Monday, 31st August 2020

The South Australian Veterans Advisory Council (VAC) met, under strict Covid-19 precautions, on 20 August at TPI House. The VAC welcomed the Hon Stephen Marshall MP, Premier and Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, to the meeting. Premier Marshall reaffirmed his strong and ongoing support for the VAC and the veteran community in South Australia.

The role of the VAC is to provide advice to the South Australian government on issues impacting on, and relevant to, those who have served and their families in South Australia.

The key item considered at the 71st meeting of the VAC was the South Australian government’s proposal to ‘reactivate’ the Torrens Parade Ground Precinct.

CMDR Alastair Cooper ADC RAN, Chair of the VAC Torrens Masterplan Subcommittee, reported on their initial meetings. The VAC discussed the role and function of the Torrens Parade Ground Precinct, and opportunities to improve veteran and community connections, accessibility, partnerships and sustainability.  The VAC strongly supports developing a robust communication/consultation strategy to ensure broad and inclusive engagement with Veteran and Veteran-related communities.

The sub-committee presented the VAC with a set of ‘draft principles’ to guide engagement and advocacy relating to any future plans. The ‘draft principles’ were endorsed by the VAC and will be forwarded to Government for consideration.

In addition to standard business, the Council received a virtual brief from the Director of the Australian War Memorial, Mr Matt Anderson PSM, highlighting key elements of the AWM redevelopment project and its relevance to, and engagement opportunities for, the South Australian veteran community.

Ms Gwen Cherne, recently appointed as the national Family Veteran Advocate, virtually addressed the VAC about ongoing work to support families of currently serving members of the Australian Defence Force. The VAC agreed to establish regular quarterly meetings with the Veteran Advocate to ensure South Australian issues are raised to the national level.

The next VAC meeting is scheduled for 8 October, 2020.

To contact the VAC directly regarding South Australian based veteran issues please email or via post: Veterans SA, Level 4, 151 Pirie Street, Adelaide, SA, 5000.