ADF veterans honoured at employment awards

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Former Australian Defence Force members have been honoured for their business skills following their transition to civilian life.

Veterans, businesses and entrepreneurs were recognised at the 2021 Prime Minister's Veterans' Employment Award on Thursday, which highlighted the work of ex-ADF member in the business sector.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the awards were designed to celebrate the transition of defence personnel into civilian life.

"Veterans have so much to offer the businesses of our country," Mr Morrison said.

"In the ADF, our service men and women demonstrate skill, loyalty, dedication, perseverance, service and sacrifice. They understand mission, are trained problem solvers, deal with stress, and always have a go."

Among the winners was veteran Ben Davoren, who was awarded veteran employee of the year for his work as a business development manager at medical equipment company TacMed Australia.

"Ben deployed on combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and has shared his ADF knowledge and experience to train our first responders, positively impacting the lives of many," the prime minister said.

Other recipients included Chris de Bono, who was awarded the veterans' entrepreneur of the year.

Veterans' Affairs Minister Andrew Gee said the navy veteran was recognised for his work in setting up food company Meru Foods, which specialises in making fermented soy products, after more than a decade in the defence force.

"Mr de Bono has successfully transitioned skills he gained during his 14 years in the navy and the reserves to start an innovative food company that is now servicing domestic and international restaurant markets," Mr Gee said.

"Mr de Bono is an outstanding example of an entrepreneurial and dedicated individual who is leading the way in private business."

Other awards recognised small and large businesses that were employing veterans following their transition.

It's estimated that 5500 people transition from work in the ADF to civilian life each year.

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