Jacqui joined the Australian Army on October 19, 1989. She served in the Australian Defence Force for over a decade in the Army School of Transport and then in the Australian Military Police Corp.
At 24 years old, Jacqui made the change to Military Police officer because she had ambitions to become an Australian Federal Police officer.
Jacqui’s career ambitions were dashed when she injured her back training for an overseas deployment and was subsequently medically discharged.
For the next 10 years, Jacqui engaged in a battle with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to try and obtain proper medical treatment and secure all her defence force entitlements.
Jacqui realised she wasn’t the only former defence personnel and veteran who was struggling to obtain entitlements and treatment through the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
The high rate of veterans’ suicide was further proof to Jacqui that former defence personnel and veterans needed a voice in Parliament.
Jacqui was determined to become that voice, and since being elected in 2013:
- Has achieved a pay raise for Defence Force personnel.
- Established an inquiry into the rate of veterans’ suicide where her recommendations were adopted by the Foreign Affairs, Defence, and Trade Committee.
- Established an inquiry into systemic issues in the Department of Defence’s Conduct after Capture (CAC) training program, where the Government accepted Jacqui’s recommendation that future CAC training does not serve as dual purpose for training interrogators.
- She has protected veterans’ privacy by successfully pushing for amendments to the Digital Readiness and Other Measures bill.
- Lobbied the Government on individual cases.
- Secured a recommendation from the Australia National Audit Office that the Department of Veterans’ Affairs undergo a performance audit.