The Hon Andrew Gee MP
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs
Minister for Defence Personnel
Have you ever served in the Australian Defence Force?
One week from today, Australians will for the first time be answering this question as part of the 2021 Census.
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel Andrew Gee said the information will be invaluable in ensuring essential services are provided where veterans and their families need them most.
“Presently we do not have comprehensive demographic information about our veteran community, including simply knowing the number of veterans living in Australia today,” Minister Gee said.
“The Australian Government supports 240,231 veterans and 97,245 family members and dependents, but it is estimated there could be as many as 630,000 veterans in Australia.
“The 2021 Census will provide us with a much clearer picture of how many veterans there are and the areas they live in, which will allow the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and ex-service organisations to target key support services in the places where they’re needed most.”
The question will ask Australians to respond ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ for whether they have current or previous service in the Australian Defence Force Regular Service or in the Reserve Service.
“I encourage all our serving personnel and veterans to answer the “have you ever served in the ADF?” question in the upcoming Census, to help improve service delivery and ensure veterans and their families receive the best support possible,” Minister Gee said.
“Some of my key priorities as Minister for Veterans’ Affairs include making claims processing more efficient, cutting through the red tape, the adoption of new medical treatments, increasing support for veterans transitioning out of the military and providing mental health support services.
“The data we collect will mean these priorities can be tackled and targeted more effectively.”
The 2021 Australian Census will be released on August 10 2021. More information is available at: www.census.abs.gov.au
Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling provides 24/7 free confidential crisis support for current and ex-serving ADF personnel and their families on 1800 011 046 or the Open Arms website. Safe Zone Support provides anonymous counselling on 1800 142 072. Defence All-Hours Support Line provides support for ADF personnel on 1800 628 036 or the Department of Defence website. Defence Member and Family Helpline provides support for Defence families on 1800 624 608.