From: Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Subscription List
Sent: Wed 24/07/2013 10:42 AM

QLD FOOTY STAR JOINS INDIGENOUS VETERANS PROJECT TEAM

A Queensland football star has partnered with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ex-serving men and women get the support and recognition they deserve from the Department.

The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Warren Snowdon, today announced retired Gold Coast Titans player Preston Campbell would help to engage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across Australia as part of DVA’s Indigenous Champion Project.

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander servicemen and women have a long and proud history of serving Australia in all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations from before Federation through to current conflicts in Afghanistan,” Mr Snowdon said.

“The DVA Indigenous Champion Project encourages veterans, and current servicemen and women to contact DVA if they think they may be eligible for support.

“Preston Campbell is the latest recruit to the Indigenous Champion Project, joining fellow NRL counterparts the Canberra Raiders, in recognising the proud history of Indigenous service.”

Preston Campbell is the founder of the NRL Indigenous All Stars team and works tirelessly in the community as an Ambassador for the Gold Coast Titans and One Community, focusing on improving indigenous wellbeing and health.

Speaking about the announcement today Mr Campbell said he is honoured to be able to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ex-serving men and women in this capacity.

“Serving your country is a commendable act so it’s important that we are able to recognise and help everyone who has done so.’’

“Through Preston and the Titans, and the Raiders in Canberra, we’re helping Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander veterans and their families, who may not be aware that there are services and support available, link up with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs,” Mr Snowdon said.

Mr Snowdon said that as there was not a requirement to identify ethnicity on enlistment, there is no definitive record of how many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have served Australia.

“The Australian War Memorial is gathering a list of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander servicemen and women, or those who served the Nation in an auxiliary capacity, to ensure their contribution is appropriately commemorated. I encourage those interested in being on the list to get in contact with Gary Oakley on (02) 6243 4532,” he said.

For more information about DVA services and support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander veterans visit www.dva.gov.au/indigenous or call DVA on 133 254 or 1800 555 254 from regional Australia.

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

Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) and Veterans Line can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for crisis support and free and confidential counselling. Phone 1800 011 046.