Friday, 13th August 2021

From the Chair

The VAC held its 76th meeting on Thursday 8 July 2021. Key items of discussion included:


Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide

A sub-committee of the Veterans’ Advisory Council (VAC) will meet on Friday 13th August to consider the implications of the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide from a South Australian perspective.

The working group comprises representatives from:

  • the Veterans’ Advisory Council-SA
  • the Premier’s Council on Suicide Prevention and Community Resilience
  • Current ADF serving members
  • Open Arms
  • South Australian government mental health expertise
  • Families’ perspective
  • Veterans’ Health Advisory Council (VHAC)
  • Academic expertise in mental health
  • Lived experience

The focus of the Working Group will be to develop and provide recommendations to be fed into the South Australian Government’s response to the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide, focussing on improving the support and provision of services to the veteran community, particularly when these changes can be implemented with practical and immediate effect.

The recommendations developed by the working group will then be consulted with the VAC, the VHAC and the Premier’s Council for Suicide Prevention and Community Resilience, prior to the provision of the final recommendations to the Attorney General, who is coordinating the response on behalf of the South Australian Government.


Future VAC composition and membership

Acknowledging the continuous evolution of the veteran community and changing priorities, the VAC has undertaken a process to consider its future composition and membership. These considerations include selection of members to best reflect the diversity of the veteran and veteran family communities, the most appropriate length of terms of appointment and the selection process.

The VAC will seek input into priorities for its forward work plan. Comments or suggestions can be made directly to:


Torrens Precinct

The VAC will be undertaking consultation with the veterans’ community to create a strategic vision in relation to potential future opportunities for the Torrens precinct, and to enhance awareness of the relevance to the veteran community and enrich engagement with the South Australian community, whilst retaining its pre-eminence as site for honouring service.

In early 2021, a VAC working group was formed to consider the principles that would provide a vehicle for consultation about the redevelopment and future use of the Torrens Training Depot Precinct (TTD).

These included:

  • the role and function of the TTD precinct.
  • accessibility
  • sustainability, and
  • community connections (including consultation).

Following discussion at the Premier’s Round Table meeting on 1 July, the VAC proposed that the future of Torrens/TPG be revisited. The benefits of a ‘re-imagined Torrens Precinct’ include providing for a more engaged and better serviced veteran community and opportunities for the broader community to develop context and understanding and empathy for past, present and future defence service. This advice will then be provided to the Department of Environment and Water as the landlord of the site.

The VAC will establish a Steering Committee to develop a vision for the site that will examine the opportunities that exist and meet the Premier’s vision of TTD becoming a vibrant precinct with veterans at its heart.

The VAC will consult with the veterans’ community, and more information about how you can contribute will be made shortly.


VAC meeting 30 September 2021

To promote engagement with South Australia’s regional veterans, the 77th meeting of the VAC, scheduled for 30 September 2021, will be held in Kadina. This will also provide an opportunity for the VAC to visit the recently erected memorial to Sir Richard Williams KBE, CB, DSO at Moonta.


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.