Wellbeing Centres for veterans and their families

Last updated: 
22 December 2020

What is wellbeing?

Simply put, wellbeing describes how you feel about yourself and your life. Wellbeing is both subjective and objective and includes a complex combination of biological, lifestyle, socioeconomic, societal and environmental factors, which can be influenced by health care, welfare support and other interventions (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2018).

DVA has introduced a Wellbeing Model to help guide our understanding of the life factors that matter most to veterans and their families 

What are Wellbeing Centres?

The 2019 Election Commitment announced a $30 million investment for a network of six Wellbeing Centres. This presents a great opportunity for a national approach which delivers integrated support to veterans and their families from government, business and community partnerships. The role of the Centres will be to leverage complementary service channels (government and non-government), while helping DVA to reach out with core services and support, with a focus on wellbeing.

Where will the Wellbeing Centres be located?

The six Wellbeing Centres will be located in

  1. Townsville
  2. Darwin
  3. Perth 
  4. Adelaide 
  5. Wodonga and
  6. Nowra.

How will the funding be used?

Each Centre will receive $5 million over three years for:

  • capital works projects to construct new buildings or redevelop or enhance existing buildings
  • the provision of space for community partners, ESOs and DVA
  • facilitating the provision of comprehensive, affordable and high quality wellbeing services for veterans and their families. This could include some operational costs if required.

Who can access the Wellbeing Centres and their services?

Current and former serving Australian Defence Force (ADF) members, including reservists, and their families can access the Centres and the services that they offer.

What services will be provided?

Each centre will provide services and support that are based on local needs and opportunities. These services may include, but are not limited to:

  • transition and employment support,
  • ESO advocacy services and social connectedness,
  • physical and mental health services, and
  • client and community engagement.

Outreach services to the wider community may also be provided subject to the location of the Centre and local need.

Is there a cost to access these services?

The services that operate from the Centres will have their own guidelines and therefore will manage their cost arrangements and any charges.

Ongoing sustainability is a key consideration in each of the centres’ operating models.

When will services commence?

The Perth Centre, ANZAC House Veteran Central, is already open and delivering services to veterans and their families. For those Centres that are not yet open, interim services may be provided, and in some cases already are being provided, prior to the completion and opening of the Centre.

The six Centres are expected to be operational by 2022.

Will all the Wellbeing Centres be the same?

No. Each Centre will be run by a lead organisation to ensure that the services and support delivered in their location are based on local need and opportunity. This will be determined through consultation with veterans, their families and the local community. Ongoing evaluation will ensure responsiveness to local needs and priorities.

The Wellbeing Centre Grant Opportunity Guidelines can be found here.

For more information, please email veteranswellbeingcentres [at] dva.gov.au

Tasmanian Feasibility Study

The Department is working with the Tasmanian Government to undertake a Feasibility Study into the potential for an integrated, nationally connected veterans' support service for the state.

This builds on the Federal Government’s $30 million investment in a network of six Wellbeing Centres across the nation.

The study will seek to:

  • collect input via consultation with a broad range of stakeholders – including, but not limited to, veterans and their families, Ex-Service Organisations and advocates, service providers (e.g. mental health workers, physiotherapists, rehabilitation specialists, advocacy services, etc), government stakeholders, and the existing Wellbeing Centre network;
  • identify whether the current health and wellbeing service delivery environment is meeting the needs of veterans and their families in Tasmania;
  • identify the services available to veterans and their families, how each service operates, how and to what extent the services are being accessed and by who with reference to age, gender and geographic location;
  • assess whether, and how, a wellbeing support model could provide long-term benefits to veterans and their families in Tasmania;
  • assess if a potential model could be implemented and operate effectively and efficiently to support the needs of Tasmanian veterans and their families;
  • propose a potential effective, efficient and sustainable implementation approach for any Tasmanian wellbeing support model; and
  • consider the appropriateness of other community sectors such as first responders or others to form part of the wellbeing support model

Following a tender process, Minister Chester announced that the University of Tasmania would lead the feasibility study. The University of Tasmania is consulting with the community until the end of January 2021.

Findings from the study will be used to assist consideration of future directions, through a better understanding of clients' needs and service delivery to veterans and their families.

If you wish to know more about this study and/or complete an online survey prior to the end of January 2021, please visit the University of Tasmania's website or email TasFeasibilityStudy [at] dva.gov.au 

Tasmanian Feasibility Study - Minister Chester's media release 

ACT Feasibility Study

The ACT Government, alongside DVA, is undertaking a joint feasibility study into the potential for a national research centre and tele/digital health hub, to be located in the ACT.

The feasibility study explores the development of an integrated, nationally connected service to support veterans and their families, complementing and enhancing the network of Wellbeing Centres.

The results of the feasibility study should provide an opportunity to enhance mental health research and link services from the ESO and broader support community to veterans and their families.

If you wish to know more about this study please email ACTFeasibilityStudy [at] dva.gov.au