Mr Stuart Smith appointed Defence Engagement Commissioner

Tuesday, August 24 2021

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.

In 2012 Major General Smith was appointed Commander Joint Task Force 633, responsible for Operation Slipper and Australian forces operating in the Middle East.

“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.

Media contacts

Minister Gee’s office: 0459 966 944
DVA Media: 02 6289 6466
Office of the Hon. Andrew Gee, 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 www.OpenArms.gov.au