Last week, I joined my colleagues Treasurer Scott Morrison and Minister for Veterans' Affairs Dan Tehan at the launch of the Kookaburra Kids program for Defence Force families, both current and returned. Kookaburra Kids has been operating for over 15 years. It provides much-needed support for young people living in families affected by mental illness. From humble beginnings, the program has grown to over 1,100 kids—one of the largest of its kind in Australia.
For those in our community who have served our nation, the impacts can be felt every single day. While today, thankfully, there is greater awareness of mental illness in the Defence forces, the impact at home on the kids had been overlooked. I am proud that the Turnbull government, with full bipartisan support, has committed $2.1 million over two years to work with the Kookaburra Kids Foundation to develop a pilot program specifically tailored to the needs of our veterans' families. Kids will be able to build supportive peer networks, learn where to turn for help and have fun with others in similar situations, so they know they are not alone.
In my electorate, so much great work has been done in the mental health space for both current serving men and women and veterans. As a community, we ask much of our Defence Force personnel. It is vital that we provide support for their families in return.
Find out more about the work Kookabura Kids is doing here.