Nine companies and individuals who have created employment opportunities and helped demonstrate the positive contribution veterans make to Australian workplaces have been honoured through the Prime Minister’s Veterans’ Employment Awards.
Around 5,500 members discharge from the Australian Defence Force each year. Many of these men and women are of an age where they still have a long civilian career ahead of them.
During their time serving in Defence of our nation, they will have led teams, worked with others to solve complex problems and demonstrated resilience and adaptability in high-pressure situations – all qualities that make them a great attribute to any business.
The Prime Minister’s Veterans’ Employment Awards is part of a broad program of activity aimed at raising employer awareness of the enormous value and unique experience of veterans.
Winners at last night’s ceremony represent the many companies that are consciously tapping into the skilled veteran workforce and demonstrate what a tremendous asset a veteran can be to a business.
The highest honour of Outstanding Contribution by an Individual to Veterans’ Employment was awarded to Chris Mayfield OAM. Mayfield is a third generation soldier who was discharged from the Army in January 2014, completing 26 years of distinguished service.
He is a champion for veteran employment and was influential in establishing Fortescue Metals Group recruitment and training program that has seen 54 veterans enter careers in mining. Chris played a pivotal role in assisting the business understand the opportunity of offering roles to veterans, drawing on his knowledge of defence and of trade qualifications.
The award for Outstanding Employer of the Year went to BCT Solutions – also awarded the Veterans’ Employer of the Year - Medium – for its outstanding commitment to hiring veterans, with nearly 90 per cent of its workforce being former service men and women.
A priority of the government is to help veterans effectively transition to civilian life. Finding veterans meaningful employment after they leave the military benefits individuals, families, businesses, the economy and the nation.
Supporting Australian veterans extends to the whole family, and the government congratulated Defence Bank for winning the Excellence in Supporting Spouse Employment Award. One-quarter of Defence Bank’s branch network employees are either a partner, sibling, child or other family connection to an ADF member.
The government’s Veterans Employment Commitment is designed to help connect ex-service men and women with employment opportunities for the excellent skills they bring to the workplace. That commitment, combined with the new Veterans’ Covenant, Australian Veterans’ Card and lapel pin, are all designed to bring governments and businesses together to support the veterans of today and tomorrow.