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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 07 Hansard (Tuesday, 1 August 2017) . . Page.. 2270 ..

MR RAMSAY: I thank Ms Orr for her supplementary question. The government is in the final stages of putting together this year’s community participation grants program for veterans and seniors. I expect that it will be advertised through the Community Services Directorate by the end of the month.

We will be seeking applications from organisations that can utilise project funding to support veterans in the ACT. This year we will be particularly focusing on programs that ensure that veterans remain actively engaged in our society. Whether it is through sport, the arts, skills development and training or other programs promoting social connectedness, we are seeking to help those organisations that aim to ensure that our veterans are integral and active participants in the ACT community.

We will be seeking applications for programs specifically targeted at supporting families of veterans. I am also currently investigating creating separate grants rounds from next year to allow the government to separately target seniors’ and veterans’ initiatives. Obviously, while some of our veterans may be seniors, this is not always the case. I look forward to receiving applications that seek to help our younger and recently separated veterans.

I believe that we are a strong society when everyone belongs, when everyone is valued and when everyone has the opportunity to participate. Through these grants the government intends to help those organisations to ensure that our veterans are exactly that. This government will work to ensure that the remarkable skills and abilities of our veterans are, and remain, an integral thread in the woven fabric of Canberra.

MR PETTERSSON: Minister, how is the government working to help ensure that those seeking to separate from the Defence Force are able to find employment in the ACT?

MR RAMSAY: I thank Mr Pettersson for his supplementary. While the veterans portfolio is a relatively new one in the ACT, the government certainly has big plans for how we can support those in the ADF who may wish to transition back into civilian life.

I have had initial conversations with the Head of Service on ways that we can identify how many veterans we currently have working in ACT government and what their experience was in making this transition from military life to life in the ACT public service. As we gather this data, I will then be looking for ways to make it easier for those who wish to do this, whether it is through information sessions, resources to identify what military skills might translate well into jobs in the ACTPS, or possibly even targeted recruitment. We will also consider whether further specific support can be provided to help support veterans once they have started the transition.

The Defence Industry Advisory Board is also investigating whether the government can facilitate a pathway from the ADF into the cybersecurity areas of the civilian defence industry here in Canberra. Whether it is upskilling, retraining or even just lighting the path, the government is developing this concept to provide a case-managed service to help link our highly skilled defence members with a definite

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