The Prime Minister, the Hon. Scott Morrison MP and the Hon. Darren Chester, MP made a joint media statement on 27 October 2018 stating that the Government would be developing an Australian Defence Veterans’ Covenant to be enacted in legislation.
The Veteran Card, a new Australian Veteran Lapel Pin and a Reservist Pin underpin the Covenant.
To date the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) have received more than 18,000 applications for the Veterans’ Recognition Program. The distribution of Lapel Pins will commence when the covenant passes Federal Parliament.
The intent of the lapel pins is to enable veterans and reservists to be easily identifiable by the Australian community where they choose to wear it.
For those with a current DVA treatment card, Gold and White card, these will be rebranded to a Veteran Card. A Veteran Card will only be issued to those with an eligibility to medical treatment under the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 and the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004. The new design will not affect current access to treatment.
The Covenant includes and oath, which the Australian people will be encouraged to take at community commemorative events.
Sixty-five (65) businesses have expressed their interest in participating in the program from the retail, service industry and tourism sectors.
These businesses are currently doing the necessary work to ensure their staff and systems are in place, to be ready to participate when the program is formally launched.
There are additional organisations, including large retailers, which are currently discussing their involvement in the program.
These organisation have significant national footprints, with more than 7,000 outlets, and require a longer lead time to set up the required infrastructure to accept the Veteran Card.
Open Arms – Veterans and Families Counselling, provides support for current and ex-serving ADF personnel and their families. Free and confidential help is available 24/7. Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 1800 011 046 or +61 8 8241 4546) or visit www.OpenArms.gov.au