Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Dan Tehan today thanked the Nashos for their service as he addressed the National Servicemen’s Association National Council Meeting in Canberra.
“Australia has seen four periods of compulsory military service and the most recent schemes, in 1951–59 and 1964–72, saw tens of thousands of National Servicemen, or ‘Nashos’, serve our nation,” Mr Tehan said.
“Australia honours the service and sacrifice of those who took part in the schemes, and we remember the more than 200 men who laid down their lives for our nation.
“Nashos are an important part of our military history and Australia owes a great debt to the Australians who underwent training and served our nation.”
Mr Tehan also told the meeting the time had come for Australia’s numerous veterans’ organisations to speak with one voice through a peak national organisation.
“In other countries, veterans’ organisations have united together into a national confederation or association with the varied and differing needs of each group within the community putting forward their needs through a single body,” he said.
Mr Tehan outlined recent Government initiatives to provide more support and services to veterans and their families.
“This year’s Budget made treatment for all mental health conditions free to anyone who has served at least one day in the full-time Australian Defence Force,” Mr Tehan said.
“The Government also provided $8.5 million so partners and children of our contemporary veterans, who have had at least one day of full-time service, can access the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service.
“The Government has also provided a $166.6 million investment for the first stage of reforming DVA’s processes and IT infrastructure to improve how veterans experience making a claim.”
Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for crisis support and free and confidential counselling. Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 8 8241 45 46). VVCS is a service founded by Vietnam veterans.