Andrew Russell Veteran Living Officially Opened

February 16, 2002, South Australian born SAS soldier Sergeant Andrew Russell was killed in action while on patrol in Afghanistan, as a result of the long range patrol vehicle that he was travelling in striking a suspected anti-vehicle mine.

On Friday 16 February, 2018, 16 years after his death, Andrew’s parents Bob and Jan Russell officially opened the RSL Care SA Andrew Russell Veteran Living facility in Sturt.  Mr and Mrs Russell unveiled a memorial plaque commemorating the service of their son, funded via a grant through Veterans SA, which now sits proudly at the front of the units.

RSL Care SA’s Andrew Russell Veteran Living program assists veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness with transit accommodation.  Since its inception, the program has provided nearly 6,000 nights of accommodation to veterans and their families.

The 10 unit block at Sturt was fitted out with furniture and utensils by a Supporting Younger Veterans Grant from the Commonwealth Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

Following the official opening a function was held at the Marion RSL, attended by approximately 60 guests from the veteran community, Members of Parliament and senior representatives from the Navy, Army, and Air Force.

The Andrew Russell Veteran Living program has developed referral pathways into the program from The Jamie Larcombe Centre, a range of community service providers, other ex-service organisations and word of mouth. When RSL Care SA receives a referral, Program Manager, Ben Challinor, makes contact with the participant and meets with them to discuss their needs.

The program is open to those who are:

  • war veterans
  • ex-service personnel
  • homeless or at risk of being homeless, or otherwise in need of temporary accommodation
  • willing to continue medical and psychological treatment as advised by practitioners
  • willing to participate in individual and peer-support activities
  • seeking a fresh start.

Where appropriate, Ben supports veterans into the Andrew Russell Veteran Living emergency accommodation and assists them to link with support services that may assist with the veteran’s circumstances of homelessness. These services include medical, financial, employment and social services.

Congratulations to Nathan Klinge, CEO – RSL Care SA, and his team on their hard work to make the Andrew Russell Veteran Living Sturt campus a reality.