AS part of this year’s Veterans’ Health Week, Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel Darren Chester will today visit Australia Zoo to celebrate Sunshine Coast Veterans Day, a local initiative which supports local veterans’ mental health and employment prospects.

Mr Chester said Sunshine Coast Veterans Day and Veterans’ Health Week are two great examples where businesses and the wider community can show their support for veterans and their families and commended the Member for Fisher, Andrew Wallace, for his dedication to the local ex-service community.

“Sunshine Coast Veterans Day is an initiative Andrew started last year and shows how he is putting veterans and their families first — bringing awareness of their special place in the community and supporting their mental wellness and overall health and wellbeing,” Mr Chester said.

“I thank Andrew for his dedication and I commend Australia Zoo for getting on board and offering veterans, plus one guest, free entry on October 28th to one of Australia’s most well-known attractions.”

Wes Mannion, Director of Australia Zoo said he was pleased to be able to give back to these important members of the local community.

“Australia Zoo recognises the important role that veterans play in our community and we will continue to support them as we have for many years,” Wes said.

As part of Sunshine Coast Veterans Day, Mr Chester will hear directly from veterans and their families about issues that are important to them.

Mr Wallace said “Veterans on the Sunshine Coast are passionate about their service and about making an on-going contribution to our country. All they ask for is the support they need to build a new life for their families and to play an active role in our community. I’m grateful to all of the service men and women who have come along to the Zoo today, to speak with the Minister and me, and give us the benefit of their experiences. I know the Minister will bear our community’s feedback in mind in developing our policies for the future.”

“Our local service men and women past and present deserve our undying gratitude and I am determined to do what I can as a Member of Parliament to support them. Minister Chester and I meet regularly to discuss the needs of veterans on the Sunshine Coast and I am proud to be part of a Government that has already made comprehensive reforms to improve our support for them. But there is no substitute for a face to face meeting and a personal thanks, and I am grateful to Australia Zoo and the Minister for helping me make that happen today.”

Veterans will simply need to present their DVA Health Card (White, Orange or Gold) to access free entry to Australia Zoo on Monday, 28 October 2019.

Now in its 11th year, Veterans’ Health Week is a Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) led community program that focuses on key areas of health and wellbeing in the veteran community. Veterans’ Health Week runs from 26 October to 3 November, for more information, resources and to find events near you visit the Veterans’ Health Week page on the DVA (


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Authorised by Andrew Wallace MP, Liberal National Party, 11/10 Lake Kawana Blvd, Bokarina, QLD, 4575