Monday, 22 May 2017
Last week I was honoured to host the Prime Minister and the Minister for Veterans Affairs at the Colonel Light Gardens RSL in my electorate of Boothby.
The Prime Minister, minister and I met with veterans, families and support groups to discuss our $350 million commitment to supporting our returned servicemen and women by modernising departmental systems to reduce claim wait times, extending treatment for mental health conditions, introducing new DVA gold card categories and providing further funding to commemorate the Centenary of ANZAC. Both the Colonel Light Gardens RSL and the adjoining Colonel Light Gardens Primary School are Centenary of Anzac grant recipients. The school principal, Rick Bennallack, with students Kiana and Callum, presented their Anzac commemoration DVD to the Prime Minister and minister.
We were also joined by my other local RSLs, including Mitcham, Marion, Brighton and Blackwood, the RAAF Association of Mitcham and the Vietnam Veterans' Federation. These wonderful organisations, along with other groups in attendance, including the Plympton Glenelg RSL, Payneham RSL, the Partners of Veterans Association, The War Widows' Guild, Veterans SA, Legacy, the TPI Association, the Defence Force Welfare Association and Soldier On, do so much to support our veterans and their families.
Special thanks must go to the Colonel Light Gardens RSL's President, Hank Dirksen, the women's auxiliary and Pastor Matt Lehmann of Trinity Inner South church for hosting us. Together we support, honour and remember those who have served, those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our nation, and their families.