Federal Member for Gippsland and Minister for Defence Personnel Darren Chester says Australians need to learn more about the positive nature of defence service.
Speaking at a commemorative event in Bairnsdale this morning, Mr Chester said there was a lack of understanding about the benefits of service in the Navy, Army and Airforce.
“For the majority of people who serve, they learn great skills in leadership, problem solving, teamwork and discipline,” Mr Chester.
“They are not all broken, busted and bad, as the metropolitan media often suggests. When they return to their communities, they often take on leadership roles and obviously, their service is critical to our nation in an ever-changing world security environment.
“We need to tell their story better. It’s vital our ADF personnel are well looked after during service and as veterans when they leave the forces.”
Mr Chester was speaking at the Naval Association of Australia East Gippsland Sub-section ceremony to re-dedicate a plaque commemorating all deceased members of the Royal Australian Navy, at the Beaufort Gardens Memorial Park in Bairnsdale.
“I want to thank all serving members and veterans for their service to our country, along with the families who supported them,” Mr Chester said.
“Commemorating the service and sacrifice of our veterans through events like this is a sign of the respect we have for the Australian Defence Force in Gippsland.”