darren.chester.mp@aph.gov.au 1300 131 785
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I’m honoured to accept Ministerial responsibility for veterans’ affairs and defence personnel in the Turnbull-McCormack Government.

There’s no greater contribution that anyone can make to our nation than to put on the uniform of the Army, Airforce or Navy and serve at home and abroad.

There are currently around 58,000 Australians serving in our defence force and I look forward to working with them in my new role.

There are more than 300,000 Australians who have served in our defence forces and another 5200 will leave military service each year and take on new roles in civilian life.

The way we support these men and women as they make that change is critically important and there are a wide range of measures already in place to ensure veterans and their families are looked after.

I look forward to being sworn in and continuing the work of my predecessors who have taken practical steps to improve the support and care for vulnerable veterans and reduce the risk of suicide and self-harm.

Initiatives like the Prime Minister’s Veterans’ Employment Program; increased mental health support for veterans and their families; and transforming the Department’s processes and culture are all designed to recognise the unique nature of service in our defence force.

Finally, I want to thank Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack for entrusting me with this important role in the Coalition Government.

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