Research from the Australian Bureau of Statistics indicates that one in twenty Australian households include someone who is a current or former member of the Australian Defence Force. The diverse network of ESO organisations recognises a need for greater collaboration to maximise the collective strengths of the sector. The ESO Forums facilitate increased discussion between these organisations to jointly work towards commonly held goals.

Over 80 representatives from 40 ESOs from across the country came together to produce better advocacy and support outcomes for veterans and their families as well readying the sector’s response to the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide.

A major focus of the forum was discussion around the priority functions and scope of a Peak Body for the ESO sector.

Guest presenters at the forum included:

  • The Hon Matthew Keogh MP, Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel
  • Marc Purcell, CEO, Australian Council for International Development (ACFID)
  • Lt Gen Sir Nick Pope KCB CBE, Executive Chair, UK Confederation of Service Charities (Cobseo)
  • Nick Kaldas APM, Peggy Brown AO, Hon James Douglas KC, Commissioners, Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide

Full details of the forum’s agenda, discussion and outcomes can be found in the National ESO Forum report, available by clicking HERE.