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The Hon Darren Chester MP
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Minister for Defence Personnel
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC


23 June 2018

Minister addresses RSL Queensland State Congress

IMPROVING transition for current and former members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) living in Queensland was a key focus for Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester speaking at the annual RSL Queensland State Congress in Cairns today.

Mr Chester, who hosted a veteran employment roundtable in Brisbane this week, said it’s important that all businesses understand the benefits of employing veterans.

“Transitioning from the ADF into civilian life can be challenging and we want to ensure that there is a clear pathway for our ex-service men and women to find meaningful employment,” Mr Chester said.

“We are investing $4 million to further develop, promote and implement the Prime Minister’s Veterans’ Employment Program and to support veterans transition to civilian life by working with some of Australia’s best business leaders and organisations to make this a reality.”

Mr Chester said that further funding of $4.3 million would provide additional services to help support veterans enter the workforce.

“The Budget funding will help deliver essential services to help veterans find employment by providing additional support with résumé and interview preparation, translating ADF skills into civilian competencies, as well as tailored mentoring and coaching services,” Mr Chester said.

“I’ve seen up close the professionalism, the dedication, the leadership, the patriotism, and the pride in our nation, what employer wouldn’t want those skills in their workplace.”

Mr Chester also discussed the upcoming Invictus Games to be held in Sydney from 20 to 27 October, following the recent announcement of the 72-member Australian team.

“The Games will be a great event that will see wounded, injured and ill veterans from around the globe give their all in the sporting arena. 500 participants from 18 nations will compete in 10 different adaptive sports,” Mr Chester said.

“I’m sure Cairns (and the rest of our country) will get behind local Matthew Payne who will represent Australia in wheelchair basketball, with Queensland having a strong representation in the team.

“These games also recognise the significant contribution that family and friends make in supporting our veterans. We should never forget the sacrifice that has been made for us by our serving men and women.”


Media Contacts:

Whil Prendergast: 02 6277 7820
DVA Media: 02 6289 6466
Office of the Hon Darren Chester MP, Canberra.


Open Arms – Veterans and Families Counselling provides support for current and ex-serving ADF personnel and their families. Free and confidential help is available 24/7. Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 8 8241 4546) or visit