Diocesan Council recently considered the resolutions from General Synod and as a result has resolved to distribute GS-18 resolution R74/18 “Rates of Suicide of Australian Defence Force (ADF) Veterans” to parishes and encourage them to take action to make churches more accessible and relevant to veterans and families.
The text of GS-18 Resolution R74/18 is reproduced for your information below. I would ask Parish Councils to consider this resolution. Joe Thorp, Secretary of Synod, Adelaide Anglicans Information Update 17 August 2022
R74/18. Rates of Suicide of Australian Defence Force (ADF) Veterans
Bishop Keith Dalby moving, Bishop Keith Joseph seconding
General Synod notes with concern the rates of suicide for Australian Defence Force (ADF) Veterans and accordingly commends the work of the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide and the Interim National Commissioner for Defence and Veteran Suicide Prevention, and observes that these highlight the effectiveness of ADF Chaplains in suicide prevention for current serving members and families and affirms the work of ADF Chaplains particularly in the areas of suicide prevention, moral injury and spiritual wounds.
General Synod also notes with appreciation the recent Federal Budget funding for a new chaplaincy support program for veterans but also views with concern the shortage of Anglican ministers available to be Australian Defence Force chaplains and veterans chaplains. In turn it is noted that this impacts adversely on the growing demand for programs to help veterans suffering moral injury and spiritual wounds which are the result of military service in peace or conflict.
This Synod expresses its heartfelt thanks to the women and men of our Defence Force and their immediate and extended families for their commitment to the service of our country. We further recognise that this service often comes with deep personal, physical emotional and psychological costs that are not always visible to those around them but never the less are real and impactful on their lives and the lives of those around them. As a Synod we express our sorrow for this impacton their lives but would like to express our thanks for their service, and assurance of our prayers and support for them both at this time, and into the future.
Therefore General Synod calls on all diocese to commit to making churches and welfare agencies more accessible and relevant to veterans and families, and to raise up chaplains for this work; and requests the Primate to affirm and facilitate this work by appointing an additional non-stipended archdeacon under the Bishop to the Defence Force as the point of contact between the ADF, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Church.