The membership of the Council for Women and Families United by Defence Service has been announced today ahead of its first meeting on August 2. Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel Darren Chester said he was delighted that Army veteran and current Chief Executive of BAE Systems Australia, Ms Gabby Costigan, had agreed to chair the new Council.

Ms Costigan was honoured to be a part of the Council. Ms Costigan said, “I am proud to serve as Chair for the Council and provide my support to delivering better outcomes for veterans and their families. I look forward to working with such a talented and experienced group of individuals to help provide a stronger voice for an often unheard part of the community.”

Mr Chester created the Council for Women and Families United by Defence Service so women and families could have a direct voice to his office, as the needs of those affected by the defence service are not always understood or visible. “It’s important that we recognise—and seek to better understand—the service and sacrifice of women who have either served in the Australian Defence Force (ADF) themselves or been impacted by the service of a loved one,” Mr Chester said. “The Council is made up of a diverse range of people including parents, partners and widows of ADF personnel, chaplains, skilled professionals, veterans and ADF members. Each member has lived experience of the challenges faced by veterans and veterans’ families. I thank each member for agreeing to sit on the Council and I look forward working with them to further improve the services and support provided to women and families united by defence service.”

The people who have been appointed to the Council will work to provide advice to the Government, drive coherent policy outcomes and advocate on behalf of women and families united by defence service.

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