Sydney (Tribune International, NSW State Release, 22 June 2021): Employment programs, partnerships and events will continue to empower NSW veterans and seniors, with $14.3 million allocated in the 2021-22 NSW Budget.

Minister for Veterans and Seniors Natalie Ward said $6.9 million will help support ex-service personnel, while recognising their sacrifice to our nation and the community’s diversity and unique needs, as guided by the first ever NSW Veterans Strategy.

“Supporting the health and wellbeing of veterans and their families is paramount and we do this through ongoing programs in employment, education, health and more,” Mrs Ward said.

Already exceeding its target, the successful Veterans Employment Program will continue to help ex-service personnel utilise their transferable skills. Education also remains pivotal with $200,000 for the Premier’s Anzac Memorial Scholarship.

The NSW Veterans Strategy also highlights the importance of commemoration, with $4.1 million for the State War Memorial Register, Community War Memorials Fund, events such as Anzac Day, and the Anzac Memorial.

In the Seniors portfolio Mrs Ward said $7.4 million will help ensure people continue to have social, healthy and active lives, with spending guided by the Ageing Well in NSW: Seniors Strategy 2021-2031.

“People over 65 are the fastest growing population group, so we’re embracing the challenges and opportunities of our ageing demographic,” Mrs Ward said.

“We recognise the immense contribution seniors make to their families and communities, and will continue to improve their wellbeing through our policies, projects and supports.”

With more than 80 per cent of seniors owning a computer, those connecting online will benefit from $500,000 building on the Tech Savvy Seniors Program.

Another $500,000 will help the NSW Seniors Card add more regional and rural businesses to join the more than 7,500 NSW Seniors Card deal and discount providers.

“We’re committed to maintaining strong partnerships with community organisations, businesses and health services for the benefit of our seniors,” Mrs Ward added.

This funding also includes $1.2 million to support the four NSW Ageing advocacy organisations: Council on the Ageing NSW, Combined Pensioners and Superannuants Association, Seniors Rights Service and the Older Women’s Network.

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