Vietnam-era Nasho Geoff Parkes to deliver his petition to Greens
Geoff Parkes, a Vietnam-era national servicemen who was conscripted into the Australian armed forces is taking his #NashoFairGo petition representing other service personnel like him to Australian Parliament House tomorrow. So far, the petition has been signed by 25,000 Australians.
The campaign is seeking recognition and additional health support from the Labor government on behalf of 48,000 Nashos (of which only 35,000 are expected to be alive).
The Nashos are a cohort of Veterans who had been given an impossible choice by the government. To choose between being conscripted into the armed forces, or going to jail. They put their lives on hold, underwent intensive training but didn’t serve in a war zone. The main aim of the petition is to obtain DVA Gold Health Cards for their service.
Greens Spokesperson for Health and Mental Health Jordon Steele-John, and Veterans’ Spokesperson Senator David Shoebridge will accept Geoff’s petition, and table it in the Senate today.
“I want to obtain justice for the men Australia forgot,” says Geoff. “We have received no thanks, recognition, benefits or reparation for the two years of their youth that were taken from us.”
Senator Jordon Steele-John is “proud to receive the petition from the Nashos. The Australian Greens are committed to ensuring all Veterans, especially those who were conscripted into the armed forces receive access to the health and mental health supports to maintain their wellbeing. Being provided with the DVA Veteran Gold Card will enable many of these gentlemen to access health services without worrying about the financial cost of doing so.
Senator David Shoebridge said: “The Department of Veterans Affairs is failing in its duty of care to veterans and is in urgent need of reform. Too often it is a barrier to veterans getting the support they need, entitlements are inconsistent and arbitrary, and veterans are forced to struggle against a departmental culture that fails to respect their service.
“We have a new government and a new Parliament and veterans need to hear a loud message from them that they are now on their side.”
Salonie Dua (Change.org Australia) 0459 583 809 - Geoff Parkes
Sophie Greer 0448 316 387 - Senator Steele-John.
Alison Martin 0432 941 533 - Senator David Shoebridge