Jacqui Bateman

Community Leader Award

Jacqui is the founder and respite coordinator of the Robe to Recovery Veteran Respite Program. The program provides direct support and respite to Australian military veterans and their families affected by their service.

Robe to recovery began with an offer to make by Jacqui to make her own B&B accommodation available to veterans and their families up to 4 times per year free of charge. Jacqui enlisted additional support from the Robe Tourism Association, a group of community business owners, of whom she was a member. The response was immediate and positive with offers of vouchers, gifts, goods and services flowing from the group backed up with cards and personal letters for the visiting veteran and their family acknowledging and thanking them for their service and sacrifice.

The concept grew quickly to become a community program with unbelievable results. The first veterans to visit expected nothing more than a short stay but were completely overwhelmed by the reception they received and humbled by the outward show of support from complete strangers. Jacqui has brought the community together in support of this program in a way that allows them to feel a
sense of ownership and gain great satisfaction with the outcomes they are achieving. The healing value of this program can not be understated, not only for the veterans but also for their partner or family.