Three important research studies into the impact on families and veterans of service during the Vietnam War and of peacekeeping duties have been released today.
The Vietnam Veterans Family Study, the Peacekeepers Health Study and the Rwanda Deployment Health Study represent a $12 million investment in better understanding the health and wellbeing of veterans, peacekeepers and their families.
The Vietnam Veterans Family Study is one of the most significant government-funded research projects ever commissioned in the area of veterans’ affairs, with over 27,000 participants.
The study compared the physical, mental and social wellbeing of two groups of Australian veterans: 10,000 randomly selected Army Vietnam veterans and their families with 10,000 randomly selected Defence personnel who served in the Army during the Vietnam War era but did not deploy to Vietnam along with their families.
The Peacekeeper Health Study focuses on seven peacekeeping missions from 1989 to 2002: Namibia, Western Sahara, Cambodia, Rwanda, Somalia and two East Timor deployments. More than 14,000 Australian personnel were deployed as part of these operations.
The Rwanda Deployment Health Study was conducted by the then Centre for Military and Veterans’ Health. It investigated the health outcomes of the 680 veterans from Operation TAMAR in Rwanda.
These three studies required a significant investment of time by veterans, their families and the researchers. I would like to thank all involved in producing these very important reports and particularly the members of the consultative fora who contributed over many years.
In keeping with the Government’s commitment at the last election to consult on the Vietnam Veterans Family Study, I will be engaging with the Ex-Service Organisation Roundtable, the peak consultative forum with my Department, to provide feedback on the findings of the study.
Evidence based research is important to inform policy and program development and the three research studies released today will serve to further our understanding of the impacts of military service on serving and ex-serving members and their families.
The Government is also undertaking an active program of research looking at our veterans from more recent conflicts.
The $5 million Transition and Wellbeing Research Programme is examining the impact of military service on the mental, physical and social health of serving and ex-serving personnel and their families, and builds on previous Defence research such as the Military Health Outcomes Program. It will also aim to close the gap of research evidence in the transition period between Defence and DVA
The Vietnam Veterans Family Study full suite of reports can be found on the DVA website at www.dva.gov.au/vvfs
The Peacekeepers Health Study and the Rwanda Deployment Health Study reports can be found on the DVA website at www.dva.gov.au/health_and_wellbeing/research/Pages/health%20studies.aspx
Feedback on the Vietnam Veterans Family Study can also be provided to VVFSFeedback@dva.gov.au
Media inquiries: Minister Ronaldson: Jordi Procel 6277 7820 or 0448 232 908 Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203