The emerging situation in Afghanistan is something that we should all be concerned about and whilst Defence is a matter for the Commonwealth Government, I do have concerns for veterans in Victoria at this time.
I would urge friends or family members of Afghanistan veterans to check in on how they are travelling during what is a tough time for them, as they follow what is currently going on in that country and among its people.
We should all acknowledge that a clear majority of our veterans served with courage and honour and are proud of the work they did on the ground with Afghan communities during their service. This work included building much needed schools and other important facilities for these communities
The Victorian Government remains committed to the welfare of our veterans and their families.
We acknowledge and thank the wider Victorian veteran community and the ex-service organisations who are reaching out and offering their support to those members of their community who may be struggling.
Veterans and family members in need of support at this time can contact:
- The Defence all-hours Support Line is a confidential telephone and online service for ADF members and their families, which can be reached by calling 1800 628 036.
- Open Arms provides 24-hour free and confidential counselling and support for current and former ADF members and their families, by calling 1800 011 046, or through SafeZone, by calling on 1800 142 072.
- Lifeline Australia’s 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention services on 13 11 14.
- Current and former Australian Defence Force members can also seek support, between the hours of 9-5 Monday to Friday, via Veteran Central (VetCen) call centre, by calling the 1300 MILVET number (1300 645 838).