Service within the Australian Defence Force (ADF) has impacts beyond the serving member. Families are both the primary support network for members throughout ADF service and beyond, whilst also directly affected by the service of their loved ones. Women who wear our nation’s uniform, are mothers, wives, sisters and daughters. This can bring a unique set of challenges.
The Council for Women and Families United by Defence Service (the Council) was established in December 2018 to ensure the needs of women and families united by defence service are understood and visible, and their voices are heard. The Council brings these voices together to provide timely and comprehensive advice to Government on matters that involve or affect them, drive coherent policy outcomes and advocate on behalf of these women and families.
The Council is built on the foundations of contemporary lived experience, inclusivity, collaboration, compassion and respect. Members of the Council represent the broad cross-section of the veteran community and include, partners, widows, parents, current and ex-serving members and reservists and chaplaincy and all bring an interest and passion for supporting veterans and their families.
The Council will focus on the key priorities of ADF partner/spouse employment, family support and female veterans. The Council is also considering recognition for women and families of ADF personnel killed, wounded or injured in service.
Due to overwhelming interest from the ex-service community, the Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel, the Hon Darren Chester MP, recently agreed to increase participation in the Council.
The Council is currently reviewing applications to fill up to 10 advisory position roles. These advisors will be announced in early 2020.