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Victoria ramps up public service special entry program for military veterans

From left, Australian Defense Force Maj. Brian D’ Cunha and Lt. Col. Merv Wren look at maps and establish communications during Talisman Sabre 2009 on Freshwater Bay Beach in Queensland, Australia, July 15, 2009. Talisman Sabre is a biennial, joint, combined exercise sponsored by U.S. Pacific Command and the Australian Defense Force that focuses on the planning and execution of contingency response operations. (DoD photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Nardelito Gervacio, U.S. Navy/Released)

The Victorian government has revised its target for the recruitment of military veterans to its public service agencies to 750 by the end of June 2021, tripling the original goal.

Several governments have special entry pathways for former Australian Defence Force members, including the Commonwealth and New South Wales, and so do some individual agencies like the Australian Taxation Office.

Victorian Minister for Veterans Robin Scott said 277 veterans had joined the state public service since the government’s Public Sector Veterans Employment Strategy commenced in June 2017, exceeding expectations. Scott’s statement explains why agencies are keen to snap up ex-ADF people.

“Veterans have proven skills that are highly desirable in the public sector, particularly leadership, innovation, project management, problem solving and excellent communication.

“Veterans also come from a values-driven environment and are an excellent organisational fit for the public sector.”

Along with marketing to attract veterans, the Victorian approach involves helping them learn how their skills and experience can best translate to an office of the state apparatus, and research on what support they typically need.

The state also has a Veterans Employment Advocate, Major General David McLachlan, who said the program had been successful because ex-military people are “an excellent fit” in civilian roles within the public sector.

“The increase in the target provides the opportunity for more veterans to translate their employment skills into the Victorian public sector, to mutual advantage,” Major General McLachlan said.

Author Bio

Stephen Easton

Stephen Easton is the associate editor at The Mandarin based in Canberra. He's previously reported for Canberra CityNews and worked on industry titles for The Intermedia Group.