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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


6 March 2019

Recognition of families left behind

One of the priorities of the newly established Council for Women and Families United by Defence Service will be to consider a request from the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester to identify an appropriate form of recognition for the families of service personnel who are killed or wounded in action and service.

“It is important to honour the Australians who mourn those killed or injured in the service of their nation,” Mr Chester said.

Consulting on this recognition will be one of the first tasks of the newly formed Council, and any recognition suggested by the Council would be the first of its kind offered by Defence since the Vietnam War.

“Service within the Australian Defence Force (ADF) has impacts beyond the serving member – families are the primary support network for members through their ADF service and beyond,” Mr Chester said.

“Since the First World War, there have been badges and pins to acknowledge the loss of a family member, but there isn’t currently a single form of recognition by Defence that acknowledges the sacrifice they have made,” Mr Chester said.

At the end of the consultation process, the Council will look to make a number of recommendations to the Government on the eligibility of recognition.

“There is no better time to start the conversation, and I look forward to receiving the Council’s recommendation on how we can honour the families of those who sacrifice so much for this country,” Mr Chester said.

“Any sacrifice made in service for our country is felt far and wide, and we should acknowledge those directly affected.”
Announced on 14 December 2018, the Council for Women and Families United by Defence Service provides a forum for women and families to have a direct voice on issues for Defence members and families into Minister Chester’s office.

The first meeting of the Council will take place in early 2019 where the details of the consultation process will be finalised.



Cedric Szigeti: 02 6277 7820
DVA Media: 02 6289 6466
Office of the Hon Darren Chester, Canberra ACT

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