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Veterans' mental health: More to be done, say Greens

The Australian Greens will query the effectiveness of mental health services for veterans, as extra funding for mental health was revealed in yesterday's Defence White Paper.

Australian Greens spokesperson for Mental Health and Veterans Affairs, Senator Penny Wright, welcomed the further funding, but suggested the full extent of veterans mental health needs was yet to be determined.

"The new generation of veterans returning from places like Iraq and Afghanistan will face considerable challenges," Senator Wright said.

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Remembering all those who served on ANZAC Day

As we remember those who fought for our country, we should also remember those who died in the pursuit of peace, says Australian Greens spokesperson on Veterans Affairs, Senator Penny Wright.

"ANZAC Day is a great opportunity to remember all of those affected by war, whether it is those who died in service, those who returned but live with the scars, or families and loved ones who also bear the brunt," said Senator Wright.

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War Memorial's honour roll decision a tremendous win for our Peacekeepers

Today's long overdue decision by the Australian War Memorial Council to include the names of the 48 fallen peacekeepers on the honour roll is significant as it means that for the first time in Australia's history, their sacrifices will be properly honoured, Greens spokesperson for Veterans Affairs, Penny Wright said.

“Since 1947 members of the Australian Defence Forces have served Australia’s interests as peacekeepers, honourably and with courage, in situations of conflict and danger.

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Estimates: Injured Service Personnel questions

Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee 
Department of Veterans' Affairs 

20 November, 2013

Senator WRIGHT: I am asking a question about cases where Australian Defence Force personnel are injured during deployment and they lose the tax exemption that would normally apply during their deployment under section 23AD of the taxation act. Is that a scenario that people in the department are familiar with? I imagine it is.

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Remembering and caring for those who serve Australia: Greens

Commemorating Remembrance Day today, Australian Greens spokesperson for Veterans Affairs and Mental Health, Senator Penny Wright, acknowledged the sacrifice of Australians who have died serving our country and recognised the enduring impacts of service on veterans and their families.

"As we give thanks for the generous service of our Australian Defence personnel on Remembrance Day, we should also consider the challenges faced by veterans who return home from war - and their families," Senator Wright said.

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Penny's Blog - Legacy’s special legacy

This week, people all over Australia are taking to the streets again to raise money and awareness for Legacy Week.

This is the 70th year that this important charity, which cares for the families of deceased Australian servicemen and women, is running its annual fundraising appeal, and many Australians would have already seen some of the dedicated volunteers on the streets, tirelessly selling badges and collecting funds.

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Estimates: Veterans' Carers and other Support Services

Senator WRIGHT: I want to ask some questions in relation to the increasing number of veterans with physical and mental problems who are being cared for in their homes by spouses, family members or other unpaid carers. I am aware of the concern of people in the community through consultations and discussions that I have been having. I am interested in better understanding what support is given to carers of veterans to enable them to accompany the veterans to hospital or care facilities-for example, transport services.

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Estimates: Veteran Mental Health Services

Senator WRIGHT: I have some questions regarding mental health programs and I believe they might be in outcome 2 or 3. Research indicates that veterans and partners of veterans experience higher levels of mental illness than the general population and this has significant implications for their children and extended family. Therefore, it is important that mental health services provide adequate support to current service personnel, veterans and their family members. My first set of questions relate to the level and adequacy of these mental health services.

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