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Inquiry into transition from the Australian Defence Force (ADF)

Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade

3 April 2019

The importance and priority attached to serving members transitioning from the ADF to civilian life have been highlighted in several government reports. The 2016/17 Defence Annual Report (page 116) discusses the critical outcomes determined during the first 12 months of the process of transitioning out of Defence, in the section titled “Fit to fight and fit for life”. The report highlights increased collaboration between the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) and Defence since 2010 in the area of mental health support. The 2016/17 Department of Veterans’ Affairs Annual Report states that the transition from Defence is a priority for the Department of Veterans’ Affairs in the Secretary’s Review (page 4) and the Chief Operating Officer’s
Review (page 7). DVA also reports on various transition programs (pages 36-65) and training for ESOs (page 39).

Despite increased collaboration and access to care, in the 2017 Senate Inquiry into Veteran Suicide concerns were still being raised about the model via which care is provided. Secondly, the role of Ex-Service Organisations (ESOs) – specifically their role in supporting this transition period – does not appear to be defined despite a new body of work by DVA to lift the standards of claims and pension support by ESO Advocates.

In response to these concerns, a new parliamentary inquiry was established to examine the support provided to members of the ADF as they transition from active service to civilian life.

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