August VAC Key Outcomes

A Veterans’ Advisory Council (VAC) meeting was held on Thursday, 10 August, 2017, in the Combined Mess at Torrens Parade Ground.

The Chair of the VAC, AVM Brent Espeland AM, welcomed VAC member and Chair of the Defence Consultative Group (DCG SA), James O’Hanlon who briefed the VAC about the recent activities of the DCG.  The purpose of the DCG SA is to provide a regular support forum for South Australian based ADF units and formations, Defence related organisations and ex-service organisations (ESO) on matters of common interest.  The DCG-SA meets every second month, on the second Wednesday of the month  at 10.00 a.m. at the Combined Services Mess, Torrens Training Depot, Adelaide.

James explained that the top three priorities for DCG SA are:

  • Project SUAKIN (Total Workforce Model) referral to appropriate agencies
  • Accessibility and adequacy of housing and schooling for ADF families
  • Healthcare services for serving and transitioning ADF members

James then introduced MAJGEN Neil Wilson AM RFD, former Assistant Chief of the Australian Defence Force (Reserves), from the Defence Reserves Association.  MAJGEN Wilson spoke further to his paper titled: Project Suakin and Flexible Workforce and Workplace Arrangements; ADF Superannuation and Remuneration for Reservists. The aim of Project Suakin is to develop a Reserve structure supported by ‘appropriate remuneration’ to provide the ADF with a highly reliable core part time workforce by increasing the ability of ADF members to move between Regular/Permanent and Reserve, and between fulltime/part-time employment to better meet their changing work and personal needs.

MAJGEN Wilson’s main concern was that the implementation of the Total Workforce Model has not met the aim of Project Suakin in that many Reservists are being treated more like ‘casual’ employees rather than as ‘part-time’ employees.  If this continues he believes it will be difficult for the ADF to attract and retain the highest calibre of Reservists.

VAC Executive Officer and Director of Veterans SA, Rob Manton reported the outcomes of the Commonwealth State and Territory Committee which was held on 8 August, 2017 and advised that the theme of the next Veterans’ Ministers Round Table will be on transition from the ADF to civilian life.

Other matters considered at the meeting included:

  • Veterans’ Employment Framework – 90 Day project
  • Anzac Day Commemoration (Veterans’ Advisory Council) Amendment Bill 2017
  • Opening of the Jamie Larcombe Centre – 5 October, 2017
  • DVA Claims Management
  • South Australia’s Ex-Service Commemorative Calendar 2018
  • South Australia in the Great War – Book

For more information about any of the matters discussed by the VAC or to suggest an agenda item for the next meeting on 12 October 2017, please call Paul Sykes on 8226 8552 or email: veteranssa@sa.gov.au