Veteran Wellbeing Centre

The State Government is reactivating the Repat as a thriving health precinct that delivers on the needs of the community. An essential component of the Repat site activation is the inclusion of services and support for the veterans’ community. Thanks to an additional $5 million in Commonwealth funding, the Repat will be home to a dedicated Veteran Wellbeing Centre.

The Wellbeing Centre will provide a safe and welcoming environment in which veterans and their families can access services and feel confident in seeking the support they need to improve their health and wellbeing.

The development of the Wellbeing Centre will sit within a broader Veterans’ Precinct at the Repat site, ensuring the Repat Chapel, Remembrance Gardens, Museum and SPF Hall are protected and preserved as community assets, acknowledging the history of the Repat.

Through the Wellbeing Centre and broader precinct, the State Government aspires to have a community of veterans and their families having the support they need to live the best possible life, during and beyond service.

The veterans’ mental health precinct located at Glenside Health Service Campus, the Jamie Larcombe Centre and the Partnerships Hub, closely align with the objectives of the Repat Wellbeing Centre in supporting veterans and families. 

Centre Design and Concept Plan

In May 2020, plans were finalised for the $60 million second phase of the Reactivating the Repat redevelopment, including the Veteran Wellbeing Centre, with the landmark project being approved by the Public Works Committee. The Department for Health and Wellbeing has engaged with veterans and the veteran community to develop the concept plans and fit-out specifications for the Centre and broader precinct. 

Veterans wellbeing centre Townsquare Veterans wellbeing centre aerial

It includes consulting rooms for direct service provision to veterans and their families, a welcoming foyer, front desk, an informal lounge area and somewhere to easily seek information and connect with organisations. 

The refurbished SPF Hall will provide veterans and the veteran community with a unique, historically significant and dedicated group meeting space that can accommodate large groups of people for a large range of activities, including presentations, seminars, workshops, group therapy sessions, community development activities and other events. 

A new Town Square in the heart of the Repat Health Precinct will provide a focal point to ensure services at the Repat are connected through a central hub, providing spaces for patients to interact with their families and carers in a park-like environment. The Town Square will include a café, activity hub and inclusive playground in open green spaces for use by veterans and their families, patrons of the Repat Health Precinct and the general public.

Veteran Wellbeing Centre Anchor Tenants

Four well-established veteran organisations have been selected as 'anchor tenants' at the Centre.

  • Plympton Veterans Centre.
  • Open Arms: Veterans & Families Counselling.
  • RSL SA.
  • Soldier On.

These organisations will maintain a structured, ongoing presence at the Centre and have significant experience in delivering essential services including accredited veteran wellbeing and compensation advocacy services; mental health assessment and clinical counselling; employment, education and social connection programs and health and wellbeing services.   

Additional Service Providers

An Expression of Interest (PDF 1MB) was released in December 2020 for other organisations to register their interest in supplying services to veterans and the veteran community, within or in partnership with the Centre.

This could include using the Centre on a casual basis, establishing referral pathways or using the surrounding facilities including the SPF Hall and other Repat Health Precinct assets.

Please note the Expression of Interest remains open for organisations to register their interest as the Veteran Wellbeing Centre develops over the coming year. A response template (PDF 528KB) to assist organisations in participating. Terms and Conditions (PDF 91KB) are provided for information.

Veteran Wellbeing Centre Steering Committee

In consultation with the Veterans’ Health Advisory Council (VHAC), SA Health has established the Veteran Wellbeing Centre Steering Committee (Steering Committee) to provide advice and direction on the development and implementation of the service model, and to support the initial establishment phase of the Centre.

The Chair of the Steering Committee is the Presiding Member of VHAC, Geoff Tattersall, and the Steering Committee membership includes:

  • Deputy Presiding Member of VHAC, Ilona Horan.
  • Director, Veterans SA, Catherine Walsh.
  • Chief Executive Officer, RSL SA, David Grenvold.
  • Administration Manager, Plympton Veterans’ Centre, Bill Hignett.
  • Director, Open Arms Veterans and Families Counselling (Central West), Marcus Schmidt
  • Director, Health Services Programs, Department for Health and Wellbeing, Penny Thyer
  • VHAC Executive Officer, Chris Lemmer

Here are the Terms of Reference (PDF 342KB) for the Steering Committee.

The Steering Committee held its first two meetings on Thursday 16 July 2020 and Thursday 10 September 2020.

Strategic Framework 

The Veteran Wellbeing Centre Steering Committee developed and endorsed a strategic framework for the Centre, which will guide all providers towards a common purpose. 

Vision:  

  • A community of veterans and their families having the support they need to live the best possible life, during and beyond service. 

Mission:  

  • Provide a safe and welcoming environment in which veterans and their families can access services and feel confident in seeking the support they need to improve their health and wellbeing. 

Objectives:  

  • Provide a safe and welcoming environment for veterans and their families.  
  • Provide innovative, timely and coordinated services.  
  • Facilitate greater access to essential health and wellbeing services needed by veterans and their families.  
  • Promote the social and emotional development and wellbeing of veterans and their families.  
  • Build strong partnerships with like-minded organisations. 
  • Strive for continuous improvement.  
  • To honour the service and sacrifice of our veterans and their families. 
  • Evolve over time to provide a sustainable service that can adapt to the changing needs of the veteran community. 

Values:  

  • Inclusive: We are inclusive of all in the veteran community, including current defence force personnel; ex-servicemen and women, their families and the communities that support them.  
  • Integrity: We act with honesty, courage, and openness in all that we do. We take responsibility for all of our actions and for the quality of our services. We honour our obligations to not make false promises and always deliver what we have said that we will deliver.  
  • Excellence: Everything we do and everything we produce is done to the highest standard. We are committed to continuously evaluating and improving upon the delivery of health and wellbeing programs.  
  • Compassionate: We provide a welcoming and safe space free from shame or stigma where we can connect with veterans and the veteran community with empathy, compassion and understanding. 
  • Respect: Dignity and respect is important to us and it is about ensuring our veterans and their families are treated in ways we would like for ourselves. 

Operational Service Model

The draft Operational Service Model (PDF 547KB) for the Centre is a working document which describes the key components required to establish the Centre, including:

  • the engagement process that has and continues to be worked through;
  • an understanding South Australia’s veteran context;
  • building on lessons learned from other initiatives;
  • the proposed building design and concept layout;
  • governance arrangements; and
  • the process for establishing service providers at the Centre.

The draft Operational Service Model will develop and evolve over time as organisations are engaged to provide services.

For more information about the Repat site visit the Reactivating the Repat page.