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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


16 November 2018

Census statement

I welcome the announcement by the Australian Bureau of Statistics that a veteran identifier question is being considered for inclusion in the 2021 Census.

This is an important initiative that will provide invaluable further information about Australia’s veteran community.

Veterans’ Affairs Ministers from across Australia recognised the importance of this issue at a Veterans Ministers’ Round Table (VMRT) on 8 November 2017, unanimously agreeing to a motion that ‘a question about veterans should be included in the next Australian Census’.

This call was reinforced at the 27 October 2018 VMRT, where Ministers recognised the need for robust data on veterans’ issues and strongly endorsed the need for a veteran indicator to be included in the 2021 Census.

The inclusion of this question will help in providing a definitive answer on how many veterans there are in Australia, and where they live.

The Census data has the potential to help the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) and Ex-Service Organisations to better target and improve the services and support provided to veterans and their families – particularly the large proportion of veterans who are currently unknown to DVA.


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