The Community and Welfare Hub that opened at RAAF Base Williamtown on October 23 is the first facility of its kind on an Air Force base.

The hub now has four support services under the one roof: chaplaincy, Defence Community Organisation, a member support coordination team and the transition cell.

Air Base Executive Officer and Commanding Officer of No. 26 Squadron Wing Commander John Stark said the refurbishment of a former childcare centre to create the hub took nearly two years.

“I’m proud that RAAF Base Williamtown is the first to deliver such a facility,” Wing Commander Stark said. 

“This is an exciting milestone to transform this vacant building into a facility that supports our members and their families.”

Warrant Officer of the Air Force Fiona Grasby was the official guest at the hub’s opening.

She said the hub would ensure personnel and their families remained connected, and offered them the opportunity to meet with support services.

“It provides a safe and welcoming place for our Defence workforce and their families that focuses on their welfare,” she said.

“This incredible facility will serve them well.” 

The project began with an informal discussion in 2018 between base executives on ideas to repurpose the vacant Defence Childcare Centre, relocate the Chaplains’ Centre away from the airfield and move the Defence Community Organisation out of their ageing demountable facility. 

The refurbished office space and multi-purpose rooms will enable stakeholders to meet at a strategic level, ensuring consistent support to members.

The facility also provides room for regular base visits from veteran support agencies and charities, including the Department of Veterans' Affairs, Soldier On and Defence Care (RSL).