Resilience Luncheon 2018

Friday 13 April

Resilience Luncheon 13th of April 2018

A total of $159,000 was raised at the 2nd annual Resilience Luncheon, which will go towards supporting current and former servicemen, servicewomen and their families

In the lead up to ANZAC Day – the Veterans Centre Sydney Northern Beaches and Dee Why RSL Club have held the Resilience Lunch for a second year, knowing that after the success of the Inaugural Lunch it was always going to be a hard act to follow.

However, under the outstanding stewardship of the MC, Mr Ray Martin AM; 300 attendees were able to experience a memorable afternoon of insight, entertainment, sumptuous food, drink and good company.

This year, CEO of Dee Why RSL Club and Centre Director, Grant Easterby addressed the audience and highlighted the progress made because of the support given at last year’s event.

Brig Michael Griffin AM, Chair of the Centre spoke of the pride he felt in joining the organisation, thanking the founders for their vision and emphasising that the Centre has two non-negotiable principles.

“Firstly, a respectful environment; staff, volunteers, clients or visitors treat each other with respect, and secondly, confidentiality must always be protected.”

“Given the upheaval in the ex-service organisations”, Michael went on to state,

“All funds raised will go directly into supporting our veterans community.”

Although the Vice-Regal Patron of the Centre, His Excellency General The Honourable, David Hurley AC DSC (Retired), Governor of NSW and Mrs Hurley were unable to attend this year; they were kind enough to pass on a message of support;

“In thanking the Veterans Centre, Linda and I would also like to thank the local community and service providers for supporting this outstanding model of community service to returned servicemen and women and their families.”

Prince Harry’s Invictus Games are coming to Australia in October 2018, and to promote this outstanding event, Tim Hodgson of Team Invictus Australia showed an inspiring Invictus Games video and explained the ethos of the Games.

“Invictus means unconquerable soul, and the Games show how healthy activity is an effective means to aid rehabilitation of chronic health conditions,” said Tim.

To give the audience further insight into the struggles that injured military personnel face, Ray Martin interviewed Ben Webb, Centre Manager of the Veterans Centre and Adrian Talbot, former Royal Marine Commando and Executive Manager of Homes for Heroes.

Both Ben and Adrian told of their personal struggles with chronic health while in the military, and the subsequent difficult transition back to civilian life.

Ben recalls; “Looking back, I could recognise my descent to a very bad place. Due to the injuries I sustained, I had been living in pain for years. I would hit a low, then recover, hit a lower and longer low, recover, and so on for years. I did this until I was emotionally dead, and a year later I broke – reaching the point of suicide. The recovery took years; however, I am much better and stronger for doing this.”

“My story is common and I see it in many of our clients. Don’t make my mistakes; if you recognise something is wrong – reach out early. A short period of assistance will make you more resilient in the long run. If you hide it for years, it will take years to recover.”

Adrian shared similar personal experiences to Ben and went on to say, “After years and years of Australian’s going to war and returning. We are still not very good at addressing the human needs of the Veteran’s and their families upon their return. As Ben has said if you reach out early you can get the help and the education early so that the issues do not become generational. We have an Amazing community of people and professionals who can assist with the transition back into the Civilian world and with recovery. Get in touch.”

“The Board of Directors and staff of the Centre give their sincere thanks to all the organisations and individuals who provided goods and services, auction and raffle prizes to make this event such a success. We are incredibly grateful”, Michael Griffin, Chair of Veterans Centre.