New voice for Queensland Veterans

Published Wednesday, 09 April, 2014 at 12:15 PM

Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural Affairs and Minister Assisting the Premier
The Honourable Glen Elmes

Victoria Cross recipient Cpl Ben Roberts-Smith VC is among the people on a new council which will advise the State Government on issues affecting veterans in Queensland.

Minister Assisting the Premier on the Centenary of Anzac Glen Elmes said the Queensland Veterans Advisory Council would give veterans a new direct connection with the Government, delivering the election promise to revitalise frontline services.

“Veterans are primarily supported through Commonwealth Government programs, but the Queensland Government provides some services for veterans, such as allied health care and various concessions,” Mr Elmes said.

“The Council will provide a much needed forum for Queensland’s veteran community to talk directly with the Queensland Government to ensure veterans are receiving the assistance they need.

“Many Queenslanders have contributed to Australia’s military effort during the past hundred years, and it’s important that we recognise that by listening to our veterans.

“QVAC’s members represent a diverse range of ex-service and community organisations which promote the wellbeing of veterans and their families in Queensland.

“The inclusion of Cpl Ben Roberts-Smith VC will ensure the interests of recent and current service personnel are represented.”

Mr Elmes said the inaugural Chair of the Council is Danny O’Kearney who had more than 20 years’ service in the regular army and fourteen years’ service in the Army and Navy Reserve.

Council members, who will serve an initial two-year term, represent a broad range of veterans’ organisations.

[ENDS] 9 April 2014

Media Contact:          Peter McCarthy 0408 835 548

NB:     A hi-res group photo of the Council is available.

Members of the Advisory Council are:

  • Danny O’Kearney (Chair)
  • Ben Roberts-Smith VC
  • Vivian Quinn - RSL, Queensland Branch
  • Edward Chitham MC OAM - Royal Australian Regiment Association, Qld Branch
  • Trevor Rigby - Naval Association of Australia (Queensland Section)
  • Helen Strange OAM - War Widows Guild of Australia, Queensland Branch
  • Robert Shortridge - Defence Force Welfare Association, Queensland Branch
  • Tony Ralph - Legacy Club of Brisbane
  • Ann Stephenson - Partners of Veterans Association of Australia, Queensland Branch
  • Chris Richards - Australian Federation of Totally and Permanently Incapacitated Ex Servicemen and Women Queensland Branch
  • Andrew Craig RAN - Queensland Advisory Committee for the Commemoration of the Anzac Centenary