Download the whole Winter edition. (PDF 1.64 MB)
70th anniversary of the D-Day landings and Normandy Campaign (PDF p.1)
At the start of June, seven Australian Second World War veterans made the emotional journey back to France to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings and the Normandy Campaign.
Strengthening access to mental health support
Tackling mental health challenges facing veterans and their families, especially following the drawdown of troops from Afghanistan, is one of the pillars of the Government’s plan for veterans’ affairs.
2014-15 DVA Budget
On Tuesday 13 May the 2014-15 Federal Budget was handed down by the Treasurer containing $12.3 billion for the Veterans’ Affairs portfolio.
Letters to the Editor (PDF p.2)
Building on mental health support
From 1 July 2014, treatment available for certain diagnosed mental health conditions is being expanded and extended under a 2013-14 Budget measure.
Senior leadership changes at DVA
On June 13, changes to the senior leadership structure of the Department were announced.
News from the Department – Secretary Simon Lewis
As you know, the 2014-15 Federal Budget was handed down in May, containing $12.3 billion for the Veterans’ Affairs portfolio. The overall Federal Budget brings forward initiatives for all Australians in response to the challenging financial environment.
Increased access to VVCS (PDF p.3)
Mental health services for veterans, members and their families will be strengthened this year with an expansion of Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) eligibility arrangements.
Your personal information and VVCS
Trust and mutual respect underpin the relationship that develops between a VVCS client and their counsellor. This trust allows clients to speak openly about their mental health and personal situations.
A message from the Minister
The 2014 Federal Budget is good news for veterans and their families. It recognises the unique nature of military service and delivers funding of more than $12 billion to the veteran community.
2014–15 DVA Budget …continued (PDF p.4)
A changing aged care system
Our aged care system touches the lives of millions of Australians, including many in the veteran community. The Government spends more than $14 billion each year on aged care.
Vetaffairs survey outcomes (PDF p.5)
Within the Summer 2013/14 issue of Vetaffairs we included a survey card to gauge the views of the paper’s readership. Approximately 250,000 survey cards were distributed.
Veteran advocacy services free for all veterans
As a valued member of the veteran community, you should never have to pay for advocacy services. The Australian ex-service community is a proud provider of these services, supported by DVA.
Accessing DVA services
DVA recently held a community consultation process to examine whether the provision of Veterans’ Access Network (VAN) services through stand-alone regional shopfronts at a number of sites in NSW and Victoria is the most effective way to meet the changing needs of the veteran community.
2014 Client Service Survey underway
DVA is conducting a Client Service Survey to help us improve our client service. The survey commenced in early July.
Gold Card eligibility (PDF p.6)
The DVA Health Care Card – For All Conditions (Gold Card) enables access to health care and related services at DVA expense, for all health conditions, not just those related to a veteran’s Australian Defence Force (ADF) service, and is provided to certain veterans according to eligibility criteria established under the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA) and the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA).
New DVA Health Cards arriving now
Throughout June 2014 all DVA Health Cards (Gold, White and Orange) were reissued to all eligible veterans, war widows and dependants.
New look Pensioner Concession Card
The DVA Pensioner Concession Card (PCC) is undergoing a few cosmetic changes to help with better recognition and identification of cardholders.
Indexation of rates 1 July 2014
From 1 July 2014 the Income Free Areas and Assets Value Limits used to calculate rates of income support pensions have risen.
Anzac Centenary – update (PDF p.7)
Between 2014 and 2018 Australians will commemorate the Centenary of Anzac, marking 100 years since the commencement and battles of the First World War. The Anzac Centenary period begins on 4 August with commemorations being held in capital cities to mark the day Australia became involved in the First World War.
Anzac Day in France – 2014
On a cold, windy Anzac Day morning outside the village of Villers-Bretonneux, France, the mist rolled across the Australian National Memorial providing an almost ethereal atmosphere in the moments before the commencement of the 2014 Dawn Service.
News from the Western Front
Following Anzac Day 2014, the first stage of the new interpretive and visitor facilities was officially opened at Pozières, as part of the Australian Remembrance Trail along the Western Front.
Dr Killer: Hot spots, pox and shingles (PDF p.8)
It is not often that we as doctors walk in the shoes of our patients, but when the doctor becomes the patient, the patient experience and journey certainly takes on a totally different meaning.
Increase to Travel Allowances
Travel allowances for transport, meals and accommodation under DVA’s Repatriation Transport Scheme increased from 1 July 2014 in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) Figures.
Managing hearing loss
Hearing loss is a condition that will affect all of us to varying degrees at some stage in our lives. Once it occurs, it is difficult to reverse, even with modern hearing aids, appliances and rehabilitation
Self-help following Trauma (PDF p.9)
After a distressing or traumatic experience, it’s normal to find yourself thinking about it when you don’t mean to, maybe finding yourself going over and over what happened and even dreaming about it.
Updated RAP Schedule of Equipment
Veterans will benefit with an updated Rehabilitation Appliances Program (RAP) Schedule of Equipment that is now available.
Security of your MyAccount Information
The privacy and security of your information is important to us. DVA provides a secure environment and reliable system in the collection and storage of your personal information within MyAccount.
Helping our service providers through technology
Making it easier for service providers to interact with DVA results in better service for DVA clients. DVA’s service providers deliver service to veterans and their families on behalf of DVA.
Medical Alarms and connecting to the NBN
The National Broadband Network (NBN) is an Australian Government initiative which will bring high speed broadband and telephone services within the reach of all Australian premises by 2021.
Australian Institute of Family Studies Conference (PDF p.10)
Families continue to be central to DVA’s business and have been identified as a major priority area for research. All families today are living in a world of rapid economic, environmental and technological change.
Senior International Forum and Ministerial Summit
In early April 2014, DVA Secretary Simon Lewis and First Assistant Secretary Health and Community Services Division, Judy Daniel represented the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and the Department at the Senior International Forum and Ministerial Summit.
Suicide and the elderly
Suicide is often seen as a young man’s epidemic, but the latest statistics show that older Australian men are now more likely to take their own life than Australians of any other age group.
Transition and Wellbeing Research Programme
On 11 June, the Government launched the $5 million Transition and Wellbeing Research Programme which is a significant new programme of research into the mental health and wellbeing of contemporary service personnel and veterans.
Improvements to the DVA strategic research model
DVA’s Applied Research Programme generates best practice research into the health and wellbeing needs of Australia’s veteran community and seeks ways to improve services and care.
Football star continues his work with DVA (PDF p.11)
A Queensland football star is continuing his work with DVA to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ex-serving men and women get the support and recognition they deserve from the Department.
Medals – lost and found
A few safety tips as we welcome Winter
Unfortunately at this time of the year, as the weather cools, a number of seasonal related events often occur. As the seasons change, for some it is accompanied by increased weather activity and occasionally (especially in Winter), accidental fires caused by home heating and cooking.
Timor-Leste veterans and war widows (PDF p.12)
Veterans and war widows from Timor-Leste visited Sydney in April 2014 to meet with DVA and ex-service organisations to look at ways Australia supports its veterans and war widows.
Commemorating Indigenous Veterans
Indigenous veterans were commemorated in June during Reconciliation Week. A traditional smoking ceremony was held at the Sydney Hyde Park Memorial.
Kangaroo March Children’s Choir
Almost a century ago, the famous First World War recruitment marches made their way through rural and regional communities, inspiring a generation of young men to go off to war. Some communities will reenact these marches for the Centenary of Anzac.
Guide for War Widow/ers
A Ready Reference Guide for War Widow/ers has been published by the War Widows Guild in NSW.
News from the AWM – Historic landing boat moves (PDF p.13)
Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance has become a major beneficiary of the Australian War Memorial’s Anzac Centenary programme with the loan of the historic Devanha lifeboat used to take Australian troops ashore at the landing on Gallipoli on 25 April 1915.
Coins commemorating the Anzac Centenary
The Royal Australian Mint has recently released its next coins in its series commemorating the Anzac Centenary. This coin series commemorates those Australians who have received the Victoria Cross.
Off the shelf
Veterans successful at the Wounded Warrior Trials (PDF p.14)
Having survived life-threatening injuries from an Improvised Explosive Device blast in Afghanistan, Australian veterans Michael Clarke and Warren Guse-Ware again served Australia at an international sporting challenge for wounded, ill and injured military personnel in California.
Publications and items for sale
From the trenches: The best Anzac writing of World War One
Mystery of the AE1: Australia’s lost submarine and crew
Animals in combat
And the band played on: How music lifted the Anzac spirit in the First World War.
And the band played on (music CD)
Reunion notices (PDF p.15)
Noticeboard (PDF p.16)