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Vol 31 No.1 Autumn 2015

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Page 1 (PDF 2.5 MB)

  • Gallipoli Centenary approaches
    As Australians across the country prepare to attend Anzac Day commemorations next month, more than 8000 of us will depart for Turkey for the Centenary services at Gallipoli.
  • Pensions and allowances rise
    Veterans’ pensions have been increased from 20 March following the latest round of indexation adjustments.

Page 2 (PDF 2.5 MB)

  • Letters to the Editor
  • Changes to the DVA Executive
    Mr Craig Orme AM CSC has been appointed Deputy President of the Repatriation Commission and member of the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission (MRCC), and Mr Doug Humphreys has been reappointed as the Principal Member of the Veterans’ Review Board (VRB) for a further two years. 
  • News from the Department – Secretary Simon Lewis
    As March comes to an end and we are less than one month away from Anzac Day, I have been encouraging staff to look ahead and think about the Department’s key priorities for 2015 and how this work contributes to being client-focused, responsive and connected.

Page 3 (PDF 2.5 MB)

  • Veteran mission to PNG – 70th anniversary of VP Day
    The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson, invites Australian veterans to apply to be part of a mission party of approximately eight veterans to travel to Papua New Guinea (PNG) in September 2015 to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of Victory in the Pacific (VP Day) and the surrender of Japanese Forces in New Guinea at the end of the Second World War.
  • A message from the Minister
    Australians across the country and around the world will pause on 25 April to honour those who have served, and remember those who have given their lives in service to our nation in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations.
  • Cutting red tape – DVA wants your suggestions
    The Government has committed to reducing the cost of unnecessary or inefficient regulation imposed on individuals, business and community organisations by at least $1 billion every year.
  • Gallipoli: The First Day Centenary edition app
    A completely remastered edition of the Australian Film Institute award-winning documentary, Gallipoli: The First Day, has been launched

Page 4 (PDF 2.5 MB)

  • Former MEAO Commander calls for action
    A former Commander of Australian Forces in the Middle East Area of Operations, Major General Mark Kelly AO, DSC, is encouraging his fellow veterans to talk about their health and wellbeing and that of their families.
  • The passing of The Hon. Thomas Uren AC 
    The Hon. Thomas ‘Tom’ Uren AC, a Second World War veteran and former Labor Minister, passed away on 26 January, 2015 – Australia Day.
  • Veterans exempt from changes to workers’ compensation legislation
    In line with the Government’s commitment to recognising the unique nature of military service, the Government has given approval for the removal of Part XI from the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRCA) into a standalone Act to be administered by DVA.

Page 5 (PDF 12.5 MB)

  • More Australians on the ballot’s waitlist receive good news
    More Australians have been offered the chance to attend the Anzac Day Dawn Service at Gallipoli as 304 double passes were released to the next Australians on the Gallipoli waitlist in February.
  • Anzac Centenary Public Fund
    The Anzac Centenary Public Fund is an integral part of the Australian Government’s Anzac Centenary programme, which encourages all Australians to reflect upon, and learn more about, Australia’s wartime history.
  • Launch of the new Anzac Portal website
    On 3 December 2014, Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson, Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC, officially launched the new Anzac Portal website at Parliament House.
  • Voices of Birralee honoured
    Brisbane-based community choir Voices of Birralee have been presented with special uniforms ahead of their upcoming performance in France as part of official Anzac Day Centenary services.

Page 6 (PDF 2.5 MB)

  • Dedication of the Australian Memorial, New Zealand
    In February and March 2015 more than 300 tonnes of red sandstone and black granite were delivered by ship and Royal Australian Air Force C-17s to build the Australian Memorial in Wellington, New Zealand. 
  • Protecting the word Anzac - DVA regularly receives requests to use the work “Anzac”
    The Protection of Word “Anzac” Act 1920 (the Act) provides clear regulations and penalties apply for the incorrect use of the term. Permission from the Minister for Veterans” Affairs is generally required to use the word “Anzac” in a commercial context.
  • Once lost, now found
    Extraordinary research by Fremantle archivist Andrew Pittaway has revealed the final resting place of an Australian soldier who died in France 97 years ago.

Page 7 (PDF 2.5 MB)

  • Australia Day Honours
    • Australia Day celebrations at Cronulla Beach
      Sutherland Shire Council has named Cronulla Sutherland War Widows’ Guild and Legacy as their nominated charities for 2015. They will each receive proceeds from the sale of merchandise at Cronulla Park on Australia Day.
    • Hawkesbury
      The Hawkesbury War Widows Social Club was the recipient of the 2015 Community Organisation of the Year Award from the Hawkesbury City Council on Australia Day.
    • Gwen Carpenter OAM
      Gwen Carpenter, an 81 year old war widow great grandmother from Ryde, has been awarded an OAM in the Australia Day honours.
    • Forster-Tuncurry
      Great Lakes Council held an awards ceremony on Australia Day to recognise its outstanding citizens and those who contribute to the wellbeing of the community.
  • Let’s meet Meg Green
    Mrs Margaret (Meg) Green was elected as National President of the War Widows’ Guild of Australia in October 2014. Vetaffairs interviewed Meg about her new role and about her experience as the wife and widow of a Vietnam veteran.

Page 8 (PDF 2.5 MB)

  • Four legged mates can assist with wellbeing – Dr Stephanie Hodson, CSC
    Many Vetaffairs readers would be familiar with Dr Graeme Killer, DVA’s retiring Principal Medical Adviser, and his dog Penny. Dr Killer shared many valuable insights about animals and humans through Vetaffairs and the Men’s Health Peer Education magazine.
  • Falls prevention support for the veteran community
    The Rehabilitation Appliances Programme (RAP) assists eligible members of the veteran community to be independent and self-reliant in their own homes.
  • VVCS Group Programmes
    The Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) is well known for its free and confidential nationwide counselling services, providing support for war and service-related mental health conditions such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, sleep disturbance and anger.
  • Easier access to mental health care
    It is now easier for veterans to access mental health support under reforms announced by the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson, in January 2015.

Page 9 (PDF 2.5 MB)

  • Loneliness is not the same as being alone
    Loneliness is not the same as being alone – we can be alone without feeling lonely, and on the other hand we can be surrounded by hundreds of people and still feel lonely.
  • Mental health and families
    When a serving member is deployed overseas (or is away for long periods during training) the whole family can be affected. Family members left behind have to deal with missing the serving member, worrying about his or her safety and may have to make big changes like adjusting to being a sole parent.
  • Are you missing out on continence subsidies?
    If you have permanent or severe incontinence, or someone you care for does, you may be eligible for the Australian Government’s Continence Aids Payment Scheme (CAPS), which provides an annual subsidy of up to $545.80 to help meet the cost of continence products.
  • Mental health research welcomes insights of younger cohort
    DVA is undertaking research to identify ways to better engage with contemporary veterans and their families about mental health issues and available resources.

Page 10 (PDF 2.5 MB)

  • Lending a hand wins award
    Ms Alice Kang has been a part of the Concord Hospital community for more than 40 years and was recently honoured as the Drummoyne Woman of the Year.
  • Applications for the 2016 DVA Graduate Programme opening soon
    Each year, DVA attracts university graduates from many fields of study, including business, law, public relations, international studies, education, psychology and information and communication technology.
  • Online service portals for clients and providers
    DVA has developed online service portals for both clients and service providers. The client service portal, known as MyAccount, now has more than 34,000 users, while the newer provider portal has (so far) been delivered to Veterans’ Home Care (VHC); nominated transport providers; and some ex-service organisations (ESOs).
  • Scam alert
    DVA has been made aware of a possible scam where a veteran was contacted and told they are entitled to a sum of money as compensation for “cost of living expenses”.
  • AVCAT promotes Long Tan Bursary
    The Australian Veteran’s Children Assistance Trust (AVCAT) is a national independent charity helping the children and grandchildren of ex-servicemen and women to a better future through higher education.

Page 11 (PDF 2.5 MB)

  • Understanding assets in relation to your pension
    An asset is any property or possession you partly or wholly own, including outside Australia, and debts owing to you.
  • New pension rates from 20 March 2015 (table)
  • What happens to your pension when your partner dies?
    DVA must be notified of the death of a pensioner or a Defence Service Homes Scheme borrower as soon as possible after the death.
  • Your pension and when you need to notify DVA
    Did you know that if you are receiving a means-tested pension, you are obliged to provide information about any changes that could affect either your eligibility for the pension or the rate at which it is paid?

Page 12 (PDF 2.5 MB)

  • Gardening helps relieve stress for veterans
    Connecting with nature and fellow gardeners is helping to provide relief to veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder and other mental health conditions.
  • Day Clubs continue to connect the community
    Day Clubs provide opportunities for the aged, the isolated, people with disabilities, carers and volunteers, to develop and maintain social contact outside the home through activities such as games, sports, fitness, information sessions and arts and crafts.
  • SWAC 2015 Story Writing & Art Competition
    The 2015 Victorian Story Writing and Art Competition (SWAC) opens 1 April and Victorians are encouraged to exercise their writing, art, craft and photographic skills and join in the fun!
  • I live in an aged care home … how can I stay in contact with the community and ESOs?
    If you live in an aged care home, are feeling alone and do not benefit from regular contact with family or friends, the Community Visitors Scheme (CVS) can provide an opportunity for social interaction.

Page 13 (PDF 2.5 MB)

  • Setting the wheels in motion
    Rehabilitation success – Terry Thompson
    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.
  • Shipmates ride to conquer
    The HMAS Canberra-Shropshire Association participated in the MACA Ride to Conquer Cancer held in October last year.
  • Medals – lost and found

Page 14 (PDF 2.5 MB)

  • News from the AWM – upcoming events
    • Australia in the Great War launches with new tour technology
      The Australian War Memorial officially launched its new First World War exhibition, Australia in the Great War, with an event attended by VIPs on 22 February 2015.
    • Ben Quilty and Alex Seton exhibitions closing soon
      The Ben Quilty: after Afghanistan and Alex Seton: as of today … exhibitions have had an outstanding response from visitors since they opened in the Australian War Memorial’s Special Exhibitions Gallery in December 2014.
    • Anzac Day 2015: 100 years since the landing
      Saturday 25 April 2015 marks 100 years since Australian troops landed at Anzac Cove at Gallipoli in 1915.
  • Items for sale
    • Poppies Mug – $12.99
    • Poppies Tea Towel – $14.99
    • Poppies Scatter Tray – $4.99
    • Lone Pine Mug – $9.99
    • Lone Pine Scatter Tray – $4.99
    • Lone Pine Sandwich Tray – $11.99

Page 15 (PDF 2.5 MB)

  • Reunion notices
  • Off the shelf

Page 16 (PDF 2.5 MB)

  • Noticeboard
  • Medals – lost and found
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