Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester has announced new appointments to the council of the Australian War Memorial and the Repatriation Commission.
Colonel (Ret’d) Susan Neuhaus CSC is the new appointee to the Council of the Australian War Memorial along with the reappointment of Major General Aziz Melick AO.
Minister Chester said the appointments would ensure the continuation of high-quality guidance and leadership of the War Memorial and its vital program of work in the years to come.
"Colonel Neuhaus and Major General Melick are part of a strong team and bring a wealth of experience in the medical and military professions and will have a key role to play in honouring the memory of our nation’s military history," Minister Chester said.
"The work of Australian War Memorial and the council is crucial in raising national awareness of the service and sacrifice offered by our current and former serving community.
"I am pleased the Australian government will invest $13 million as announced in the federal budget to further preserve its National Collection and will ensure increased public access to the memorial and its exhibitions.
"I thank all council members for their dedication and hard work in preserving and sharing our military history."
Major General (Ret'd) Elizabeth Cosson AM CSC has been appointed to the role of president of the Repatriation Commission. Cosson’s appointment occurs concurrent to her appointment as secretary of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
"With her extensive experience in the military and public service Ms Cosson is well qualified to fill this important role which is integral to supporting and honouring our nation’s current and former-serving Australian Defence Force community," the minister said.
"Ms Cosson will be the first female Repatriation Commission president in the nation’s history, and as we move into our second century of service, it is more important than ever that we focus on the challenges facing the 21st century veteran community.
"I congratulate Ms Cosson on her appointment and I look forward to working closely with her in the years to come."
The president of the Repatriation Commission plays an important role in deciding policy affecting Australia’s veterans, and is instrumental in translating government policy decision into action, Minister Chester said.
Historically, the president of the Repatriation Commission and the secretary of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs have been the same person, in an effort to ensure the Department’s strategic direction is complemented by deep policy expertise.
The Repatriation Commission in its current form was established on 1 July 1920 by the proclamation of the Australian Soldiers’ Repatriation Act 1920 and the department recently celebrated its 100th anniversary.