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Vol 30 No.4 Summer 2014

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Page 1 (PDF 10.9 MB)

  • Albany Convoy Commemorative Event remembers our Anzacs (PDF p.1)
    The West Australian city of Albany was host to the first major commemorative event of the Centenary of Anzac, the 100th anniversary of the departure of Australian and New Zealand troops to the First World War.
  • Early Christmas pension payments
    Pension payments that would normally be paid on Thursday 25 December will be paid three days early – on Monday 22 December 2014.

Page 2 (PDF 10.9 MB)

  • Letters to the Editor
  • News from the Department – Secretary Simon Lewis
    It’s only natural that as another year comes to a close, we look back on the year that was. It was my first full calendar year with the Department, and I am pleased to say that we made some tremendous progress in a number of areas this year – particularly in the work we are doing with the Department of Defence, as well as research and also mental health.

Page 3 (PDF 10.9 MB)

  • Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC) income test
    The Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC) provides help with the cost of prescription medicines and access to other government concessions. Card holders may also receive a quarterly payment to assist with costs such as electricity and telephone.
  • Improvement priorities confirmed for DVA
    In early December, the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) released its Capability Review report for DVA. A Capability Review is a forward-looking, whole-of-agency review that assesses an agency’s ability to meet future objectives and challenges.
  • A message from the Minister
    As the Christmas and New Year period approaches, I would like to extend my best wishes to the veteran community and I trust that this time offers a well earned break to spend time with your families and friends.
  • Clean Energy Supplement renamed “Energy Supplement”
    As part of the 2014–2015 Federal Budget, the Government announced its intention to rename the “Clean Energy Supplement” the “Energy Supplement” and freeze the rates at their 20 September 2014 levels.
  • DVA services during Christmas – New Year
    DVA offices will be closed from close of business Wednesday, 24 December 2014 to Thursday, 1 January 2015. DVA offices will re-open on Friday, 2 January 2015.

Page 4 (PDF 10.9 MB)

  • Important health research released
    On 28 October 2014, the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson, announced the release of three important research studies into the impact on families and veterans of service during the Vietnam War and of peacekeeping duties.
  • DVA Executive Appointment
    Major General Craig Orme has been appointed to the position of Deputy President of the Repatriation Commission and the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission.
  • DVA Executive changes
    The Deputy Commissioner Queensland, Alison Stanley, and the First Assistant Secretary Health and Community Services, Judy Daniel, have separately announced their retirement in 2015.
  • New resources to assist in mental health treatment of veterans
    The treatment of Australia’s veterans with mental health issues is set to benefit from the availability of two new innovative online resources for mental health practitioners.
  • Research to help mates and families
    Serving personnel and those who have recently transitioned out of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) have an opportunity to help DVA and the Department of Defence better understand the impact of military service and deliver improved services.

Page 5 (PDF 10.9 MB)

  • Anzac Centenary 2014
    Community participation in Anzac Day commemorations has been growing in recent years, and in 2015 there is expected to be extensive interest in commemorating Anzac Day at services across Australia and overseas.
  • Anzac Centenary Public Fund
    The Anzac Centenary Public Fund, launched in March 2014, enables the Australian business community and public to donate to support Anzac Centenary commemorations to take place between 2014 and 2018.
  • Anzac Centenary Local Grants Programme
    Through the Anzac Centenary Local Grants Programme, each Federal electorate has access to grants of up to $125,000 to enable them to commemorate the Centenary.
  • Gallipoli 2015 update
    There are just four months to go until the 100th anniversary Anzac Day commemorations at Gallipoli in 2015, and preparations are well underway for the Australians and New Zealanders who were successful in the ballot for attendance.
  • Anzac Centenary Facebook photo app
    The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) Anzac Centenary Facebook photo app is now available for the uploading of commemorative images to ensure the commemoration over the Anzac Centenary period is captured and shared with people around the world.

Page 6 (PDF 10.9 MB)

  • Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum and Walking Trail
    Located some three hours drive north west of Bangkok and just above the River Kwae, the Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum and Walking Trail is a memorial to all who suffered and died working on the infamous Burma-Thailand Railway during the Second World War.
  • Three Australians receive France’s highest honour
    France’s highest award, the Legion of Honour was bestowed to three Australian Second World War veterans in a moving ceremony during the Albany Convoy Commemorative Event, attended by international and national dignitaries.
  • Franco-Australian Museum in Villers-Bretonneux closes for renovations
    On 17 November 2014, the Franco-Australian Museum in Villers-Bretonneux, France closed its doors to undergo major renovations to its gallery spaces and displays. The renovation is part of the Australian Remembrance Trail along the Western Front, a series of linked projects undertaken in partnership with local communities and authorities in France and Belgium.

Page 7 (PDF 10.9 MB)

  • Helping our Neighbours
    Following a successful visit by a delegation of veterans and war widows from Timor-Leste to Sydney, Melbourne and Perth for Anzac Day 2014, a group of Australian representatives were invited by the Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste to visit their country and provide assistance to the veteran community in setting up appropriate structures and programmes.
  • War Widows Commemorate the First World War
    The NSW Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Victor Dominello led a ceremony in Sydney to mark 100 years since the first NSW troops who served in Gallipoli embarked for Albany, Western Australia on 18 October 1914.
  • New President for the Guild
    Mrs Meg Green was recently appointed National President of the War Widows’ Guild of Australia. Mrs Green is the widow of a Vietnam veteran.
  • Albany WA remembers
    Thousands of people lined the streets of Albany, Western Australia, as Anzac Centenary commemorations got underway from 31 October to 2 November 2014.
  • Poppies
    Poppies have long been the symbol of the First World War. One thousand volunteers from the local and wider community made and planted 30,000 poppies on Middleton Beach, near Albany Western Australia, to depict the number of troops departing from Albany in the first convoy.

Page 8 (PDF 10.9 MB)

  • An issue that affects all of us – Dr Stephanie Hodson, CSC
    I wanted to start my first column with an issue that affects all of us – sleep. Life can get extremely busy, and as a mum of three teenage boys and working full time, I often have a number of really late nights in order to get everything done.
  • VVCS services
    A decision was recently announced in relation to the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) and its service delivery model in the Greater Sydney region.
  • YouTube video launched for the ADF Community
    A video reminding Australian Defence Force (ADF) members that support is available no matter what stage of their career they’re at has been launched by the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson.
  • Dig In project helps heal younger veterans
    A project helping wounded younger veterans to heal through gardening has received $15,000 in Australian Government funding as part of DVA’s Veteran and Community Grants programme.

Page 9 (PDF 10.9 MB)

  • DVA’s Private Hospital Patient Satisfaction Survey
    Members of the veteran community have been providing DVA with a rich source of data from the Patient Satisfaction Survey they have been completing after an overnight private hospital admission.
  • Rehabilitation success
    DVA has a range of services and support available to assist former servicemen and women who are injured, wounded or ill as a result of their service, to continue to lead a normal life. Rehabilitation plans that are catered specifically to an individual’s needs and goals are central to this healing process.
  • Veterans’ Health Week
    This year’s Veterans’ Health Week (VHW) ran from 13 to 19 October, tackling the theme of Nutrition. DVA worked closely with ex-service organisations and community groups to encourage current and former serving members, and their families and friends to focus on healthy eating and good nutrition.
  • Home Care Packages and Consumer Directed Care
    Do you need support to stay in your home? You may be eligible for Veterans’ Home Care (VHC) or, if there is an assessed clinical need, DVA Community Nursing. Veterans and war widow/ers who require help to stay in their home may be eligible to apply for a Home Care Package, administered by the Department of Social Services.

Page 10 (PDF 10.9 MB)

  • VVCS is here for you over Christmas
    Many people find the Christmas season to be a particularly tough time. There are so many things going on, with the added pressure of work events, family functions and not to mention the financial strain sometimes associated with gift giving.
  • VVCS Poppy Competition
    Congratulations to Ms Selena Smith, the winner of the inaugural VVCS Remembrance Day Poppy Competition.
  • Health and Safety tips for seniors in Summer
    Veterans’ MATES provides up to date health and medicine information for health professionals and veterans. The heat of Summer has arrived and the next Veterans’ MATES module due for release shortly, focuses on staying well in the hot weather.
  • How to get the Right Mix
    Choose a healthy mix this Summer and try these ten tips to help change your drinking habits…
  • Handy hints for functions
    Organising a function for veterans can present a great opportunity to raise awareness about alcohol as part of a healthy lifestyle. Here are a few ways to help make sure your guests relax and enjoy themselves, while looking after their health…

Page 11 (PDF 10.9 MB)

  • Lump Sum Advance – fast online application
    MyAccount users can now request a Lump Sum Advance of payment online quickly and easily with an immediate response.
  • Understanding DVA’s Facebook posting guidelines
    Social media – generally, media that allows the creation, exchange and distribution of user-generated online content – offers a range of opportunities for engaging in the online world.
  • Improved call streaming trial
    Starting on 12 January, DVA will commence the trial of improved call streaming options which will enable your call to be directed to the right person as quickly as possible.
  • Spending smart at Christmas
    The festive season and traditional Boxing Day sales can leave a big hole in the pockets of many Australians. By 1 January, many of us start thinking about getting into shape for the New Year (in more ways than one).

Page 12 (PDF 10.9 MB)

  • Legacy – looking after Junior Legatees
    Once again, children’s laughter filled the rooms at the Moss Vale Legacy Holiday House in 2014, as Junior Legatees enjoyed their annual Spring camp. They will soon return for the Summer camp in January 2015.
  • Bronson Horan is on the road to recovery
    Bronson Horan served in the Australian Army during the war in Afghanistan. This is his story of courage, resilience and inspiration.

Page 13 (PDF 10.9 MB)

  • Publications and items for sale
    • Anzac Treasures: the Gallipoli collection of the Australian War Memorial
    • Anzac girls DVD
    • The ghosts of Roebuck Bay
    • Card set Remember me
    • 2015 DVA calendar: Over a Century of Service
  • News from the AWM – Memorial’s new galleries feature uniform with a story
    While his artillery batteries were emplaced on Bolton’s Hill overlooking Shell Green at Anzac, Colonel Charles ‘Rosie’ Rosenthal, later a Major General, occupied a small dug-out near the gun pits.
  • Victoria’s creative ex-service community
    Victoria’s ex-service community recently celebrated their talent at the official launch of the 2014 Victorian Veteran Community Story Writing and Art Competition (SWAC) exhibition.

Page 14 (PDF 10.9 MB)

  • Looking at the Sum Insured on your insurance policy
    Am I adequately insured if something catastrophic happens to me? Most of us don’t ask ourselves this question on a regular basis.
  • Travel insurance – without it, travelling can prove costly
    As Summer arrives and the festive season gets into full swing, we start to think about holidays. More often than not, we stay close to home, but sometimes when the deals are good, a cruise, a short overseas holiday or a long trip to Europe might even be discussed.
  • NSW Opal card with $2.50 daily cap for pensioners
    Pensioners in NSW can order their own Gold Opal card and pay no more than $2.50 a day to use public transport.

Page 15 (PDF 10.9 MB)

  • Reunion notices
  • Off the shelf

Page 16 (PDF 10.9 MB)

  • Noticeboard
  • Medals – lost and found
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