appointed 7 August 2018)

Peta joined the Women’s Royal Australian Naval Service in 1983 after spending four years in the Army Reserve Artillery Corp. Peta joined as a Naval Supply Officer and was one of the first six females to serve at sea in a permanent position on the HMAS JERVIS BAY in 1985. While in the Navy Peta was logistics officer for Operation RELEX and specialised in IT logistic systems as a Project Manager. Peta has a Master of Business Administration and has graduated from the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Since leaving the Navy, Peta has been teaching and consulting in Project Management and Supply Chain and Logistics, mentoring and volunteering.

Kim Mcaliney

(Appointed 30 August 2016)

Kim McAliney joined the Veterans Council in 2016. Kim has had a long history of community involvement, both in Local Government and community level and has wide business experience. Former Wyndham City Mayor and Councillor and history of working in the aged care and retirement sector. Raising two sons, with a career spanning over 30 years, Kim has worked at accountancy firms, a multi-national company and a National Crisis Counselling Service and held numerous board directorships. Kim is FCPA qualified, has an Advanced Diploma in Public Safety (Emergency. Mgt), is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and currently studying Justice.

Kim is a Trust member and Chair of the Community Advisory Committee of the Greater Metropolitan Cemeteries Trusts. Kim was recently elected as Director of the Royal Victorian Association of Honorary Justices (RVAHJ) and is Chair of the RVAHJ Bail Justice Advisory Committee, and a current serving Bail Justice and Justice of the Peace.

John McNeill

John has had extensive involvement in the veteran family advocacy and support space for the last ten years as a qualified advocate. He served as a rifleman with the First Battalion and served in East Timor in 2007.

John has battled his own personal medical constraints post service and now engages in supporting others requiring assistance throughout Australia to help them transition after service.

John holds positions within both state and national boards, such as the Deputy Commissioner’s Forum and the Operational Working Party, and also sits on the board of his local RSL - Dandenong/Cranbourne RSL.

John’s extensive involvement extends further by being the Director of a social enterprise - Aussie Veterans Pty Ltd - established in Melbourne in 2017.

Bruce Mildenhall

(Appointed 7 August 2018)

Bruce is not a veteran but has broad experience and strong personal interest in the veteran sector. He is currently involved in commemorative activities as Chair of the Mt Macedon ANZAC Dawn Service and has assisted as support rider in the Vietnam Veteran Vetride. Bruce’s father was a Rat of Tobruk and his maternal grandfather an officer in the ANZAC Light Horse.

As a former State MP and Parliamentary Secretary for Veterans’ Affairs, Bruce assisted in the drafting of Victoria’s veterans’ legislation, the Veterans Act 2005, and led the first Premier’s Spirit of Anzac Prize tour to the Western Front.

Ken Tsirigotis

(Appointed 25 August 2020)

Ken Tsirigotis completed 22 years of service in the Australian Regular Army in the Royal Australian Infantry Corps. The majority of his service was as a Reconnaissance soldier at the 3rd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (Parachute). His overseas service has included exchanges and regimental duties to Indonesia, New Zealand, France, Belgium, Thailand, the UK and Switzerland. Operational experiences include, International Forces East Timor (1999-2000), United Nations Transitional Authority East Timor (2002), Timor-Leste Battle Group Three as part of the Ready Company Group deployment (2008) Timor-Leste Battle Group Four (2008) and Operation Slipper as a Mobile Mentoring Team Commander in the Uruzgan Province Afghanistan (2012).

Ken has been awarded various Australian Defence Force (ADF) awards including the Soldiers Medallion for Exemplary Service, Commander 1st Division Commendation (Bronze), Deputy Chief of Joint Operations Commendation (Bronze) and ADF Commendation (Silver). Ken transferred from the Australian Regular Army in 2016 taking up employment with Melbourne Legacy and has held various roles, most recently as the Chief Operating Officer, where he manages the engagement supporting service delivery operations of the organisation.

S. Jamie Twidale CSM

(Appointed 17 March 2020)

Jamie is Chief Executive Officer of the Returned and Services League (RSL) Victorian State Branch. Through his 22-year career in the full time Army Jamie saw active service in Afghanistan, East Timor and the Solomon Islands as well as being stationed in Malaysia. Jamie was awarded the Conspicuous Service Medal in 2006 for his leadership and dedication to duty and was awarded an Army Commendation for outstanding service in 2007. As an Army Reserve member Jamie deployed to Gippsland as part of Operation Bushfire Assist in January 2020.

Jamie has worked in senior management roles with the State Emergency Service in Queensland and Victoria as well as the Country Fire Authority and most recently with the Environment Protection Authority (Victoria).

Jamie is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, holds a Master of Business Administration, a Post Graduate Certificate in Security, Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism Studies and a Bachelor of Social Science (Emergency Management).

Elizabeth Brown

(Member from 30 September 2014 – 1 September 2020)

Highlights of the year

Lists highlights of the year.

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.

Corporate governance

Provides details about corporate governance.

Council meetings

The Veterans Act 2005 (the Act) requires that the VVC must meet at least eight times each year. The Council held eight meetings during the period 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021, seven of which were held by video-conference due to coronavirus (COVID-19), and one meeting hosted by RSL Victoria at Anzac House.

Committee structure

The VVC has established two committees to facilitate the performance of its functions under the Act.

Funding Sub-Committee

The Funding Sub-Committee is responsible for the development and annual review of the guidelines for the Victorian Veterans Fund Grant Programs and the ANZAC Day Proceeds Fund, assessing applications for both funds and making funding recommendations to the VVC for grants from both funds. During 2020-21 the Funding Sub-Committee was chaired by Dr Ross Bastiaan AM RFD. The other members of the Sub-Committee during the year were Wing Commander Sharyn Bolitho, Lieutenant Commander Peta Irving (Rtd) and Ms Kim McAliney. The Committee met on two occasions throughout the year.

Governance Sub-Committee

The Governance Sub-Committee is responsible for ensuring the VVC complies with all financial and legal requirements under the Veterans Act 2005 and any other relevant legislation. The Governance Sub-Committee is also responsible for governance of the six patriotic funds for which the Council is Trustee and the development of the VVC annual report. During 2020-21 the Governance Sub-Committee was chaired by Mr Bruce Mildenhall. Other members of the Sub-Committee during the year were Lieutenant Commander Pelagia Markogiannakis, Ms Kim McAliney, Mr Jamie Twidale CSM, and Mr Ken Tsirigotis. The Governance Sub-Committee met on two occasions during the year to oversee VVC’s administration of patriotic funds and associated investment accounts.

Secretariat support

Secretariat support to the VVC and both Sub-Committees was provided by the Veterans Branch within the Department of Premier and Cabinet and from 1 February 2021 by the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing, following Machinery of Government changes. 

Audited financial records

The VVC financial results are aggregated into the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing’s financial statements pursuant to a determination made by the Minister for Finance under section 53(1)(b) of the Financial Management Act 1994. The Department’s Financial Statements can be found at Department of Families, Fairness and Housing.

On 6 September 2018, the VVC applied to the Minister for Finance seeking a full exemption from the Standing Directions of the Minister for Finance under the Financial Management Act 1994. On 1 October 2018, this application was approved by the Minister for Finance, exempting on an ongoing basis the Victorian Veterans Council from compliance with all requirements of the Standing Directions.

Anzac Day Proceeds Fund

Lists approved grants for the ANZAC Day Proceeds Fund 2020-2021.

The ANZAC Day Proceeds Fund receives contributions from sporting events held on ANZAC Day across Victoria which are collected by Sport and Recreation Victoria within the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions in accordance with section 4A of the ANZAC Day Act 1958.

In 2020-21, the ANZAC Day Proceeds Fund was supplemented by a Treasurer’s Advance to assist the veteran sector in responding to coronavirus (COVID-19) which provided an additional $570,000 to the ANZAC Day Proceeds Fund Grant Program.

Grants totalling $992,121 were approved from the ANZAC Day Proceeds Fund to 42 individual projects during the financial year ending 30 June 2021.

Anzac Day Proceeds Fund 2020-21 approved grants

Organisation Project Amount
2/14 Battalion Association Inc. Production and distribution of 2/14 Battalion Association newsletter $3,500
39th Australian Infantry Battalion (1941-43) Association Inc 39th Battalion Newsletter ‘The Good Guts’ $1,500
Air Force Association – Victoria Veterans’ Welfare Program $20,000
Air Force Association – Victoria Newsletter Program $10,000
Ballarat RSL Sub-Branch Inc. RSL Support Services $10,000
Ballarat Veterans Assistance Centre Connectivity through Remote Access $7,400
Bendigo District RSL Sub-Branch Inc Veterans Welfare, Health and Wellbeing $20,000
Bravery Trust FinWell – A veteran-specific financial literacy program $50,000
Carry On (Victoria) Welfare and education support $150,000
Casterton RSL Sub-Branch Casterton RSL Sub-Branch Newsletter $960
Defence Force Welfare Association Camaraderie Magazine and Branch Supplement Production and Distribution $4,500
Headquarters 1 ALSG ex Vietnam
(Auspiced by Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia)
Headquarters 1 ALSG $3,340
Kerang Group of Legacy Kerang Group of Legacy $11,800
Leongatha RSL Sub-Branch Inc Welfare Support $14,380
Melbourne Legacy Melbourne Legacy ‘The Answer’ Newsletter for War Widows $31,374
Melbourne Legacy Transport Initiative for Legacy Widows $12,000
Melbourne Legacy Legacy Youth Education Essentials $100,000
Mornington Peninsula Legacy Club Inc. Publications Project $6,650
Mornington Peninsula Legacy Club Inc. Legacy Dependants with a Disability Party $900
National Servicemen’s Association of Australia Victorian Branch Special Edition of NSAA newsletter Nasho News $3,300
Naval Association of Australia Victorian Section Inc. IT Upgrade $24,000
Returned & Services League of Australia Victorian Branch RSL General Appeals $130,000
Rosebud RSL Sub-Branch Remembrance Day Luncheon $2,500
Sale RSL and Community Sub-Branch Veteran Wellbeing Activities $3,780
Soldier On Soldier on Victoria Pathways Program $50,000
South Gippsland Group of Melbourne Legacy Winter Fuel $8,000
The Legacy Club of Ballarat Inc. Winter Heating Allowance $18,000
The Legacy Club of Bendigo Inc. Heating allowance for beneficiaries of Bendigo Legacy $6,000
The Legacy Club of Bendigo Inc. Newsletter for beneficiaries of Bendigo Legacy to break Social Isolation $3,600
The Legacy Club of Shepparton Inc. ‘Back Together for Fun, Friendship and Frivolity’ $2,320
Torquay RSL Sub-Branch Member Welfare Member Welfare $15,000
Vietnam Veterans Federation Vic Branch Inc. VVF Vic Branch Inc. Welfare $5,000
Warrnambool RSL Sub-Branch Inc Warrnambool RSL Veterans Centre $46,486
Wimmera Veterans Centre
(Auspiced by Horsham RSL Sub-Branch Inc)
Well Being program; Close Ranks $17,000
Ballarat Veterans Assistance Centre Wellbeing and mental health program; Beekeeping $34,031
Carry On (Victoria) Crisis accommodation $50,000
Colac Legacy Club Inc. Colac legacy community bus $2,500
Macedon Ranges Group of Bendigo Legacy Inc. Care of War Widows $6,300
Path of the Horse Ltd Yarma, Brew and Civvy Breakfast a Digital Wellbeing Project $15,000
Returned and Services League of Australia Victorian Branch RSL General Appeals $50,000
Soldier On FIT Support Weekend – Families in Transition $32,000
Vietnam Veterans Federation Vic Branch Inc VVF VIC Branch Inc. welfare $9,000


Victorian Veterans Fund

Lists approved grants for the Victorian Veterans Fund 2020-2021.

The Victorian Veterans Fund was established under the Veterans Act 2005. Revenue for the Veterans Fund comes from the Community Support Fund (CSF) and is equal to one day’s revenue of the CSF.

In 2020-21, the Victorian Veterans Fund was supplemented by a Treasurer’s Advance to assist the veteran sector in responding to coronavirus (COVID-19) which provided an additional $80,000 of funding to the Victoria Remembers Grant Program.

Grants totalling $304,553 were approved for 28 projects through the Victorian Veterans Fund, distributed under the Victoria Remembers Grant Program during the financial year ending 30 June 2021.

Victorian Veterans Fund 2020-21 grant recipients (Victoria Remembers Grant Program)

Organisation Project Amount
ATOMVic The Service and Sacrifice of Victorians in World War 2 $22,000
Austin Health Post 1975 Obelisk $30,000
Australian Commando Association Victoria Victoria’s Contribution to Australian Special Operations History $16,139
B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Fund Inc Display cabinets for heritage museum $6,137
Cretan Federation of Australia and New Zealand Battle of Crete: The untold stories $7,800
Darwin Defenders 1942-45 Melbourne Branch
(Auspiced by Sir Edward Weary Dunlop Medical Research Foundation)
Commemoration Service for the 79th Bombing of Darwin $5,200
Hampton RSL Sub-Branch Inc ANZAC Gallipoli Remembrance Project $18,078.91
Imvrians Society of Melbourne Inc Imbros and Gallipoli Revealed $5,020
Lara RSL Military Heritage Preservation and Display $5,436.16
Mannibadar Soldiers Memorial Hall Mannibadar Soldier Settlement Centenary 1921 – 2021 $10,000
Rochester Cemetery Trust Recognising Burial Places of all War Veterans Rochester Cemetery $3,865
Rotary Club of Monash Rotary Club of Monash ANZAC Service for Schools 2021 $2,500
Royal United Services Institute of Incorporated     RUSI Victoria Library Enhancement $2,402
Royal Victoria Regiment Association Inc. Restoration of Military History $1,815
Shrine of Remembrance Changed Forever interactive redesign $15,000
Society Kalamata 23 March Brotherhood Inc 80th Anniversary of the Battle of Kalamata Commemoration $2,000
Wonthaggi RSL Sub-Branch Hall of Remembrance $3,493
Yeungroon Country Fire Authority (CFA) Yeungroon Soldiers $13,950
Australian Hellenic Memorial Foundation, Inc Australian Hellenic Memorial 20th Anniversary $3,500
Bechaz Art Designs Auspiced by Yallourn/Newborough RSL ANZAC Wall $4,500
Boer War Association of Victoria Boer War Commemoration Parade and Service $4,465
Charlton Neighbourhood House Incorporated Sir John Monash Water Tower Mural $9,000
Creswick-Smeaton RSL Sub-Branch
(Auspiced by Returned and Services League of Australia Victorian Branch)
Reflections – The Shire and Borough of Creswick and The Great War $2,762.20
Diamond Creek RSL Sub-Branch
(Auspiced by Returned and Services League of Australia Victorian Branch)
Display Container $17,000
History Guild Ltd 80th Anniversary of Victorian Service in the Mediterranean Theatre, WWII $17,000
RMIT University Angels of War: Remembering Australian Army Nurses $18,740
Shrine of Remembrance Shrine Veteran Identity podcasts $26,750
Violet Town RSL Sub-Branch
(Auspiced by Violet Town History Group – sub-committee of Violet Town Action Group Inc.)
Women’s project $30,000


Patriotic funds

Provides details about patriotic funds.

The VVC, in partnership with Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV), the regulator of patriotic funds, provides advice to ex- service organisations on how patriotic funds can be raised and appropriately used, including transfer and winding up arrangements.

In June 2021, the VVC in partnership with CAV and Veterans Branch DFFH supported delivery of an information session for ex-service organisations on the administration of patriotic funds.

The VVC is the trustee for six patriotic funds which are administered in accordance with Part 4 of the Veterans Act 2005. In 2020-21 the VVC worked with partner organisations to formally review and renew the Memoranda of Understanding under which it distributes funds.

The Australian Legion of Ex-Servicemen and Women Scholarship Fund – Albert Coates Memorial Trust

The Australian Legion of Ex-Servicemen and Women Scholarship Fund, in association with the Albert Coates Memorial Trust provides funding for scholarships awarded to students who are studying courses for the training of paramedics, nurses and doctors in emergency care at Victorian universities.

In 2020-21, the VVC approved the disbursement of $14,000 to the Albert Coates Memorial Trust to allocate scholarships for Rural Emergency Nursing studies. In 2020-2021 recipients included Sarah Loria, James Blomberg, Tammy Lee Chatwin, Jeenmariam Lal, Alex Chua, Deepika Gunda and Wesley Teoh.

The Australian Legion of Ex-Servicemen and Women Scholarship Fund No 1 – Nurses Memorial Centre

The Fund, first established in August 2006, provides support for scholarship grants awarded on an annual basis to students undertaking post-graduate studies in care of the older person or Palliative Care at a recognised university. The Funds, administered by the VVC, are provided to the Australian Nurses Memorial Centre (ANMC) as the facilitator of the scholarships. In 2020-21, the VVC approved the disbursement of $30,000 to the ANMC for these scholarships.

On 12 March 2021 Roger Clifton represented the VVC at the ANMC Scholarship Awards which were held online. The Australian Legion of Ex-Servicemen and Women Scholarships were awarded to Tanya Frost, Elizabeth Bell, Annette Robinson and Kylie Alger.

The War Widows and Widowed Mothers Association Scholarship Fund

The Fund supports scholarships awarded by the Federation University Australia to students undertaking graduate or postgraduate study in the fields of nursing, palliative care, aged care or midwifery. 

The Victorian Blinded Soldiers’ Welfare Patriotic Fund

Established in April 2013 from funds provided by the Blinded Soldiers’ Association and a letter bequest from the Estate of the Late Lucy Adamson, this Fund provides welfare assistance to visually impaired veterans and their dependants and offers assistance for former Australian Defence Force members who have visual impairment due to their service in defence of our nation.

The Extremely Disabled Association (EDA) Patriotic Fund

This Fund supported the now discontinued Victorian Veteran Community Story Writing and Art Competition, which was facilitated by Austin Health’s Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital.

Australian United Ex-Services Association Patriotic Fund

This Fund was established in 2015 for the purpose of providing funding for post-graduate study in the field of veterans’ health. A Memorandum of Understanding with Austin Health was signed in February 2016 to deliver the scholarships for training post-graduate students in Cognitive Processing Therapy with an associated year of supervision.