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Build on Vietnam lessons to help all veterans

Australian Greens spokesperson for veterans' affairs, Senator Penny Wright, has used Vietnam Veterans Day today to call on the Australian Government for better recognition of veterans' mental health causes.

Senator Wright said it was important Australia applied the lessons learnt from the Vietnam War and recognised the significant and long-lasting impacts of war experienced by veterans and their families.

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Budget 2013: Education, Legal Affairs, Mental Health and Veterans Affairs portfolio breakdown

The 2013 Labor Budget will do little to ease the stress on Australians. Senator Penny Wright talks about what was in the budget and what more could be done in each of her portfolio areas.

Education

What's in the budget:

  • $9.8 billion in new school funding
  • $3 billion in next the next four years, $6 billion to come in the following two years

What I think:

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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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