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 August 8th 2014


The Federal Member for Bennelong, John Alexander, has welcomed the restoration of Australian Government funding to assist ex-service organisations continue their important work with the local veteran community.

Mr Alexander said Ryde City & Districts Vietnam Veterans’ Association of Australia (VVAA) would receive $15,760.68 under the restored Building Excellence in Support and Training (BEST) grants program.

BEST grants assist the largely voluntary ESO workforce to help the veteran and defence communities, and their families, access Department of Veterans’ Affairs entitlements and services.

“This funding will help Ryde VVAA to provide advocacy and support for the local veteran community.  I congratulate the VVA team for their ongoing commitment to the veterans of Bennelong,” Mr Alexander said.

Overall 141 organisations will share in a total of nearly $3.8 million (GST exclusive) in funding allocated in BEST Round 16.

Mr Alexander said this round of BEST funding included an additional $1 million reinstated as part of the 2014-2015 Budget.

“The Abbott Government has restored advocacy and support funding for the veteran community which was cut by Labor.  The 2014-15 budget provides an additional $1 million per year to the Building Excellence in Support and Training (BEST) program over the forward estimates. This funding will support the work of veterans’ advocates in helping veterans, war widows and widowers to access important information and services.”

“The additional funding will support the work of veterans’ advocates, welfare and pension officers right across the country and provide them with greater certainty into the future.”

The Government consulted with the ESO community to determine how best to spend the additional money and these changes have been actioned.

BEST grants help ESOs fund a range of veteran support measures including salaries for trained advocates and pension staff, and administrative needs, including essential office supplies such as computer equipment and internet access.

For more information on DVA grants visit or call 133 254 or 1800 555 254 for regional callers.