The Air Force Association Patriotic Fund was established to provide members with both individual and group welfare assistance.
While funds can be approved for direct assistance to members requiring financial support, the focus is on assistance with activities designed to maintain contact with their colleagues and aviation. This is especially important for those members who served in WWII (approximately 80% of current membership) and who, due to decreasing mobility and health are finding it difficult to maintain an active and acceptable life style.
Branches are encouraged to plan and undertake activities that will foster and achieve the above objectives, the cost of which the Fund can complement or in some instances fully-fund.
Examples of some of the activities undertaken are:
- Provision of a Bus to return ANZAC Day participants to the Victorian Air Forces’ Centre after the march for the post-march luncheon.
- Branch day trips to places of interest to the members. Most trips are of a heritage nature visiting such places as The Shrine of Remembrance, National Vietnam Veterans Museum at Phillip Island and the RAAF Museum at Point Cook.
- Regional Branch visits to other regional towns where they have Branch Members who can no longer travel great distances as they once did; such as the Ballarat Branch day trip to Hamilton.
- Inter branch get togethers such as the Gippsland Branch and Motor Transport Branch annual luncheon in Gippsland.
- Subsidised extended bus trips such as the four-day round trip to Canberra (to visit the Australian War Memorial and other significant memorials) and the Temora Air Museum
- Funds to support Branches for the postage and production of newsletters.
- Funds to support members who are in financial difficulties or who need assistance or services to maintain their quality life but are not eligible for assistance from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Requests for funding are normally forwarded by the member’s Branch to Division for assessment. However, members may also directly submit a request to Division for financial assistance where they consider such privacy is required.