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27 Jul 2021

Funding for Fleurieu Peninsula veterans groups | Victor Harbor Times

Jack Manning | Victor Harbor Times

Two Fleurieu Peninsula veterans groups will benefit from more than $18,000 in government funding to support important services for veterans and their families.

As part of the federal government's Veteran and Community Grants Program, the Strathalbyn RSL Sub Branch and South Coast Veterans Association have each received more than $15,000 and $3000 respectively.

Senator for South Australia Andrew McLachlan said the funds would allow the veterans groups to continue delivering crucial support services.

"I have seen firsthand the incredible difference that both these local organisations make to the lives of so many residing in the Strathalbyn and Victor Harbor communities," Senator McLachlan said.

"That is why I am so pleased these organisations have received government funding to continue offering programs which deliver real results for veterans and their families."

Strathalbyn RSL Sub Branch president Cate Goodall said the $15,000 grant would support the organisation to develop an equine therapy program.

"We were absolutely gobsmacked, it was so exciting to receive this funding," Ms Goodall said.

"It's been so evident that there is a place in the community for doing something different and from an RSL perspective, for the future we need to be relevant to society.

"We think this is an avenue that might start some different conversations."

The idea for an equine therapy program came about following Ms Goodhall's work with clinical psychologist Diana Gibbs-Ludbrook on a 'pony program' in Murray Bridge.

"It made us think that this would be an avenue to engage veterans and their families and have them come along and enjoy a simple activity as part of a fun day out," Ms Goodall said.

"It will be a fun afternoon run across several sessions conducted at the Strathalbyn football ground."

The program will be specifically tailored to veterans and their wider families and is expected to launch later this year.

Utilising their $3000 grant, the South Coast Veterans Association (SCVA) has purchased a transportable defibrillator to support the group when they are working within the community and running veterans trips.

SCVA Chairman Reg Bichel said the defibrillator would be used in a variety of settings.

"It will be great to have this defib when we go away as a group and we will certainly take it along with us to fundraising and community events when we are out and about," he said.

"The main reason we looked at getting this was the average age of our group members and we thought it was an important thing to have. We were very happy to receive this grant."

As part of the latest round of the Veteran and Community Grants program, $2.4 million was awarded to veterans groups across Australia.

"Congratulations to the successful applicants and I thank each and every member of these organisations for the dedication and care they show to the veteran community," Senator McLachlan said.

For more information on the Veteran and Community Grants program, visit the Department of Veterans' Affairs website or the Community Grants Hub.

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