Hubdate July 2019
The Partnerships Hub, Jamie Larcombe Centre, has gone from strength to strength over the past 15 months with more than 2,500 visits, more than 50% of which were from veterans and family members. We have received incredible support from the veteran community and the organisations and individuals who support them, which has led to some great improvements in the facility and resources we provide.
The connections we have made with supporting businesses and ex-service organisations are now paying dividends in terms of real support for our former serving men and women. Amongst the services that we are now able to provide directly from the Hub are financial counselling, legal services, advocacy and social welfare, respite, dieticians, homelessness and housing, Justice of the Peace and many more.
Our regular activities include art classes run by The Veterans Easel (Thursday mornings from 0900-1200), a creative writing group that meets monthly and regular computer literacy sessions will be returning soon. We are always happy to hear from veterans and their families with program or activity suggestions for the Hub, so send us your ideas and we will see what we can do.
We are working closely with employment support programs and businesses such as Story Right, Flinders University and On Me Careers Australia to ensure our veterans are given the best opportunity to transition effectively and secure meaningful employment. The formal launch of the Premier’s Veterans Employment initiative signals a call to action for employers to get behind our former serving men and women by tapping into the significant skills and experience they have gained throughout their careers in the ADF.
Our most recent initiative is the formation of a group of supporting organisations and individuals who will work together to support veterans leaving custodial sentences to ensure they have the support they need to get back on their feet. The “Veteran Release Support Program” includes a number of key individuals including Chris Tilley, a former Infantry soldier who now works in the Department for Correctional Services. Chris has taken it upon himself to research the number of veterans currently in custody and to form a veteran support group within the prison system. This group will have access to support organisations before they are released to ensure that they are connected to the services and support they need. This includes RSL Care SA’s Andrew Russell Veteran Living veteran homelessness program located in Sturt.
For those of you who know Ian “Patch” Campbell, you will be aware that he has been working with incarcerated veterans for more than two decades and has inspired these key stakeholders to create a formal alliance for this important cause. I was shocked to learn that there are more than 97 veterans currently undergoing custodial sentences in South Australia’s prisons and we believe that there should be support for them when their sentences are complete.
On the social front we have resurrected the charity formerly known as the Friends of the Repat, which is now known as the Friends of the Veterans Association or FOVA. This volunteer charity will provide a fundraising platform through which the organisation can provide financial support for unbudgeted improvements to both the Jamie Larcombe Centre and the Partnerships Hub. We have already provided funding to support the Trauma Recovery program being run by the JLC and we are in the process of identifying some suitable bench seats to be located in the waiting area outside the main reception office.
If you would like to donate to the charity you can do this through the Hub and we will keep you informed as to where the money is being spent.
Keep your eyes open for this logo:
A current FOVA project of particular note is the provision of clothing care packs for veterans who may be admitted to the JLC at short notice or are at risk of homelessness. The packs will consist of the basic items of clothing necessary to maintain a level of comfort for a short period and allow the veteran to maintain basic health and fitness by providing sportswear. These packs will complement the toiletries packs already being provided by Heroes on the Home Front (HOTH) who have teamed up with the Young Veterans group in Victoria to source and supply basic toiletries for the same purpose.
So as you can see we have been busy and all indications are that we will get busier. To keep up to date with information and updates about the Hub, please like and follow our Facebook page “Partnerships Hub Jamie Larcombe Centre” and keep an eye out for these updates in the Veterans SA monthly e-News.
If you require access to any of the support services available at the Hub, or simply need contact details for other supporting organisations, make sure you contact me on 0418 264 886 or email me at Justin.Brown2@sa.gov.au.
Partnerships Hub Coordinator