Chairman’s Corner

The Premier of South Australia, the Hon Steven Marshall, MP has certainly hit the ground running as far as the veteran community is concerned in his capacity as Minister for Veterans’ Affairs.

The Minister has been the principal guest at the last four veterans’ events that I have attended.  He officiated the opening of the Partnership Hub at The Jamie Larcombe Centre, the Aboriginal Veterans Commemorative Service, the Bomber Command Commemorative Service and the launch of the ‘World War II in Words’ project.  At all of these events he has spent considerable time talking to members of our community.

On 14 June the Premier attended the Veterans’ Advisory Council meeting, addressing the members and then remaining for a light lunch. The Premier expressed his keen interest in the portfolio that dates back to the service of his paternal grandfather in WWII, and expressed his strong view that Veterans’ Affairs requires a whole of government approach to ensure veterans, their families and carers receive the support they deserve.

In my last edition of the “Chairman’s Corner” I stressed the need to remain in contact with our members.  The Minister is certainly providing an outstanding example we would do well to follow.

On a less pleasant matter, I was recently advised of the considerable damage done to the Anzac Memorial Walk by skateboarders. This included removal of the barriers installed to prevent skateboarding and edging along the garden. The offenders also defecated in the garden area. I am grateful to the Adelaide City Council for their prompt repair work and the incident is currently being investigated.

This is a reminder of how vulnerable the area around the Torrens Parade Ground is with numerous monuments, etc. We must all be vigilant and report any inappropriate acts to the relevant authorities.

I was disappointed by the lack of recipients from the veteran community named in the Queen’s Birthday Awards.  It is the first time I can recall there being no awards to veteran community members in South Australia.

I find it hard to believe that there are none of our members, who contribute so much time and effort to supporting veterans and their families, who warrant recognition.  Although it takes time and effort to prepare submissions to the Honours Secretariat at Government House, Canberra, it means just recognition for those who contribute so much.

Earlier this month, Rob Manton and I had the privilege of meeting with A/Prof Jaklin Eliott of the School of Public Health, who is the Post-Graduate Coordinator of the Graduate program in counselling and psychotherapy. Jaklin is developing a Graduate Diploma in Trauma Counselling, which will include veterans in its target audience.  It will also offer opportunities for members of the veteran community to undertake studies in Trauma Counselling.

For those not familiar with the role of the Partnership Hub at The Jamie Larcombe Centre, I suggest you contact Justin Brown who is the Coordinator. Justin can be contacted on 0418 264 886.

What is happening with the RGH?  While the details of the government’s plans have still to be formally announced, its intent is to make the site a health precinct but will not be a reinvention. I will keep all in our community of developments as they come to hand.