20 January 2021

Australia Day barbecue at Siren Bar for ADF, first responders and veterans

| Sharon Kelley
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Kris Milne serving food at barbecue.

Effective People’s Kris Milne on the tongs at the BBQ to Remember on 11 November, 2020. Photo: Thomas Lucraft.

Veteran-owned business Effective People will sponsor a barbecue at Siren Bar and Restaurant in Gungahlin on Australia Day on 26 January, organised by the Australian Peacekeeper and Peacemaker Veterans’ Association (APPVA) for veterans, first responders and current serving members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

The lunch will be provided to ADF personnel, veterans, emergency services and first responders at no cost, as are the first two drinks. Families are also welcome.

“The past year has seen ADF personnel, emergency services and first responders tackle some of the worst situations Australia and the world has ever seen,” says APPVA vice-president Ian Lindgren. “We want to take the opportunity to recognise these vital members of the community while providing a platform to connect.

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“Connecting is important for everyone who has worked this closely to support the Australian community during the past year.”

Ian says the barbecue will not be a fundraiser, like the BBQ to Remember on Remembrance Day 2020, when Effective People raised $11,300 for veteran’s group Swiss8. He says it will be purely social and an opportunity to grab a bite to eat and talk.

“The APPVA has moved its head office to Canberra and we’d like to grow our community of veterans and first responders, and ensure they have both a national and local voice to represent their interests.

“There are many issues on which this community needs representation at all levels of government.”

Ian and Effective People’s Kris Milne are both veterans of the Australian Army. Ian served for 21 years until injured in Egypt, and Kris for 13 years, including in East Timor.

READ ALSO Veterans and Peacekeepers Australia Day BBQ Canberra Region

Formed on Australian Peacekeeper Day in 1997, the APPVA is a not-for-profit veteran organisation that supports the transition, health, wellbeing and integration into society of all participants in past and present operations, and their families, so they are valued and can attain happiness after service.

The APPVA provides advocacy and welfare services, and also publishes a magazine to provide information about the issues it represents, news, stories and detailed first-person accounts of military operations, past and present.

Both Ian and Kris will be attending the barbecue lunch, which will be donated by Daniel Gaul at Siren Bar and Restaurant.

“Daniel has been a great supporter of veterans and first responders,” says Kris. “He’s throwing the lunch for our community so we hope people will come along and have a chat, meet some new people who have been through the same as they have, whether in the Australian Defence Force or the emergency services, police, fire and ambulance officers.”

Ian says “part of our charter is to engage not just with our members, but other like-minded organisations so our collective voice can be heard by all levels of government. We support all veteran organisations that feel they are not represented at DVA [Department of Veterans’ Affairs] or the Commonwealth, and they do not have to become members of the APPVA. Veterans support veterans.

“If there are any business leaders out there who’d like to get involved, or to learn more about who we are and what we do, we welcome them to the barbecue.”

Kris says: “One of the things we want to get across is to the emergency services first responders, police, fire and ambulance in the Canberra region, to come along to the barbecue.”

Registration for the Australia Day barbecue can be made online, and further information or enquiries can be directed to Ian Lindgren via email.

If you are a veteran needing help, please get in touch with Open Arms on 1800 011 046.

If you or anyone you know is struggling and needs help, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 at any time.

If you are concerned about someone’s immediate safety or wellbeing, call 000 (triple zero).

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