Australien – Employers of Reservists officially recognised by Defence

The Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Support, Dr Mike Kelly, will be guest of honour at the annual Defence Reserves Support Council ACT Committee Employer Support Awards to be held at the Australian War Memorial on 24 June 2010.

“While we have long recognised that Reservists make an invaluable contribution to Australia’s Defence capability, tonight we recognise the essential support given by the employers of those Reservists,” said Dr Kelly.

“For every Reservist who renders Reserve service there is usually an employer (or an educational institution) who supports that Reservist by willingly releasing them to don their uniform.

“While Defence has gone a long way in providing support and advice to employers and educational institutions in recent times, the releasing of Reservists is sometimes the cause of inconvenience to the employer.

“However, the astute employer also recognises the great value that a Reservist can bring to a business or organisation.

“No organisation teaches leadership, acceptance of responsibility, reliability and work ethic better than the Australian Defence Force and all these skills are directly transferable to the civilian work environment.”

Dr Kelly said the Employer Support Awards would formally recognise a number of employers who have been nominated as supportive by Reservists on their staff.

As part of the Employer Support Awards, the Defence Reserves Support Council ACT Committee will also be farewelling one of its own. Mr Bill Thompson, the outgoing Chair of the ACT Committee, is retiring after many years of support to the Reserve in a number of capacities.

“Bill Thompson has done an incredible amount of work in supporting the Reserves,

“As a former Regular and Reserve soldier, Bill has fought for their rights and for improvements in their conditions of service. Bill was, for many years, the ACTU representative on the Defence Reserves Support Council and, in later times, the chair of the ACT Committee. During this time Bill demonstrated his commitment and ability to contribute in an ongoing and positive manner. He will be greatly missed.” said Dr Kelly.

Media contacts:
Deanna Nott: 0438 013 548
Defence Media Liaison: 02 6127 1999 or 0408 498 664

Press release
Ministerial Support and Public Affairs,
Department of Defence,
Canberra, Australia