Wednesday, 31st August 2022
The VAC held its 81st meeting on 11 August 2022, chaired by Mr John Godwin. The Hon Geoff Brock MP, Minister for Veterans’ Affairs was in attendance for the initial part of the meeting.
Key items of discussion included:
Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide
The Interim Report of the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide was released during the VAC meeting and it was resolved that the VAC would consider the report at the next meeting and provide a briefing to the Minister.
The VAC agreed to the establishment of a working group to further consider issues arising in relation to homelessness as they affect the community of South Australian veterans and their families. The VAC working group will be led by Mr Nathan Klinge, VAC member and Chief Executive Officer of RSL-Care. The working group will report back to the next meeting of the VAC.
DVA Younger Veterans – Contemporary Needs Forum
The VAC received a briefing from VAC member Mr Chris Tilley on the YVF which was held in Canberra on 20 July 2022 which included –
- Census 2021 ADF Service Question
- Provision of Household Services in rural & remote areas
- DVA update on measure to address claims backlog
- Veteran Employment Program update
- Veteran and Family Hubs updates
- Disaster Support update
- Mental Health Horizon Scan
- Veterans (MATES) Program
The future composition of the VAC
The VAC Chair advised that applications for positions on the Veterans’ Advisory Council had now closed and were being assessed.
The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs will be provided with a shortlist of applicants in the coming weeks and new members will be appointed towards the end of 2022.
Other topics discussed included
- the importance of the recently released Census data resulting from the ADF Service Question in identifying the numbers and location of veterans
- the upcoming Veteran Wellbeing Taskforce meeting to be held in Melbourne on Monday 22 August 2022.
- key outcomes arising from the Meet the Minister event held on 14 July 2022 at the Torrens Parade Ground
- the Minister’s recent regional tour of the south-east of South Australia
- ongoing engagement at a Commonwealth Government level regarding the National Emergency Services Medal eligibility criteria
- unveiling of the Thailand paver on the Anzac Centenary Memorial Walk
Veterans SA Update
The VAC received an update from Veterans SA Director, Ms Chantelle Bohan, on the current priorities of the agency, including:
- Working with the Office for Women on resources to support veterans and their families experiencing domestic violence.
- Engagement with Skills SA on training opportunities for transitioning members, spouses and families in skills shortage areas.
- Working with the Department for Education to implement a process at school enrolment that identifies Defence and veteran children.
- Working with the Office of the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment on a work trials program for DVA card holders who are on a rehabilitation program.
- Further review of the Census data to assist in focussing agency initiatives.
- Regional outreach activities in the Riverland in September 2022.
VAC meeting 29 September 2022
The next meeting of the VAC is scheduled for 29 September 2022.
To contact the VAC directly regarding South Australian based veteran issues please email email@example.com or via post:
151 Pirie Street
Adelaide SA 5000