Indigenous Veterans Strategy
Through the Indigenous Veterans Strategy, DVA identifies Indigenous veterans and their dependants to ensure they know of and can access DVA services and benefits and aims to raise awareness about their contribution to the nation by commemorating their war service.
The department developed the strategy with an understanding of the cultural impediments that may prevent Indigenous veterans accessing their DVA entitlements, and with the knowledge of the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.
Implementation of the strategy
In a major initiative for 2012-13, DVA launched the Indigenous Champion project. Indigenous players from the Canberra Raiders and Gold Coast Titans National Rugby League teams are raising awareness in Indigenous communities of the benefits and services available from DVA and helping to ensure that those who served are getting the recognition and help they deserve.
In 2012-13, DVA partnered with the Australian National University and other organisations for a four-year project: Serving our Country –A history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the defence of Australia. The project is supported by a grant from the Australian Research Council and contributions from DVA, the Department of Defence, the Australian War Memorial and the National Archives of Australia.
Ceremonies honouring Indigenous veterans
DVA provided support for national ceremonies to honour the service and sacrifice made by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in all Australia’s wars, conflicts and peace operations.
Reconciliation and NAIDOC Weeks
In 2012-13, the department continued its long-established program of supporting activities during Reconciliation and NAIDOC Weeks. This included partnering with the Department of Defence and the Australian War Memorial for the Chief of the Defence Force’s 2012 NAIDOC Defence Memorial Service during NAIDOC Week.