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Council for Women and Families United by Defence Service members announced

Chief executive of BAE Systems Australia, Gabby Costigan, has been appointed as chair of the new Council for Women and Families United by Defence Service.

Chief executive of BAE Systems Australia, Gabby Costigan, has been appointed as chair of the new Council for Women and Families United by Defence Service.

The members for the council have been announced ahead of its first meeting on Wednesday, and Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel Darren Chester said he was thrilled that Costigan has agreed to chair the council.

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“The needs of women and families affected by defence service are not always understood or visible, and their voices are not always heard,” Minister Chester said.

“That’s why I announced the creation of the Council for Women and Families United by Defence Service, so that women and families could have a direct voice to my office.

“It’s important that we recognise – and seek to better understand – the service and sacrifice of women who have either served in the Australian Defence Force themselves or been impacted by the service of a loved one.”

Costigan said she was honoured to be a part of the council.

“I am proud to serve as chair for the council and provide my support to delivering better outcomes for veterans and their families,” she said.

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“I look forward to working with such a talented and experienced group of individuals to help provide a stronger voice for an often unheard part of the community.”

The full membership of the council is as follows.

Role Name
Chair Gabby Costigan MBE
Deputy Chair Janine Kirk AM
Member Douglas (Doug) Baird OAM
Member Rhondda Vanzella OAM
Member Michael Bainbridge
Member Gwen Cherne
Member Rachel Martin
Member Anne Pahl
Member Rachel Ranton
Member Robert Sutherland CSC
Member Renee Wilson
Member Meredith Lane
Member Flight Lieutenant Amanda Scott
Member Elizabeth Ward
Ex-Officio Liz Cosson AM, CSC
Ex-Officio Major General Natasha Fox AM CSC
Ex-Officio Kate Pope PSM

“The council is made up of a diverse range of people including parents, partners and widows of ADF personnel, chaplains, skilled professionals, veterans and ADF members,” Minister Chester said.

“Each member has lived experience of the challenges faced by veterans and veterans’ families.

“I thank each member for agreeing to sit on the council and I look forward to working with them to further improve the services and support provided to women and families united by defence service.”

Council for Women and Families United by Defence Service members announced
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