Image: At a commemorative service in Salisbury, Adelaide.
- Sailing program sets a new course for Veterans (sail-world.com)
- Two new veteran… – Cruising Yacht Club of South Australia | Facebook
- Sailing Program Sets a New Course for Veterans | Australian Sailing
- Saltwater veteran healing on the seas after grenade blast – InDaily
Veterans Support and Defence History:
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:
- A new mental health program to support veterans in rural and regional areas with chronic mental health issues.
- A new income support payment for veterans unable to work as a result of mental health issues.
- Increased access to childcare assistance, home care and counselling for veterans.
- Household and attendant care services for those who have suffered a catastrophic injury.
- 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.
- Additional funding to existing veterans’ mental health services.
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:
- Mental health of ADF serving personnel – Parliament of Australia (aph.gov.au)
- Inquiry into transition from the Australian Defence Force (ADF) – Parliament of Australia (aph.gov.au)
- National Commissioner for Defence and Veteran Suicide Prevention Bill 2020 [provisions] and the National Commissioner for Defence and Veteran Suicide Prevention (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2020 [provisions] – Parliament of Australia (aph.gov.au)
- Accuracy of information provided to Defence Force Retirement and Death Benefits (DFRDB) members – Parliament of Australia (aph.gov.au)
- TPI payment (Special Rate of Disability Pension) – Parliament of Australia (aph.gov.au)