The Nambucca Valley was showcased on March 6 as an option for somewhere to live, work, play and even retire to over 150 people who are contemplating life beyond their service in the Australian Defence Force (ADF).
I had the great pleasure to join Mr Jim Cameron OAM of Bowraville, his wife Chris, Mr Wayne Mason of Stuarts Point, local author Carrolline Rhodes and my wife, Tina, at the ADF’s Member and Family Transition Seminar in Newcastle; where the ‘We’re Here’ initiative was set into full swing.
Launched on February 14, at the Nambucca Shire Council Chambers, We’re Here is aimed at attracting those separating from the Australian Defence Force to settle in the Nambucca Valley. The initiative is supported by the Council and State Government and also has big business in the Nambucca Valley getting behind the initiative through guaranteeing job interviews to advertised vacancies.
The ‘We’re Here’ initiative was born out of concerns held by Viet Nam veterans Jim Cameron OAM and Wayne Mason regarding the plight of the current generation of veterans and wanted to show them that the Nambucca Valley was a welcoming location for those leaving the ADF and their families.
Other members of the local veterans community, business community and the Nambucca Shire Council have come together to get behind this great idea. The initiative is unique and has drawn praise from the NSW Minister for Veterans Affairs, David Elliot MP and the Member for Oxley, Melinda Pavey MP.
At the ADFs Member and Family Transition Seminar in Newcastle the ‘We’re Here’ team engaged face to face with the majority of attendees who were presented with a carry bag containing an specially produced booklet detailing the benefits of moving to the beautiful Nambucca Valley.
The bags also contained a history of the Nambucca Council written by Carrolline Rhodes and a number local tourist and community resources brochures. Attendees were also given the option of having all of the information contained in the bag on a USB drive so they could view the information electronically.
During the ADF Member and Family Transition Seminar attendees were able to move between three stage areas and hear presentations on a broad range of issues linked to their transition from the ADF such as Healthcare, Veterans Entitlements, Superannuation and Civilian Employment.
On what was known as the Expo floor the ‘We’re Here’ team were one of 20 stands, however we were the only stand that represented a particular region. All of the attendees we spoke to were impressed with what the Nambucca Valley had to offer.
While most attendees had already considered where they were going to live beyond there time in Defence, a number said they now know it is worth thinking about the Nambucca Valley and a large number were determined to take the ‘We’re Here’ pack back to their work place where they believe the promise of job interviews to advertised vacancies would be of interest to their colleagues. A number of ADF personnel we spoke to also vowed to come to the Nambucca Valley for a visit and see it for themselves.
The ‘We’re Here’ team agreed our attendance at the ADF’s Member and Family Transition Seminar in Newcastle was a success. Our sights are now set on representing the Nambucca Valley at the next ADF’s Member and Family Transition Seminar in Sydney in a few weeks time.
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