Funding boost for Manly-Lota RSL Sub-Branch to support local veterans

Manly-Lota RSL Sub-Branch in Bonner have been awarded $23,609 from the Morrison Government to support local veterans and their families.

They are among 127 ex-service organisations (ESOs) sharing in $4.35 million through the 2021 round of the Building Excellence in Support and Training (BEST) Program.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said that ESOs in Bonner play a crucial role for local veterans and their families, ensuring they are well supported.

“I would like to thank all ESOs that provide advocacy services in Bonner who continue to provide vital services to our local veteran community,” Mr Vasta said.

“Manly Lota RSL Sub-Branch has been providing a respectful, supportive and inclusive space for our veterans for decades. They are dedicated to keeping the memory of Anzac Day, Vietnam Veterans Day, and Remembrance Day alive for generations to come.

“Currently, they are managing over 250 veterans’ cases, meaning a key focus of their work is staying up to date with matters of interest to veterans and the broader community.

“This funding is critical to supporting this; equipping the branch with the technology to research cases, ensuring software is up to date as well as the contacting of veterans and ongoing administration.

“It will also extend into making sure the branch can continue to host meaningful community events like morning teas, Remembrance Day ceremonies and various occasions where they can reach out to veterans.

“It will not only make an invaluable difference to the branch, but also to its members and our community.”

Manly-Lota RSL Sub-Branch Advocate Mark Gallagher said, “Thank you to the Morrison Government for their significant contribution to our branch.”

“It will make possible our day-to-day work to deliver veterans the support they need and deserve to get on with their lives.”

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel Andrew Gee said the BEST Program assists ESOs across the country to deliver the highest quality services.

“This additional funding will help these groups provide veterans even greater transition support, assistance with claims and entitlements, and access to services such as rehabilitation and wellbeing programs,” Minister Gee said.

“It will make a real difference to those on the ground, providing critical support and resources for veterans in Bonner.

“This year has been tough for many and this funding boost is a clear commitment of the Australian Government’s ongoing support for our ESOs and the local veteran community.”

To apply for future rounds of the BEST Program or for further information, including a full list of successful recipients, visit the Community Grants Hub website


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Grants open for ex-service organisations

EX-SERVICE organisations (ESOs) who help veterans and their families are invited to apply for the 2021 Building Excellence in Support and Training (BEST) grants program which is now open.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said ESOs across the country delivered extensive services to veterans and their families including leisure activities, transition support, assisting with claims, rehabilitation and wellbeing programs and hosting many commemorative events and activities.

“I encourage ESOs in Bonner to apply as the services they provide are highly valued by the ex-service community,” Mr Vasta said.

“BEST grants help ESOs provide vital advocacy services for current and former serving men and women, helping with their compensation claims and ensuring they get access to their entitlements and services.

“The services provided by ESOs can help veterans and their families access local support and resources, empowering them to improve their health and wellbeing, stay well, age well and engage in a full life.”

Applications for the grants are now open online, with advocacy service providers encouraged to submit their application before the closing date of 14 April 2021.

“A BEST grant can help contribute towards paying the salary costs of administrative assistants and advocates, and any equipment they might need to deliver their services,” Mr Vasta said.

“I encourage all ESOs that provide advocacy services to apply for a BEST grant.”

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs offers a range of grant programs to assist with providing support to veterans and their families.

To apply for a grant or for further information on BEST grants visit the Community Grants Hub website

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Funding available to support events during Veterans’ Health Week

Funding is now available for Ex-Service Organisations and other local community groups to host an event during Veterans’ Health Week this year to encourage veterans and their families to stay connected.

Veterans’ Health Week will be held from 24 October to 1 November 2020 and the theme is Social Connection.

Local community and ex-service organisations can apply for $720 in funding to support their local veteran community with a creative social activity, within their local restrictions.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said the funding would help veterans to stay socially connected with their community through innovative event ideas such as meditation or yoga sessions, local catch-ups and creative workshops, all in-person or virtually.

“I encourage local organisations in Bonner to apply and host a Veterans’ Health Week event so we can keep our community spirits high while we face the coronavirus pandemic,” Mr Vasta said.

“From fitness challenges to zoom catch-ups or even a COVID Safe catch-up, there’s many ways we can still connect and support each other.”

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester said the global coronavirus pandemic had made it difficult for many people to physically see each other and finding ways to socially connect with one another was now more important than ever, particularly for the ex-service community.

“Social connection is one of the most important aspects for your mental health and wellbeing, and as part of Veterans’ Health Week this year we are encouraging those in the ex-service community to remain socially connected, with family, friends and local community,” Mr Chester said.

“This year we invite our local organisations to come up with more innovative ideas for hosting events and create new opportunities to connect, either in person where possible or virtually.”

For more information on Veterans’ Health Week visit the Veterans’ Health Week page on the DVA website.

You can also call 1800 VETERAN (1800 838 372) or email

Applications for funding close 9 October 2020.

Applicants must be aware of local state or territory Coronavirus restrictions that are in place and ensure their event is following all Coronavirus guidelines.

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Honouring those who served in the Vietnam War

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP joined members and veterans of the Manly-Lota RSL Sub-Branch for the annual Vietnam Veterans Day Service to commemorate the anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan.

Mr Vasta said today was about reflecting on the service and sacrifice of those who served during one of the longest military engagement of the 20th Century, the Vietnam War.

“Across two decades between 1962 and 1975, almost 60,000 Australians served during the Vietnam War, sometimes fighting in extreme conditions, often with poor visibility,” Mr Vasta said.

“Each year on Vietnam Veterans’ Day, Australia remembers all those who served in the Vietnam War, including the more than 500 Australians who lost their lives.”Mr Vasta said the service was a private occasion with invited guests only to keep in line with COVID-19 restrictions.

“However, while the wider community could not be part of it, I know they were with us in spirit,” Mr Vasta said.

“Even with our younger generation with the bugle player Lewis Campbell joining us from Moreton Bay Boy’s College to deliver The Last Post.”

Mr Vasta said the Battle of Long Tan on the 18th of August 1966, was one of the fiercest battles fought by Australian soldiers in the Vietnam War, and saw 18 Australians killed and 25 wounded.

“Today we also acknowledge and honour the Vietnam veterans who have lost their lives in the years since they returned and those who still carry the physical and emotional scars of their service and the families that have supported them.”

The Australian War Memorial will hold a Last Post Ceremony at 4:55pm AEST today, 18 August 2020, to commemorate Vietnam Veterans’ Day and the anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan.

To find out more about Vietnam Veterans’ Day, the Vietnam War and the Battle of Long Tan, please visit the Anzac Portal website.

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Commemorative medallion’s for Bonner’s WWII Veterans

A special commemorative medallion marking the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War on August 15 is now available to every living Second World War veteran to say ‘thank you for your service’.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said his electorate had a rich Second World War history and he was proud to support veterans from this remarkable generation.

“While more than one million Australian men and women fought during the Second World War campaigns, incredibly around 12,000 veterans who served are still with us today,” Mr Vasta said.

“These brave Australians served our nation in the far corners of the world, fighting in theatres of war from Europe to North Africa, the Mediterranean and the Middle East, to Asia and the Pacific, with the conflict also reaching Australian shores,” Mr Vasta said.

“Australia can never fully repay the debt we owe these amazing men and women but, to mark their service, the Federal Government is producing this Commemorative Medallion and Certificate of Commemoration for the remaining living Second World War veterans.

“I encourage all veterans, or their family members on their behalf, to apply to receive a medallion and certificate as a special thank you from a grateful nation for all they have done.”

Second World War veterans, or their families on their behalf, can apply online at or, for those without internet access, by phone on 02 61918217 during business hours.

The Commemorative Medallions and Certificates will be distributed during August.

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Manly Lota RSL awarded BEST Grant

Manly-Lota RSL Sub-branch has received a $23,000 Building Excellence in Support Training (BEST) grant to help provide advocacy services to veterans and their families in the Bonner community.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said the local RSL was one of 164 recipients across Australia to benefit from this grant program.

“Ex-Service Organisations and veteran groups play a crucial role in supporting the health and welfare of the veteran community,” Mr Vasta said.

“The BEST grants program provides these groups with an opportunity to expand on their services to further support veterans and their families.

“I’d like to congratulate the team at Manly-Lota RSL Sub-Branch who continually support veterans and their families to access the assistance and services they need, and I encourage veterans in our community to reach out to them.”

The BEST grants program funds a range of essential support measures from Ex Service Organisations (ESOs), advocates and welfare practitioners who continue to provide advice and assistance to the veteran and defence community. This round of BEST saw $4.2 million provided nationally to support organisations.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester said staying connected with local ESOs and other veteran groups providing advocacy services was vital to ensure our veteran community received the support they needed.

“These organisations complement the support provided by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and show just how deeply the community is committed to putting veterans and their families first,” Minister Chester said.

“At this time more than ever, advocacy services through ESOs can help our veterans and their families with their claims, entitlements and other services.”

For more information on BEST grants visit the grants page on the Department of Veterans’ Affairs website at

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Bonner  veterans and their families will benefit from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs’ (DVA) Building Excellence in Support and Training (BEST) grants program.

Federal Member, Ross Vasta MP said this funding will help Bonner  ex‑service and community organisations to continue to put veterans and their families first.

“It is through the dedication and hard work of ex-service and community organisations that veterans and their families receive services, support and opportunities allowing them to continue active roles in their local communities,” Mr Vasta said.

“I congratulate the Manly-Lota RSL for receiving a $24,207.75 grant through DVA’s Building Excellence in Support and Training grants program.

The Manly-Lota RSL have provided continued to support to our veterans and their families through their programs.”

MR Vasta said that ex‑service and community organisations, veteran groups and private organisations play a crucial role in supporting the health and welfare of the veteran community.

“Thank you to these organisations for provide support to our veterans and their families when it is most needed.

“The Government will continue to support veterans and their families by providing more than $4 million to 139 projects across the country.”

For more information on BEST grants visit the grants page on the Department of Veterans’ Affairs website (

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Local ex-service organisations can now apply for Building Excellence in Support and Training (BEST) grants and Grants-in-Aid, Federal Member for Bonner, Ross Vasta said today.

“These grants help ex-service organisations provide vital advocacy services for current and former serving men and women which help veterans with their compensation claims and also ensure they get correct access to entitlements and services,” Mr Vasta said.

“More than $4 million in over 155 grants have been provided to ex-service organisations supporting veterans under these programs in 2017-18 and I encourage all ex-service organisations to apply for this round of grant funding.”

Applications for both grant programs close on Thursday, 19 April 2018 with payments to the successful applicants to be made before the end of 2018-19 financial year.

“Organisations needing assistance with online lodgement are encouraged to seek help through the Community Grants Hub,” Mr Vasta said.

“If you think you may need help with your application please call or email the Hub as soon as possible to ask for help. This will ensure any issues can be worked through in time for your application to be considered for funding.”

For information about how to apply for grants online, see the Community Grants Hub website: or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs website:

Support is available by phone: 1800 020 283 or by email:

To receive an email alert when veteran and other community grants are open for applications on the Hub, visit

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