Townsville Small Business Awarded Outstanding Veterans' Employer Of The Year

Media release
25 Nov 2021
Prime Minister, Minister for Veteran's Affairs, Minister for Defence Personnel, Federal Member for Herbert

Australian Expedition Vehicles (AEV) has been named the Outstanding Veterans’ Employer of the Year in the 2021 Prime Minister’s Veterans’ Employment Awards.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the Townsville-based business had been recognised for its exceptional support of veteran employees, after previously winning this year’s Veterans’ Employer of the Year small business.

“AEV is a worthy recipient of Outstanding Veterans’ Employer of the Year, with veterans making up around 50 per cent of the AEV workforce,” the Prime Minister said.

“AEV design, build and deliver specialised military and civilian off-roads vehicles as well as vehicle engineering, modification and maintenance support services, providing the perfect opportunity for the men and women who have served in the Australian Defence Force to transition their skills to the civilian workforce.

“It fills me with great pride to see a local Queensland business providing targeted employment opportunities for veterans and working with employees to adapt jobs to the needs of the veteran. It’s businesses like AEV that provide hope and support for anyone wishing to translate those skills learned in the ADF.

“I want to congratulate AEV for creating a workplace where veterans not only thrive, but where they gain qualifications and share their skills with others.”

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel Andrew Gee praised the Townsville business on its significant achievement.

“AEV is a local veteran-owned business supporting veteran employees, including some with health issues who have been supported by AEV through their rehabilitation,” Minister Gee said.

“They are a success story that should be a beacon for other Australian businesses. It makes good business sense to employ our veterans as we know they have a strong work ethic, work well in a team and bring the abilities learnt in the ADF to the workforce.”

Federal Member for Herbert Phil Thompson said AEV is a renowned manufacturer in Townsville.

“It’s fantastic to see a local veteran-owned company support our servicemen and women in their transition from military to civilian life,” Mr Thompson said.

“We need to continue to do everything we can to make sure our veterans and their families are given all the support they need and deserve.”

Managing Director of AEV Michael McMillan served in the ADF and said he wants to create opportunities like the ones he enjoyed.

“Understanding the needs of veterans is very important when creating a workplace that meets their needs,” Mr McMillan said.

“They want to be part of a team that is delivering something, whether that be a product or a service, and they want to be part of a like-minded group.

“I am proud we have created a business where we make sure the role fits the veteran, their skillset, help them gain qualifications and where they can see opportunities once they leave the ADF.”

This year the Australian Government is investing $11.7 billion to support more than 336,000 veterans and their families across the country.

More than $17 million has been provided to establish the Joint Transition Authority to better prepare and support our ADF personnel and their families as they transition to civilian life.

The Government also provides veterans with free mental health care for life, and has expanded access to the 24/7 counselling services for both veterans and their families.

Find out more about the AEV commitment to veteran employment here.