Community spirit is shown to the Vasey RSL Care community

Community Spirit Towards Our Aussie Veterans

A Message from our CEO for ANZAC Day 2023

24 April 2023


ANZAC Day has a very special place in the hearts and minds of Australians, and of course, our friends across the ditch, the New Zealanders. Many will be visiting ANZAC Cove in Türkiye; many more will be waking early to attend their local dawn service. Our current ADF forces – serving here and all around the world – will be remembering lost comrades. So too will ADF veterans. A sombre day for many.

It is a sign of respect that we to stop and think of all current and past ADF members and especially those men and women who gave their lives in the defence of our country, or on peacekeeping or peacemaking missions.

Lest we forget.


There are over 580,000 veterans in Australia – men and women who have served and have now left the ADF.

For people with no connection to the ex-service community, the word ‘veteran’ can mean an ‘old digger’, a World War I or II veteran, a man in the latter part of life who went to fight for his  country in his youth.

But of course, that is just one part of the veteran community: veterans are all ages, male and female, born in Australia or overseas. When an ADF member leaves the forces, whether they are 65, 45 or 25, they are a veteran.

Unlike our organisation, with our 24×7 commitment to ‘Serve Those Who Served’, on ANZAC Day the Australian public is reminded of the sacrifices these men and women have made, the hardships they’ve suffered, the camaraderie they’ve shown, the losses they’ve experienced and the indelible impact it has had on their lives.

Those of us who have not experienced this can never fully understand what it must feel like. But today, we stop and think about our forces, past and present, we show our respect, we pause and consider how very fortunate we are.

Throughout the year, I see many instances of the ANZAC spirit, so today I’d like to share a few of these with you. They show how much the community does care about our Veterans and how willing they are to help – these extraordinary people remember Australia’s veterans and show them community spirit, not just today, but in practical ways throughout the year:


The Chairman Café in Ivanhoe has a ‘pay it forward’ coffee system with a difference. This is solely for veterans attending the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital and what is unique about the Chairman Café’s initiative is that the giver can write a message of support on the cup for the veteran who receives it.



Young Veterans Australia. Members of the Young Veterans have provided a whole range of assistance to residents in our ex-service accommodation in times of need, whether it’s helping veterans move in or out of their unit, assisting with furniture, providing facemasks, white goods for our community halls and more. A wonderful group of supportive people.



Knee rugs from Knit4Charity: members responded to a request from one of our residents at our Frankston South Ex-Service Accommodation with a delivery of beautifully hand knitted and crocheted rugs to keep residents warm. This group sent rugs for Frankston South residential aged care and ESA residents last year and we have now received another delivery to go to our Brighton aged care residents.



Coles Supporting the Bravery Trust: while this is focused around ANZAC Day, it is a great way to engage the wider community in supporting veterans. Coles Bakery is donating 50c from every pack of Coles Bakery ANZAC Biscuits and 12-packs of bakery biscuits or cookies bought from 20 to 25 April, to the Bravery Trust. This is something we can all get behind with very little effort! Funds raised allow the Bravery Trust to support veterans and their families.



I couldn’t finish this message without mentioning a very important way that this same community spirit has been demonstrated these last few months: as we work towards making The V Centre Veteran Empowerment Program a reality, we have called on you, our extended ‘family’, to write to your local and federal MPs to express your support for The V Centre. And we have been thrilled with the response. Thank you.

As the May Federal budget closes in, we continue to work to convince Federal Government to partner with us and help reduce the terrible statistics around veteran homelessness and suicide.

While it’s vital to remember all veterans this ANZAC Day, those who are homeless and hopeless need more than simply being remembered, and we greatly hope to see this same support and ANZAC Spirit in supporting our intiaitve, from the Australian government.

ANZAC Day reminds us of the debt of gratitude we owe to all who serve. As this day of commemoration comes and goes, please think about how you can help maintain the community spirit towards our veterans, not just today, but each and every day. 


Janna Voloshin

CEO, Vasey RSL Care