Image: At a commemorative service in Salisbury, Adelaide.


Veterans Support and Defence History:

At the RAAF Base, Edinburgh.

Following a report I was involved in by the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade into suicide by veterans and ex-service personnel, the Coalition Government funded a number of new initiatives, including:

  1. A new mental health program to support veterans in rural and regional areas with chronic mental health issues.
  2. A new income support payment for veterans unable to work as a result of mental health issues.
  3. Increased access to childcare assistance, home care and counselling for veterans.
  4. Household and attendant care services for those who have suffered a catastrophic injury.
  5. Access to gold card for ADF members who served in Japan at the end of the Second World War before the Commonwealth Occupation Force commenced.
  6. Additional funding to existing veterans’ mental health services.
Presenting the inaugural award of the Hobart Cup to the Navy for their team win in the Hobart Cup sailing competition.

In 2019, I launched a veterans’ rehabilitation program, “Setting a New Course”, which is designed to assist both current and former ADF personnel in moving beyond injuries sustained during their service by participating in sports sailing.

In 2022, the Parliament passed the Defence Veterans’ and Families’ Acute Support Package Bill 2022, which was originally introduced by the Coalition Government and is largely a response to an inquiry I was a part of, as a member of the SSCFADT, which issued a report in 2017: The constant battle: suicide by veterans.

As a member of the SSCFADT references committee, I initiated an inquiry, via a motion in the Senate, into “Adaptive sport programs for Australian Defence Force veterans”. The inquiry’s report, which you can read here, was handed down in mid-2023.

Some of the other inquiries I have either initiated or have been a part of that have led to better outcomes for veterans and their families include:

With Acting Chief of Air Force, Air Vice-Marshal Gavin Turnbull AM at the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Memorial Grove, ACT, for a commemorative ceremonial to mark the 98th anniversary of the formation of the RAAF.