Veterans and families will soon benefit from the ongoing support of Australian Defence Force (ADF) chaplains in their transition to civilian life with the launch of a Veterans Chaplaincy Pilot Program.
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Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Matt Keogh said extending the support provided by ADF chaplains to those who are transitioning from service would provide a new source of support that veterans would be familiar and comfortable with from their time in service.
“Chaplains have long been a feature of the ADF, playing an important role providing spiritual, religious and pastoral support to personnel and their families, regardless of their religious beliefs,” Minister Keogh said.
“There is no doubt that transition from service requires a massive readjustment for veterans and their families.
“The government is working to enhance the supports available through transition, and the supports provided by ADF Chaplains will provide familiar comfort for many.”
This $1.9 million Veterans Chaplaincy Pilot Program will see this support extended in WA and, later this year, in Queensland.
Minister Keogh said he was proud to launch the program in his home state of Western Australia.
“Chaplain John Crosby is the first chaplain appointed to the Veterans Chaplaincy Pilot Program here in WA.
“Chaplain Crosby entered the Army in 2009 and, during his service, has provided chaplaincy support to a number of areas within the ADF.
“He has extensive training and experience in suicide prevention and mental-health care,” Minister Keogh said.
“He is a leader in the developing field of Moral Injury, with training in Pastoral Narrative Disclosure (PND) and Moral Injury Skills training (MIST), he has developed his own training packages and was awarded a Conspicuous Service Medal for his moral repair work within the ADF.”
Chaplain Crosby has been conducting chaplaincy support for members of the ADF in Perth and from today this support will be extended to all veterans and their families in the area.
More information on the Veterans Chaplaincy Pilot Program can be found on the DVA website.
EDITOR’S QUESTION: If this pilot program involves only a handful of chaplains – who are already employed by Defence – what exactly is $1.9million being spent on?