Thursday, 11 June 2015

Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC
Special Minister of State


Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson, today announced new appointments to the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) Advisory Committee.

“I am pleased to announce the appointments of the committee’s new Chair, Associate Professor Jane Burns, and member Dr Andrew Khoo,” Senator Ronaldson said.

Associate Professor Jane Burns is the founder and CEO of the Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre, an organisation that unites young people with researchers, practitioners and innovators to explore the role of technology in improving mental health and wellbeing for young people aged 12 to 25. Associate Professor Burns also holds a Principal Research Fellowship at Orygen, the National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health and an Honorary Fellowship at the Brain and Mind Research Institute.

Dr Andrew Khoo divides his time between private practice and working at the Toowong Private Hospital as a Clinical Director. He is also a Senior Lecturer at the University of Queensland Medical School. Dr Khoo completed his undergraduate medical degree at the University of Queensland in 1994. He received his fellowship from the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists in 2002, receiving a College medal for his final year dissertation on posttraumatic stress disorder.

“Associate Professor Burns and Dr Khoo will bring a wealth of experience to VVCS, which performs an essential service for many of Australia’s veterans through providing crisis support and free and confidential counselling 24-hours a day, seven days a week,” Senator Ronaldson said.

“I also wish to thank the outgoing Chair, Dr Tony Austin AM and outgoing committee member Professor Malcolm Battersby.

“Since their terms started in 2009, the committee has been instrumental in guiding some significant changes to VVCS, including insights into the ideal design and layout of clinical offices, expanding eligibility for VVCS services, advice on clinical governance and introducing the new VVCS website and Facebook page.

“I would also like to thank retiring ex-officio member Warrant Officer David Ashley WO1 RSM-A, for providing his insight into the military experience to VVCS.”

Media enquiries:

Minister Ronaldson: Mark Lee 02 6277 7820 or 0408 547 381

Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203

Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) and Veterans Line can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for crisis support and free and confidential counselling. Phone 1800 011 046

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