Veterans Issues Minister Peter Tinley has launched Western Australia’s first Veterans and Families Strategy.
Incorporating the five themes of recognition, understanding, support, participation and commemoration, the strategy will guide the development and implementation of policies and initiatives to promote the wellbeing of WA’s veterans.
Although commemoration of the service and sacrifice of Australian service personnel is integral to the strategy, it places equal importance on finding ways for the WA economy to benefit from the veteran community.
This is why the strategy supports the WA Defence and Defence Industries Strategic Plan spearheaded and led by the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation.
The Australian Defence Force undertook several significant and often concurrent operational commitments between 1999 and 2013. There are now believed to be more than 58,000 Australian veterans from East Timor, the Solomon Islands, Iraq and Afghanistan – many of whom are still in the workforce.
The Veterans and Families Strategy aims make the most of these veterans by harnessing their skills, knowledge and sense of public service, and is available at https://www.communities.wa.gov.au/veterans-strategy
As stated by Veterans Issues Minister Peter Tinley:
“Many of us tend to think of veterans as those who served Australia in the First World War, the Second World War and the post-war conflicts of South-East Asia, which is an enduring attitude that is entirely appropriate.
“Our servicemen and women are among the best in the world. They are highly trained, experienced professionals who have pledged to serve something bigger than themselves.
“The Veterans and Families Strategy recognises how the more recent generations of veterans have much to offer the WA economy through their contribution to business, industry and the wider community.
“For example, WA is set to become a hub for the defence industry. An experienced and skilled cohort of workers with a defence background is an invaluable resource in building this sector.
“So while we always commemorate the service and sacrifice of Australia’s service personnel, we also need to find ways to ensure the value of our present-day veterans is recognised.”