On Afghanistan

It has been an overwhelming two weeks; not only locally but globally too, as we witness from afar the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan. 

After 20 years of service in Afghanistan, and 41 Australian lives lost to the cause, our nation’s first evacuation flight rescued only 26 people. We wait to see if our Prime Minister’s promise that these numbers will ramp up rings true. His government intends to resettle about 3,000 Afghan nationals through our existing humanitarian program this year, and in this time of crisis many Australians deem that number insufficient.

Hawthorn Electorate Office has heard the despair within the community, and a sense of helplessness. You have every right to let Federal Government representatives know where you stand on humanitarian issues such as this.

Further, whilst Defence is a matter for the Federal Government, the Victorian Government is aware the situation may be affecting veterans in Victoria at this time, and remains committed to the welfare of our veterans and their families.

Friends or family members of Afghanistan veterans are encouraged to check in on their wellbeing, as they follow what is currently going on in that country and among its people.

We should all acknowledge that a clear majority of our veterans served with courage and honour and are proud of the work they did on the ground with Afghan communities during their service. This work included building much needed schools and other important facilities for these communities

The State Government acknowledges and thanks the wider Victorian veteran community and the ex-service organisations who are reaching out and offering their support to those members of their community who may be struggling.

Veterans and family members in need of support at this time can contact:

  • The Defence all-hours Support Line is a confidential telephone and online service for ADF members and their families, which can be reached by calling 1800 628 036.
  • Open Arms provides 24-hour free and confidential counselling and support for current and former ADF members and their families, by calling 1800 011 046, or through SafeZone, by calling on 1800 142 072.
  • Lifeline Australia’s 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention services on 13 11 14.

Current and former Australian Defence Force members can also seek support, between the hours of 9-5 Monday to Friday, via Veteran Central (VetCen) call centre, by calling the 1300 MILVET number (1300 645 838).