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Vol 30 No.1 Autumn 2014

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  1. Next steps for Gallipoli 2015 (PDF p.1)

    The more than 42,500 Australians who applied for a place at Anzac Day commemorations at Gallipoli in 2015 will start to find out shortly whether they will receive a ticket. All applicants will be notified by Anzac Day this year.

    Audio version of next steps for Gallipoli 2015 (MP3 2.14 MB)

    How to come prepared for overseas Anzac Day services

    Attending an Anzac Day Dawn Service overseas at the sites where so many Australians fought and died during the First World War is an honour and a privilege for many each year.

    Audio version of how to come prepared for overseas Anzac Day services (MP3 1.8 MB)

    Reducing compensation claims processing times

    Supporting clients is DVA’s core business and addressing claims quickly and efficiently is vital. DVA has undertaken significant work in past months to help streamline, simplify and speed-up its business processes in order to reduce the time taken to process claims.

    Audio version of reducing compensation claims processing times (MP3 1.72 MB)

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

    Audio version of Letters to the Editor (MP3 3.12 MB)

    Consultation around the future of DVA shopfront services in NSW and Victoria

    During March, DVA undertook a three-week consultation process to seek views on the delivery of Veterans’ Access Network (VAN) services.

    Audio version of consultation around the future of DVA shopfront services in NSW and Victoria (MP3 1.06 MB)

    DVA Canberra accommodation

    DVA’s national office in Canberra will relocate from Woden to Civic in 2016. The lease at Lovett Tower expires on 30 June 2016, and after 40 years in the building, remaining in the existing accommodation would have required an extensive refurbishment of the current facilities at significant cost.

    Audio version of DVA Canberra accommodation (MP3 726 KB)

    Vetaffairs survey

    Thank you to the thousands of people who took the time to respond to the Vetaffairs survey we ran in the Summer edition of the Vetaffairs newspaper. We received more than 30,000 responses – an overwhelmingly high response.

    Audio version of Vetaffairs survey (MP3 1.12 MB)

    News from the Department – Secretary Simon Lewis

    DVA Towards 2020 is our strategic plan outlining how DVA will meet the changing needs and expectations of the veteran community. As you know, DVA provides services and support to a very wide range of clients, from young children and contemporary veterans of operations in places like Afghanistan, through to widows of First World War servicemen.

    Audio version of news from the Department – Secretary Simon Lewis (MP3 3.59 MB)

  3. Pensions and allowances rise (PDF p.3)

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

    Audio version of pensions and allowances rise (MP3 2.45 MB)

    New pension rates from 20 March 2014

    (table of rates)

    Audio version of new pension rates from 20 March 2014 (MP3 2.49 MB)

    Update your DVA financial information online

    DVA clients can now update their financial information online through MyAccount. As many readers would know, DVA introduced its new online self-service portal “MyAccount” in May 2012.

    Audio version of update your DVA financial information online (MP3 1.8 MB)

    A message from the Minister

    It is a real pleasure for me to contribute to Vetaffairs. This is the first of what will be regular updates highlighting the Government’s work for veterans and their families.

    Audio version of a message from the Minister (MP3 4.47 MB)

  4. The Long Way Home (PDF p.4)

    Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel have been touring to various locations around Australia relating their recent experiences of war in a new play called The Long Way Home.

    Audio version of the Long Way Home (MP3 1.89 MB)

    Australian Remembrance Trail along the Western Front

    The Australian Remembrance Trail on the Western Front took another step closer to reality last November, with the official opening of the Plugstreet 14-18 Interpretive Centre in Ploegsteert, Belgium, on 9 November 2013.

    Audio version of Australian Remembrance Trail along the Western Front (MP3 2.53 MB)

  5. Commemorate your loved ones and friends (PDF p.5)

    For more than 60 years, in the lead up to Anzac Day, the War Widows’ Guild has held Fields of Remembrance in Sydney and a number of other locations. Small crosses or tokens commemorating a family member or friend are planted in a “Field of Remembrance”.

    Audio version of commemorate your loved ones and friends (MP3 798 KB)

    Dealing with loss

    Grief is not a disorder, a disease or a sign of weakness. It is an emotional, physical and spiritual necessity, the price you pay for love. The only cure for grief is to grieve. Dr. Earl A. Grollman.

    Audio version of dealing with loss (MP3 2.17 MB)

    Friendship never fades

    War widow Edna Hughes, and veteran John Henry (Harry) Symons, both from the NSW South Coast, recently celebrated their 100 year birthdays.

    Audio version of friendship never fades (MP3 2.17 MB)

    Vale Enemarki Zaro

    Enemarki Zaro, who died in Townsville on 7 February 2014 aged 96, was a highly respected Torres Strait Islander veteran from the Second World War. More than 70 years ago, a unique battalion was formed in the Torres Strait to fight the Japanese during the Second World War.

    Audio version of Vale Enemarki Zaro (MP3 1.8 MB)

  6. Chair of the DVA Human Research Ethics Committee retires (PDF p.6)

    Dr Tony Ireland recently retired as Chair of the DVA Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) after 20 years of service.

    Audio version of chair of the DVA Human Research Ethics Committee retires (MP3 1.13 MB)

    Supporting mental health services for DVA clients both young and old

    Announcing the establishment of a new Prime Ministerial Advisory Council (PMAC) on 13 March 2014, the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson, made it clear that one of the four pillars of the Government’s plans for Veterans’ Affairs was to tackle mental health challenges facing veterans and their families.

    Audio version of supporting mental health services for DVA clients both young and old (MP3 3.02 MB)

    Study of Gulf War veterans enters its final phase

    A major study of the health of Australia’s Gulf War veterans is now entering its final phase. The Australian Gulf War Veterans’ Health Study Follow Up is being funded by DVA and conducted by an expert team of researchers from Monash University.

    Audio version of study of Gulf War veterans enters its final phase (MP3 1.08 MB)

    Benefits of taking part in research

    At DVA, research is about asking questions and gathering information to help understand problems and health issues within the veteran community. This understanding helps guide what we do at DVA, which ultimately helps you and your families.

    Audio version of benefits of taking part in research (MP3 1.48 MB)

    Grants help veteran and defence community

    The latest round of Veteran and Community Grants were announced recently. The Grants were allocated to 32 projects right around the country, totalling more than $970,000.

    Audio version of grants help veteran and defence community (MP3 1.3 MB)

  7. Dr Killer: Gallipoli 2015 – our WW1 veterans (PDF p.7)

    With Gallipoli 2015 fast approaching, I thought I would recount a few stories about the iconic First World War veterans I have known, but who sadly have passed away.

    Audio version of Dr Killer: Gallipoli 2015 – our WW1 veterans (MP3 4.69 MB)

    The painful reality of sleep disturbance

    Disturbed sleep as a result of pain can be a reality for any one of us. Headaches, muscle strains and stomach aches can keep us awake or stop us from sleeping well at any time.

    Audio version of the painful reality of sleep disturbance (MP3 1.84 MB)

    The importance of staying connected

    It is not always that easy to stay connected with friends and the local community. Losing connections and feeling lonely can occur to any of us at any age, but it can easily occur when families move away, when we get sick, as we age and when we lose a partner.

    Audio version of the importance of staying connected (MP3 2.51 MB)

    Veterans’ Satisfaction Survey

    There are a number of ways DVA receives ongoing feedback from the veteran community, such as by letter, phone, email and through MyAccount. This year, DVA is also conducting a Veterans’ Satisfaction Survey.

    Audio version of veterans’ Satisfaction Survey (MP3 946 KB)

  8. Reducing financial authorisationc (PDF p.8)

    On 1 September 2012, DVA reduced some of the administrative processes that health care providers had previously been required to complete in order to access certain types of medical and allied health treatment.

    Audio version of reducing financial authorisation (MP3 1.36 MB)

    A love of footwear and of life

    In December last year, a special partnership came to an end, and for DVA clients, it will be a particularly sad loss. Shoemaking brothers Adam and Morris Perkal became good friends to the Department – both personally and professionally.

    Audio version of a love of footwear and of life (MP3 2.44 MB)

    Competition for creative Victorians

    Entries opened on 1 April for the annual Victorian Veterans’ Story Writing and Art Competition.

    Audio version of competition for creative Victorians (MP3 1.51 MB)

    Men’s Health Peer Education – calling volunteers!

    Are you interested in improving your health? Would you like to help your mates live a healthier lifestyle? DVA runs a Men’s Health Peer Education (MHPE) program.

    Audio version of Men’s Health Peer Education – calling volunteers! (MP31.49 MKB)

    Controlling your diabetes

    Diabetes is a health problem that can be difficult to get sorted. Finding someone who understands the daily challenges of staying healthy with diabetes can certainly make a big difference to both the way a person feels about their condition and their physical health.

    Audio version of controlling your diabetes (MP3 680 KB)

  9. Debunking the myths – The Defence Honours and Awards Appeals Tribunal (PDF p.9)

    The Defence Honours and Awards Appeals Tribunal (the Tribunal) is an independent statutory body that has been established under the Defence Act 1903. The Tribunal commenced operation as a statutory body on 5 January 2011.

    Audio version of debunking the myths – The Defence Honours and Awards Appeals Tribunal (MP3 6.14 MB)

    Off the shelf

    Audio version of off the shelf (MP3 7.1 MB)

  10. News from the AWM – events and ceremonies (PDF p.10)

    Anzac Day is arguably Australia’s most important national occasion. It marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War: the landing on Gallipoli in April 1915.

    Audio version of news from the AWM – events and ceremonies (MP3 3.46 MB)

    Publications and items for sale

    Anzac: an illustrated history 1914–1918 (new edition)
    Snowy to the Somme: a muddy and bloody campaign, 1916-1918
    Before the Anzac dawn: a military history of Australia to 1915
    Singapore 1942: end of empire (DVD)

    Audio version of publications and items for sale (MP3 4.16 MB)

  11. Reunion notices (PDF p.11)

    Audio version of Reunion notices (MP3 10.3 MB)

    AVCAT’s new CEO promotes Long Tan Bursary

    The Australian Veteran’s Children Assistance Trust (AVCAT) is a national independent charity helping the children and grandchildren of ex-service men and women to a better future through higher education.

    Audio version of AVCAT’s new CEO promotes Long Tan Bursary (MP3 1.77 MB)

    Medals

    – lost and found

    Audio version of medals (MP3 2.4 MB)

  12. Noticeboard (PDF p.12)

    Audio version of noticeboard (MP3 447 KB)
    Audio version of noticeboard - navy (MP3 1.01 MB)
    Audio version of noticeboard - army (MP3 12.7 MB)
    Audio version of noticeboard - air force (MP3 5.1 MB)
    Audio version of noticeboard - misc. (MP3 2.43 MB)

    Audio version of publishing details (MP3 1.05 MB)
    Audio version of closing announcment (MP3 1.26 MB)

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