Introducing the new Chair of the Veterans Centre Sydney Northern Beaches

In October 2017, Mr John McInerney, OAM, Chair of the Veterans Centre handed over leadership of the Centre to Brigadier Michael Griffin,  AM. “I am extremely grateful to John for his vision and hard work.”

As a founding member of the Centre and then also serving a tenure as Chair, John led his team to answer a need of current Defence Force members, ex-service members and their families. John will continue assisting ex-service families through his work with Legacy.

The Centre has been operating from Level 4 of Dee Why RSL for the past three years and provides a holistic model of care to current and ex-servicemen, women and their families. This means providing one service, compensation, and welfare support, and referring all other means of assistance to partner organisations.

This approach has led to an increasing demand for services and unfortunately, the demand is too great, with calls for assistance being triaged onto a waitlist. To improve this situation, the Centre relies on donations from the public to provide these needed services by a paid and volunteer workforce. Ben Webb, Centre Manager states that the Centre is “unfortunately seeing an increase of clients in crisis, at risk, or who have attempted suicide.”

The Centre has not been idle in the face of this growing demand and severity of clients needs. Ben continues to describe that, “the Centre has a number of major projects finishing in the first half of 2018 which will greatly add to the capabilities and capacity of the Centre, ultimately providing a better service to clients.”

Michael will bring a wealth of experience to the Centre. Serving as a soldier for 42 years, Michael is currently serving as a Brigadier in
the Army Reserve and has been awarded the Member of the Order of Australia “for services to the law.” In addition to this, Michael is also the Agency Head of the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity.

“My key objective for my tenure is to continue to build and maintain the reputation of the Centre as a trusted source of advice and support to the veteran community,”