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Vol 29 No.1 Autumn 2013

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Vetaffairs is distributed to more than 250,000 members of the veteran and defence force community. It provides regular, up-to-date information of interest to the veteran community, including important information about government policies, programs and initiatives.  

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  1. New centre a ‘home away from home’ for young veterans (PDF p.1)

    A new centre offering young veterans and their families a place to relax and access support services such as counselling, has opened in Frankston,Victoria.

    Audio version of New centre a 'home away from home' for young veterans (MP3 2.8MB)

    Pensions and allowances rise

    Veterans’ pensions have been increased from 20 March following the latest round of indexation adjustments. The payday 21 March 2013 reflects the period from 5 to 18 March 2013, so the first payday reflecting the new pension rates, including any clean energy supplement, is 4 April 2013.

    Audio version of Pensions and allowances rise (MP3 3.3MB)

    New pension rates from 20 March 2013 – rates table

    Audio version of New pension rates from 20 March 2013 (MP3 3.3MB)

  2. Letters to the Editor (PDF p.2)

    Audio version of Letters to the editor (MP3 6.7MB)

    News from the Department – Secretary Ian Campbell

    Health is, and will continue to be, a significant priority for the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. I am often asked about how many members of the veteran and ex-service community access our health services – for example, how many Gold and White Card holders we have – so I thought it timely to mention some interesting figures in this column.

    Audio version of News from the Department - Secretary Ian Campbell (MP3 9.0MB)

  3. Renewed commitment to supporting the Australian Defence Force community (PDF p.3)

    The Departments of Defence and Veterans’ Affairs have renewed their commitment to supporting the Australian Defence Force (ADF) community with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) outlining enhanced cooperation.

    Audio version of Renewed commintment to supporting the Australian Defence Force Community (MP3 2.8MB)

    Visiting Gallipoli or France for Anzac Day 2013?

    Attending an Anzac Day Dawn Service overseas is a once-in-a-lifetime experience but it’s important to come prepared.

    Audio version of Visiting Gallipoli or France for Anzac Day 2013 (MP3 6.0MB)

    New FAS, Client and Commemorations Division

    Major General Dave Chalmers AO, CSC (Ret’d) has been appointed First Assistant Secretary (FAS), Client and Commemorations Division in DVA, replacing Elizabeth (Liz) Cosson AM CSC who left DVA in November 2012.

    Audio version of New FAS, Client and Commemorations Division (MP3 1.8MB)

  4. Household Assistance Package – regular payments commence (PDF p.4)

    Approximately 300,000 members of the veteran and defence community will soon begin receiving a regular payment, the Clean Energy Supplement, to help meet household costs associated with the carbon price.

    Audio version of Household Assistance Package - regular payments commence (MP3 6.8MB)

    Defence Service Homes Insurance named 2012 General Insurer of the Year

    Defence Service Homes Insurance (DSHI) has been awarded the 2012 General Insurer of the Year in the Roy Morgan Customer Satisfaction Awards.

    Audio version of Defence Service Homes Insurance named 2012 General Insurer of the Year (MP3 2.0MB)

    New Income Support Bonus

    As part of the 2012-13 Federal Budget, the Government is introducing a new Income Support Bonus to assist with unexpected costs and living expenses.

    Audio version of new Income Support Bonus (MP3 1.7MB)

    Avoid the heartache of under insuring

    DSHI has launched an online calculator to help the veteran and Australian Defence Force (ADF) community better estimate the replacement cost of their homes.

    Audio version of Avoid the heartache of under insuring (MP3 3.2MB)

  5. Love and loss (PDF p.5)

    When a loved one dies, it is normal to experience grief and no two people grieve in the same way. There is no right or wrong way to grieve, or a timeline about how long you should grieve for.

    Audio version of Widows' News - Love and Loss (MP3 2.8MB)

    Australia Day Honours

    A number of war widows were honoured on Australia Day for their work in the community.

    Audio version of Australia Day Honours (MP3 1.8MB)

    War Widows’ new President

    Anne Bonner has been elected as the new President of the War Widows’ Guild of Australia Inc. Our Vetaffairs reporter interviewed Mrs Bonner about her appointment.

    Audio version of War Widows' New President (MP3 4.4MB)

    Dr Killer's column – Men should be more like women

    As the war in Afghanistan comes to a close, change will be the order of the day for many members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and their families. Some will decide to stay in Defence, but many will leave the ADF and transition into civilian life.

    Audio version of Doctor Killer's Column - Men should be more like women (MP3 3.4MB)

  6. Birdie’s grave restored (PDF p.6)

    The London grave of the British General described as ‘the soul of Anzac’ has been restored by the Office of Australian War Graves (OAWG).

    Audio version of Birdie's grave restored (MP3 2.0MB)

    PM releases plans for commemorative tribute to Aus/NZ friendship

    Prime Minister Julia Gillard has released plans for an Australian Memorial in New Zealand that will honour the extraordinary relationship between the two countries.

    Audio version of PM releases plans for commemorative tribute to Aus/NZ friendship (MP3 1.8MB)

    Vietnam Veterans’ Education Centre – Wall of Faces

    In 2011 the Prime Minister announced that Australia would contribute $3.3 million to the development of the Vietnam Veterans’ Education Centre (VVEC) in Washington DC.

    Audio version of Vietnam Veterans Education Centre - Wall of Faces (MP3 9.0MB)

  7. Debunking the myths - “Ceased Effects” decisions under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRCA) (PDF p.7)

    The concept of “ceased effects” was used prior to 2004 where the medical effects of an accepted condition no longer existed or were found to have resolved at a later stage. Such decisions essentially removed a person’s future entitlement to treatment (and compensation benefits) for that particular condition.

    Audio version of Debunking the myths - 'Ceased Effects' decisions under the Safety, Rehabilitation, and Compensation Act 1988 (SRCA) (MP3 4.0MB)

    MyAccount members close to 10,000

    During the traditionally quiet Christmas break, MyAccount members continued to update their personal information, view payments, book transport and lodge travel related reimbursement claims online.

    Audio version of MyAccount members close to 10,000 (MP3 3.4MB)

    New online mental health tools to reach contemporary veterans and their families

    The war in Afghanistan has been fought for more than a decade. A draw down of Australian troops has begun and will be completed in 2014. This reduction in operational tempo means there is a likelihood that more contemporary veterans will seek DVA support and services than we have seen since the 1970s.

    Audio version of New online mental health tools to reach contemporary veterans and theirfamilies (MP3 4.6MB)

  8. Dr Killer's column – A canine tale (PDF p.8)

    My Christmas break, down on the south coast of NSW, provided me with a great opportunity to do some real walking. Not just walking around the corner, but those long walks that are good for your heart and your health. Like most dogs, my dog Penny loves to walk too.

    Audio version of Doctor Killer's column - A canine tale (MP3 4.0MB)

    Optical Coherence Tomography

    In the Spring 2012 issue of Vetaffairs, an article was published relating to the provision of retinal photography and optical coherence tomography (OCT).

    Audio version of Optical Coherence Tomography (MP3 1.8MB)

    Veterans’ Home Care

    Veterans’ Home Care (VHC) is a DVA program designed to assist those veterans and war widow(er)s who wish to continue living at home, but who need a small amount of practical help.

    Audio version of Veterans' Home Care (MP3 5.2MB)

    Medals – lost and found

    Audio version of Medals - lost and found (MP3 4.7MB)

  9. Australian Gulf War Veterans’ Health Study – follow up (PDF p.9)

    Work is continuing on the Australian Gulf War Veterans’ Health Study which is now in the analysis phase. The study, which is being funded by DVA and conducted by a research team based at Monash University, is examining the overall health of veterans who participated in the original 2003 study, in order to assess the long-term health and wellbeing of those who served in the 1990-1991 Gulf War.

    Audio version of Australian Gulf War Veterans' Health Study - follow up (MP3 3.3MB)

    University graduates – come and join DVA!

    Each year DVA attracts university graduates from a range of fields. The graduate program is an opportunity for university graduates to use their degrees and build on their skills and knowledge.

    Audio version of University graduates - come and join DVA! (MP3 3.5MB)

    Men’s Health Peer Education

    The Men’s Health Peer Education (MHPE) program held its annual workshop in Adelaide from 21-23 November 2012. MHPE volunteer representatives and DVA MHPE coordinators from every state and territory outlined the health activities they ran throughout 2012 and shared their exciting plans for 2013.

    Audio version of Men's Health Peer Education (MP3 1.0MB)

    Farewell to long standing member of DVA Ethics Committee

    In December 2012, the DVA Human Research Ethics Committee said goodbye to one of its long-standing members, Monsignor John White MBE, who resigned after 16 years service as the resident Minister of Religion on the committee.

    Audio version of farewell to long standing member of DVA Ethics Committee (MP3 3.2MB)

  10. Publications and items for sale (PDF p.10)

    Australian War Memorial: Treasures from a century of collecting (signed copy).
    Gallipoli: A Ridge Too Far.
    MacArthur’s Secret Bureau.
    Charles Bean’s Great War DVD.

    Audio version of Publications and items for sale (MP3 6.5MB)

    News from the AWM

    First World War Gallery – redevelopment update

    With the second stage of conservation complete, the Australian War Memorial’s refurbishment of the First World War galleries is underway. The third stage will see hoardings installed in the Western Front and Sinai Palestine in preparation for the new gallery space.

    Audio version of News from the AWM (MP3 1.8MB)

  11. Reunion notices (PDF p.11)

    Audio version of Reunion notices (MP3 15.8MB)

    Off the shelf

    Audio version of Off The Shelf (MP3 7.9MB)

  12. Noticeboard (PDF p.12)

    Noticeboard - Introduction (MP3 554KB)
    Audio version of Noticeboard - Navy (MP3 3.8MB)
    Audio version of Noticeboard - Army (MP3 9.0MB)
    Audio version of Noticeboard - Air Force (MP3 6.2MB)
    Audio version of Noticeboard - Miscellaneous (MP3 6.8MB)
    Audio version of VetAffairs contact details (MP3 1.4MB)

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