Supporting Kids to be Kids

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ACT Launch 2017

On Wednesday 22nd March, the Turnbull Government and Australian Kookaburra Kids Foundation launched a program for children of current and former Australian Defence Force members who have been affected by mental illness, at Parliament House, Canberra.

The Government is providing $2.1 million over two years to the Australian Kookaburra Kids Foundation to develop and evaluate the pilot program which will provide respite camps, activity days and age-appropriate mental health education focusing on coping skills and resilience, while allowing children to bond with peers who are facing similar challenges.

Kookaburra Kids CEO, Pam Brown said “We know from our vast experience the positive impact and the difference our program makes to the lives of children who have a parent with mental illness, we will deliver a program to ADF families that will support them through the complex mental health journey and give the children hope for their future.”

“We are proud the Government has recognised the success of the Kookaburra Kids program and endorsed our ability to deliver a program to children from service and ex serving ADF families who have been affected by mental illness as a result of military service.”

The launch was attended by Her Excellency Lady Cosgrove, Kookaburra Kids Ambassador, The Hon. Scott Morrison MP, Treasurer, Kookaburra Kids Parliamentary Patron, The Hon. Dan Tehan MP, Minister for Veteran’s Affairs, Air Vice-Marshal Tracy Smart AM, Commander Joint Health and representatives from Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Partners of Veterans Association, Defence Families of Australia, Defence Community Organisation and Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Services. Ministers and Senators also attended the launch.

Robyn Ritchie, National Convenor, Defence Families of Australia (DFA) said “In recent years, DFA has highlighted to the then Assistant Minister for Defence, in partnership with Partners of Veterans Association, the amazing work done by Kookaburra Kids Foundation and the need for enhanced funding and support to provide program placements for children of current and ex serving ADF personnel. DFA believe this program will be highly valuable to ADF families. We are delighted to see the launch of a program that supports all children living in a family affected by mental illness from a military background and look forward to its ongoing success.”

The program will commence in 2017, starting in May for NSW and July for ACT. All other States will be rolled out over the next two years.

Registrations for the program are now open to children, aged 8 – 18 years, who have a parent with a mental illness as a result of their military service. The program is free for eligible children to attend.

To find out more about the program or to register a child go to Refer A Child or call head office on (02) 9525 7474 during business hours (AEST).

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