Australian Veterans’ Recognition Bill

In October 2018, the Australian Government launched an Australian Defence Veterans’ Covenant to provide better recognition of the unique nature of military service and further acknowledge the service and sacrifice of veterans and their families. 

The Prime Minister, the Hon. Scott Morrison MP and the Hon. Darren Chester, MP made a joint media statement on 27 October 2018 stating that the Government will develop an Australian Defence Veterans Covenant (Covenant), to be enacted in legislation, to recognise the unique nature of military service and support veterans and their families.

The Covenant will provide an opportunity for Australians and the business community to recognise veterans and their families and the service and sacrifice they have made as members of the Australian Defence Force.

On 14 February 2019 the Australian Veterans’ Recognition (Putting Veterans and their Families First) Bill 2019 was introduced in the House of Representatives.

On 20 February, Minister Chester announced that legislation for the Covenant – the Australian Veterans’ Recognition (Putting Veterans and their Families First) Bill 2019 – has now been introduced into Federal Parliament. Supporting the Covenant is a new Australian Veteran Card and Lapel Pin to provide a way for the public, employers, businesses and community groups to recognise and connect with current and former ADF personnel.

The Bill will create a new Act, the Australian Veterans’ Recognition (Putting Veterans and their Families First) Act 2019.

This Bill is part of the Veteran Recognition package designed to provide recognition to veterans and their families. As part of the recognition package, a lapel pin and the Australian Defence Veterans’ Covenant will be distributed to veterans. The lapel pin will allow veterans to be easily identifiable by the Australian community where they choose to wear it.

Further information, including the text of the Bill, Explanatory Memorandum, and Minister’s Second Reading Speech

The Selection of Bills Committee referred the Bill to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee for enquiry and report by 22 March 2019. 

The Bill was referred to provide veterans an opportunity to review, be satisfied with and have their say on the Bill.

Submissions close on 6 March 2019. Access the report.

Information on how to make a submission.

More information on the Australian Defence Veterans’ Covenant and the other Bills introduced to Federal Parliament can be found on the DVA website.


Liz Cosson AM CSC

Secretary . Department of Veterans’ Affairs

To support those who serve or have served in the defence of our nation and commemorate their service and sacrifice.The Department of Veterans’ Affairs acknowledge the traditional owners and we pay our respect to elders past, present and future.


  1. This action on behalf of the Government is a complete waste of tax payers money. This is all about FEEL GOOD with a strong mix of PC , making out they love the ex- service men and women. Millions have been spent on USELESS endeavours by DVA.
    It is about time DVA spent the money on paying compensation to eligible applicants instead of driving them to commit suicide by rejecting REAL CLAIMS! the bulk of OZZERS could not give damn about service people.