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Other mandatory information

As a non-corporate Commonwealth entity, DVA reports on specific aspects of service delivery and management of people and resources, in line with the requirements of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 and other legislation.

Grants

Through DVA, the Minister for Veterans' Affairs sets policy and approves successful applications for the grants programs described in Table 12.

DVA grants are administered through the Australian Government Community Grants Hub, except for grants under the Long Tan Bursary Scheme, the Armistice Centenary Grants Program and the Overseas Privately Constructed Memorial Restoration Program, which are administered directly by the Department.

Information on grants awarded by DVA during the period from 1 July 2017 to 31 December 2017 is available at www.dva.gov.au/consultation-and-grants/grants. Grants awarded from 1 January 2018 are listed on GrantConnect at www.grants.gov.au.

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Table 12: Grant programs administered by DVA 2017–18
Grant program Purpose
Compensation and support
Building Excellence in Support and Training (BEST) program Eligible people often receive advice on DVA entitlements from veterans’ pensions and welfare officers who work, in many cases voluntarily, for ex-service organisations. Those officers are generally themselves veterans or family members of veterans.

The BEST program is designed to support ex-service organisations’ pension and welfare practitioners and advocates. It assists by offering grants to help the organisations and practitioners provide advice and assistance to the veteran and defence communities.

A BEST grant is intended to be a contribution towards an organisation’s costs in providing services to the veteran and defence communities. It is not to offset all costs, and grant recipients are expected to provide in-kind or other support to their pension, welfare and advocacy officers.

There is one BEST funding round each year. Funding is for the period of the next financial year. Payment of grants is subject to previous funding being acquitted as required.

In the 2017–18 funding round, a total of $3.960 million (GST exclusive) was provided to 144 ex-service organisations under BEST.

Health and wellbeing
Grants-in-Aid The Grants-in-Aid program assists national ex-service organisations to cover administrative expenses such as provision of office equipment, travel for representational business, and advocacy undertaken on behalf of the veteran community.

To be eligible, an organisation must be an effective national representative body, have direct links to the ex-service community and have objectives which aim to benefit the welfare of its members.

The program has one funding round each financial year. The maximum annual grant to any national organisation is $10,000; depending on the demand for funding, smaller grants may be offered.

The program has an annual allocation of $145,000 (GST exclusive). In 2017–18, a total of $137,973 was provided to 15 national ex-service organisations under the program.

Long Tan Bursary Scheme The Long Tan Bursary Scheme provides funding to children of Australians who served in the Vietnam War, to help them meet the cost of post-secondary education, so that they can obtain the formal qualifications and skills they need to pursue their chosen careers.

In the 2018–19 Budget, the Australian Government announced that the eligibility criteria for the Long Tan Bursary have been extended to include grandchildren of Vietnam veterans. This change will take effect on 1 August 2019.

Each financial year, DVA offers 37 bursaries of up to $12,000 over three years. In 2017–18, 37 bursaries were offered; however, only 34 students accepted the offer.

The scheme is administered by the Australian Veterans’ Children Assistance Trust on behalf of DVA.

Supporting Younger Veterans Supporting Younger Veterans offers grants to ex-service organisations that provide support to veterans who have military service post-1999. Other organisations may also be considered if they are in partnership with at least one such ex-service organisation.

The program promotes partnerships that deliver innovative and sustainable services for younger veterans and build community capacity to meet their needs. It also supports projects to raise awareness of the important issues faced by younger veterans.

The program has one funding round per year, with an annual allocation of $1 million (GST exclusive). In 2017–18, a total of $972,560 was provided to 12 applicants under the program.

Veteran and Community Grants Veteran and Community Grants are available to enable ex-service organisations, community-based organisations or private organisations to deliver projects that benefit the health and wellbeing of veterans, veterans’ family members, carers, dependants and other members of the ex-service community.

The program provides seeding funds for projects that support a healthy, quality lifestyle for members of the veteran community and assist them to remain living independently in their own homes. It also provides funding for initiatives that reduce social isolation, support carers and improve access to community services.

Applications can be submitted at any time and are assessed in batches throughout the year.

In 2017–18, a total of $2.166 million (GST exclusive) was provided to 123 applicants under the program.

Commemorations
Overseas Privately Constructed Memorial Restoration Program The program assists Australian veterans and other individuals in restoring and preserving military unit and battle memorials that were privately constructed overseas.

To be eligible, memorials must be directly commemorative of Australia’s military involvement, including wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations. Memorials must be pre-existing and on public display. Preference is given to memorials constructed by Australian veterans and Australian veteran associations.

Funding is available for restoration, not ongoing maintenance.

In 2017–18, a total of $48,817.56 (GST exclusive) was provided for four restorations and commemorations under the program.

Saluting Their Service Commemorative Grants Program Saluting Their Service grants are provided to ex-service organisations, local government authorities, museums, schools and other community organisations for projects that commemorate the military service of Australians in wars, conflicts and peace operations.

Two categories of grants are available under the program:

  • Community Commemorative Grants of up to $4,000 for projects of community significance
  • Major Commemorative Grants for commemorative projects of national, state or territory significance.

In 2017–18, nine Major Commemorative Grants were approved, totalling $460,689 (GST exclusive); and 166 Community Commemorative Grants were approved, totalling $401,706 (GST exclusive).

Armistice Centenary Grants Program The Armistice Centenary Grants Program supports the Australian Government’s commitment to acknowledging and commemorating those who served Australia and its allies in wars, conflicts and peace operations.

The program provides grants of between $3,000 and $50,000 for community-based projects and activities that commemorate the end of the First World War, remember the service of Australian men and women in all conflicts, and celebrate a just and secure peace. Each federal electorate has a funding pool of $50,000 to support local commemorative projects.

The program opened on 11 November 2017 and closed on 28 March 2018. A total of $1.978 million (GST exclusive) was awarded for 258 grants.

Discretionary grants In 2017–18, seven discretionary commemorative grants to the value of $196,795 (GST exclusive) were approved by the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs.

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Disability reporting mechanisms

DVA strives to ensure that its policies and programs are inclusive of people with disability and their families and carers, including veterans and their families, employees and members of the public. Since 1994, non-corporate Commonwealth entities have reported on their performance as policy adviser, purchaser, employer, regulator and provider under the Commonwealth Disability Strategy. In 2007–08, reporting on the employer role was transferred to the APSC’s State of the service report and the APS statistical bulletin. These reports are available at www.apsc.gov.au. From 2010–11, entities have no longer been required to report on these functions.

The Commonwealth Disability Strategy has been overtaken by the National Disability Strategy 2010–2020, which sets out a 10-year national policy framework to improve the lives of people with disability, promote participation and create a more inclusive society. A high-level, two-yearly report will track progress against each of the six outcome areas of the strategy and present a picture of how people with disability are faring. The first of these progress reports was published in 2014, and can be found at www.dss.gov.au.

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Freedom of information

Agencies subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 are required to publish information to the public as part of the Information Publication Scheme. The scheme specifies categories of information that agencies must publish online and encourages agencies to proactively release information in a consistent way. Each agency must publish on its website a plan describing the information it publishes in accordance with the scheme’s requirements. DVA’s plan is available at www.dva.gov.au/about-dva/freedom-information/information-publication-scheme.

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Other reporting requirements

In addition to the requirements of the enhanced Commonwealth performance framework, as set out in the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Rule 2014, DVA has annual reporting responsibilities under other Commonwealth legislation.

The appendixes of this annual report provide detailed information on the Department’s:

  • participation in the Data Matching Program, as required by the Data-matching Program (Assistance and Tax) Act 1990 (Appendix D)
  • expenditure on advertising and market research, as required by the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (Appendix E)
  • policies with regard to the Statement for Australia’s Carers, as required by the Carer Recognition Act 2010 (Appendix F)
  • work health and safety initiatives and outcomes, as required by the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Appendix G)
  • contribution to ecologically sustainable development, as required by the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Appendix H).
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