Outstanding Contribution by an Individual to Veterans’ Employment

Darren Edwards was the Vice President and Managing Director of Boeing Defence Australia (BDA) until his death in 2019. Throughout his career, Darren was a passionate supporter of veteran’s employment and a key driver of veteran employment within BDA and the wider Defence sector. 

Through Darren’s leadership, BDA has been at the forefront of recognising and promoting veterans’ unique skills and experience and supporting them as they transition to civilian employment including through work placements, mentoring, rotations, and transition arrangements for ADF staff. Indeed, more than a fifth of BDA staff and half of its managers are veterans. Darren’s leadership also saw BDA develop partnerships with a range of veteran support organisations and also sponsor events such as the Legacy Ball, Soldier On’s Charity Ball and the Sydney Invictus Games (2018).

In addition to his work at BDA, in August 2018, Darren joined the Prime Minister’s Industry Advisory Committee on Veterans Employment and quickly became chair of the Communications working group. In this role, he helped promote and launch the Prime Minister’s Veterans’ Employment Commitment, ensuring that BDA was a founding signatory of the Commitment in November 2018. Separately, Darren also hosted a Pathways for Veteran Employment Roundtable in Brisbane in August 2018 which was attended by more than 50 representatives of organisations looking to improve career pathways for ex-defence personnel.

With Darren’s enthusiastic support, BDA representatives attended ADF Transition Seminars nationwide throughout 2019 in support of the Veteran Employment Program, offering insights into civilian employment to transitioning ADF members and their families. As a veteran himself, serving between 1986 and 2000 as an Army Officer, Darren was an admired leader, who understood that his commitment to his fellow soldiers did not end when he took the uniform off. 

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