Media Release – Supporting female veterans and families

6 Dec 2016

 Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Dan Tehan praised the contribution of our female Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel and veterans and called on all Australians to recognise their service and sacrifice.

Dan Tehan

Mr Tehan attended the first-ever Female Veterans and Families Forum in Canberra today where female veterans and representatives from veterans and family groups discussed ways to improve services.

“This forum delivers another Turnbull Government election commitment by providing a platform for our female veterans to raise issues directly to the Government and Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA),” Mr Tehan said.

“One striking message was that our female veterans do not feel they receive the recognition they deserve for their service and sacrifice.

“For example, many of our female veterans observed that when they wore their medals in public many people assumed they were wearing the medals of their father or grandfather.

“The reality is there are almost 9000 women currently serving in the ADF, which is about 15 per cent of the total permanent force.

“There is not a single job in the ADF that is not open to women and women are making important and valuable contributions to our national defence.

“As a society, we need to acknowledge the service and sacrifice of everyone who serves in defence of our country.”

Mr Tehan said the forum raised other issues about communication and transition that the Government would seek to address.

“The female veterans and families gave feedback about areas of improvement that are specific to families and the important role they play in supporting the veteran community,” Mr Tehan said.

“The Government is improving the transition process by ensuring all personnel will have appropriate documentation, including health records, superannuation and training records, and participate in the formal transition process before separating from the ADF. All separating ADF personnel will also have access to coaching services to help them seek and obtain employment.

“Since the start of this year the ADF and DVA computer systems are also sharing some information which will allow DVA to communicate with ADF personnel at appropriate stages of their careers and post-service life.”

6 December 2016

Media enquiries:
Minister Tehan’s Office: Byron Vale, 0428 262 894
Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203

Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for crisis support and free confidential counselling. Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 8  45482416). VVCS is a service founded by Vietnam veterans.