In recognition of their unique service, Australia’s veterans have earned a special place in our community and I am privileged to have been appointed Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC.
DVA has a long and proud history of supporting the veteran community. DVA Towards 2020 is a blueprint for the future of the Department – to ensure it is well equipped to meet the needs of veterans and their families. This Plan builds on the success of its predecessor, and continues the Government’s long term commitment to DVA.
The Government remains committed to improving the support and services provided to Australia’s veteran community – from the widows of First World War veterans through to current serving Australian Defence Force personnel and their families.
Accordingly, I have outlined six priorities for DVA. The first three will transform DVA culturally, technically and operationally. The remaining three will improve the support available to the veteran community. The six priorities seek to
- transform DVA from a claims-centric organisation to a client-focused one
- upgrade and integrate IT systems
- reduce the time taken to process claims
- improve the transition processes for personnel leaving military service
- increase our emphasis on vocational rehabilitation options to assist those who are able to return to the workforce; and
- expand our understanding of mental health through continued research to ensure ex-serving members and their families are effectively linked with quality mental health support.
2016 will provide many challenges and opportunities for the Department, as it progresses this large body of work. This is in addition to a range of whole-of-government reforms already underway to transform the public sector, to make it more agile and able to deliver more tailored and streamlined services.
The Government is also continuing to commemorate our military history for the remaining Centenary of Anzac period – including the 100th anniversaries of conflicts on the Western Front in France and Belgium through to the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day on 11 November 2018.
As a former Australian Defence Force member with peacekeeping service, it is humbling to be charged with caring for our veteran community. It is an honour to be a steward of our nation’s war time history and to ensure those who served our country are given the support and recognition they deserve. I look forward to working with the Secretary, his senior leadership group, and all of DVA’s staff to deliver the important strategies outlined in this blueprint.
The Hon Stuart Robert MP
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs
Minister for Human Services
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC