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Portfolio

The Veterans' Affairs portfolio is responsible for providing a range of programs of care, compensation, income support and commemoration for the veteran and defence force communities and their families. The portfolio is administered by the Minister for Veterans' Affairs.

Department and statutory commissions

This annual report covers the work of three entities in the Veterans' Affairs portfolio:

  • Department of Veterans' Affairs—the primary agency responsible for developing and delivering programs and services that assist the veteran and defence force communities, in accordance with the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA), the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA), the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRCA), the Defence Service Homes Act 1918 and the War Graves Act 1980
  • Repatriation Commission—the policy body responsible for the administration of the VEA and its range of compensation and income support pensions, allowances, rehabilitation and other healthcare services
  • Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission—the policy body responsible for the administration of the MRCA and the SRCA (as it relates to current and future ADF members and their families). The assistance provided under these Acts includes permanent impairment payments, incapacity payments, and healthcare and rehabilitation programs.

Other portfolio entities

Several independent entities provide specialist oversight to assist in administering veterans' entitlements, while the Australian War Memorial plays a unique role in commemorations. More information on these separate entities, including annual reports on performance, is available from their websites.

Repatriation Medical Authority

The Repatriation Medical Authority (RMA) is an independent statutory authority. Its role is to determine Statements of Principles (SOPs) for any disease, injury or death that could be related to military service, based on sound medical–scientific evidence. SOPs are binding on decision-makers or review bodies determining liability for compensation under the VEA or MRCA.

The RMA reports on its activities in its own annual report, tabled separately. The report and the SOPs are available on the RMA website at www.rma.gov.au.

Specialist Medical Review Council

The Specialist Medical Review Council (SMRC) reviews the RMA's decisions on SOPs and directs or recommends that the RMA amend the SOPs. The SMRC consists of eminent medical practitioners and medical scientists appointed as councillors by the Minister for Veterans' Affairs and selected by the Convenor of the SMRC on the basis of their expertise in the injury or disease relevant to the SOPs being reviewed. More information about current and past reviews can be found at www.smrc.gov.au.

Veterans' Review Board

The Veterans' Review Board reviews certain decisions made under the VEA and the MRCA. More information on the board is available from its website at www.vrb.gov.au.

Australian War Memorial

The Australian War Memorial maintains and develops the national memorial to Australians who have died in wars or warlike operations. It also develops, maintains and exhibits a national collection of historical material, and conducts and fosters research into Australian military history.

More information on the Australian War Memorial is available from its website at www.awm.gov.au.

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