Wednesday, 15th December 2021

The Veterans SA Strategic Outlook outlines the commitment of our agency over the next 10 years to lay the foundations for a strong, vibrant, well-supported and represented veteran community in South Australia.

We are pleased to share how our activities in 2021 have aligned with the four pillars of the strategy, as well as the exciting initiatives we have planned for 2022.

 

EMPOWERING COMMUNITY

We will support and encourage a community that seeks proactive and informed choice when looking towards the future and will harness the power of shared experience to advocate for better outcomes for veterans and their families as well as enable individual and collective capacity building.

2021 achievements

  • Released Strategic Outlook, which was developed in collaboration with veteran communities across South Australia.
  • Provided useful information to the community to enable proactive, informed choice through our Community Conversation series.
  • Partnered with Community Centres of SA to help educate the wider community on how to engage with veterans in the community.

What we’re planning for 2022

  • New grant funding opportunities that will help the veteran community enhance their individual and collective capacity.
  • Further opportunities to provide useful information to the veteran community through webinars, workshops and digital media.
  • Further collaboration with community groups and organisations from outside the veteran community that will enable further education of non-veteran groups on the value of veterans in the community and workplace.

 

PROMOTING INCLUSION

We will engage with the South Australian community to substantiate the understanding that those who service, and their families, actively contribute to the benefit of the community. 

2021 achievements

  • Launched the ’Sharing their Stories‘ program, which tells the stories of the South Australian men and women who have served in the ADF and continue to contribute to community every day.
  • Re-introduced regional outreach activities through participation at the 2021 Paskeville Field Days and our Riverland Outreach visits.
  • Assisted the Office for Public Sector Employment in their development of the Military Rank to Grade guide.

What we’re planning for 2022

  • Production of digital resources to help the wider community understand the diversity of the veteran community and their value.
  • Further regional outreach activities and opportunities for veterans and their families in all areas of the state to connect to services and programs that benefit veterans.
  • Further storytelling activities to demonstrate to the wider community the great value that veterans and their families bring to the community.

 

HONOURING SERVICE

We will empower the South Australian community to honour the service and sacrifice of service women and men and the experience of the families who support them and provide leadership in looking for innovative ways to honour service.

2021 achievements

  • Awarded over $80,000 in grant funding to organisations and community groups to support commemorative projects and activities.
  • Helped to educate the community in the appropriate acknowledgement of Traditional Owners in commemorative services through our Community Conversation Series.
  • Continued the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the end of World War Two through our storytelling project “Stories from WWII”.

What we’re planning for 2022 

  • New grant funding opportunities for commemorative activities.
  • Continue to support the community to honour service through further education and encouraging innovative ways to commemorate.
  • Provide further funding to the Headstone Project in South Australia to ensure the continuation of their important work in identifying the unmarked graves of WWI returned service personnel and honouring their sacrifices by installing headstones.

 

DATA-INFORMED POLICY BEST PRACTICE

Our ongoing pursuit of data relevant to the veteran population will help further inform evidence-based strategic priorities and policy development across government, which will enable the empowerment of community, inclusion and honour of service.

2021 achievements

  • Commenced foundation work to map existing veteran data collection points across government and identify opportunities for reliable, repeatable and consistent data collection to identify veterans in SA who are not DVA clients.
  • Undertook analysis of Health and Wellbeing of South Australian DVA Cardholders through investigation of hospital and admitted patient data in public hospitals.
  • Advocated for the inclusion of a military service question for the first time in the annual SA Public Service (SAPS) IWorkforSA survey, which identified approx. 500 public servants as veterans.

What we’re planning for 2022 

  • Partnering with the Chief Data Officer in the Department of the Premier and Cabinet with three priority areas for exploring data collection improvement opportunities in:
    • education (to better identify children from households with military experience)
    • homelessness (with an initial focus on crisis assistance but planning to address all forms of insecure housing)
    • corrections (for both incarcerated and community detained veterans)
  • Promotion of completed Infantry Rank to Grade Guide, which is Phase 2 since the launch of the Military Rank to Grade guide in July 2021.
  • Inclusion of a ‘have you served in the Australian Defence Force’ question as part of whole-of-government recruitment paperwork, to establish barriers to entry and trends in job applications for military veterans.

 

In addition to the above initiatives, 2022 will have a strong focus on collaboration and consultation with the community, and we welcome feedback on what we have done and what we are planning for the next 12 months.

We are excited to continue working together with the veteran and wider community in 2022 to achieve better outcomes and support for the Defence community in South Australia.