The Hon Andrew Gee MP
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs
Minister for Defence Personnel
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel Andrew Gee today announced the appointment of Mr Stuart Smith AO DSC as Defence Engagement Commissioner.
“Following a distinguished military career spanning 37 years rising to the rank of Major General, and post service employment as the State Disaster Recovery Coordinator in Queensland, I’m pleased to announce Mr Stuart Smith has been appointed as Defence Engagement Commissioner, to lead the Repatriation Commission’s engagement with the Australian Defence Force (ADF),” Minister Gee said.
“Mr Smith has been acting in the position since August 2020. During this time he has worked closely with Defence and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to strengthen cooperation and outcomes for our veterans.
“In particular, Mr Smith works with many ex-service organisations to discuss support for serving veterans and the delivery of programs that enable veterans and their families to secure meaningful employment once they transition.
“Over the past year, he has also worked closely with the Joint Transition Authority to establish a framework for transition support and services.”Mr Smith has actively engaged with Defence leaders, ex-service organisations, veterans and Defence personnel. He has undertaken roundtables and visits to Defence bases around the country to listen and grasp a fuller understanding of the ADF experience.
“During my period of command in Afghanistan six Australian soldiers were killed and three were wounded in action,” Mr Smith said.“I have been working hard to ensure the support for those veterans and their families affected by service has been synchronised between Defence and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.;
“With the rapidly changing situation in Afghanistan and many veterans reflecting on their service, getting that support to where it is needed has never been more important.”
Minister Gee said he warmly welcomed Stuart Smith’s appointment.
“With a deep professional understanding of the ADF and extensive public and private sector experience, I am positive Mr Smith will continue to contribute highly to the close cooperative relationship between the Repatriation Commission and the ADF to better support Defence personal, veterans and their families,” Minister Gee said.
For further information visit the DVA website Defence Engagement Commissioner Stuart Smith.
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.