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Wishing veterans a safe and healthy Christmas.



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Media Release

The Hon Danna Vale MP Minister for Veterans' Affairs Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence Federal Member for Hughes

VA165 Friday 13 December 2002

WISHING VETERANS A SAFE AND HEALTHY CHRISTMAS

The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Danna Vale, today wished Australia’s veterans and their families the best for Christmas, encouraging all members of the veteran community to enjoy a safe and healthy holiday season.

“This is a time to celebrate the good things in our lives and for most of us that means good food and drink with family and friends,” Minister Vale said.

“For veterans, as for all members of the community, it is important for them to enjoy themselves, but not to overdo it. A commonsense attitude to eating and drinking will make for a more enjoyable Christmas.

“For many veterans who use different medications, it is also important to make sure that their medicines will mix safely with those Christmas drinks.”

Minister Vale said that while Christmas should be a happy time, it could also be distressing for some people.

“When families are brought together for the holiday period, it’s not uncommon for family tensions to surface. It can also be a difficult and lonely time for those who have lost a partner, or whose children have grown up and moved away. Perhaps a friend who may lonely could be asked to share a Christmas meal or a Christmas drink over the festive season.

“The Vietnam Veterans Counselling Service will continue to offer 24-hour crisis counselling during Christmas and New Year through its after hours Veterans Line.

“I encourage those who find the holiday season difficult to make use of the support available,” the Minister said.

VVCS services are available to veterans of all conflicts and their families, including members of peacekeeping missions.

The VVCS crisis counselling toll free numbers are:

1800 011 046 Qld, ACT, Vic, Tas, SA, NT and WA 1800 043 503 NSW 1800 019 332 North Qld

Department of Veterans’ Affairs offices will be closed from Christmas Day, re-opening on Thursday 2 January 2003. However, Veterans’ Affairs Network offices in State capitals will be open on 30 and 31 December for urgent inquiries, telephone 133 254.

Defence Service Homes Insurance is contactable throughout the Christmas-New Year period on the following after hours emergency numbers. 1300 552 662 NSW and ACT 0412 439 587 Vic 1300 552 662 Qld and NT 1800 801 945 Tas, SA and WA

Media Contact: Rachael Thompson (02) 6277 7820 or 0417 265 289

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