Visualisation: Where veterans are located across NSW

Use this interactive map drawing on Census data to find where veterans can be found across NSW, and inform outreach to those living in your local area.

At a glance:

  • The 2021 Census revealed Australia is home to more than 500,000 current or ex-serving Defence members.
  • The data reveals how many veterans are living in different Local Government Areas across NSW.
  • Large quantities of veterans live in regional centres such as Dubbo and Bathurst, and in proximity to Veterans’ and Families’ Hubs operated by RSL LifeCare Veteran Services.
  • Any of them could be seeking services and support – and that’s where RSL sub-Branches, family and friends can provide essential assistance.

Veterans live in communities all across the state, but only some of them are active RSL NSW members. Knowing the number of veterans living in each region can help RSL sub-Branches with their outreach efforts – and can help the friends, families and colleagues of those veterans to connect them with essential support and services.

The 2021 Census was the first to include a question on military service and revealed that more than 500,000 Australians had previously served or were currently serving in Defence. The Royal Commission into Veteran Defence and Suicide has called for further data about veterans to be collected in the future, including the year of discharge.

To inform outreach to veterans in your local area, here’s a snapshot of where veterans are living across the state, followed by four key trends in the data.

Use the below visualisation to view the number of veterans in each Local Government Area (LGA). You can zoom in to inspect smaller LGAs in metropolitan areas.

Serving members

The bulk of current and ex-serving personnel can be found in LGAs that are home to military bases, such as Blamey Barracks at Kapooka near Wagga Wagga and Holsworthy Barracks in Sydney’s Sutherland Shire.

Don’t wait until they transition out of Defence before attempting to engage or support the veterans in your communities; sub-Branches and individuals can reach out at any time.

Regional centres

According to Census data, more than 1,000 veterans apiece live in LGAs surrounding Dubbo, Tamworth and Bathurst.

Those numbers might not reach the heights of metropolitan areas, but there are still more than 1,000 veterans who might be seeking services, support, mateship and camaraderie that their local sub-Branch could offer.

Veterans’ and Families’ Hubs

The Nowra Veteran Wellbeing Centre, located in the City of Shoalhaven LGA and operated by RSL LifeCare Veteran Services, is a purpose-built facility designed to offer support and services to veterans across the region, even as far as Goulburn and Yass.

In the City of Shoalhaven alone, there are more than 5,700 veterans who could be connected to the centre via their local sub-Branch.

All across the state

Consider where else there is a high concentration of veterans. There are more than 1,200 current and ex-serving members living in Bega Valley, for example, and more than 1,600 in Albury.

If your sub-Branch is located in an area with fewer veterans, remember that any of them could be seeking the support and assistance that comes from being an RSL NSW member – so just reach out.

There’s a wealth of resources available to sub-Branches reaching out to veterans in their communities, such as the Member Recruitment Toolkit. Use these resources to reach out to veterans locally, organise social events for them and their families, introduce them to the League and keep them engaged as members.

Click here to access the toolkit.

Click here to view the NSW Office of Veterans Affairs’ report. 

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