Skip to navigation

Media releases & speeches

The Hon Dan Tehan MP
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Minister for Defence Personnel
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Cyber Security
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC

18 April 2017

Recognising female veterans

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Dan Tehan has today called for greater understanding of the service and sacrifice of Australia’s female veterans.

“Last year the Government held a forum with current and former female Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel and their families where our female veterans said that many did not feel they received recognition for their service,” Mr Tehan said.

“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.

“So this Anzac Day, if you see anyone wearing medals on their left side it is because they earned those medals and please tell them ‘thank-you’ for their service.

“Australian servicewomen now comprise 16.1 per cent of the permanent full-time ADF and there are currently 266 women serving overseas on ADF operations, representing about 14 per cent of the total deployed force.

“We now have 82 women in senior officer positions – colonel equivalent and above – compared to 48 in February 2012.

“As a nation we respect and honour the service and sacrifice of every man and woman who serves in defence of our nation, our freedoms and our values.”

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 8241 4546). VVCS is a service founded by Vietnam veterans.