Australian Government Department of Veterans’ Affairs
The Australian Government committed $30 million to establish a network of six Veteran Wellbeing Centres (VWCs) located in Townsville, Perth, Adelaide, Wodonga, Nowra and Darwin, and further expansion of the network is planned. The VWCs will help connect veterans and their families to a range of services including support for transition out of the defence force, employment, health and social connection.
The veteran population comprises over 600,000 people who are currently serving or have previously served in the Australian Defence Force. This is a diverse group, whose health and wellbeing is impacted by a unique combination of military-specific factors and more general life stressors. The experience of military service can also present challenges for veterans’ families.
The VWC network aims to help improve the general health and wellbeing of veterans and their families by providing access to appropriate, integrated, and coordinated services.
Each VWC is expected to provide support or connect to services that are appropriate to the needs of their local community. At a minimum, this is expected to include transition support, mental health support, advocacy, employment support, and access to relevant government services (e.g. housing). Beyond this requirement, the VWCs have considerable flexibility in their approach to service delivery and operations.
Understanding these different approaches, and the degree to which they succeed (or fail) is critical to understanding whether and how the objectives of the VWC program are achieved. The department engaged AHA to develop an evaluation framework which, when implemented, will:
AHA developed the evaluation framework in consultation with key stakeholders including representatives of VWCs and the services they will connect to, and with reference to relevant documentation and data. The framework is a practical and actionable guide to the future evaluation of VWC progress and outcomes.
The department has also engaged AHA to develop an implementation plan, detailing the practical elements of the data collection and storage for the evaluation of the VWCs.
The VWC network aims to help improve the general health and wellbeing of veterans and their families by providing access to appropriate, integrated, and coordinated services - including transition support, mental health support, advocacy, employment support, and access to relevant government services such as housing.