Veterans join forces in ANZAC partnership

John Forrest and Ken Beven at the Veterans Support Centre Joondalup.
John Forrest and Ken Beven at the Veterans Support Centre Joondalup.

ANZAC spirit is being reflected in a new partnership to support veterans from New Zealand as well as Australia.

The Veterans Support Centre Joondalup has joined forces with a representative for the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services Association (RSA) to help veterans from both countries.

The support centre at Heathridge Community Centre is run by the Joondalup City Returned Services League (RSL) sub-branch, where volunteers help connect former servicemen and women, including first responders, to support services.

Coordinator Ken Beven said the centre opened a year ago to support all veterans and their families and had nine volunteers as well as two advocates and a welfare officer.

A former RSA branch president, John Forrest started volunteering there a few months ago and was recently approached by RSA to be its representative for former servicemen and women from New Zealand now living in Perth.

“We can point them in the right direction if they need a psychologist or if they need assistance,” he said.

Ken Beven and John Forrest raise Australian and New Zealand flags at the Veterans Support Centre Joondalup.

Mr Beven said the partnership would provide moral support as well, with Anzac Day services in both countries already featuring each other’s national anthems.

“When we have our dawn services down at Ocean Reef, there’s a lot of New Zealanders coming along,” he said.

“They sometimes just need somebody to talk to, someone who has done similar things to them.

“Putting the NZ in ANZAC and assisting our brothers from across the ditch who now reside locally will be a win-win for all veterans and their dependants.”

Representatives from the centre will be at a Veterans Health Week barbecue hosted by Quinns Rocks RSL to provide information on services for veterans at the Quinns Rocks Sports Club, Tapping Way, on November 2, from 11am-2pm.

The centre at 16 Sail Terrace, Heathridge is open on Tuesdays from 11am-4pm and Thursdays from 1-6pm.

It provides introductions to other ex-service organisations that provide specific support, does welfare checks and has contact lists for household service providers for Department of Veteran Affairs clients and non-DVA clients.

Email vscjoondalup@hotmail.com, call the 24/7 line 0437 378 498 or join the Veterans Support Centre Joondalup group on Facebook for more information.

Remembrance Day

RSL members will run poppy day collections at shopping centres and train stations across the northern suburbs in the lead up to Remembrance Day on November 11.

Money collected will be shared 50-50 with Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen’s Relief Trust Fund and sub-branch to support the welfare of all veterans and their dependants.

Remembrance Day services will be held in Joondalup, Wanneroo, Quinns Rocks and Yanchep from 10.45am on Monday, November 11:
Joondalup City RSL: Joondalup War Memorial, Central Park, Grand Boulevard.
Naval Association of Australia Perth North: Wanneroo War Memorial, Civic Drive.
Quinns Rocks RSL: Quinns Rocks Sports Club, Tapping Way.
Yanchep-Two Rocks RSL: Yanchep National Park War Memorial, 1 Indian Ocean Drive.