Phil shows Tania Maxwell MP over the recent redevelopment work at the Retreat.
(Play the Video to hear Tania's call to arms)
We recently received a visit from Tania Maxwell MP, Member for Northern Victoria, who was keen to see our progress first-hand and the vital work the Veterans' Retreat is doing for our Veteran Community. After discussing several key issues confronting our Veterans today, Tania left on a mission to get the Victorian Veterans Minister, Shaun Leane MP, to visit Goorambat and view first-hand the vital support being delivered to Veterans. In the video above, Tania Maxwell introduces the Goorambat Veterans Retreat to the Victorian Parliament. It is heartening to see our Veteran's needs receiving such attention.
On September 1 2022, Ms Maxwell MP also released the following statement to the media:
Last week I visited Goorambat Veterans’ Retreat which does really important work to help defence veterans back into everyday life and keep them safe.
It’s run by former army staff officer and veterans’ welfare advocate Phil Thomson, and Phil is supported by his wife Jo, who runs an associated social enterprise called the Digger’s Wife Cafe.
Since late 2019 a not-for-profit charity has been transforming Goorambat’s old primary school as a retreat for Australian Defence Force veterans and their families.
It offers emergency accommodation and support for those challenged by leaving the ADF or facing personal hardship.
The last census identified 5900 former defence personnel living in Shepparton, Wangaratta, Euroa and Mansfield. But almost 2000 are not connected with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
Among them are those who look to Goorambat for respite, support and recovery.
Some are identified as ‘young’, having left the ADF in the past 22 years, and they include 18 to 24-year-old ex-servicemen who – tragically – risk suicide at twice the rate of Australian men in the same age range.
The Veterans’ Retreat has worked hard to win state and federal grant support.
But demand is high, more is needed, and the hunt for funds is constant, so I invite the Veterans’ Minister Veterans’ to visit the retreat and hear what can be done to help a service that’s so important for those who have served our country.
A Real Retreat