Sup­port for sol­diers

The Gazette (Derwent Valley) - - NEWS - JAMES KITTO

A NEW young vet­er­ans’ re­treat to sup­port sol­diers of re­cent con­flicts is be­ing set up in the Cen­tral High­lands thanks to a $100,000 State Gov­ern­ment grant.

The RSL project at Dago Point will bring to­gether young vet­er­ans who served in Rwanda, Solomon Islands, Iraq, Ti­mor Leste, Afghanistan and Bougainville work to trans­form an ex­ist­ing shack into a fam­ily re­treat.

RSL Tas­ma­nia state pres­i­dent Terry Roe said the re­treat would be a fan­tas­tic ini­tia­tive which paid re­spect to those who have served.

“The project is very im­por­tant as it will bring to­gether young vet­er­ans and hope­fully pro­vide a place to re­lax,” Mr Roe said.

He said the fund­ing was a ma­jor boost for the ini­tia­tive.

“I think it’ll go a long way,” he said.

“Al­ready there’s a lot of plumb­ing work that needs do­ing so that will cost a fair bit, but we’ll con­tinue to seek on­go­ing sup­port.”

Cen­tral High­lands Mayor Lou Trif­fitt said she was thrilled to see Aus­tralia’s first young vet­er­ans’ re­treat set up in the mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

“It’s a fan­tas­tic ini­tia­tive for us,” she said.

“The young vet­er­ans will em­bark on this project to for a place to get away from it all and en­joy some peace and quiet, which I think will be great.

“The coun­cil en­cour­ages and sup­ports this project and will con­tinue to of­fer sup­port go­ing for­ward.”

Barry Quinn, a 15 -year vet­eran who served in Rwanda, is help­ing lead the project and said the re­treat would be val­ued by ex-ser­vice men and women.

“The project is lo­cated next door to a Viet­nam Vet­er­ans re­treat and it’s been great to have their sup­port through the early stages of the ini­tia­tive,” he said.

“The re­treat will be good for the brains of young vet­er­ans. It will help them take their mind off some of the is­sues they’ve faced.”

Mr Quinn said he was work­ing to see the re­treat be made avail­able to po­lice, fire and am­bu­lance of­fi­cers.

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