The chair of the Australian Peacekeeper and Peacemaker Veterans Association (APPVA) will be in Wagga to provide an update on the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA).
APPVA aims to provide comprehensive service to current and ex-service Defence and police members in all aspects of military compensation. The organisation also assists DVA in reclaiming the trust in the veteran community and veteran families throughout Australia.
APPVA chair Ian Lindgren will be speaking to the veteran community and members of the public on the positive changes occurring within the DVA and veterans affairs sector on Thursday (9 November) from 1:30 to 3 pm at the Pro Patria Centre.
Mr Lindgren is one of the 14 veteran leaders who liaise with the Commonwealth on behalf of all veterans and veteran families around Australia.
Mr Lindgren says there are multiple reasons for his visit to Wagga. He wants to broaden the network of veteran organisations and let people know that while things are still not ideal within the DVA, under the new leadership, the focus is on delivering services to victims that work.
“It’s like trying to turn the Titanic with its tiny rudder and someone saying, ‘No, I don’t want to move’ because they’re resistant to change,” says Mr Lindgren.
“If you stand alone, you’re not that strong, but if you stand together and use each other’s strengths, we can support our veterans across Australia.”
Mr Lindgren is encouraging not only the veterans but also anyone from the general public interested in veterans’ affairs to attend the event.
“Our military is embedded in Australia’s heritage … in times of need, our best soldiers, sailors and airmen have come from the civilian community and led the regular forces,” Mr Lindgren said.
“It’s important for people to have confidence that the armed forces are well led, but if something bad happens, the children will be looked after for the rest of their lives.
Mr Lindgren represents the veterans and Pro Patria Centre at ESORT (Ex-Service Organisation Round Table).
Born in Wagga and raised in Sandigo, Mr Lindgren spent his formative years at Yanco Agricultural High School and his only aim was to join the army.
He joined the Army Reserve in Wagga in 1980 at 4/3 RNSWR and was accepted into Portsea Officer Cadet School in 1981. He later graduated from the Royal Australian Engineers.
Midway through his career in the 1990s, while serving at 1RTB Kapooka, Mr Lindgren transferred to Signals Corps.
He felt he could introduce business concepts to the fledgling information technology capability in the Army and Defence. He recognised the existing technical solutions often fell short of meeting business requirements.
Mr Lindgren later became the chief information officer at the Multinational Force and Observers in the Sinai in 2000, where he was injured. While he was promoted on his return to Australia to run the Defence Restricted Network, Mr Lindgren could not continue in uniform and was medically discharged.
Mr Lindgren started several businesses under the PayMe Group with his wife Maria. He has two sons and six grandchildren.
To hear APPVA chair Ian Lindgren speak about the changes at DVA on 9 November from 1:30 to 3 pm, RSVP here.