Pinkenba-Based AMS Group Receives Employer of the Year Award for Supporting Veterans

Pinkenba-based AMS Group has been honoured as Employer of the Year (Medium) for their contributions to the support and employment of veterans, at a ceremony that also saw other Queensland recipients receive recognition for their efforts.

It was truly a cause for celebration as Queensland took home the Veteran Employee of the Year, Excellence in Supporting Veteran and/or Partner Employment, Partner Employee of the Year, and Employer of the Year (Medium). Four finalists were also recognised for their contributions.

The Prime Minister’s National Veterans’ Employment Awards aims to recognise and celebrate organisations that employ and support veterans, and veterans and their partners who are making a significant contribution as an employee or entrepreneur.

The winners from Queensland are:

AMS Group, Brisbane (Pinkenba) –.Employer of the Year (Medium):

Pinkenba-based AMS Group designs, instals and maintains 700 maritime navigation aids throughout Australia, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific region. AMS also maintains 84 lighthouses, 60 of which are heritage-listed. They design and install maritime port surveillance systems (air traffic control for shipping) and their system is used in 17 commercial ports throughout Australia, Papua New Guinea and Fiji.

The company currently employs 188, an increase from 74 in the past 18 months. Many of the new recruits were ex-servicemen and women. The company places a paramount emphasis on the well-being, safety, and professional development of all its employees, with a dedicated Veterans portal including news and events, a military skills translation resource and a veterans’ network to allow veterans to connect and provide peer support.

Aaron Cornwall, Australian Catholic University, Brisbane – Veteran Employee of the Year:

Driven by a sense of duty, Aaron joined the military at the age of 19. He was enlisted as a Combat Engineer, but he considers his deployment to Afghanistan to serve as a high-risk searcher the highlight of his military career.

 Pinkenba-based AMS Group Honoured at Prime Minister’s National Veterans’ Employment Awards
Photo Credit:  Commonwealth of Australia /

Post-military life, Aaron ventured into the fitness industry. Despite running his own business for several years, the sense of seeking continuous learning inspired him to complete certificates and diplomas, and even apply (and was accepted) to the Australian Catholic University. It was at this university that he was given the opportunities that gave him a sense of purpose, including a stint in Timor-Leste.

Graduating in 2019, he’s pursued further education with a Graduate Certificate in Clinical Exercise Rehabilitation and a Master’s in Business Administration at ACU. As the Student Veteran Services Manager, his passion lies in supporting fellow veterans, breaking down educational barriers, and fostering an inclusive academic environment.

RSL Queensland Excellence in Supporting Veteran and/or Partner Employment:

More than 1,000 veterans and current and ex-defence partners have benefitted from RSL Queensland’s employment program since it was launched in 2018. In 2022 alone, 251 job placements were achieved and an impressive 83% of the program’s clients found themselves either in the same or improved employment situations within six months of their placement.

 Pinkenba-based AMS Group Honoured at Prime Minister’s National Veterans’ Employment Awards
Photo Credit:  Commonwealth of Australia /

That same year, RSL Queensland embarked on a significant drive to introduce a multitude of new initiatives including the establishment of an advanced service channel, designed to expedite the identification and provision of assistance to clients with complex or multiple obstacles.

Today, RSL Queensland boasts a network of more than 1,200 employers, providing veterans and their partners with opportunities for fulfilling and meaningful employment.  

Angela (Angie) Weeks, PTSD Dogs Australian, RockhamptonPartner Entrepreneur of the Year:

Angie and co-founder, Roger Weeks, established PTSD Dogs Australia, a non-profit organisation that is dedicated to training and providing service dogs to veterans and first responders grappling with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Angie’s tireless efforts and dedication have resulted in the training and placement of 26 service dogs with veterans and first responders who are dealing with PTSD.

 Pinkenba-based AMS Group Honoured at Prime Minister’s National Veterans’ Employment Awards
Photo Credit:  Commonwealth of Australia /

Their exceptional contributions saw the remarkable transformation that the service dogs bring to their clients. They not only contributed to enhanced overall quality of life but these dogs immensely played a crucial role in mending family connections and improving their relationships.

Coming from a diverse background that includes education, real estate, horticulture, the built environment, and dog behaviour and training, she firmly believes that individuals and corporations share accountability in contributing to a better world, and it starts with personal actions that benefit the greater community.

There were also four finalists from Queensland who were also recognised for their work and contribution:

  • Veteran Employee of the Year – Jared Morkel, Downer, Townsville
  • Veteran Employee of the Year – Mick Quinney, Downer, Townsville
  • Partner Employee of the Year – Dr Amy Johnson, Central Queensland University, Rockhampton
  • Employer of the Year (Small) – Ravinn, Brisbane.

“Congratulations to all winners and finalists who have helped to light up the Prime Minister’s National Veterans’ Employment Awards, especially our Queensland heroes,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

“Your great work and valuable contributions in our communities has been recognised.

“We honour our current and former Australian Defence Force personnel for their service, commitment, and courage.”

Assistant Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and the Public Sector Bart Mellish, meanwhile, said, “As a passionate advocate for Veterans, I congratulate all our Queensland winners and finalists for their outstanding work and achievements.

“These awards demonstrate the importance of ensuring veterans find meaningful employment after their service, so they continue to provide for their family and the community.

“Our government is proud to support the veterans’ community which is why, in 2020, we announced an additional $10 million over four years to enhance support for veterans and committed a further $1.9 million for veterans in this year’s budget.”

Published 22-October-2023