Andrew Constance and Victor DominelloThe contribution of contemporary veterans who served during the Afghanistan and Middle East conflicts was recognised by the NSW Government at a reception in Sydney today.


Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Victor Dominello hosted a morning tea at State Parliament to recognise and commemorate NSW veterans who have served during operations in Afghanistan and the Middle East. The event was attended by over 120 guests.


“Today’s reception is the first of its kind in NSW and comes in the lead up to the inaugural national day of commemoration for Australian veterans of the Afghanistan and the Middle East, being held on 21 March,” Mr Dominello said.


“The number of veterans who have served in contemporary conflicts now exceeds that of the Vietnam War. Today’s reception was about saying thank you to our veterans for their service and their sacrifice.


“We know that during Operation Slipper, which began in 2001, around 30,000 Australian Defence Force personnel were deployed to Afghanistan and the Middle East.


“Around 1,600 Australian Defence Force personnel from NSW leave the military each year and they do so with a tremendous array of skills and experiences including in the fields of engineering, transport and logistics, communications and human resources.


“We know some returned servicemen and servicewomen face challenges integrating back into civilian life and may have difficulty transitioning into new career.


“The Baird Government has pledged, that if re-elected, we will establish a Veterans Transition Unit to help recruit more veterans into the NSW public service.


“Under our Securing Our Veterans’ Future plan we have set an initial target of recruiting an additional 200 veterans over the next four years.


“Recruitment will focus on matching veterans’ skills with NSW public service jobs, including NSW Police, Corrective Services, Roads and Maritime Services and other infrastructure delivery agencies.”

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