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Vol 33 No.1 Autumn 2017

Read Vetaffairs Autumn 2017 edition in interactive Realview format

Fall of Singapore

Nearly 2,000 people gathered at the national 75th anniversary commemoration service to remember those who died and suffered during the Fall of Singapore. The event took place on 15 February 2017 in Ballarat, Victoria.

On the same day, a life-size bronze statue of an elderly mother clutching a framed photo of her son killed in war was unveiled at the new Garden of the Grieving Mother in Ballarat.

Letters to the editor

  • Vietnam Veterans Day
  • Nagasaki POWs

News from the Department

Simon Lewis PSM, Secretary of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, looks at DVA’s priorities for the year ahead.

Pensions and allowances rise

Veterans’ pensions were increased from 20 March 2017 following the latest round of indexation adjustments.

News from the Minister

Minister for Veterans' Affairs Dan Tehan discusses recent commemorations, Anzac Day, the Prime Minister’s Veterans’ Employment Program, trialling a new treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, the Kookaburra Kids pilot program and the Female Veterans Forum.

The Digital Readiness Bill

On 29 March, Parliament passed the Digital Readiness Bill. This is an important development in giving DVA 21st-century tools to provide a 21st-century service that veterans deserve.

Decision on the Long Tan Cross site commemorations

The Vietnamese government has confirmed there will be no official Anzac Day commemoration at the Long Tan Cross site this year.

Using your DVA Health Card

There are a few things worth remembering when using your DVA Health Card.

Overseas Anzac Day services – opening times and registration

This year, visitors are encouraged to register for a free attendance pass for the services at Gallipoli and Villers-Bretonneux.

A word from the Principal Medical Adviser

Dr Ian Gardner, Principal Medical Adviser, discusses the importance of getting good advice when considering prostate surgery.

How DVA handles claims of child abuse in the ADF

In assessing claims, DVA will look at all the available evidence and, depending on the particular circumstances, can determine that an incident of abuse occurred based on a statutory declaration alone.

Skills that might save a life

The Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service is offering suicide awareness and prevention workshops Australia-wide to help equip people with the tools and confidence to recognise suicidal tendencies and take preventive action early.

Getting treatment for alcohol and other drug misuse

DVA has expanded access to treatment for veterans experiencing alcohol and other drug (AOD) misuse.

Townsville mefloquine outreach program

More than 90 members of the Townsville community, including current and former Australian Defence Force (ADF) members, their family, carers and friends, attended an outreach program in December 2016 for those concerned about anti-malarial medications such as mefloquine.

Change through transition

Dr Loretta Poerio, Mental Health Adviser, discusses the distinction between change and transition, and offers some advice on how best to transition from the Australian Defence Force to life as a civilian.


Reports on:

  • The importance of family, by the Partners of Veterans Association of Australia
  • Navy Week Victoria, by the The Naval Commemoration Committee of Victoria
  • Operation Legacy Australia Kokoda Challenge 2017, by Legacy Australia

Widows' News

News from the War Widows’ Guild of Australia, including:

  • War widows visit Japan
  • WA war widows celebrate 70 years
  • The Shrine of Remembrance Medal 2016

Sydney hosts final Spirit of Anzac exhibition

The Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience exhibition will open at the International Convention Centre Sydney from 15 to 27 April 2017.

Sir John Monash Centre update

Currently under construction at the Australian National Memorial, just outside Villers-Bretonneux in France, the Sir John Monash Centre will open around Anzac Day 2018.

Commemorations throughout 2017

This year is the penultimate year of the Anzac Centenary commemorative period, spanning 2014 to 2018. It will feature several milestone commemorations domestically and overseas to recognise Australian service and sacrifice since Federation.

Franco-Australian Museum official reopening

In April this year, the Franco-Australian Museum at Villers-Bretonneux, France, will be officially reopened following a major refurbishment and upgrade.

Search for descendants of Indigenous soldiers at Beersheba

The Rona Tranby Trust (RTT) is looking for descendants of Indigenous soldiers who took part in the Charge of the Australian Light Horse at Beersheba in 1917.

Off the Shelf

  • New South Wales and the Great War
  • Survival of a Bomber Command Pilot

DVA’s educational support services

DVA provides a range of education support services and financial provisions for children of eligible veterans.

Car insurance through DSHI

QBE’s motor vehicle insurance through Defence Services Homes Insurance (advertisement).

35 years of mental health support for veterans

The Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service acknowledged its 35th anniversary on 29 January.

Improved wound care resource

DVA’s mobile-friendly version of its wound-care management resource was announced by the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Dan Tehan on 9 November 2016.

Veterans’ Health Week 2017

Veterans’ Health Week in 2017 will be held from Saturday, 21 October to Sunday, 29 October.

Striding towards better health

DVA will run another 10,000 Steps Walking Challenge in October and November this year.

News from the Australian War Memorial

  • Elevation of the senses – drinking bowl

AWM items for sale

  • Double Diamonds: Australian commandos in the Pacific War, 1941–5
  • Centenary Flanders poppy pin
  • Anzac Day 2017 commemorative medallion
  • Wartime magazine issue 77 – Axis ascendant

Medals lost and found

Reunion notices


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