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Published Friday 4 February 2022
Tags:General, Media Release, News Advocacy

Boost for Veterans’ mental health support

Mitchell Shire Council has welcomed a Federal Government investment of $27 million to support the wellbeing of current and former Australian Defence Force personnel and their families.

Minister for Veterans Affairs and Defence Personnel the Hon Andrew Gee MP announced the new national funding stream on Tuesday 1 February.

Minister Gee and outgoing Federal Member for Nicholls the Hon Damian Drum MP met with veterans, Mitchell Shire councillors and staff in Seymour this week to discuss potential local opportunities that would make a difference in the lives of current and former service personnel.

Mitchell Shire Council recognises the need for specialised support for veterans’ physical and mental health in Seymour. This is a vital component of the community-driven vision for the Seymour Community Wellbeing Hub.

The Seymour Community Wellbeing Hub will provide a range of health, mental health, wellbeing and community services.

It will offer a ‘no wrong door’ model that connects each person with the support and assistance they need through onsite and connected service providers.

This project will help address intergenerational disadvantage but requires state and federal funding to make it a reality. Mitchell Council is seeking a commitment of $14 million from the Federal Government and $9 million from the State Government in order to fund the construction of this transformational project.

The Puckapunyal Combined Arms Heritage Learning Centre, also known as the army tank museum was also highlighted as an opportunity to strengthen the military links between Seymour and Puckapunyal, and an important point of connection between Army and the local community.

The Heritage Learning Centre will provide a space for one of Australia’s most significant collections of armoured fighting vehicles and guns to be preserved and accessible for future generations. It will be a major tourist attraction for the region.

Comments from Mayor Cr Bill Chisholm

“It was great to be able to discuss the wellbeing hub and the tank museum with Minister Gee firsthand and to explore potential funding opportunities and partnerships," he said.

"Council’s vision for the Seymour Community Wellbeing Hub will provide crucial support for our veterans’ mental and physical health."

“An integrated health precinct in Seymour will transform the lives of individuals and families across the region and co-locating veterans’ services in this facility will bring many benefits.

“We also spoke about the proposed Puckapunyal Combined Arms Heritage Learning Centre and reinforced the opportunity to showcase one of the most significant tank and artillery collections in the world.

“This will be a tourist attraction of state significance and an important recruitment tool for the Australian Army. Seymour has an extremely rich military history and this centre will provide a focal point for veterans living in the area."

This page was last updated on 4 February 2022.