Female Veterans & Veterans’ Families Policy Forum

The Female Veterans & Veterans’ Families Policy Forum was held at DVA’s head office in Canberra.

This high-energy, solutions-focussed event brought together 42 community members with DVA and Department of Defence leaders, to explore areas where their lived experiences of military service and military family life could inform government decision-making.

Their passion, insight and commitment to serving the community was on full display as participants worked collaboratively to explore policy and service delivery ideas for the benefit of future veterans and families.

Forum participants discussed topics including future veteran support needs, the DVA Veteran Family Strategy, research in the veteran and family landscape, and the future of mental health service delivery. Participants had an opportunity to present their ideas and feedback directly to DVA and Defence leaders.

Some of the suggestions included:

  • greater consideration for female veterans’ unique health issues
  • targeted research and supports for veterans’ children through all life-stages
  • more inclusive practices for female veterans while serving
  • demand-driven funding to ensure that service provision is matched to demand
  • greater emphasis on access to services in rural and remote locations
  • increased opportunities and recognition of the value of ‘service after service’.

Participants were also invited to present to the Forum on initiatives to support veterans and families happening in the community. These powerful and personal presentations highlighted a range of important topics including veteran employment, peer support and alternative therapies, professional development and mentorship, ADF reserve service, advocacy and the interaction of government policy with local communities.

DVA uses the information and insights from the Forum to directly inform our policy and programs and the wider transformation of DVA supports and services.

One participant said:

This Forum showed just how DVA is consistently acting and implementing, listening, engaging and looking to the future in order to continually progress, for the wellbeing of all veterans and those with families.

DVA would like to thank all those who attended the Forum for their time, energy and passion.

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