8 Nov 2022

The Victorian Veterans Council Annual Report 2021-2022 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 Greg Yorke.

Commodore Greg Yorke, AM, CSC

As Chair of the Victorian Veterans Council (VVC), I’m delighted to present our annual report for 2021–22. The COVID-19 pandemic has continued to present challenges, but we have had a fantastic year for engagement with our diverse, adaptable and inspiring Victorian veteran community.

The VVC is proud to be a voice for veterans in Victoria, advocating to the Victorian Government for the needs and wellbeing of veterans and their families. To achieve this, we welcome and appreciate input from the sector and are committed to engaging with you.

Connecting our community

Over the past year, the VVC has continued to build and deepen its relationships throughout the veteran community and beyond. These connections are our greatest asset in understanding the diverse experiences of veterans, and raising awareness of their skills and contributions.

A significant part of the latter half of 2021–22 was spent undertaking planning and preparation to bring together Victoria’s ex-service organisations (ESOs) and veteran support organisations for a state-wide summit, with the theme of ‘participate, discover, connect’.

The inaugural ESO Summit, which was held on 6 August 2022 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, saw 250 in-person and online participants from ESOs, veteran support organisations, government and small business unite to discuss how we can continue to work together to support veterans and their families across Victoria.

We also completed our third Victorian Veterans Sector Study, focusing this year on housing, mental health, employment, education, and the impact COVID-19 has had on the veteran sector. The Veterans Sector Study team engaged across regions and widely online to garner input from the community.

During a busy year for many, we are also grateful to the organisations that took the time to meet with us, including Vasey RSL Care, the Victorian Multicultural Commission, Carry On, and Grosvenor Performance Group, as they progressed the Veterans Sector Study.

With VVC representatives attending exhibition openings and commemorative services across Victoria, we ensured the voices of our community in rural and regional Victoria were also part of the conversation.

Challenging times

We acknowledge it has been a difficult year for the sector, with significant media coverage of the ongoing hearings of the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide. The VVC has followed the progress of the hearings and provided advice to the Victorian Government to help inform its submission to the Commission.

We also saw the final withdrawal of Australian troops from Afghanistan in June 2021 after 20 years of operations in the country, and the swift reclamation of control by the Taliban in August 2021.

It is worth noting that while there is currently no large active deployment of Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel overseas, there has been extensive support provided by ADF members in recent years to disaster relief for bushfires, floods, storms, aged care and COVID-19 within Australia and Victoria. Many of these personnel are members of the Reserves, balancing their service with family, career and community commitments.

The release of 2021 Australian Census data on ADF service was welcomed. The inclusion, for the first time, of the ADF service question in the Census is a major milestone and will significantly enhance our understanding of our veteran community.

Commemoration and support

The VVC has continued to direct funds where they are needed most through our 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. Through 49 projects across both programs, they have delivered more than $700,000 of support to the community. 

The VVC acknowledges the hard work of all those who contributed to commemorations across Victoria over the past year, including Remembrance Day and ANZAC Day. In 2021–22, we were proud to have also supported commemorations for the Battle of Crete, the 80th Anniversary of the Bombing of Darwin, Melbourne Legacy students, the Boer War and, of course, ANZAC Day services.

A voice for veterans

I thank our outgoing Chair, Mr Roger Clifton, who steered the ship so calmly over his term. I also thank for their service and dedication to the VVC the outgoing members whose terms ended during the year – Dr Ross Bastiaan AM RFD, Wing Commander Sharyn Bolitho, Ms Kim McAliney, Lieutenant Commander Peta Irving, and Mr Jamie Twidale CSM.

We also welcomed new members to the VVC during 2021–22 – Mr Glen Ferrarotto, Mr John McNeill, Ms Jo-Anne O’Brien and Ms Lucy Saaroni – and I look forward to continuing to work with them in supporting Victoria’s veteran and ex-service community.

I thank the Minister for Veterans, the Hon Shaun Leane MP, for his strong commitment to supporting Victoria’s ex-service community and for his support to the VVC. In all of our endeavours, the VVC is grateful for the support of the government’s hard-working Office for Veterans within the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing.

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 Veterans 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-led programs and initiatives.

The VVC is supported by the Office for Veterans within the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (the department).

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 2021 – June 2022.

Commodore Greg Yorke, AM, CSC, Chair

(Appointed 15 February 2022)

Greg Yorke, AM, CSC, was appointed Chair, VVC in February 2022. Greg is a part time member of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and holds the position of Senior Naval Officer Victoria. He brings a wealth of experience in the RAN and the Department of Defence to the position of Chair.

Greg Yorke joined the RAN in January 1974, rising to the rank of Commodore in June 2016 and has worked as a Principal Warfare Officer in the Executive Branch. He has completed many sea postings, including exchange in HMS Liverpool, and two successful commands on HMAS Gladstone, a Fremantle Class Patrol Boat, and HMAS Arunta, an ANZAC Class Frigate.

He was awarded a Conspicuous Service Cross for his leadership role as Chief Staff Officer (Operations) Maritime Headquarters during Operation Falconer (Iraq 2) in 2003, and was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia in the 2022 Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Greg also had a successful second career as a management consultant during a ten-year absence from the RAN. He has been a non-Executive Director on the Board of the Australian National Veterans Arts Museum (ANVAM) since 2017. ANVAM is a national cultural institution, a veteran-led charity with the mission to promote the wellbeing of the veteran community through facilitated arts programs. 

Lieutenant Commander Pelagia Markogiannakis, Deputy Chair

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

Pela has been an RAN Reservist since 1986 and has attained the rank of Lieutenant Commander. She has had 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 His Excellency the Administrator of the Commonwealth of Australia.

Pela holds the executive infrastructure operations role with Amazon Web Services for Australia and New Zealand.

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.

Glen Ferrarotto

(Appointed 7 December 2021)

A leader in veteran employment services, Glen started in the Army Reserve, before joining the Australian Regular Army and qualifying as a heavy diesel mechanic. He served in Malaysia, Kuwait and Afghanistan. He used his expertise to repatriate a Special Forces vehicle from Afghanistan and put it in pride of place at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

Glen was awarded the Meritorious Unit Citation for his contribution to the Special Forces during the Afghanistan Campaign. Among other actions, he was recognised for calmly replacing an entire Land Rover gearbox while under enemy fire.

He now draws on his own experience of transitioning from the Army to help veterans, especially those who are wounded, injured or ill, to access and develop meaningful careers outside of the ADF.

Glen has won awards for his excellence in supporting veterans’ employment and his work in local veteran welfare in the Nillumbik Shire Council. He is the President of the Montmorency Eltham RSL and was the youngest member of the Victorian RSL State Executive Board.

Anita Hogan

(Appointed 24 March 2020)

Anita is an RAN veteran. She joined the ADF 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 ADF, Anita retrained and works as a Medication Endorsed Enrolled Nurse, as well as having had an involvement in volunteering with Cranbourne-Dandenong RSL Sub-Branch, where she has formed strong connections with the younger veteran cohort and provided welfare and advocacy support to them. She has also trained through RSL Victoria as a Veteran Funeral Officer.

Anita has the lived experience of many of the issues facing contemporary veterans transitioning to civilian life. She also undertakes recognition of older veterans’ service, through collaborating with others. She recently completed a Graduate Certificate/Master in Suicidology and volunteers for the R U OK? organisation as a Community Ambassador.

John McNeill

(Appointed 3 November 2021)

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 on both state and national boards, such as the Deputy Commissioner’s Forum and the Operational Working Party, and is also a Level 3 Compensation Advocate with the Victorian Veterans Advocacy Centre. 

John’s involvement extends further by being the director of a social enterprise, Aussie Veterans Pty Ltd, which was established in Melbourne in 2017. 

Bruce Mildenhall

(Appointed 7 August 2018)

Bruce is not a veteran, but he 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 was 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, and led the first Premier’s Spirit of Anzac Prize tour to the Western Front.

Jo-Anne O’Brien

(Appointed 17 May 2022)

Jo-Anne is a member of the ex-service community as a surviving partner and widow of a veteran. She has significant knowledge and lived experience of veterans’ welfare and the needs of veterans’ surviving partners and families.

Jo-Anne was nominated to become a member of the Council by Warrnambool Legacy Club.

Jo-Anne also has significant experience working in the community and local government sector areas relating to tourism and economic and community development, as well as a number of volunteer roles, including with Rotary and the CFA.

Lucy Saaroni

(Appointed 8 February 2022)

Lucy is a risk management professional and a veteran with a passion for community resilience building.

As an Australian Army Public Affairs Officer, Lucy has deployed on warlike military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, and has also supported politico-military missions in the Gulf States and North West Africa.

Working in the Office of the Defence Attaché at the Australian Embassy in Paris, France, between 2008 and 2013, Lucy had the privilege of supporting large-scale multinational military commemorative ceremonies, including the reburial of 250 Australian and British World War I soldiers at the Fromelles Military Cemetery, and planning the ANZAC Centenary Commemorations in France.

In 2018, Lucy was awarded the Australia Day Medallion for service to Defence and Indigenous Communities.

With qualifications and extensive experience in risk management, strategic communications and community engagement, Lucy has held senior advisory and executive management roles in local and state government. In 2019, she was appointed the Executive Manager Community Safety at the Country Fire Authority, Victoria.

Ken Tsirigotis

(Appointed 25 August 2020)

Ken 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 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 to take up employment with Melbourne Legacy. He has held various roles there, most recently as the Chief Operating Officer, where he manages the engagement supporting service delivery operations of the organisation.

Dr Ross Bastiaan AM RFD

(Member from 1 January 2013 to 25 March 2022)

Kim McAliney

(Member from 30 August 2016 to 27 October 2021)

Wing Commander Sharyn Bolitho RAAFAR

(Member from 4 November 2015 to 7 October 2021)

Roger Clifton

(Chair from 15 October 2019 to 30 September 2021)

S. Jamie Twidale CSM

(Member from 17 March 2020 to 20 August 2021)

Lieutenant Commander Peta Irving RAN (Rtd)

(Member from 7 August 2018 to 6 August 2021)

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 the Returned & Services League of Australia (Victorian Branch) (RSL Victoria) and Melbourne Legacy, through its representatives on the VVC. 

The VVC met with stakeholders, including Vasey RSL Care, the Victorian Multicultural Commission, Carry On and many others. The VVC Chair and members also attended Department of Veterans’ Affairs and RSL Victoria ESO forums. 

Mr Bruce Mildenhall attended and presented scholarships for the Australian Nurses Memorial Centre, which the VVC supports as a patriotic fund trustee. 

Victorian Veterans Sector Study 2022 

On the request of the Minister for Veterans, the VVC commissioned its third Victorian Veterans Sector Study in 2022, following on from previous studies in 2008 and 2015. After much consideration, this study was to focus on veteran housing and homelessness, mental health and suicide, employment and education, and the impact of COVID-19 on the veteran sector and the organisations supporting our ex-service community. 

Throughout 2021–22, VVC Chairs Roger Clifton and Greg Yorke, and VVC member Mr Bruce Mildenhall worked closely with Grosvenor Performance Group, with support from the Office for Veterans, to progress and oversee the study. In the 2022–23 year, the VVC will consider the findings of the study.

Planning for the ESO Summit 2022

Held on 6 August 2022, the inaugural ESO Summit was the result of sustained effort during the 2021–22 year to promote collaboration and cooperation between the organisations that support Victoria’s veteran community. High-level planning in 2021 continued in 2022, with members Mr John McNeill, Mr Glen Ferrarotto, Ms Lucy Saaroni and VVC Chair Greg Yorke representing the VVC in fortnightly working group meetings. The VVC also considered matters relating to the ESO Summit during its regular meetings. 

VVC members actively promoted the ESO Summit to the Victorian ex-service community, resulting in a well-attended forum with 250 people participating in-person and online. Under the theme ‘participate, discover, connect’, the ESO Summit featured keynote speakers, masterclasses, information sessions, showcases and panel discussions.

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. This funding is distributed under the Victoria Remembers Grant Program. 

This year, VVC members attended ANZAC Day services across Victoria, including Cohuna, Macedon, Melbourne and others.

Victoria Remembers Grant Program highlights

The VVC, through the Victoria Remembers Grant Program, is proud to support community projects that promote a better understanding of the service and sacrifice of Victoria’s veterans in war and peacekeeping operations. It also commemorates those who have died in the performance of service or duty. A complete list of awarded grants is available in the Victorian Veterans Fund section.

Some recent initiatives and activities supported through the grant program include the Immortals project, the memorial wall mural in Cohuna and the Angels of War exhibition at RMIT University.

Immortals – Bendigo District RSL Sub-Branch Inc

This project is an exhibition of a portrait study of Digger Memorials in Victoria by artist Clayton Tremlett. It received $21,758 in funding through the Victoria Remembers Grant Program in 2019–20. It was exhibited at the Bendigo Soldier’s Memorial Institute from its official opening on 30 April 2022, which the VVC Chair attended, to 31 July 2022.

Memorial wall mural, Cohuna-Leitchville RSL Sub-Branch

The Victoria Remembers Grant Program awarded $9,313.64 in funding to the Cohuna-Leitchville RSL Sub-Branch in 2021–22 to create a commemorative mural adjacent to the RSL Memorial Gardens. The mural reflects the service of those not directly involved in conflict. The mural was officially opened on ANZAC Day 2022. VVC member Lucy Saaroni attended and spoke at the service in Cohuna.

Angels of War exhibition, RMIT University

The Victoria Remembers Grant Program awarded RMIT University $18,740 in funding in 2020–21 to mount the Angels of War: Remembering Australian Army Nurses exhibition at Federation Square from 22-24 July 2022.

ANZAC Day Proceeds Fund Grant Program highlights

Through the ANZAC Day Proceeds Fund Grant Program, the VVC is proud to support the welfare activities of Victoria’s ESOs. A complete list of grants awarded in 2021–22 is available in the ANZAC Day Proceeds Fund section.

Some of the recent initiatives and activities supported by the VVC in 2021–22 include:

  • Guitars for Vets Australia (G4VA) – was awarded $16,500 to support G4VA’s program to provide guitar lessons and instruments to Australian veterans experiencing the challenges of stress and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Assistance Dogs Australia – PTSD Dog Support – was granted $10,560 to directly support ongoing costs associated with PTSD assistance dogs to support the dogs’ health and wellbeing, covering veterinarian treatment, food, insurance and annual public access tests
  • Bravery Trust Financial Wellness (FinWell) Program – was granted $45,500 to support FinWell, the Bravery Trust’s veteran-specific, financial-counselling program.

Corporate governance

Provides details about corporate governance.

Council meetings

The Act requires that the VVC must meet at least eight times each year. The VVC held 11 meetings during the period between 1 July 2021 and 30 June 2022.

Committee structure

The VVC has established two permanent committees to facilitate the performance of its functions under the Act. It also formed working parties to oversee the VVC website, the Veterans Sector Study and the ESO Summit.

Funding Sub-Committee

The Funding Sub-Committee is responsible for the development and annual review of the grant guidelines for the Victorian Veterans Fund and the ANZAC Day Proceeds Fund. It assesses applications for both funds and makes funding recommendations to the VVC for grants from both funds.

During 2021–22, Dr Ross Bastiaan chaired the Funding Sub-Committee until 25 March 2022. Mr Daniel Cairnes was appointed as a member of the Funding Sub-Committee on 21 July 2021, and as its Chair from 6 April 2022.

The other members of the Funding Sub-Committee during the year were Mr John McNeill from 17 November 2021, Ms Lucy Saaroni from 23 February 2022, and Ms Jo-Anne O’Brien from 30 June 2022. Wing Commander Sharyn Bolitho was a member until 7 October 2021, and Ms Kim McAliney until 27 October 2021. The Funding Sub-Committee met on two occasions during the year.

Governance Sub-Committee

The Governance Sub-Committee is responsible for ensuring the VVC complies with all financial and legal requirements under the Act 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 2021–22, Mr Bruce Mildenhall chaired the Governance Sub-Committee. Other members of the Governance Sub-Committee during the year were Lieutenant Commander Pelagia Markogiannakis, Mr Ken Tsirigotis and Mr Glen Ferrarotto (from 7 December 2021). 

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

The Office for Veterans within the department provided secretariat support to the VVC and both subcommittees, as well as to the VVC website and ESO Summit working groups.

Audited financial records

The VVC financial results are aggregated into the department’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 on the department’s website.

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. On 1 October 2018, the Minister for Finance approved this application, exempting the VVC on an ongoing basis from compliance with all requirements of the Standing Directions.

Anzac Day Proceeds Fund

Lists approved grants for the ANZAC Day Proceeds Fund 2021-2022.

The ANZAC Day Proceeds Fund receives contributions from sporting events held on ANZAC Day across Victoria. These 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.

In 2021–22, grants totalling $429,510 were approved from the ANZAC Day Proceeds Fund to 26 individual projects, during the financial year ending 30 June 2022. The following table provides details of the grant recipients.

ANZAC Day Proceeds Fund 2021–22 approved grant

Organisation Project Amount
2/14 Battalion Association Inc. 2/14 Battalion Association Newsletter – Comradeship $1,000.00
39th Australian Infantry Battalion (1941–43) Association Inc. The Good Guts Newsletter Project $500.00
Air Force Association – Victoria Newsletters Program $1,600.00
Air Force Association – Victoria Veterans' Welfare Program $5,000.00
Assistance Dogs Australia Financial Support for PTSD Dogs Health and Welfare $10,560.00
Carry On (Victoria) Veteran Welfare & Education Support $50,000.00
Cockatoo Rise War Veterans Retreat Inc. Veterans Support Food Housing $6,000.00
Defence Force Welfare Association Camaraderie Magazine and Branch Supplement Production and Distribution $3,000.00
Guitars For Vets Australia, Auspice Music and The Brain Foundation Ltd G4VA Veteran Lesson Support Program $16,500.00
Kerang Group of Legacy Direct Welfare Assistance $11,000.00
Macedon Ranges Group of Bendigo Legacy Inc. Care of War Widows $3,400.00
Melbourne Legacy Legacy Education, Upskilling and Training Program $50,000.00
Melbourne Legacy Legacy Widows Easing Social Isolation Program $16,250.00
Melbourne Legacy The Answer Newsletter for War Widows $34,721.00
Mornington Peninsula Legacy Club Inc. First Aid Backpacks $288.00
Mornington Peninsula Legacy Club Inc. Publications Project $6,000.00
Returned & Services League of Australia Victorian Branch RSL General Appeals $67,601.00
Soldier On Pathways to Connection $40,000.00
The Legacy Club of Ballarat Inc. 2022 Winter Heating Allowance $18,000.00
The Legacy Club of Bendigo Inc. Heating Allowance for Beneficiaries of Bendigo Legacy $6,110.00
The Trustee for Australian Defence Force Assistance Trust (t/a Bravery Trust) FinWell $45,500.00
Torquay RSL Sub-Branch Member Wellbeing $1,200.00
Totally & Permanently Incapacitated Ex-Servicemen & Women's Association of Victoria Inc. CHINup member magazine/newsletter $27,000.00
Vietnam Veterans and Veterans Motorcycle Club Inc. Medical equipment $2,280.00
Vietnam Veterans Federation Vic Branch Inc. VVF Vic Branch Inc. Welfare $4,800.00
Wimmera Veterans Centre Auspice, Horsham RSL Sub-Branch Inc. Close Ranks – Post Covid $1,200.00

ANZAC Day Proceeds Fund 2021–22 approved grants total

Total ANZAC Day Proceeds Fund: $429,510.00

Victorian Veterans Fund

Lists approved grants for the Victorian Veterans Fund 2021-2022.

The Victorian Veterans Fund was established under the Veterans Act. Revenue for the Community Support Fund (CSF)is collected on a daily basis and distributed toward community services annually. Revenue for the Veterans Fund for one financial year comes from the CSF and is equal to one day’s revenue of the CSF. 

In 2021–22, funding of $50,000 for the Victorian Veterans Sector Study was provided through the Victorian Veterans Fund.

Grants of up to $30,000 (excluding GST) are available for projects honouring or commemorating veterans’ service or educating Victorians about veterans’ contributions. Two funding rounds occur per year. In 2021–22, grants totalling $272,260.64 were approved for 23 projects, distributed under the Victoria Remembers Grant Program during the financial year ending 30 June 2022. The following table provides details of the grant recipients.

Victorian Veterans Fund 2021–22 grant recipients (Victoria Remembers Grant Program)

Round 1, 2021–22 funded projects

Organisation Project Amount
Cohuna/Leitchville RSL Sub-Branch Memorial wall mural $9,313.64
Cretan Federation of Australia and New Zealand Battle of Crete Parade and Commemorative Service $5,000.00
Darwin Defenders 1942–45 Melbourne Branch Commemoration Service for the 80th Anniversary of The Bombing of Darwin $5,793.00
Gelantipy Public Hall Committee Honour Roll $1,750.00
Greater Geelong Creative Incorporated WWII Soldiers Under Sentence – The Geelong Gaol Museum $18,435.00
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee Inc. Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Exhibition Display Panels $6,362.00
Melbourne Legacy 90th Melbourne Legacy ANZAC Commemoration Ceremony for Students $25,000.00
Melbourne's Living Museum of The West Inc. The Logic of Logistics: Supply, Women and the War Effort $27,600.00
Morwell RSL Sub-Branch Saluting their Service Morwell $2,856.00
Mt Macedon Memorial Cross Council for Commemorative Services Inc. 2022 Mt Macedon ANZAC Dawn Service $17,289.00
Oakleigh Carnegie RSL Sub-Branch Honouring, Commemorating, Continuing – our Past, Present and Future $3,245.00
Rupanyup RSL Sub-Branch Conservation of Model Shrine $1,825.00
Seaford RSL Sub-Branch ANZAC Day Commemoration 2022 $11,150.00
Seaworks Foundation Pty Ltd Williamstown Naval Dockyards Permanent Exhibition $11,743.00
Upwey-Belgrave RSL Running Rabbits Military Museum Honouring our Young Veterans display cabinets $5,545.00

Round 2, 2021–22 funded projects

Organisation Project Amount
Australian Nurses Memorial Centre Remembering Vivian Bullwinkel at Devenish Silos $12,420.00
Bahgallah Memorial Hall Committee Incorporated Bahgallah Memorial Hall Centenary $9,120.00
Boer War Association of Victoria Boer War Commemoration Parade and Service $4,480.00
Broadford RSL Sub-Branch Fromelles Memorial Wall $22,008.00
Concongella Primary School Concongella Honour Roll $2,500.00
Crib Point RSL Sub-Branch Crib Point RSL Nursing Statue $21,000.00
Lilydale RSL Sub-Branch Creation of Schools Visit and Community Awareness Program $17,826.00
Shrine of Remembrance Shrine of Remembrance Children's experience of war exhibition $30,000.00

Rounds 1 and 2, 2021–22 funded projects total

Total Victorian Veterans Fund: $272,260.64

Patriotic funds

Provides details about patriotic funds.

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

The VVC is the trustee for six patriotic funds that are administered in accordance with Part 4 of the Veterans Act. 

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

This 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 2021–22, the VVC provided $6,500 to the Albert Coates Memorial Trust to allocate scholarships for rural emergency nursing studies.

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

This fund was first established in August 2006. It provides support for scholarship grants awarded on an annual basis to students undertaking postgraduate studies in care of the older person or palliative care at a recognised university. The VVC administers the funds, which are provided to the Australian Nurses Memorial Centre (ANMC) as the facilitator of the scholarships. In 2021–22, the VVC provided $11,000 to the ANMC for these scholarships.

The War Widows and Widowed Mothers Association Scholarship Fund

This 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. In 2021–22, the VVC approved disbursing $2,000 for these scholarships.

The Victorian Blinded Soldiers’ Welfare Patriotic Fund

This fund was established in April 2013 from funds provided by the Blinded Soldiers’ Association and a letter bequest from the estate of the Late Lucy Adamson. It provides welfare assistance to visually impaired veterans and their dependants, and offers assistance for former ADF 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 Austin Health’s Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital facilitated.

Australian United Ex-Services Association Patriotic Fund

This fund was established in 2015 to provide funding for postgraduate 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 postgraduate students in cognitive processing therapy, with an associated year of supervision.


Words and abbreviations used in this report.

ADF Australian Defence Force
ANMC Australian Nurses Memorial Centre
ANVAM Australian National Veterans Arts Museum
ANZAC Australian and New Zealand Army Corps
CSF Community Support Fund
EDA Extremely Disabled Association
ESO Ex-service organisations
GST Goods and services tax
PTSD Post-traumatic stress disorder
RAN Royal Australian Navy
RMIT Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology
the department Department of Families, Fairness and Housing
VVC Victorian Veterans Council