Winners of the Prime Minister’s Veterans’ Employment Awards announced

Australian Expedition Vehicles — a Townsville-based mechanical engineering business — was announced 2021 Outstanding Veterans’ Employer of the Year by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel, Andrew Gee, and the federal Member for Herbert, Phil Thompson OAM on 25 November 2021.

The Outstanding Veterans’ Employer of the Year is chosen from the winners of each of the Veterans’ Employer of the Year categories, by an independent judging panel.

The finalists and winners of eight award categories in this year’s Prime Minister’s Veterans’ Employment Awards were announced on 7 October 2021.

These awards acknowledge the diversity of organisations that employ and support veterans and their partners as well as veterans who are making a significant contribution to the civilian workforce as either employees or entrepreneurs.

‘Veterans have so much to offer the businesses of our country,’ said Prime Minister Scott Morrison, when he spoke about the Award recipients.

Minister Gee said the awards highlight how veterans can make a difference to business.

Of particular note are this year’s individual award winners, Ben Davoren and Chris de Bono.

Ben, winner of the Veteran Employee of the Year Award, is commended for his contribution post-service as Training and Business Development Manager at TacMed Australia. ‘Ben deployed on combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and has shared his ADF knowledge and experience to train our first responders, positively impacting the lives of many,’ said the Prime Minister.

Veteran Entrepreneur of the Year, Chris de Bono of Meru Foods established his miso-fermenting business in Tasmania and now services the Australian and international restaurant market.

Chris successfully used his skills gained during his 14 years in the Navy and the Reserves to start an innovative food company,’ Minister Gee said. ‘He is an outstanding example of an entrepreneurial and dedicated individual who is leading the way in private business.’

This year’s awards attracted 125 nominations from a diverse range of organisations across the private and public sector. A testament that Australian businesses and government are recognising the value that veterans bring to the workforce.

For the full list of winners and finalists, see the PMVEA website.