Chairman’s Corner

I assumed the role of Acting Chairman of the Veterans’ Advisory Council (VAC) in October 2017, following the short illness and passing of AVM Brent Espeland AM. It was a sad and unexpected loss and he is sadly missed.  Our sincere thoughts are with his wife Judy and family.

The former Minister for Veterans Affairs confirmed my appointment as Chair of the VAC in January 2018.  It is a daunting task following on from notable Chairmen such as Brent and Sir Eric Neal, AC, CVO. Fortunately, I have had the support of Veterans SA Director, Rob Manton and his team to lead me through some difficult and convoluted areas since my appointment.

We (the Council), have determined to identify areas which have significant impact on members of the veteran community to be our primary areas of focus.

We are currently focusing on the area of ‘Transition’.  A complex subject, one which encompasses a wide range of areas including:

  • What defines a successful transition
  • Health and wellness
  • Employment
  • Suicide
  • Homelessness
  • Incarceration
  • Impact on families

Under the overarching theme of ‘Transition’, each future VAC meeting will have a specific element of focus. At the April meeting our area of focus was “Health and Wellness”.   There were two guest speakers who provided valuable information and insight into their areas of expertise.

I am keen to hear the thoughts and views of veteran organisations and individuals on transition and indeed, any other area of concern.

I am available to attend meetings to discuss any matters of concern, particularly on the topic of transition.

Anzac Day will soon be with us. It is a time of reflection, thanks and an opportunity to remember comrades, young and old and their families.

I look forward to meeting with you at these events.

Best wishes,


Laurie Lewis

Chair, VAC