Advocating for Defence families

Submission on the Commemoration of Australian Involvement in the Afghanistan War

This is the submission DFA provided for the recent submission on commemorations.

Re: Submission on the Commemoration of Australian Involvement in the Afghanistan War

Dear Minister

As the national advocacy body for ADF families, Defence Families of Australia (DFA) present the below feedback for consideration regarding the commemoration of Australia’s participation in the Afghanistan War.

DFA support the recognition of those who served in, supported, or lost their lives during this campaign. Our team have consulted the ADF families community, and have consolidated the below responses regarding this matter. A total of 90 respondents included current and recently transitioned ADF members and their families. Key outcomes were:

  • 58% of respondents did not want an additional day of commemoration.
  • The highest number of respondents (33%) wanted a greater focus on Anzac Day or Remembrance Day only.
  • Of those respondents who showed a preference for a separate day of commemoration, 24% voted for the date the Operation ended, 9% for the date Australians left for the Operation, 3% for the date the Operation was announced, and 1% for the date that CPL Cameron Baird VC MG was KIA.
  • The prominent themes of comments from respondents were:
    • A need for any commemoration to drive increased awareness and support for ADF families and veterans from the Afghanistan War.
    • A desire not to divide the veteran community with a separate date of commemoration outside of Anzac Day or Remembrance Day. These days of commemoration should encompass all conflicts.

As advisors to Government and Defence, DFA advocates for ongoing improvement in policy and practice to support the Defence community. Any commemoration undertaken should involve mechanisms to reduce the negative impacts of military service on ADF families, and to support the positive aspects of this unique Defence lifestyle. At this critical time of change, this work is more important than ever for shaping the future of our community.

You are welcome to contact me if you require any clarification or further information on our submission.

Thank you for the opportunity to provide feedback.

Yours Sincerely,
Sandi Laaksonen-Sherrin

National Convenor
Defence Families of Australia

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