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National Consultation Framework


The National Consultation Framework (NCF) initially was launched in 2009 and is a comprehensive consultative structure designed to facilitate communication between the veteran and ex-service community, the Repatriation and Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commissions, and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA). The NCF operates independently to the Prime Ministerial Advisory Council on Ex-Service Matters (PMAC).

The 2016 Review of the National Consultation Framework

Every three years the NCF is formally reviewed to assess the ongoing effectiveness and relevance of the Framework. The most recent review was undertaken in late 2016 by a steering committee comprising of the Repatriation Commissioner, the Deputy President, Head of People Capability Division, Department of Defence, and New South Wales Deputy President, Ms Jennifer Collins.

Following wide consultation with current and recently former NCF members the overall conclusion of the steering committee is that the NCF remains a highly effective consultation mechanism for the department, Repatriation Commission, Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission and the ESO community.

17 recommendations have been identified from the review. These broadly address the structure of the NCF, enhancements to communication within the NCF and supporting administrative arrangements. The report can be viewed here.

Of significance, the NCF has been re-structured to now incorporate the Female Veterans and Families Forum and to re-instate the Operational Working Party into the enduring NCF. Details of each forum can be found on the links below:

Text description of the National Consultation Framework - Referral Pathways

The vertical flowchart flows from top to bottom through a hierarchy. Flows are shown as operating in a two way direction up and down through the hierarchy (there being no direct link between the top and bottom role in the hierarchy). The top three roles are (from top to bottom) Prime Minister, the Minister for Veterans' Affairs and the Ex-Service Organisation Round Table. The Prime Ministerial Advisory Council on Ex-Service Matters sits to the side of the NCF. From the Ex-Service Organisation Round Table, the flow drops down into two paths. The left path goes to the Young Veterans Contemporary Needs Forum and the Female Veterans and Families Forum, with the right path going to the National Aged and Community Care Forum and the Operational Working Party. Below these two roles, the separate paths then both flow into the bottom-most role of State Consultation Forums.

The one exception to the hierarchical flow is a path which provides for flow back upwards direct from the State Consultation Forums to the Ex-Service Organisation Round Table (thus providing the option of bypassing both the left and right referral pathways.

The one exception to the hierarchical flow is a path which provides for flow back upwards direct from the State Consultation Fora to the Ex-Service Organisation Round Table (thus providing the option of bypassing both the left and right referral pathways. p>

Operational Aspects

All consultative forums at a national and state level will operate with defined work agenda, formal Terms of Reference, standardised secretariat services to assist the framework


The ESORT can refer any matter to another national forum and/or state-based forums for consideration. Subordinate state-based forums can equally refer issues to the national ESORT for consultation.

As deemed appropriate by the Chair and assessed on a case-by-case basis, matters may also be referred from the ESORT to other consultative bodies to which DVA contributes and that exist outside the National Consultation Framework.


Organisations represented on NCF forums are to consider the Terms of Reference, as well as the intent and the objectives of the forum, when nominating a representative to form part of the membership.

The National President or Chairperson of the organisation will nominate a representative, providing a brief statement in support of the nominations, as well as the nominated individuals’ resumes.


The ESO Round Table (ESORT) comprises the National Presidents or their equivalents of the member organisations.

Female Veterans Families Forum (FVFF) was established to provide a platform for female veterans family members to raise issues directly with the Government and DVA

The National Aged and Community Care Forum (NACCF) brings together a range of aged care experts, including ESOs and those in the aged care industry.

The Operational Working Party (OWP) provides the department with the opportunity to inform the members on matters of operational policy and discuss potential improvements, and for the members to raise operational matters of concern.

The Younger Veterans - Contemporary Needs Forum (YVF) comprises of younger serving or former serving members with contemporary experience (post 1999) or representative who have a direct association with contemporary conflicts (e.g widows / partners)

State and Territory forums comprise representatives from state and sub-branches of a number of ESOs.

Approval Process:

Nominations, including supporting information, should be forwarded to the forum secretariat for consideration. For State or Territory forums, this will be the local Deputy Commissioner’s group. 

New Organisations on Forums:

Organisations that believe they have a representative client base and are able to contribute to high level and strategic discussions, are welcome to request they be considered in future membership changes. The membership of the forums is reviewed every three years, the next due in 2019

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