Winners of the Prime Minister’s Veterans’ Employment Awards

The winners of this year’s Prime Minister’s Veterans’ Employment Awards across the award categories were announced online on 15 May.

Veteran Entrepreneur of the Year

Jeremy Holder, TacMed Australia

TacMed provides emergency medical equipment and specialist first aid training across Australia and internationally. From its modest beginning in his spare bedroom in 2010, Jeremy’s vision, passion and energy have created an innovative and rapidly growing tactical medical supply and training company that provides veteran and other members of our workforce with challenging and interesting careers, and the opportunity to deploy their specialist skills for the benefit of the wider community.

Veteran Employee of the Year

Davor Strbac, Suncorp

Davor joined the Suncorp Group in 2014 in an entry-level role as a security officer in the Physical Security team. His ability to bring the best out of his Security Operations Centre team and his performance under pressure saw Davor gain promotions throughout the years to now lead the physical security capability for the Suncorp Group. Davor was a founding member of Suncorp’s Veterans, Reserves and Defence Families advocacy group, and is actively involved in Legacy fundraising activities, employee expos and other events raising the profile of veterans and their families.

Veterans’ Employer of the Year — Medium, and Outstanding Veterans’ Employer of the Year


Adam Frizell General Manager and Emily Frizell CEO.

AeroPM is a 100 per cent Australian veteran-owned and operated defence industry professional consulting services company, with veterans comprising more than 90 per cent of the workforce. Its mission is to successfully transition veterans from Defence into defence industry, retain their knowledge, passion and dedication within the Defence community, and upskill these veterans into industry-leading consultants to support acquisition of defence capability.

Veterans’ Employer of the Year — Small

Emergency Australia

Sean O’Loughlin, Founder and Managing Director.

Emergency Australia provides medical services to high risk and often remote locations. It was established in 2013 to combine the unique skills and experiences of military veterans with civilian emergency service personnel. By combining these skills, experiences and geographic locations, a truly unique and holistic service could be delivered across the Asia-Pacific region.

Veterans’ Employer of the Year — Large

Rheinmetall Defence Australia

Paul Warren, Manager Veteran Engagement Program (centre) and colleagues.

Rheinmetall Defence Australia is a major defence company with operations across Australia and New Zealand, delivering specialist defence capability to both the Australian and New Zealand defence forces. Rheinmetall Defence Australia’s Veteran Engagement Program offers a flexible approach to individuals transitioning from Defence, including those who may have suffered injuries as a result of service.

Public Sector Excellence in Supporting Veteran Employment

ACT Public Service

Josephine Anderson, Executive Branch Manager of Skills Canberra and Gordon Ramsay MLA, Minister for Seniors and Veterans.

The ACT Government’s Veteran’s Employment Strategy aligns with the broader focus of the ACT Public Service (ACTPS) to build a diverse, agile, responsive and innovative public service that delivers the ACT Government’s priorities and provides effective services for the ACT community. The ACTPS hosts a veterans’ employment website with a number of resources aimed at Australian Defence Force (ADF) members, veterans and their family members as well as ACTPS employees.

Excellence in Supporting Spouse Employment

RSL Queensland

Robert Skoda, General Manager

RSL Queensland provides a range of services including employment, scholarships, advocacy, accommodation, and wellbeing programs. The RSL Queensland Employment Program includes a partner employment component, through which partners of serving and ex-serving members can obtain employment assistance and advice.

Excellence in Supporting Veteran Employment

East Coast Apprenticeships

Alan Sparks, CEO.

East Coast Apprenticeships has developed and conducts the Defence Trade Program (DTP) offering support to veterans and their families seeking a trade career. DTP also supports non-trade career veterans. The DTP offers vocational training linked with a sound network of employers and stakeholders, to offer relevant and timely advice and guidance to veterans. To date, East Coast Apprenticeships has engaged with almost 350 veterans.

Outstanding Contribution by an Individual to Veteran Employment

Darren Edwards

Darren Edwards has been posthumously recognised for his contribution to veteran employment. Mr Edwards, a veteran himself, was a passionate supporter and key driver of veteran employment within Boeing Defence Australia (BDA) and the wider defence sector. Through Darren’s leadership, BDA has been at the forefront of recognising and promoting veterans’ unique skills and experience and supporting them as they transition to civilian employment. He was instrumental in embedding a veteran employment framework in BDA, which included work placements, mentoring, rotations, and transition arrangements for ADF staff.

For more information on our 2020 Award winners, visit the Prime Minister’s Veterans’ Employment Program website.