Greater recognition for veterans and their families

New legislation introduced into Federal Parliament will provide better recognition of the unique nature of military service and acknowledge the service and sacrifice of veterans and their families.


The Government’s Australian Veterans’ Recognition (Putting Veterans and their Families First) Bill 2019 will establish an Australian Defence Veterans’ Covenant, and as part of a wider recognition package, a card and lapel pin will be provided to veterans.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester and DVA Secretary Liz Cosson AM CSC

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester said it was a project he has been working on with ex-service organisations since becoming the Minister almost 12 months ago.


“The Government has introduced this legislation to provide a formal way for all Australians to show their appreciation to the men and women who secured the freedoms we enjoy today and to their families who have supported them,” Mr Chester said.


“The covenant, card and lapel pin will allow the community — whether they are employers, businesses, community groups, veteran or sporting organisations — the opportunity to recognise the service and sacrifice of the men and women who have served our nation."


The Bill will create a separate Act to provide symbolic recognition for all veterans, and does not change current entitlements.


The Bill before Parliament includes a statement requiring the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) to adopt a beneficial approach when interpreting legislation and applying a fair, just and consistent approach to veterans’ claims.


The Government has received a positive response from businesses which are supportive of the recognition program. The covenant includes an oath, which all Australians will be encouraged to take at community commemorative events, and is underpinned by the new Veteran Card and an Australian Veteran Lapel Pin and a Reservist Lapel Pin.


More information on the Australian Defence Veterans Covenant can be found on the DVA website


21 February 2019.