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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

MEDIA RELEASE

20 October 2018

Veterans’ Ministers come together at Invictus 2018

The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester will today host a meeting with visiting Veterans’ Affairs Ministers, agency heads and senior military representatives from the 5-Eyes countries: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The meeting, which has been timed to coincide with the Invictus Games, will discuss the outcomes from the Australian Government Department of Veterans’ Affairs-led Employment and Families forums and the Invictus 18 Symposium that were held over the past two days.

“I welcome my Ministerial colleagues from Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the United States,” Mr Chester said.

“I look forward to discussing common issues faced by veterans and their families and sharing new ideas to help support them.

“The Sydney 5-Eyes Conference presents a unique opportunity for us to come together at the Ministerial level and it’s great that an inspiring event like the Invictus Games can make that possible.”

Mr Chester said at the 2017 London 5-Eyes Conference, members agreed to undertake research and share emerging data on prevention strategies for veterans at risk of suicide.

“A Centre of Excellence has since been established to address the challenges in improving the mental health and well-being of serving and ex-serving defence personnel,” Mr Chester said.

“I look forward to hearing from the Veterans Affairs’ agency heads about their efforts and the progress that has been made on this incredibly important initiative.”

Issues for discussion at the Sydney 5-Eyes Conference include a focus on the latest international research on suicide prevention, leading international strategies to address post-transition education and employment, a review of best-practice models in government service delivery to veterans and an examination of some of the leading programs from the 5-Eyes nations that support transitioning veterans with mental health problems.

At the conclusion of the 5-Eyes meeting tomorrow (Sunday), a Statement of Intent will be issued to reaffirm the 5-Eyes members’ commitment to working together.

“The 5-Eyes is a very important platform for Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States,” Mr Chester said.

“We are all dedicated to using the 5-Eyes Conference to learn from each other and advance our thinking and approaches for the betterment of the lives of our veterans and their families.”

Further details can be found at the DVA Invictus Sydney 2018 website.

Ends

Media contact

Whil Prendergast: 0427 672 815
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 www.OpenArms.gov.au