Andrew Russell Veteran Living

Andrew Russell Veteran Living Accommodation Officially Opens

  • Andrew Russell Memorial Plaque

    Andrew Russell Memorial Plaque

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Helping our homeless veterans

On Friday 16th February 2018, exactly 16 years after South Australian born SAS soldier Sergeant Andrew Russell was killed in Afghanistan, the homeless veteran accommodation named in his honour was officially opened.

RSL Care SA’s Andrew Russell Veteran Living (ARVL) program assists contemporary veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness with transit accommodation.  ARVL has provided nearly 6,000 nights of accommodation to veterans and their families.

During the pilot program, RSL Care SA utilised residential college rooms at the Australian Lutheran College in North Adelaide. As the program became more widely recognised and the referrals of homeless veterans intensified, RSL Care SA identified the need to look for more suitable and permanent accommodation for the program.

Thankfully a wonderful opportunity arose and we are very pleased to announce the purchase of a 10 unit block located in Sturt. The new ARVL accommodation was officially opened on Friday by Andrew’s parents, Bob and Jan Russell, with the unveiling of a memorial plaque, funded via a grant through Veterans SA, that now sits proudly at the front of the units.

Following the unveiling, approximately 60 guests from the veteran community, mental health sector, Members of Parliament, senior representatives of Army, Air Force and Navy, as well as other special guests attended a function at the Marion RSL.

Department of Veterans Affairs, Supporting Younger Veterans (SYV) Grant

With 10 empty units waiting for veterans to transfer over, the next step was to organise furniture and utensils to ensure the units were fully functional and ready for emergency housing.   This was made possible with our successful application for funding through the Supporting Younger Veterans (SYV) Grant by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The SYV grant program was established to support the needs of younger veterans as they leave the Australian Defence Force and integrate into civilian life, with all the challenges that accompany that unique transition. The Minister for Veterans Affairs, Dan Tehan, identified veteran homelessness as a significant & complex issue. RSL Care SA has responded to this issue through the Andrew Russell Veteran Living program.

Through the SYV grant, we applied for funding to fit out the 10 new ARVL accommodation units with furniture and goods to allow veterans needing temporary emergency accommodation to move straight in.

How it all works

The ARVL program has developed referral pathways into the program from Ward 17 at the Repatriation Hospital (now the Jamie Larcombe Centre at Glenside), a range of community services, other ex-service organisations and word of mouth. When RSL Care SA receives a referral, ARVL Program Manager, Ben Challinor, makes contact with the participant and meets with them to discuss their needs.

Where appropriate, Ben supports them into the ARVL emergency accommodation and works with them over time to link them to community, public and private service providers who may assist with the veteran’s circumstances of homelessness. These services include medical, financial, employment and social services.

For more information on ARVL, please contact Program Manager Ben Challinor on 8379 2600.

To donate to ARVL or any of our other programs, please click here. All donations are tax deductible and 100% of donations received go directly to the programs.

Andrew Russell Veteran Living

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“I was hitting walls here there and everywhere, so for someone to put out their hand and say ‘we can help you, mate’, I just thought it was beautiful”

On Monday the 22nd of January, Helen Meyer of ‘Service Voices’ on Radio Adelaide broadcast an interview conducted with Ben Challinor, Program Manager for our Andrew Russell Veteran Living (ARVL) program, as well as with ARVL resident, Phil.

To listen to Ben talk about how the ARVL program is assisting veterans that are homeless or at risk of homelessness, please click here.

To listen to Phil, a resident of the ARVL program, and the positive impact that our Andrew Russell Veteran Living program has had on his life, please click here.



RSL Care SA Life Membership awarded to Dennis Chamberlain

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RSL Care SA Life Membership awarded

RSL Care SA Life Membership awarded to Dennis Chamberlain for his outstanding contribution and dedication to our organisation. Dennis served on the Board of RSL Care SA from 2013 to 2016, as a director with  specialist aged care knowledge.

In addition to Dennis’ time on the RSL Care SA board, his life membership also recognises his time as CEO of James Brown Memorial Trust, an organisation that delivers aged services through residential aged care and retirement living. During Dennis’ time as CEO, James Brown Memorial Trust managed the day to day operations of the RSL Villas aged care facility and was instrumental in the successful merger of the RSL Villas operations and assets to RSL Care SA.

Dennis has also served as a Board member of not for profit Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA) for a number of years and held the position of State Chairman.

RSL Care SA is an extremely well governed and trusted not for profit which is due to the expertise, tireless dedication and numerous years of experience that our volunteer board members bring to the organisation. We extend our thanks to Dennis, and to all our past and present Board members for their dedication and commitment to RSL Care SA.

Get Involved with RSL Care SA

Please see below for information on how you can be involved in the wonderful work RSL Care SA does.

Volunteering with RSL Care SA

Volunteers are highly valued and welcomed at RSL Care SA. To enquire about volunteering, please contact us here or phone 08 8379 2600.

Read about one of our volunteers who was recently honoured with an Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA) Excellence Award here.

Donate Online to RSL Care SA

All donations to RSL Care SA over $2 are tax deductible and gratefully received. Donations help us to continue providing care and assistance to many senior Australians as well as contemporary veterans. Please click here to donate now.

RSL Care SA staff support Walk a Mile in my Boots

  • RSL Care SA staff support Walk a Mile in my Boots

    RSL Care SA staff support Walk a Mile in my Boots

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Walk a Mile in my Boots

RSL Care SA walk for the Homeless Veterans Support fundraiser

For the fourth year in a row, RSL Care SA staff braved the chilly early morning conditions to participate in the Hutt Street Centre’s Walk a Mile in my Boots on Friday 11th August.

Walk a mile in my boots provides RSL Care SA with a fantastic opportunity to show its support for an organisation that does so much for those experiencing homelessness in Adelaide. Staff are particularly passionate about supporting those experiencing homelessness. Homeless Veterans support is one of the many services we offer at RSL Care SA.

RSL Care SA has its own Andrew Russell Veteran Living program (ARVL) supporting ex-service personnel who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. ARVL has received a number referrals from the Hutt Street Centre. We have been able to reach out and provide transit, accommodation and support services. These services directly contribute to getting these individuals back on their feet.

It was great to see a number of our staff braving the cold to support ‘Walk a Mile in My Boots.’ It is a key fundraiser for the Hutt Street Centre. Funds raised are directed into their Day Centre which provide many services including:

  • crisis assistance
  • access point for those experiencing homelessness
  • essential services
  • referrals to support organisations, including RSL Care SA

If you would like to support the Hutt Street Centre, access their website here.

RSL Care SA has many opportunities to Volunteer as well. If you would like to know more about Volunteering click here.

We are an organisation that has been helping the ex-service and wider community for 100 years.

DVA Veteran Study

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Andrew Russell Veteran Living & DVA Veteran Study

Partnering with University of New South Wales and The University of Adelaide

The ARVL  program contributed to a DVA Veteran Study regarding homelessness in Australia. The University of New South Wales and the University of Adelaide invited ARVL to participate. The study commissioned by DVA  aims to accurately estimate the number of homeless veterans within Australia. The DVA aims to present an up to date account of the lived experiences of homeless veterans, and ARVL supplied quantitative and qualitative data to the study.

The project is being undertaken by a team of researchers from four main parties including:

The Board and management of RSL Care SA look forward to the results of the completed report at the end of 2017. RSL Care SA are thankful for the generous donation of $7,000 to the ARVL program by the Universities.

If you would like to know more about the Andrew Russell Veteran Living Program please click the link below.

RSL Care SA ARVL Program

If you would like to volunteer or donate to the program please contact us.

About us

RSL Care SA believes that the ex-service community deserves the best care and affordable accommodation. RSL Care SA is an independently constituted not for profit organisation with links to the Returned & Services League of Australia (SA Branch).

Our mission is to support veterans and their dependents, although the ex-service community are our primary client group it is not exclusively so. The facilities and services are also available to the broader community.

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