Australia will become the first Australian state to formally acknowledge current and former Australian Defence Force (ADF) families and the contributions and personal sacrifices they make, with the introduction of an annual day of recognition.

From this month, 15 May will be acknowledged annually as Veterans’ Families Day in South Australia. Veterans’ Families Day establishes a dedicated day to recognise the ‘backbone’ of the Veteran community – the spouses, partners, children and families – who support our Veterans each and every day.

These resilient but often overlooked members of the Veteran community make immense sacrifices such as giving up their careers to accommodate frequent relocations and fulfilling the role of two parents while partners are deployed. Children in veteran families also encounter a unique set of challenges associated with life as a military family, and it is important that this is also recognised.

ABS Census data from 2021 shows that one in 17 South Australian households (6 per cent) have at least one person who was either currently serving or had previously served in the Australian Defence Force.

As the Defence State, South Australia is taking a leadership role in introducing an annual day of recognition that celebrates the strength and resilience of Defence families and their unwavering support for their loved ones.

Veterans’ Families Day will be held in alignment with International Day of Families which is also marked on 15 May.

Joe Szakacs, Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, said: “South Australia is proud to lead the charge by becoming the first Australian jurisdiction to formally establish a dedicated day of recognition for veterans’ families.  Families play a vital role in supporting our veterans, both during and after service, and the South Australian Government has acted to ensure they receive the recognition they rightfully deserve.  Veterans’ Families Day provides a valuable opportunity to acknowledge the contribution and personal sacrifices made by veterans’ families who stand alongside and support their serving family member every day.”


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