Tuesday, 1st February 2022
From the Chair
The VAC held an out of session meeting on 24th January during which it received the final report of the Torrens Parade Ground/Torrens Training Depot Steering Committee and agreed the VAC priorities for 2022.
Torrens Parade Ground/Torrens Training Depot Steering Committee Report
Rear Admiral, the Hon Kevin Scarce AC CSC RN (Rtd) provided the draft final report and recommendations to the VAC. The VAC noted the extensive work done by the Steering Committee to consult with the veteran and wider community and develop the vision and recommendations. The VAC endorsed the report which has now been passed to the Hon Steven Marshall MP, Premier of South Australia and Minister for Veterans’ Affairs.
VAC priorities 2022
IAW the VAC Terms of Reference (available at: https://www.veteranssa.sa.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/Terms-of-Reference-revised-signed-5-March-2021.pdf) the VAC has agreed the following priorities for 2022:
Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide.
The VAC responded to a formal Notice to Give from Mr Nick Kaldas, Chair of the Royal Commission in 2021. The VAC anticipates further response will be required following public hearings in March 2022.
Veteran strategy for Department of Correctional Services
At its first meeting in March 2022, the VAC will further consider the Veteran Services Pilot Program as part of the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) Veteran Strategy and Action Plan 2021 – 2025 and interfaces between veterans and the corrections/judicial system in South Australia. This will follow from the National Federation Reform Council – Veterans’ Wellbeing Taskforce meeting in February 2022.
In May 2022 the VAC will consider veterans’ homelessness, and access to suitable affordable housing for vulnerable veterans. Issues that will be explored include:
- National homelessness data for veterans;
- Local case studies of homeless veterans;
- The relationship between homelessness and poor mental health and the potential risk of suicide; and
- Risk factors, trends, and evidence-based prevention strategies.
Remaining priorities for 2022 include:
- Veteran and veteran spousal employment;
- Improving engagement with regional veterans and veteran families; and
- Transition of aging veteran cohorts to residential/aged care.
VAC membership 2022
The VAC welcomed two new ex-officio members on 24th January 2022.
- Commander Emma McDonald-Kerr, Commanding Officer Navy Headquarters, South Australia; and
- Lieutenant Colonel Roland Spackman, Commanding Officer 7 RAR.
Terms of Membership of all current serving members have been extended to 30 June 2022. This will allow induction of new members and transition of the VAC to more broadly reflect the diversity and breadth of the South Australian veteran and veteran family community.
The next meeting of the VAC is scheduled for 31 March 2022.
To contact the VAC directly regarding South Australian based veteran issues please email firstname.lastname@example.org or via post: Veterans SA, Level 4, 151 Pirie Street, Adelaide, SA, 5000.