From the Assistant Minister

The Hon Matt Thistlethwaite MP
Assistant Minister for Defence
Assistant Minister for Veterans’ Affairs

Studio portrait of middle-aged man

A fresh start and a real commitment

For the first time, the Australian Government has appointed an Assistant Minister to the Veterans’ Affairs portfolio and I am privileged to have been given this responsibility. The creation of my role shows the Government’s commitment to ensuring that the portfolio is properly served. Minister Keogh and I are already hard at work ensuring we get the best outcomes for veterans and families.

In my view, a central part of that process involves working with people across the veteran community, listening carefully to what their priorities and needs are. This means talking to individuals, and ex-service organisations, large and small. It also involves working with our state and territory counterparts to ensure joined-up service delivery.

Importantly, it’s also about making sure the Department of Veterans’ Affairs becomes the best it can be at delivering services and support. In this respect, we’ve already started work. Happily, I can report that the department is committed to making this happen and I look forward to working closely with DVA’s senior executive over the coming years.

It is critical that we place more emphasis on the needs of veteran families – a section of the veteran community who have specific needs and a unique perspective. Our commitment to rolling out more Veteran and Family Hubs demonstrates this.

This is a role I am deeply committed to. The veteran community has a great deal to be proud of – whether you’ve served your country directly in the armed forces, or you’ve provided that indirect service as a family member. Our country owes you a debt of gratitude and I’ll be working hard every day to ensure you get the support you need and deserve.

I look forward to meeting with many of you over the coming weeks, months and years and listening to your stories and how we as a Government can better serve you.