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New council working on recognition for families left behind

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester has requested that the newly-formed Council for Women and Families United by Defence Service identifies an “appropriate form” of recognition for the families of service personnel who are killed or wounded in action and service.

The request is considered a priority for the council, which confirmed it will be one of their first tasks.


“Since the First World War, there have been badges and pins to acknowledge the loss of a family member, but there isn’t currently a single form of recognition by Defence that acknowledges the sacrifice they have made,” Minister Chester said.

Any recognition offered would be the first of its kind by Defence since the Vietnam War.

“It is important to honour the Australians who mourn those killed or injured in the service of their nation,” Minister Chester said.

“Service within the Australian Defence Force has impacts beyond the serving member – families are the primary support network for members through their ADF service and beyond.”

Following a consultation process, the council will make a number of recommendations to the government on the eligibility of recognition.

“There is no better time to start the conversation, and I look forward to receiving the council’s recommendation on how we can honour the families of those who sacrifice so much for this country,” the Minister for Veterans' Affairs said.

“Any sacrifice made in service for our country is felt far and wide, and we should acknowledge those directly affected.” 

The Council for Women and Families United by Defence Service was announced in December 2018, and provides a forum for women and families to have a direct voice on issues for Defence members and families into Minister Chester's office.

The council's first meeting will take place in early 2019, where details of the consultation process plans to be finalised.

New council working on recognition for families left behind
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