Open Arms Tasmania and Victoria 40th anniversaries

Throughout May and June 2022, Open Arms Tasmania and Victoria (formerly the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service) hosted events to celebrate the 40th anniversary of providing services to veterans and their families in their states.

The celebrations provided an opportunity to acknowledge the leadership and legacy of Vietnam veterans in ensuring future generations of serving men and women continue to have access to the specialised mental health and wellbeing support they first pioneered in 1982.

Square cake in Open Arms colours and the words: 'Open Arms celebrating 40 years'

Since the first centre opened in Adelaide on 29 January 1982, the then Vietnam Veterans Counselling Service has had several iterations, evolving to meet the needs of emerging cohorts within the Defence and ex-serving communities. In 2007, the service was rebranded the VVCS – Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service to reflect an expansion ofeligibility.

In 2018, VVCS became Open Arms – Veterans and Families Counselling.

Open Arms has been the cornerstone of the Australian Government’s veteran mental health support for 40 years. Open Arms is a nationally accredited mental health service, which provides 24-hour free and confidential counselling to support the mental health and wellbeing of former and current Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel and their families.

The anniversaries also provided an opportunity to celebrate the ongoing commitment of Open Arms clinicians and staff in delivering premier mental health support to veterans and their families in Tasmania and Victoria. The event was attended by members of the ex-service community, local ADF representatives as well as former and current Open Arms employees from across the states.

Future events will be held around the country in the coming months.

Group  of about 20 people posing for camera, wearing Open Arms T-shirts

40th anniversary celebration at Open Arms Tasmania