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RSLWA PROCEEDS WITH ANZAC DAY CONTINGENCY PLANNING

The Returned & Services League of Australia WA Branch (RSLWA) is actively preparing for ANZAC Day events for Monday April 25 while acknowledging that plans could change due to public health advice.

Following advice from the Department of Health, RSLWA is planning to deliver a scaled down Dawn Service at Kings Park but will still plan for a full ANZAC Day Parade through the Perth CBD and a scaled down Commemorative Service in the Perth Concert Hall.

RSLWA CEO John McCourt said final arrangements for ANZAC Day would depend on health advice closer to April 25 and the level of public health and social measures in place at that time.

“Right now all of WA is under Level 2 measures. Should this remain as we near ANZAC Day then the CBD Parade would not be able to proceed as Level 2 restricts events to no more than 500 persons,” Mr McCourt said.

Mr McCourt said the COVID pandemic has meant a lot of uncertainty but RSLWA will do its best to ensure commemoration in some form is observed on ANZAC Day.

“After two years without any ANZAC Day events in Perth, many in the community are eager to see the events proceed. Unfortunately, with the increasing cases of COVID, we have to put the health and safety of our Veterans and the public first.”

With this in mind, the Dawn Service at Kings Park will be by invitation only and held within the area that is traditionally enclosed with seating socially distanced.

The Service will be broadcast live throughout Perth and regional areas in partnership with Radio 94.5 and Radio Triple M. For those unable to tune in, RSLWA is planning to have a pre-recorded Commemorative Service on its website for people to download and use for their own Driveways at Dawn services.

Mr McCourt said the home-based Driveways Dawn Service across the State had strong support in the past two years with families gathering at the end of their driveways, on balconies and at the farm gate to pay their respects.

The traditional Gunfire Breakfast in the Government House gardens and the CBD Parade are both outdoor events and are being planned to proceed, with physical distancing and mask wearing in place. Once again, this may change due to the level of COVID restrictions ahead of ANZAC Day.

As in 2021, RSLWA will be encouraging people to only come to the parade if they have someone marching and we’ll be encouraging others to stay home and enjoy the live telecast.

The Perth Concert Hall Commemorative Service will also be restricted even if WA is not limited to Level 2 restrictions. Limitations in attendance will reflect the need of physical distancing and proof of vaccination.

Media Release: Grants Open for our Veteran Community

The 2021-22 rounds of the Veteran and Community Grants and Supporting Younger Veterans Grants are now open for applications.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel Andrew Gee said the grants deliver valuable funding to local community organisations providing activities and services that support the wellbeing of veterans and their families.

“Recent grant funding has gone to a wide variety of support programs including wellness weekends and care packages for Defence members, fishing and sporting activities and even off-road racing,” Minister Gee said.

“I recently had the opportunity to catch some waves with veterans from previous grant recipient, the Veteran Surf Project at Gerroa in New South Wales, and saw firsthand the truly remarkable positive impact it’s having for local veterans.

“Their program brings veterans together, gets them talking, gets them active and gives them something to look forward to each week. It can be literally life changing for some of those who participate.

“With this latest round of funding, I hope we can support many more groups like this.

“We want to see applications for practical projects and activities that support safe, accessible environments for veterans and their families to enable social connections and improve wellbeing.

“These grants will help improve and expand existing services, build capacity for future projects, and raise awareness of the issues facing local veterans.

“I meet regularly with many ex-service organisations and have enormous respect for the critical role they play in providing mateship, advocacy and support.”

Grants of up to $50,000 are available for local, community-based projects and activities. A small number of grants of up to $150,000 are also available for projects that deliver wellbeing support services and activities of broad scale benefit to the veteran community.

The Australian Government is investing $32 million this financial year alone in grant programs to help the many groups that provide complementary services to our veterans.

The 2021-22 grants rounds are now open online through the Community Grants Hub and close 20 January 2022. For information about how to apply for grants online, see the Community Grants Hub website: www.communitygrants.gov.au.    

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