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Vol 33 No.2 Winter 2017

Read the Vetaffairs Winter 2017 edition in interactive Realview format

Download the printable version (PDF 2 MB)

Listen to the audio version  (MP3 72 MB), noting the large file size. You can also request future issues on CD by emailing

Government invests in improving DVA services

As part of the 2017–18 Budget, the Government delivered on its commitment to improve services for veterans by investing $166.6 million to implement the first year of DVA’s Veteran Centric Reform program.

How the Budget affects the veteran community

Full details of the 2017–18 Budget including: improved access to mental health services for ADF members; expansion of the Veterans Families Counselling Service; suicide prevention; Medical coverage for veterans of nuclear testing; Supporting veterans’ employment opportunities; Commemorations and Other Budget measures.

Letter to the editor

  • POW memorials

News from the Department

Simon Lewis PSM, Secretary of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, looks at the 2017–18 Budget, commemoration activities and other news from the Department.

News from the Minister

Minister for Veterans' Affairs the Hon Dan Tehan MP discusses the 2017–18 Budget and Anzac Day commemorations.

Aged care services offered by DVA and My Aged Care

Details on different types of aged care services available to DVA clients, provided by both DVA and through the Department of Health’s My Aged Care phone line and website.

Indexation of rates 1 July 2017

From 1 July 2017, the Income Free Areas and Assets Value Limits used to calculate rates of income support pensions have risen.

Advocacy Training and Development Program update

DVA’s Advocacy Training and Development Program (which replaces the Training Information Program) provides training, ongoing development and support to members of ex-service organisations who help veterans, servicemen and women and their families with DVA claims and with accessing benefits and services.

2016 Client Satisfaction Survey results

The results of DVA’s 2016 Client Satisfaction Survey have been released and show an overall satisfaction rating of 83 per cent for DVA services.

A word from the Principal Medical Adviser

Dr Ian Gardner, Principal Medical Adviser, discusses the issues surrounding specialised, lifesaving firefighting foams (known as AFFF), which were used to control liquid fuel fires and which previously contained synthetic surfactants (foam making chemicals), now called PFAs. He also comments on his column in the last issue of Vetaffairs about prostate cancer treatments.

Supporting Younger Veterans grants

The Supporting Younger Veterans grants program is now open for applications from ex-service organisations for projects that support younger veterans.

Medical expenses reimbursements increased

As of 1 April 2017, clients can claim a reimbursement of up to $1,000 for costs incurred in obtaining relevant documentary medical evidence to support a review or appeal by the Veterans’ Review Board or the Specialist Medical Review Council.

Changes to Age Pension and incapacity payments cut-off ages

From 1 July 2017, the Age Pension age is increasing. This change applies to anyone born on or after 1 July 1952.

Dealing with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) over winter

Tips on how to be prepared for winter if you suffer from COPD.

Townsville suicide prevention trial

Work is underway on the Australian Government’s initiative to trial innovative approaches to veteran suicide prevention in the Townsville region.

Myth Busters

Clearing up a few misconceptions regarding eligibility for DVA-arranged transport to medical appointments.

Changes to the assessment of suicide claims

In February 2017, the Repatriation Medical Authority determined further beneficial changes to the Statements of Principles concerning suicide and attempted suicide.

Is anger controlling your life?

Dr Loretta Poerio, DVA’s Mental Health Adviser, discusses the importance of learning to manage your anger better.

Attending the Battle of Beersheba commemoration

Demand for attendance passes to the commemoration on 31 October 2017 has been extremely high.

Poppy Garden opens in Passchendaele

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Dan Tehan formally opened the Australian Poppy Garden in Zonnebeke, Belgium, as part of the Passchendaele Memorial Garden project.

ESO News

The Legacy Club of Canberra, in conjunction with the Australian War Memorial, hosted 12 Legacy Youth, aged 15–19 years, from all over the country, in the lead-up to Anzac Day.

Widows News

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

  • The Grieving Mother statue, Ballarat
  • ACT War Widows’ artwork
  • War widows attend Anzac Obelisk rededication
  • Anzac Field of Remembrance ceremony
  • The passing of Yvonne Lawrenson

75th anniversary of the Battle of El Alamein

Nominations are now open for veterans of the Battle of El Alamein to attend the 75th anniversary commemoration in Canberra.

Franco-Australian Museum re-opens in Villers-Bretonneux

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Dan Tehan officially re-opened the extensively refurbished Franco-Australian Museum at Villers-Bretonneux in France.

Anzac Day Commemorations

Details of the Commemorations held around Australia and the world on Anzac Day 2017.

Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience wraps up

The Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience, which opened in Wodonga, Victoria, in September 2015 and travelled to 23 capital cities and regional centres across Australia, completed its journey in Sydney on 27 April 2017.

Battle of the Coral Sea anniversary

Australians marked the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea, remembering the service and sacrifice of those who fought in one of the defining naval engagements of the Second World War in the Pacific.

Anniversary of the Battle of Kapyong

On the eve of Anzac Day, Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Dan Tehan encouraged Australians to pause and reflect on the service and sacrifice of those who fought in one of the decisive battles of the Korean War.

Off the Shelf

  • Three Anzacs from Malta
  • Married Quarter

Sir John Monash Centre Update

Update on the Sir John Monash Centre, currently being built near Villers-Bretonneux.

Keep safe this winter

A timely reminder on how to keep yourself and your loved ones safe from the risk of fire this winter.

Sports prosthetics added to Rehabilitation Appliances Program

Details about prosthetic recreational sports aids being added to the Rehabilitation Appliances Program (RAP) and where to find further information.

Applications open for Veterans’ Health Week

Applications for funding are open until 31 July if your ex-service or community group would like to hold an activity during Veterans’ Health Week.

Annual increase to travel allowances

Travel allowances for transport, meals and accommodation under DVA’s Repatriation Transport Scheme will increase from 1 July 2017 in line with the consumer price index.

Learn about military PTSD

More than 160 people throughout Australia registered for the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service’s first community webinar on military post-traumatic stress disorder.

High Res website gets a new look

DVA has made exciting new changes to the High Res website. The site is now simpler, easier to use and packed with tools to help you build resilience and bounce back from stress.

News from the Australian War Memorial

Sacred soil placed in Flanders Memorial Garden.

AWM items for sale

  • Kokoda: beyond the legend (signed copies)
  • Vietnam remembered (updated edition)
  • Remembrance: a collection of poems & music dedicated to soldiers of World War One
  • Flanders red poppy seeds – 3 pack


Reunion notices

Medals - lost and found


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