From: Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Subscription List
Sent: Tue 20/11/2012 4:19 PM

COMMUNIQUÈ
MINISTERIAL FORUM ON VETERANS’ AFFAIRS


Ministers from Veterans’ Affairs portfolios from across the globe joined together in Canberra on 19-20 November to discuss issues affecting servicemen and women, particularly current serving men and women. Represented at the table was: Australia, the United States, Canada and New Zealand.

The Ministers acknowledged their country’s fundamentally shared values and commitment to honour the men and women who serve in our defence forces.

Achieving a seamless transition from military to civilian life is a challenge facing all countries. However, Ministers agreed that cooperation between the Defence and Veterans’ Affairs portfolios was key to achieving successful transition. They also acknowledged the impact of service on serving members, veterans and their families.

They also recognised the demand on veterans’ administrations that will continue to grow from recent and current operational experiences. This will cover healthcare, compensation and support to families.

Foreseeing physical and mental health issues caused by multiple deployments, and providing a strategic approach to addressing them, is a challenge but one that needs to be informed and enriched by research. Working together to anticipate the impacts of deployment on the individual, serving members and their families will be vital to meeting their needs in the future.

The Ministers tasked their senior officials to explore and share research in the following areas:
- developing a common vocabulary and terminology in mental health research and common approaches to research in this field;
- female health issues and the impact of combat on their health;
- the effects of environmental exposures informed by ongoing, longitudinal research; and
- the gaps in the understanding of neuroscience, in particular in traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.

In closing, the Ministers committed to continuing to engage and to explore dynamic solutions to contemporary and newly emerging problems caused by modern combat environments to best serve the current and next generation of veterans and their families.

Media Note: Images are available from the DVA Media Centre www.dva.gov.au/media.

Media inquiries:
Minister Snowdon: Marcus Butler 02 6277 7820 or 0417 917 796
Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203