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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


18 October 2018

Forums focus on veterans' families and employment

Minister for Veterans' Affairs Darren Chester today opened the Veterans' Families and Veterans' Employment forums in Sydney ahead of the Invictus Games Sydney 2018.

Mr Chester said the forums, hosted by the Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA), provide a valuable platform for discussing complex challenges associated with transitioning from defence service to civilian life.

"Our Government is putting veterans and their families first," Mr Chester said.

"Our Government is committed to supporting our 290,000 veterans and their families, and provides more than $11.2 billion each year to deliver the essential services and programs they rely on.

"We are also focussed on improving the support available to serving members as they transition to civilian life, including helping them secure meaningful employment, but there is more to be done and I am confident these forums will produce some new approaches to tackling these problems."

Subject matter experts and decision makers from Australia and overseas will participate in the forums, showcasing world best-practice ideas, programs and services and discussing future policy actions to secure better outcomes for our veterans and their families.

Mr Chester said a key issue to getting our veterans into the workforce once they leave the Australian Defence Force is making sure businesses are aware of the unique skills and experiences these individuals have.

"My message to employers is clear, hiring a veteran is good for your business," Mr Chester said.

Mr Chester said the Veterans' Families Forum would examine how veterans' families can provide support and be supported during and after defence service, it will also showcase our Australian experience, initiate global conversations and pledge future actions with the aim of developing a best practice model for assisting families.

"The homefront is just as important as the front line and the great sacrifices made by families and friends of veterans must be recognised as their contributions behind the scenes are just as important," Mr Chester said.

Outcomes from today's forums will be presented and further discussed at a DVA Invictus Symposium in Sydney tomorrow and will feed into discussions at the Veterans Ministerial International 5-Eyes Conference, featuring Veterans' Ministers from Australia, the US, UK, Canada and New Zealand, to be held in Sydney this weekend.

Further details can be found at


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