Australian veterans and their families are being asked to provide their views on how the ex-service community is consulted and engaged, and how this can be improved. Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester said the views of the serving and ex-service community are essential as the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) continues to change and to ensure veterans and their families can access the services they need, when they need them.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester.

“The government is committed to putting veterans and their families first, and part of this is consulting with the right groups in the ex-service community and seeking a broad range of views on services, support and commemoration,” Chester said. “Along with DVA, ex-service organisations have played a critical role in supporting veterans and their families for more than 100 years and this review ensures their changing views and requirements are heard. I encourage all those in the ex-service community to participate and provide their feedback.”

The National Consultation Framework has been in place since 2009 and is reviewed every three years in consultation with the ex-service community. It aims to facilitate the needs of veterans and their families are voiced and listened to by DVA, through forum structures, membership of various forums, appropriate representation on fora and capacity of member organisations.

Australian Army soldier, Corporal Luke McFarlane, deployed with Task Group Taji 9, observes an Iraqi Army soldier clearing a 12.7mm Browning machine gun during a live-fire training exercise at the Besmayah training area, Iraq. (PHOTO: ADF)

Repatriation Commissioner Don Spinks, who is responsible for Veteran Engagement at DVA, said everyone’s suggestions will be heard and will play an important role informing the future consultation model. “This review is essential to giving veterans a voice so I encourage everyone in the serving and ex-service community to get involved and have their say,” Spinks said.

Further information on the review, including participating in the survey, is available on the DVA website. They survey will be available until 26 July 2020 with the final report expected to be completed in late 2020.

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