To the Minister for Defence Personnel and Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, the Hon Matt Keogh MP,
Defence Families of Australia (DFA) write in support that the recommendations made by the Defence Honours and Awards Tribunal Inquiry into recognition for members and families of Australian Defence Force personnel who are injured, wounded or killed in or as a result of service are accepted and implemented by the Government.
Since 1986, DFA has been the Ministerially-appointed group representing the equities of the families of current serving ADF members. As the official advisors to Government and Defence, DFA advocates for ongoing improvement in policy and practice. Our aim is to reduce the negative impacts of military service on ADF families, and to support the positive aspects of this unique Defence lifestyle.
The Tribunal made three recommendations in its report published in 2021 which included:
The institution of the following new forms of medallic and emblematic recognition:
a) a Memorial Clasp – to be posthumously awarded to a member of the ADF or a veteran who dies in or as a result of service. The Clasp is to be attached to the Australian campaign or service medal most relevant to the circumstances in which the death occurred and bearing, at the discretion of the veteran’s family:
- the date of death; or
- the date of the incident leading to death; or
- no date;
b) a Gratitude Clasp – to be awarded to a member of the ADF or veteran who is seriously wounded, seriously injured or suffers a serious injury in or as a result of service. The Clasp is to be attached to the Australian campaign or service medal most relevant to the circumstances in which wounding or injury occurred and bearing, at the discretion of the veteran (or family where posthumous recognition is sought):
- the date of wounding or injury; or
- where multiple dates of wounds or injuries have been recognised, the number of such events recognised; or
- no date;
c) a Memorial Star – A full size brooch-like emblem of a uniquely Australian design that recognises the sacrifice of the family of a member of the ADF or veteran who dies in service or whose death is service related;
d) a Gratitude Star – A full size brooch-like emblem of uniquely Australian design to recognise the sacrifice of the family of the member or veteran who has suffered a serious wound, serious injury or serious disease in or as a result of service; and
e) for veterans awarded the Gratitude Clasp, a lapel pin of separate and appropriate design for everyday wear at the discretion of the veteran.
That the Memorial Clasp, the Gratitude Clasp, the Memorial Star and the Gratitude Star be accompanied by a scroll, issued under the authority of the Governor General, to commemorate the sacrifice of the member, veteran or the family, as applicable.
That the proposed new forms of recognition be available retrospectively, to recognise death, serious wounding, serious injury or serious disease that is or was brought about in or as a result of service after 2 September 1945.”
The implementation of the findings would allow members and their families the recognition they deserve across the Defence community of those affected by death and injury in service of their loved ones.
Defence Families of Australia