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Vol 32 No 1 Autumn 2016

New! Read Vetaffairs Autumn 2016 edition in interactive Realview format

Table of contents

Helping veterans get back to work

When people leave the military, they can often feel that the skills they have learnt during their career don’t match with the skills employers are looking for.

Pensions and allowances rise

Veterans’ pensions were increased from 20 March 2016 following the latest round of indexation adjustments.

Vale Brigadier Bill Rolfe AO (Retd)

The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, the Hon Dan Tehan MP, recently paid tribute to a distinguished Australian, Brigadier Bill Rolfe AO (Retd), who passed away on 4 March, after a long illness.

Letters to the editor

  • 5000 Poppies appeal
  • WW2 anniversary

News from the DVA

In January 2016, I travelled to France and the UK. This trip provided a very valuable opportunity to share information with our international counterparts about delivering services to veterans now and into the future.

Vetaffairs

Our new interactive Realview format makes it even easier to enjoy reading Vetaffairs from any location that suits you.

Anzac Day 2016

Planning for the 2016 Anzac Day commemorations at Gallipoli and Villers-Bretonneux is well on track.

DP veteran proud to serve other veterans

During an impressive 37-year military career, Deputy President of the Repatriation Commission Major General Craig Orme DSC AM CSC had operational opportunities at almost every rank, with deployments in Malaysia, Iran, the British Army of the Rhine, Kuwait, US Central Command, the Middle East and Afghanistan.

News from the minister

I am honoured to have been appointed as the Minister for Veterans' Affairs and also the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC.

Building the Sir John Monash Centre

Construction of the Sir John Monash Centre began on 18 January this year following a sod turning ceremony performed by the former Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC, the Hon Stuart Robert MP, and French Secretary of State for Commemorations and Remembrance, M. Jean-Marc Todeschini.

New Director of the Office of Australian War Graves

In January 2016, Mr Ken Corke was welcomed as the new Director of the Office of Australian War Graves.

DVA assists in times of crisis

As a client-centric and responsive agency, DVA works hard to ensure that clients in need of support have access to all available services, whatever the situation.

Self-care during times of commemoration

Acknowledging the commitment, dedication and sacrifice of our servicemen and servicewomen through commemorations is a significant and important part of Australian culture.

A word from the Principal Medical Adviser

Many of you may have started 2016 with New Year's resolutions to eat a healthier diet, to exercise more regularly and to get fit – but did you think about your brain?

Focus of DVA Research in 2016

DVA commissions best-practice research into the health and wellbeing needs of Australia's veterans and their families.

Have you thought about Veterans' Health Week 2016?

VHW in 2016 will be held from Saturday 22 October to Sunday 29 October.

My Health Record Pilot

My Health Record is the new name of the national digital health record system previously known as the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record or PCEHR.

DVA staff raise funds for Legacy

Staff from DVA helped to raise nearly $8,000 for Legacy through a silent auction of display items no longer needed by the department.

DEBUNKING THE MYTHS: Widowed partners' eligibility for the Gold Card

Most people refer to the 'DVA Health Card – for all conditions' as the Gold Card. The Gold Card provides access to free health care and related services for all health conditions.

  • What is a DVA Gold Card?
  • How can widowed partners of veterans receive the Gold Card?
  • Can the Gold Card be transferred to a widowed partner?
  • When is compensation and Gold Card automatically provided?
  • My partner was not receiving one of the payments mentioned above, so is there any way I can be granted a Gold Card?
  • What if I need help lodging a claim for compensation or would like more information?

VVCS counselling: when and where you need it

The Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) is at the frontline of mental health and wellbeing support for veterans and their families, so it is essential that VVCS services are accessible and located near veterans and their families.

Easier access to DVA treatment

Did you know that many current and former members of the ADF can receive treatment at DVA expense for a range of medical conditions without having to prove these conditions were a result of their military service?

Sleep: Key to wellbeing

Having returned from holidays where I had the opportunity to sleep-in regularly, I have been reflecting on just how precious sleep can be in our busy lives.

'ESO news': Promoting mental health and social inclusions

Vetaffairs is introducing an exciting new 'ESO News' page.

  • Helping those on deployment to stay connected
  • Is your partner's mental illness causing you to be socially isolated?
  • Naval Association combats isolation

Widows' news

  • BOMBO The Wonder Dog – my husband's legacy, by Suzi Vincent
  • Suzi Vincent
  • Centenary of Anzac Tapestry
  • Vietnam Commemoration Service

25th anniversary of the end of the First Gulf War

Australia remembered the First Gulf War, 25 years on, in February this year.

Supporting the veteran community through DVA's grants programs

DVA has a proud history of providing support to Australian veterans that stretches back to the repatriation of Australian forces following the First World War.

  • Building Excellence in Support and Training Grants (BEST) Program
  • Veteran and Community Grants (V&CG)
  • Grants for National Organisations
  • Overseas Privately Constructed Memorials Restoration Program Commemorations Grants (OPCMRP)
  • Saluting their Service Commemorations Grants (STS)

LONG TAN BURSARY: Financial assistance for further education

The Long Tan Bursary (LTB) provides funding to help Australian Vietnam veterans' children meet the cost of post-secondary education and help them obtain formal qualifications and skills needed to pursue their chosen career.

Upcoming commemorative events

  • 75th anniversary of the Siege of Tobruk
  • 75th anniversary of Greece and Crete
  • Commemorations at a glance
    • Domestic Events
    • Overseas Events

Nominations open for 65th anniversary mission to Republic of Korea

DVA is planning a mission party of veterans to travel to the Republic of Korea in October 2016 to commemorate the 65th anniversaries of the Battles of Kapyong and Maryang San, and the service and sacrifice of all Australians in the Korean War.

2016 Fromelles and Pozières services

July 2016 will mark 100 years since the Battles of Fromelles and Pozières on the Western Front.

Getting the right decision when you claim

Veterans frequently comment about the outcome of appeals. Why is it that some compensation claims are successful at appeal but not at the primary claim stage?

CONCESSION CARDS: Where can I find out about my entitlements?

DVA issues the Pensioner Concession Card and the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card to eligible clients.

Off the shelf

If you would like your book featured in Off the shelf, notices must not exceed 150 words in length.

The Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience continues tour

The Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience has continued its journey around Australia, visiting Wollongong, Melbourne and Adelaide in the last three months.

Applications for the 2017 DVA Graduate Program have opened

Each year, DVA attracts university graduates from many fields of study, including arts, business, law, public relations, international studies, education, psychology and information and communication technology.

$31m in insurance claims for 2015

2015 is over, and Defence Service Homes Insurance (DSHI) are reviewing what their clients claimed for: over 8,000 claims and over $31m in payments made.

Items for sale

  • The Memorial poppy brooch
  • The unseen Anzac: how an enigmatic explorer created Australia's World War I photographs
  • Australia's boldest experiment: war reconstruction in the 1940s
  • Sententia: inside Afghanistan (DVD)

News from the Australian War Memorial

  • Anzac day 2016
  • Memorial's donation process refined

Medals lost & found

  • Found

New online noticeboard

Vetaffairs is introducing an online noticeboard.

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