Message from our CEO – Autumn 2024

Our 20th Birthday Year

In July, Vasey RSL Care reaches 20 years since it was formed, when Vasey Housing Victoria and RSL Care Victoria merged.

It is important to bear in mind that our founders were not afraid to make changes as the needs of their communities changed, and in these past two decades, we have experienced major shifts in the needs of the veteran community. Changing our services to respond to need is essential and much is happening.

The V Centre is Open

Our first two V Centre Veteran Empowerment Program participants arrived at the beginning of February and since then, we have welcomed four more, with others joining us this month.

Our Official Opening took place on 21 February and we were very pleased that The Hon Matt Keogh MP, Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel agreed to be here. Sadly, he was called away at the last minute. Even so, we were honoured to have Federal Member for Jagajaga Kate Thwaites MP who represented Minister Keogh on the day, as well as State Minister for Veterans, Natalie Suleyman, and State Shadow Minister for Veterans, Tim Bull.

We had many honoured guests and supporters – too many to mention – helping us celebrate this important milestone. It has been a long time in development and we are all so pleased to finally be welcoming veterans to experience this innovative Program.

Our V Centre Program Manager, Debra Fraser has reported that the ex-service community has been wonderfully responsive to requests for support in these early days, and I will mention Open Arms who are basing themselves at The V Centre every week in the new office suite: if your organisation would like to do the same, get in touch with V Centre Program Manager, Debra Fraser.

The ‘Veteran Community Partnership Interactive Resource Centre’, or VCPIRC is now up and running and if you have veteran-specific services that you’d like to make available to V Centre participants, again, just get in touch with Deb.

Our New Look

We are undergoing a brand evolution – and our next eNews will have a great new look! Our new website is already launched and if you haven’t visited in a while, please take a look, and feel free to provide your feedback.

It is a considerable project to update our stationery, brochures, signage, uniforms and so on, and to avoid being wasteful, items will be updated as old versions run out, so you will notice a gradual changeover during the coming months.

Serving History with Love…

In our 20th year, we are putting together a recipe book that focuses on recipes that have special meaning in the lives of our community members together with the stories behind them.

To be called ‘Serving History with Love: a Vasey RSL Culinary Journey’, our goal is to raise funds through its sales for The V Centre. See page 5 for details.

 

Progress Towards Our Goals

Within the organisation, there is a great deal going on. Our digital transformation is progressing, our advocacy for government funding continues, and our residential homes are preparing for the next round of flu and COVID-19 vaccinations as well as Advance Care Planning week (18-24 March) – and that’s just a small selection of the many activities.

Whilst very busy, these are exciting times and there is a great sense of energy and progress towards our goals to support veterans and their families.

 

Passing of Dr James Breheny OAM

In January, we received the sad news that past Board Member, and founding Chair of Vasey RSL Care, Jim Breheny passed away, aged 90.

Jim was committed to the Mission of the organisation, and after stepping down from the Board, he stayed on as a company member until just 18 months ago. Even since then, he has maintained his interest in what we are doing and I’ve personally received messages of support from him in response to our news updates and my CEO reports. Rest in peace Jim.

Janna Voloshin,

Chief Executive Officer