Nowra Veterans Wellbeing Centre

Working With Service and Ex-Service Families to Improve Their Wellbeing

RSL NSW and DVA have worked together to establish the Nowra Veterans Wellbeing Centre (Nowra VWC). The Centre provides local DefenceCare and referral services through RSL LifeCare in partnership with RSL Sub-Branches and other ex-service organisations. The Nowra RSL Sub Branch provided key support to the Project in its development phase, and continues to work with the Nowra VWC to support serving members, Veterans, and family members of the Defence community.


The Centre provides a veteran-centric community focused program offering a variety of wellbeing services for veterans and their families based in Nowra, Shoalhaven, New South Wales. To contact the centre call 4428 5777 or email

The Centre is currently operating out of a temporary location in the Nowra CBD. Their permanent centre is currently under construction at 124 Wallace St in Nowra. Visit their web site at for more details.


RSL LifeCare Veteran Services achievements in the last financial year.
Between July 2021 and June 2022, RSL LifeCare Veteran Services was able to:
• Provide $825,872 in financial assistance including $485,000 in disaster assistance.
• Assist 177 veterans experiencing homelessness.
• Help 944 veterans to lodge 3106 DVA claims.
• Facilitate 57 veterans or partners receiving employment assistance.
• Make 231 virtual or socially distanced visits to veterans and family members at homes, hospitals or nursing homes.
• Lodge 188 new VRB appeals, complete 276 Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mediation discussions and represent 39 full VRB Board Hearings.
• Guide 60 veterans through horse handling and riding courses.
Our efforts are proudly supported by funds from RSL NSW and RSL sub-Branches, and the services we provide would not be possible without the generous support of donors.

The Accountability For Families Group (AFFG) is a Nowra Veterans Wellbeing Centre (Nowra VWC) initiative to provide a focus on the needs of families in the Defence community. This initiative is being pursued in recognition that there is a disconnect and lack of representation for families of current and former serving Defence members when accessing information, services and assistance.

A workshop was conducted by the VWC on the 29th June 2022 to provide information to Defence families and call for participants to form the AFFG. Several representatives from service groups and current families attended the first meeting of the AFFG on 27th July.

The primary aim of the AFFG is to ensure the Nowra VWC is a consistent source of support for family members of serving personnel and Veterans. This includes but is not limited to:

  • service provision
  • referral pathways,
  • communication,
  • social connection, and
  • consistent and accurate information.

Terms of Reference and Governance arrangements are currently being formulated. One of the first decisions of the group was to establish a presence on the internet hence this web site provided courtesy of the Nowra RSL Sub-Branch. News of further developments will be provided here as they progress so stay tuned!

To contact the AFFG or find out more email us on

25Aug22: At the second meeting of the AFFG held on the 15 August the foundation documents for the conduct of the Group were established and Rowena Kellett was elected Chair of the Group and Robert Grant elected as Secretary. The Group intends to meet monthly with several activities already in the pipeline. More to come!

7Dec22: An update from the AFFG. The preparatory work for the AFFG has been completed and we are getting down to business. We have seen additional valuable members join the group and work is under way to get to know the needs of Defence families in our community in greater detail. In the meantime a list of resources is included below as a starting point for finding information and contacts. If you have found other useful resources that can be added to the list please let us know at

Open Arms – 1800 628 036
Open Arms – ‘Safe Zone’ Anonymous Crisis Support – 1800 142 072
Health Support Line (for ADF Members) – 1800 IM SICK (1800 467 425)
Employee Assistance Program – 1300 687 327
Suicide Callback Service – 1300 659 467
Lifeline – 13 11 14 text line 0477 131 114
Beyond Blue – 1300 224 636
Emergency services – 000
Defence Member and Family Helpline – 1800 624 608
Defence All Hours Support Line – 1800 628 036
Well Ways – 1300 111 500
1800RESPECT – 1800 737 732
National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline – 1800 25 0015
Men’s Referral Service – 1300 766 491
Men’s Line  – 1300 78 99 78
Kids Helpline – 1800 250 015
Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response – 1800 736 776
To contact your regional duty chaplain call the Defence Switch on 1300 DEFENCE (1300 333 3623)

Other websites:

Shoalhaven Defence Families Association (SDFA) 
Office: 02 4421 5766  Open: Mon, Tues, Thur, Fri 9am – 2:30pm
Kookaburra Retreat: Flats 1 & 2 Canberra Drive, Nowra Hill, NSW 2540
Postal Address: PO Box 7084, Nowra Naval PO, NSW 2540