RSL NSW establishes office to support veterans throughout Royal Commission into Veteran Suicide. Get support.
RSL NSW membership now fee free and available online. Read more
Media Releases 30 Jul 2021

RSL Supports New Census Question on Defence Service

The Returned & Services League of Australia (RSL) has welcomed the first-time inclusion of a question regarding service in the Australian Defence Forces in the forthcoming National Census.

RSL National President Greg Melick said the question, “Has the person ever served in the Australian Defence Force?” will provide valuable new information for Governments and veteran support and service organisations.

“The RSL has lobbied over two decades to have a question in the National Census on veteran statistics and service, and it is pleasing to see this now included in the 2021 Census,” Greg Melick said.

“While plenty of information exists about those currently serving in the Australian Defence Forces, there is not a lot of detail about former service personnel and the data will particularly provide the Department of Veterans’ Affairs with accurate information on veteran numbers and where they live,” he said.

The Census will also seek information on veterans’ ages and employment status.

“This will enable the Department to better focus its support for veterans and their families and also assist the RSL in planning its service and support delivery,” he said.

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs supports around 210,000 veterans and their 100,000 dependents. The Census will confirm the total number of veterans living in Australia and likely determine that there are more not currently on the Department’s records.

“Estimates indicate the real number of veterans may be as high as 630,000 people,” Greg Melick said.

“It is important Australia is aware of the full picture and that the support provided for veterans and their families can be strategically developed and directed to best effect.

“The RSL will be promoting participation in the Census to its members to ensure the outcome is comprehensive and accurate and that all veterans receive the support and services to which they are entitled.”

Related Stories
Media Release: Remember to Remember and pause for one minute this Remembrance Day
Media Releases

Media Release: Remember to Remember and pause for one minute this Remembrance Day

RSL NSW President Ray James has encouraged people to Remember to Remember and pause to reflect with...
Latest Report on Veteran and ADF Suicide Timely
Media Releases

Latest Report on Veteran and ADF Suicide Timely

RSL Australia says the release of the latest report on the incidence of suicide within the veteran...
RSL Condemns Protesters Desecration of Shrine
Media Releases

RSL Condemns Protesters Desecration of Shrine

RSL Australia has condemned the actions of the Melbourne protesters who occupied the Shrine of...
RSL NSW members dig deep to support their fellow veterans
Media Releases

RSL NSW members dig deep to support their fellow veterans

RSL NSW veteran members have rallied to bolster life-changing support for veterans and their...