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US Secretary Peake to visit Australia will lead rehabilitation forum.

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Alan Griffin

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs


VA093 Friday, 19 September 2008



The United States Secretary for Veterans’ Affairs, James Peake, will be a key note speaker at an Australian Government forum discussing the future of military rehabilitation, Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Alan Griffin, announced today.

The Minister said Secretary Peake is a former Surgeon General of the United States Army and a decorated Vietnam veteran. He will present an international keynote address along with a range of speakers, at the National Colloquium on Rehabilitation, Reflecting on the Past - Positioning for the Future, to be held in Canberra on 7 and 8 October 2008, hosted by the Australian Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

“I am pleased that Secretary Peake has accepted my invitation to speak at this National Colloquium. While the US military experience in Iraq and Afghanistan is different to that of Australian service personnel, we can learn from their rehabilitation experience,” Mr Griffin said.

Advances in medical care and body armour have contributed to a 90 per cent survival rate for US service personnel injured in Iraq and Afghanistan, compared to 68 per cent in the Second World War. Traumatic brain injury, musculoskeletal injury and post traumatic stress disorder are the major disabilities being experienced by US service personnel resulting from these conflicts.

“Changes on the battlefield drives innovation in military rehabilitation and health care. Australia can learn from the experience of the United States in responding to a new generation of war injuries in our endeavour to deliver best practice in rehabilitation services for our veterans and service personnel.

“Our objective is to give those injured in service a second chance—rehabilitation to return to active service, or if separating from the forces, transition to quality, productive and healthy

civilian life. This focus on rehabilitation is supported by health care, income support and disability compensation,” Mr Griffin said.

The Rehabilitation Colloquium will discuss key issues in rehabilitation now and in the future. The colloquium will also discuss and consider the use of technology in rehabilitation and improving partnerships between government and service providers.

Media inquiries: Laura Ryan 0437 863 109

The VVCS - Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service can be contacted 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 1800 011 046.

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