Australian Defence Veterans’ Covenant – 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 further 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.

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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.
“I have consulted extensively with the ex-service community on the development of this Bill, including discussions with our 5-Eyes counterparts in the United Kingdom who have put in place similar measures.
“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.
“Our government is committed to putting veterans and their families first and this legislation is part of a greater suite of measures we are putting in place.
“This Bill will create a separate Act to provide symbolic recognition for all veterans, and does not change current entitlements.
“Importantly, 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. It’s part of our ongoing efforts to transform the culture of DVA.”
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 here


  1. Colin "Tiny" Russell says

    “putting veterans first…show appreciation to the men and women who secured the freedoms” And lets not forget the other statement, “recognize the service and sacrifice of the men and women who have served our nation…apply a fair, just and consistent approach to veterans claims.” Well then Minister, what about having an external investigation re: RCB which involves the information that Defence and “others” appear to not want to peruse / accept????

  2. Ken STONE says

    Given Chester’s response this week to the Parliamentary Petition signed by about 4,000 DFRDB veterans on behalf of the 55,000 affected by the Commutation Issue, my view is, we should all send them back to him. If they reinstated our Superannuation Pay to what it should be we wouldn’t need charity from anybody, particularly small business that are already doing it tough!

  3. Kim Stewart-Gray says

    Well throw the Dog a bone !

    I’m a Veteran BTW, but I find it really cheap and tacky that the current federal government can “honour” Veterans and their families with some bauble of a lapel badge and card, yet on the hand do everything possible to avoid their responsibilities to the RCB Veterans.
    There’s FA “right and honourable” about you and your Veterans Affairs department Darren Chester.

  4. Des Johnston says

    Beauty ! A Bunnings and Coles discount card. Hurry up Mr Postman

  5. Steven Kennedy says

    So is the government going to track down every one they recognise as a veteran and give them a card and a pin? Or more likely they will give the card and pin to those in receipt of a DVA pension as the current picture of the card strongly suggests. Not everyone who has served has a DVA card. Don’t forget that the current legislation states that a veteran is anyone who served more than a day! I think that it’s a good thing what the government is trying to do but haven’t been thought out to much as most veterans I’ve spoken to strongly disagree on the government stand of one days service makes a veteran. I know a lot of my fellow soldiers will say no a veteran is somebody who did this or that and I’m not arguing that . I’m just saying what the DVA and our government has legislated that veteran is anyone who has served one or more days . Check it up at DVA and other government web sites.