Tuesday, 7th May 2024

The VAC held its 90th meeting on 18 April 2024, chaired by COL Rob Manton.

Key items of discussion included:

Northern Adelaide Veterans’ & Families Wellbeing Hub

 The VAC received a briefing from Erika Nel, Clinical Services Manager – Specialised Services, Lived Lived Well, on the proposed Veterans’ and Families Wellbeing Hub in Northern Adelaide.

The briefing included:

History & values of the Lives Lived Well organisation

Lives Lived Well service principles

Process of selecting the specific site for the Northern Hub

Layout example

Service delivery model – staffing

Service delivery model – case management

Veteran community involvement

An invitation was extended to Ms Nel to provide further updates to the VAC at any time.

Hon Joe Szakacs MP, Minister for Veterans’ Affairs

The newly appointed Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, the Hon Joe Szakacs MP, attended the meeting. The Chair provided a brief summary of the background to the formation of the VAC and its role as a non-statutory advisory body. The Minister provided a brief on his background prior to his election to State Parliament and his previous portfolios and invited questions or comments from the VAC.

Veterans’ Legislation Reform

The VAC noted a response provided by the Consortium of Ex-Service Organisations of South Australia to the exposure draft of the Veterans’ Entitlements, Treatment and Support (Simplification and Harmonisation) Bill 2024.

South Australian Public Sector Military Rank to Grade Guide

The VAC received a briefing on the South Australian Public Sector Military Rank to Grade Guide. It was agreed that a sub-committee would be formed to determine the most appropriate way forward in terms of reviewing the guide.

SATAC Veteran Identification & Defence Entry Program

The VAC received a briefing on the merits of including a veteran identifier in the tertiary application process and a defence entry program and agreed to consider further at the next meeting.

Veterans SA Update

The VAC received an update from Veterans SA Director, Ms Chantelle Bohan, on the current priorities of the agency, including:

  • Commencement of Mr Matt Opie in the role of Chief Executive Officer, Defence SA
  • Retirement of Hon Geoff Brock MP and appointment of Hon Joe Szakacs MP as Minister for Veterans’ Affairs
  • SA Veteran Employer Member & Candidate Event – 17 April 2024
  • Mentoring Program Launch – 11 April 2024
  • Community Connection Event – 30 April 2024
  • Veterans SA Scholarship Program – May 2024
  • Grants & Administration position advertised in Veterans SA

Ongoing Matters

The VAC remains seized of the following matters:

  • The state government’s review of concessions for South Australians
  • The consultation process regarding veterans’ legislation
  • The proposed Northern Adelaide Wellbeing Centre and
  • The Royal Commission into Defence and Veterans’ Suicide

The next meeting of the VAC is scheduled for 27 June 2024

To contact the VAC directly regarding South Australian based veteran issues please email veteransadvisorycouncil@sa.gov.au or via post:

Veterans SA
Level 4, 151 Pirie Street
Adelaide SA 5000