Nine companies and individuals who have created employment opportunities and helped demonstrate the positive contribution veterans make to Australian workplaces have been honoured through the Prime Minister’s Veterans’ Employment Awards.
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester said that around 5500 members discharge from the Australian Defence Force each year and many of these men and women were of an age where they still had a long civilian career ahead of them.
“During their time serving in defence of our nation, they will have led teams, worked with others to solve complex problems and demonstrated resilience and adaptability in high-pressure situations – all qualities that make them a great attribute to any business,” Mr Chester said.
“The Prime Minister’s Veterans’ Employment Awards are part of a broad program of activity aimed at raising employer awareness of the enormous value and unique experience of veterans.
“Hiring a veteran is good for business.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the winners at last night’s ceremony represented the many companies, which are consciously tapping into the skilled veteran workforce and demonstrate what a tremendous asset a veteran can be to a business.
The highest honour of Outstanding Contribution by an Individual to Veterans’ Employment was awarded to Chris Mayfield. Mr Mayfield is a third-generation soldier who was discharged from the Army in January 2014 after completing 26 years of distinguished service.
“Chris is a champion for veteran employment and was influential in establishing Fortescue Metals Group recruitment and training program that has seen 54 veterans enter careers in mining,” Mr Morrison said.
“Chris played a pivotal role in assisting the business understand the opportunity of offering roles to veterans, drawing on his knowledge of Defence and of trade qualifications.”
The award for Outstanding Employer of the Year went to BCT Solutions — also awarded the Veterans’ Employer of the Year – Medium — for its outstanding commitment to hiring veterans, with nearly 90 per cent of its workforce being former service men and women.
Prime Minister Morrison said that finding veterans meaningful employment after they leave the military benefited individuals, families, businesses, the economy and our nation.
“Supporting our veterans extends to the whole family, and I congratulate Defence Bank for winning the Excellence in Supporting Spouse Employment Award.
“One quarter of Defence Bank’s Branch network employees are either a partner, sibling, child or other family connection to an ADF member.”
Minister Chester said the nominations received this year were truly inspiring and all the winners and finalists were congratulated.
“The government’s Veterans Employment Commitment is designed to help connect ex-service men and women with employment opportunities for the excellent skills they bring to the workplace.
“That commitment, combined with the new Veterans’ Covenant, Australian Veterans’ Card and lapel pin, are all designed to bring governments and businesses together to support the veterans of today and tomorrow.”
The Prime Minister’s Veterans’ Employment Awards’ Principal Sponsors are Australia Post and Westpac Group.
Resources are available on the Prime Minister’s Veterans’ Employment Program website to help businesses find the perfect match.
Full list of winners: