The unique challenges Australian Defence Force (ADF) families experience are being recognised this week at events across Australia, as part of National Families Week.
To mark the beginning of National Families Week, Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel, the Hon Matt Keogh MP, delivered a personal message of thanks to all ADF and veteran families.
“People are Defence’s most important capability and we recognise the importance of supporting the families that support those who serve. Today is the United Nations International Day of Families, and I want to take this opportunity to celebrate and thank ADF and veteran families for your resilience and the contribution you make to our nation.
“Having the support of their family is essential for ADF members to undertake their work in service of our nation, while families are often on the front line when a veteran needs some extra support. That is why the Albanese Government is committed to ensuring Defence and veteran families receive the services and supports they need and deserve.
“The Albanese Government is working with Defence and veteran families to develop a national Defence and Veteran Family Support Strategy to improve the experience of all families in service, and following.
“We’ve already invested in initiatives such as the enhancement of the ADF Family Health Program, improved access to housing for personnel and veterans, expanded how we identify families and published the Defence Member and Family Information Guide.
“There’s no doubt that families have a vital role to play in supporting a Defence member or veteran, that’s been further emphasised throughout the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide. We’re responding to the recommendations of the Royal Commission as quickly as possible to ensure families receive the financial supports and access to information they need in a timely fashion.
“In 2022 we expanded the Defence, Veterans’ and Families’ Acute Support Package to apply to a broader set of veterans and to provide more flexibility in supports for their families.
“We know that families look different all over the country. For many kids, grandparents are their primary carers. That’s why in the recent Budget we announced we’re expanding the Defence, Veterans’ and Families’ Acute Support Package further to make sure that grandcarer veteran families are also supported if experiencing crisis.