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Hello NSW South Coast!

Veterans and their families living on the South Coast of NSW get ready, VSA has a representative on the ground! 

Thanks to the support of the NSW Government and NSW Office of Sport, we’re excited that Debbie Dimmock started earlier this month in the role of a VSA Veteran Engagement Specialist.  

She’s already bringing to life sporting opportunities in the area. 

Welcome, Debbie 

Debbie’s an Army spouse of 24 years with first-hand insight into all aspects of military life. She and her family have previously enjoyed postings to the UK, the Netherlands and Germany and have now settled in Australia. 

“Sport absolutely saved me whilst holding down the fort and looking after two young kids when my husband, Andi, deployed on back-to-back tours to Afghanistan,” says Debbie.  “Yoga, running, trips to the gym and spin classes gave me time to focus on my own wellbeing and it was great to have some downtime with others in the same boat!” 

Having previously worked with the defence community across a number of different roles, Debbie’s experienced the power of generating and implementing a diverse range of wellbeing initiatives, both locally and nationally. 

Working with the Nowra Veterans’ Wellbeing Centre 

Working with the Nowra Veterans’ Wellbeing Centre run by RSL LifeCare is the perfect way to, together, start making an impact in the community straight away.  

We’re thrilled to be involved. 

There’s a very strong veteran community on the South Coast, including over 2,500 serving members from HMAS Albatross and HMAS Creswell alone. The Centre will provide a central point for veterans and their families to access assistance from government, health services, other ex-service organisations and community groups.   

“We’re very excited to be working collaboratively with VSA and Open Arms in Nowra,” says Nicki Young, GM Veteran Services, RSL LifeCare. “The Nowra Veterans’ Wellbeing Centre will have a focus on the lifetime wellbeing of veterans and their families – a big part of this is social connection and engagement – something VSA does very well in local communities.  

“By working closely with Debbie and the VSA team, we hope to maximise the opportunities and support services available to veterans and their families in Nowra and the surrounding South Coast region.”    

While the Centre is being built, we’re grateful to have the opportunity to be based out the Centre’s interim office in Nowra, alongside our friends from Open Arms. 

Connecting with our community 

Debbie’s already connecting with local veterans and their families to encourage them to improve their health and wellbeing through sport and join thriving local sporting communities.  

Earlier this month she started the work of engaging with local sporting providers, veteran groups and NSW Office of Sport regional staff to increase activity and involvement in organised sport – including volunteering opportunities – for serving and former serving veterans, and their families, living in Nowra and on the South Coast.

Debbie’s looking forward to continuing to connect with many veteran organisations based in the area. 

“The benefits of physical activity and getting involved in organised sporting communities are huge for maintaining a healthy body and improving our mental wellbeing,” says Debbie. “I’ve already started working with some of our sporting partners, including Bowls Australia, the NRL and parkrun, to begin to increase opportunities in the area.” 

Watch this space! 

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