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Vol 29 No.2 Winter 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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Download the whole Winter edition (PDF 1.77 MB)
Audio version of introduction (MP3 769 KB)
Audio version of table of contents (MP3 4.6 MB)

  1. Second World War veterans honoured 70 years on (PDF p.1)

    In recent months, two groups of veterans have travelled on commemorative journeys marking 70 years since their experiences during the Second World War.

    Audio version of Second World War veterans honoured 70 years on (MP3 6.3 MB)

    Federal Budget focuses on strengthening Mental Health support for veterans

    Mental health support and the commemoration of Australian servicemen and women, past and present, were outlined as key priorities in the 2013 – 14 Federal Budget.

    Audio version of Federal Budget focuses on strengthening Mental Health support for veterans (MP3 2.8 MB)

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

    Audio version of Letters to the Editor (MP3 8.0 MB)

    News from the Department – Acting Secretary Simon Lewis

    This is my first Vetaffairs column as Acting Secretary of DVA. As many of you will know, Ian Campbell needed to take a period of sick leave from early May 2013 and he decided to officially resign from the Department in July 2013.

    Audio version of News from the Department - Acting Secretary Simon Lewis (MP3 4.2 MB)

    DVA Secretary retires

    DVA Secretary Ian Campbell is to retire from his position. Ian began his career in the Commonwealth Public Service as a Treasury Cadet in Canberra in 1972.

    Audio version of DVA Secretary retires (MP3 1.8 MB)

  3. Australians gather far and wide to mark Anzac Day 2013 (PDF p.3)

    Throughout the world, Australians gathered together on 25 April to mark Anzac Day. They paused to remember and pay homage to the men and women who have served, and continue to serve, our country in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations.

    Audio version of Australians gather far and wide to mark Anzac Day 2013 (MP3 3.8 MB)

    Anzac Day Gallipoli 2015 ballot details released

    Australians planning to attend Anzac Day commemorations at Gallipoli in 2015 can now access information on ballot arrangements ahead of registrations opening in November 2013.

    Audio version of Anzac Day 2015 ballot details released (MP3 4.8 MB)

    Retirement of First Assistant Secretary

    Sean Farrelly, First Assistant Secretary, Rehabilitation and Support Division has retired from DVA after 30 years.

    Audio version of Retirement of First Assistant Secretary (MP3 787 KB)

    DC NT retires

    Malcolm Uhe, Deputy Commissioner in the Northern Territory, is retiring from DVA.

    Audio version of DC NT retires (MP3 1.0 MB)

  4. Increased support for mental health (PDF p.4)

    Mental health support for veterans and their families has been boosted with the release of the new Veteran Mental Heath Strategy and the first meeting of the Veteran Mental Health Clinical Reference Group.

    Audio version of Increased support for mental health (MP3 2.5 MB)

    On Base Advisory Service proving popular

    VA has been providing an On Base Advisory Service (OBAS) since October 2011. The OBAS initiative was established as part of the joint Australian Defence Force (ADF) and DVA Support for Wounded, Injured or Ill Program.

    Audio version of On Base Advisory Service proving popular (MP3 3.2 MB)

    Struggling with your mental fitness and resilience? - Help is at hand with At Ease

    Veterans and service personnel are some of the most resilient people in the country, but they are not immune to the effects of their work – their mental health can suffer. Don’t suffer in silence; get the support you need at DVA’s new At Ease mental health portal.

    Audio version of Struggling with your mental fitness and resilience? - Help is at hand with At Ease (MP3 4.6 MB)

    Early action gets better results

    The Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) is assisting more veterans and family members than ever before, many from recent conflicts. Many of these clients seek help from VVCS because they have a niggling feeling that something is not quite right since they (or their partner or parent) returned from deployment.

    Audio version of Early action gets better results (MP3 3.9 MB)

  5. Honouring Indigenous Veterans (PDF p.5)

    Ceremonies commemorating Indigenous veterans were held across Australia during Aboriginal Reconciliation Week in May.

    Audio version of Honouring Indigenous Veterans (MP3 2.7 MB)

    Military Compensation improvements

    The Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act (MRCA) is to be enhanced, with some of the changes improving the arrangements for the families of members who die of war or defence caused injuries or disease.

    Audio version of Military Compensation improvements (MP3 2.4 MB)

    Breast cancer screening

    Until recently, BreastScreen Australia only sent mammogram reminders to women aged 50 to 69. However, following an announcement in the recent Federal Budget, women aged 70 to 74 will also be sent reminders.

    Audio version of Breast cancer screening (MP3 678 KB)

    Anzac Day 2013

    War widows and the wider community commemorated the fallen at Anzac Field of Remembrance ceremonies held in a number of locations across Australia.

    Audio version of Anzac Day 2013 (MP3 1.2 MB)

    First World War widows to attend Centenary of Anzac

    Widows of Australia’s First World War veterans will be invited to attend the Anzac Day commemorations at Gallipoli in 2015 as official representatives, with a companion, if fit to travel.

    Audio version of First World War widows to attend Centenery of Anzac (MP3 678 KB)

  6. Additional news from Budget 2013-14 (PDF p.6)

    • Reclassification of service in Afghanistan for ADF personnel on exchange with allied forces
    • Housing help for seniors – pilot
    • Cease new registrations in the Pension Bonus Scheme
    • Deeming of account-based income streams

    Audio version of Additional news from Budget 2013-14 (MP3 7.5 MB)

    Indexation of rates 1 July 2013

    From 1 July 2013 the Income Free Areas and Assets Value Limits will rise.

    Audio version of Indexation rates 1 July 2013 (MP3 4.2 MB)

    Increase to Travel Allowances

    Travel allowances for transport, meals and accommodation under DVA’s Repatriation Transport Scheme will increase from 1 July 2013 in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

    Audio version of Increase to Travel Allowances (MP3 3.5 MB)

  7. Review of Military Compensation Arrangements (PDF p.7)

    Legislation implementing some of the recommendations made as part of the Review of Military Compensation Arrangements passed Parliament on 27 June 2013 and has received Royal Assent.

    Audio version of Review of Military Compensation Arrangements (MP3 8.0 MB)

    Help us find their families

    The Office of Australian War Graves (OAWG) would like to thank all those in veteran community who have assisted in collecting personal images of Australians who died in the Vietnam War, for eventual display in the Vietnam Veterans Education Centre in Washington.

    Audio version of Help us find their families (MP3 2.1 MB)

    Restoration at Benghazi War Cemetery

    In March 2012 the Benghazi War Cemetery in Libya was badly damaged in an attack. This attracted wide media attention at the time.

    Audio version of Restoration at Benghazi War Cemetery (MP3 892 KB)

    Medals – lost and found

    Audio version of Medals - lost and found (MP3 3.5 MB)

  8. Australia’s eHealth record system is here (PDF p.8)

    Did you know you can now register for your personally controlled eHealth record? Your eHealth record will allow you to access a summary of your important health information online, and share that information with the healthcare professionals involved with your care.

    Audio version of Australia's eHealth record system is here (MP3 3.2 MB)

    Get ready for Veterans’ Health Week

    Veterans’ Health Week will be held from Monday 14 to Sunday 20 October 2013. This year’s theme is physical activity. Participating in physical activity is good for everyone’s general health and there is an appropriate type and amount of activity for each and every person.

    Audio version of get ready for Veterans' Health Week (MP3 1.9 MB)

    Dr Killer's column – Help me, I’m Harry

    I recently met Harry at a mental health rehabilitation clinic. Even at this first meeting, I liked Harry. He had a matter-of-fact manner and was, in a way, engaging, even though we had not met before.

    Audio version of Dr Killer's column - Help Me, I'm Harry (MP3 5.5 MB)

    Age extension of the breast screening program

    You may remember in the Autumn 2012 issue of Vetaffairs, I wrote about my 74-year-old NSW south coast neighbour who developed breast cancer.

    Audio version of Age extension of the breast screening program (MP3 1.7 MB)

  9. Walking frames – don’t trip up (PDF p.9)

    Are you using a walking frame without a recent review from an occupational therapist or physiotherapist? Is your house safe for using a walking frame?

    Audio version of Walking frames - don't trip up (MP3 3.6 MB)

    New online claim lodgement for DVA

    Online claiming for initial liability is now available via the DVA home page and the online service portal MyAccount.

    Audio version of New online claim lodgement for DVA (MP3 2.4 MB)

    myGov - Australian Government linked services at your fingertips

    The Australian Government has launched its new online service – myGov – available at www.my.gov.au.

    Audio version of myGov - Australian Government linked services at your fingertips (MP3 2.5 MB)

    Helping to manage your tinnitus

    Tinnitus is the sound of ringing in the ears or head when actual external physical noise is not even present.

    Audio version of Helping to manage your tinnitus (MP3 2.1 MB)

    Smoke alarm safety

    Smoke alarms are compulsory in all Australian states and territories but even though you may have them installed, they still need to be maintained.

    Audio version of Smoke alarm safety (MP3 2.0 MB)

    Defence Asbestos Exposure Evaluation Scheme

    The Department of Defence is concerned that in the past, current and former Australian Defence Force (ADF) members and Australian Public Service (APS) employees may have been exposed to asbestos during the course of their Defence employment.

    Audio version of Defence Asbestos Exposure Evaluation Sheme (MP3 1.3 MB)

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

    • Uncommon soldier (signed copy)
    • Lancaster men
    • The Boer War: a history
    • Gallipoli from above: the untold story (DVD)

    Audio version of Publications and items for sale (MP3 6.1 MB)

    News from the AWM

    The Last Post ceremony

    At the end of each day, the Australian War Memorial farewells visitors with a moving Last Post ceremony. For a number of years the Memorial has conducted a simple closing ceremony – but things have recently changed.

    Audio version of News from the AWM (MP3 3.9 MB)

  11. Reunion notices (PDF p.11)

    Audio version of Reunion notices (MP3 16.8 MB)

    Off the shelf

    Audio version of Off the shelf (MP3 8.5 MB)

  12. Noticeboard (PDF p.12)

    Noticeboard - Introduction (MP3 571KB)
    Audio version of Noticeboard - Navy (MP3 3.4 MB)
    Audio version of Noticeboard - Army (MP3 8.4 MB)
    Audio version of Noticeboard - Air Force (MP3 7.0 MB)
    Audio version of Noticeboard - Miscellaneous (MP3 4.4 MB)
    Audio version of VetAffairs contact details (MP3 1.4 MB)

    60th Anniversary of Korean War Armistice Commemorative Service

    This year Australians will remember the 60th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice.

    Audio version of 60th Anniversary of Korean War Armistice Commemorative Service (MP3 1.2 MB)

    Factsheets

    DVA factsheets provide information in plain English about DVA benefits and services. For those of you who choose to view factsheets online, you will be pleased to know that we are in the process of making every reference in a factsheet into a hyperlink.

    Audio version of Factsheets (MP3 1.6 MB)

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