Monday, 20 August 2018
Statements by Members
Robe to Recovery
I rise to inform the House of a great initiative being run in the community of Robe, a coastal town in the south-east of South Australia, in my electorate of Barker. Robe to Recovery, as it's known, is a respite program for Australia's veterans and their families. It began with a desire to help Australia's contemporary veterans and their families. It was a conversation between Jacqui Bateman, a Robe local, and veteran Justin Brown in 2015 which began the ball rolling. Offering up her own bed-and-breakfast free of charge to recently returned veterans and their families up to four times a year, Jacqui, who is also a member of the Robe Tourism Association, enlisted the support of local business owners, and the response was overwhelming. Offers of vouchers, gifts, goods and services began to roll in from the Robe community. Before long, the concept of Robe to Recovery was born. Anyone who has visited Robe would agree that it is a picturesque town with the ability to offer holiday makers rest, relaxation and respite from even the most stressful of day-to-day lives. For veterans and their families the healing value of this program cannot be understated. It's an incredible initiative and one that I hope to see replicated across the country. I have personally written to the Duke of Sussex, Prince Harry, and invited him to visit Robe to get a better understanding of what this program has to offer while he's here for the Invictus Games. He has, in fact, responded and is considering the proposal. I commend Robe to Recovery, and Jacqui Bateman in particular for this initiative.
Before I call on the next speaker, it sometimes hard to hear the speakers when other members are talking. I ask that the level of noise be kept to a level such that, as Deputy Speaker and chair, I can actually hear the contributions.