Limestone Coast Veteran's Services Hub to create first "veteran friendly community"

WELCOME: Laurie Mann is hoping to make the Limestone Coast a
WELCOME: Laurie Mann is hoping to make the Limestone Coast a "veteran friendly" place. PHOTO: File

Creating a veteran friendly society right here in the Limestone Coast is the goal of veterans advocate Laurie Mann.

Mr Mann, who started the Limestone Coast Veteran's Services Hub (LCVSH) in 2019, is running a reach out program to veterans and their families across the South Eastern Region with a dual purpose to find veterans in need of help.

He said the goal is to create a community which is welcoming the all veterans.

"We want to make society more veteran friendly for them and their families," he said.

"We want to make the Limestone Coast the first to become recognised as a veteran friendly society - it's like when you go into a town and you see a big sign that says "we're an RV friendly town'.

His goal is to work with Limestone Coast stakeholders to create opportunities for veterans, including employment.

"We want to change it, but it's not just a matter of putting a sign up, we want the community to work together through the Local Government Association, the business community, the local councils and get all those key players as one and try to get them altogether for a meeting down the track," he said.

"We want to work with councils in the region about how we can make this region more veteran friendly - more services, camping, jobs, and making them feel welcome and a part of the community.

"A lot of these guys come down, they don't settle in, they don't feel like they are part of the community.

"We need something like a mentorship or fellowship to come out and say 'hey, come here, we'll help you out' or get them more involved in the community - have barbecues for them and family days, windsurfing and other activities."

To get started, Mr Mann will be holding it's first regional meeting at Naracoorte RSL, on May 27 at 10.45am and all veterans in the Limestone Coast are invited to attend.

"We want to find them and meet them. There are a lot in the area that are hiding," he said.

"We are trying to put things in place for them, we are not letting them swing or hide.

"We want to make the area more veteran welcome, recognise the talents they've got, understand their issues and help them get some work."

In attendance will also be representatives from RSL South Australia.

Limestone Coast Veteran's Services Hub work alongside Open ARMS and other organisations to assist veterans in financial guidance and support mechanisms as well as mental health support for families.

For more information on the Limestone Coast Veteran's Services Hub or on the meeting phone Laurie Mann on 0411 208 805 or email lvch@internode.on.net

This story Limestone Coast to become a veteran friendly community first appeared on Naracoorte Herald.