Last night at Parliament House in Canberra the winners of the inaugural Prime Minister’s Veterans’ Employment Awards were announced.
CAPTION: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull address guests at the inaugural Prime Minister’s Veterans’ Employment Awards, watched by Virginia Hausegger and Ben Roberts-Smith VC.
Prime Minister Turnbull said, in his address to guests at the event, it had been a wonderful first year of the Veterans’ Employment Program, and he thanked all who had come on board so quickly.
“You’ve given us the great start we needed and now it’s time to build on that momentum,” Mr Turnbull said.
“To all those Australian businesses that haven’t yet signed up I say, don’t let your competitors get the jump on you. Join us, and reap the rewards that come from employing our veterans.
“Our veterans have impressive résumés.
“They’re motivated, resilient and proven problem solvers. They can cope with unexpected and unpredictable situations.
“They’ve operated around the world. They can work cooperatively with people from different countries, different cultures, different languages and different backgrounds.
“They are great leaders, trained to deliver their best and get the best out of others.
“But many organisations are not aware of the value of military experience, and how these skills can transfer to civilian roles.
“All too often civilian employers don’t understand the many roles veterans perform within the Defence Force. Sometimes all a recruiter may know about soldiering is what they’ve seen in war movies. They may not know how to ask the right questions to translate military skills to everyday jobs.
“So I established the Prime Minister’s Veterans’ Employment Program to bridge this gap between our veterans and industry.
“It highlights the unique skills and experiences of our veterans and it shows the value that they bring to the civilian workplace.
“And so tonight we’re celebrating the organisations across Australia who are going that extra mile to employ or support our veterans.
“The organisations that recognise the remarkable benefits of having veterans as employees.
“By sharing your stories— your experience of hiring veterans— I hope more employers across the country will see the benefits, as well.
“Tonight, we also celebrate the significant contributions veterans are making in the workplace, with three outstanding veterans nominated for Veteran Employee of the Year.
“Take for example Rachel Ranton. She served in the Australian Army for eleven years before becoming a branch manager at a St George bank in southern Queensland.
“Rachel had never worked in a bank when she started the role. Yet she’s turned the branch into one of the highest performing in southern Queensland.
“Stuart Munro served in Afghanistan, Iraq and East Timor. Today, he’s an emerging leader at Turner & Townsend, a global professional services company.
“His manager noted that Stuart’s ‘pursuit of excellence is unrivalled and clearly a result of his military training’.
“And Kathryn Burr enjoyed a career in the Navy before joining Boeing Defence Australia, where she became the first female appointed as Chief Engineer.
“Not surprisingly, Boeing noted Kathryn’s ‘passion and commitment’ as two of her best traits.”
The winners were:
- Veteran Employee of the Year: Rachel Ranton at Westpac Group
- Outstanding Contribution by an Individual to Veterans’ Employment: Glen Ferrarotto at Ironside Recruitment
- Leadership in Recruitment of Veterans: NSW Government Veterans Employment Program
- Veterans’ Employer of the Year – Large Business: Boeing Defence Australia
- Veterans’ Employer of the Year – Small to Medium Sized Business: Secure Windows
- Veterans’ Employer of the Year – Public Sector Organisation: NSW Government Veterans Employment Program
- Excellence in Supporting Veterans’ Employment: (CONTACT supporter) WithYouWithMe
- Excellence in Supporting Spouse Employment: Westpac Group
- Outstanding Contribution by an Organisation to Veterans’ Employment: WithYouWithMe
The awards were presented by Ben Roberts-Smith VC and ABC personality Virginia Hausegger, with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Veterans’ Affairs Minister Darren Chester, and many others involved in the employment of veterans.