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Vol 32 No.3 Summer 2016

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Table of Contents

A very connected Veterans’ Health Week

This year’s Veterans’ Health Week (22–30 October) saw nearly 15,000 people attending more than 300 events across Australia.

Letters to the editor

  • Terendak repatriation 
  • Long Tan commemorations

News from the Department 

Simon Lewis PSM, Secretary of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, looks back at 2016. 

News from the Minister

Minister for Veterans' Affairs the Hon Dan Tehan MP discusses the Prime Minister’s Veterans’ Employ¬ment Program.

New Act for Defence personnel

If passed, a new Bill, the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensa¬tion Legislation Amendment (Defence Force) Bill 2016, will replicate the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRCA) to create a standalone Act for current and for¬mer ADF members. 

Pensions and allowances rise

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

Advocacy Training and Development Program

From 1 July 2016, the ATDP began managing the delivery of advocacy training across Australia.

Changes to assets test limits

In the 2015–16 Budget, the Australian Government announced that it would be rebalanc¬ing the assets test limits to improve the fairness and affordability of the pension system. These changes have been passed by Parliament and will begin from 1 January 2017. 

A word from the Principal Medical Adviser

Dr Ian Gardner, Principal Medical Adviser, discusses mefloquine. 

Release of the fourth study of F-111 deseal/reseal personnel

The fourth in a series of studies to investigate mortality and cancer incidence among aircraft maintenance personnel involved with F-111 deseal/reseal (DSRS) was released on 17 October 2016. 

Improvements to interim incapacity payment arrangements

The 2016–17 Budget included a measure to improve how interim incapacity payments are calculated. 

Pension exemption changes for new aged-care residents

The 2016–17 Budget included changes to how the family home is assessed for certain aged-care residents entering care from 1 January 2017. 

Government releases suicide report

In late November 2016, the Government released a report on the prevalence of sui¬cide among current and former members of the Australian Defence Force.

DVA services over Christmas and New Year

The Department will provide reduced services over the Christmas–New Year period from close of business on Friday, 23 December 2016, resuming full services at start of business on Tuesday, 3 January 2017. 

Treating sleep apnoea

Information on the symptoms of, and treatment for, sleep apnoea.

An easy way to get mental health treatment

If you’ve served as a full-time member of the Australian Defence Force, even for a single day, you can get free, immediate treatment for a range of mental-health disorders.

Trial of new treatment for PTSD underway

The Phoenix Australia Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health is conducting a study of intensive prolonged exposure therapy for PTSD.

VVCS is here for you over Christmas

The Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Treatments for PTSD

Michael Correll, Acting Mental Health Adviser, discusses the causes of, and best treatments for, post-traumatic stress disorder.

Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience exhibition 

The Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience, one of Australia’s largest ever travelling exhi¬bitions, enters its final phase in 2017 as it marches towards Sydney for the final event. 

Veterans return to Korea 65 years on

In October 2016, eight veterans of the Korean War returned to the battlefields for the 65th anniversaries of the battles of Kapyong and Maryang San.

Long Tan veterans honoured

Ten soldiers who fought at the Bat¬tle of Long Tan during the Vietnam War have been decorated by the Governor-General, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd). 

Fall of Singapore commemorations

The national service commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Fall of Singapore will take place on Wednesday, 15 February 2017 at 11.00 am at the Australian Ex-Prisoners of War Memorial in Ballarat, Victoria. 

Widows’ news

News from the War Widows’ Guild of Australia.

Off the Shelf

  • One Woman’s War and Peace: A nurse’s journey in the Royal Australian Air Force 
  • For King and Country 

Days in Conflict new app series

Following the success of the Gallipoli: The First Day app, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs have released the second app, WWI: The Battles of Fromelles and Pozières, in the Days in Conflict Centenary Edition series. 

Plaudits for Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum

The Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum in Thailand honours the suffering and sacrifice of all those who worked as forced labour on the Burma–Thailand Railway during the Second World War.

Anzac Day at Sandakan Memorial Park, Malaysia, in 2017

Each year, several hundred Australians attend the Anzac Day Dawn Service at the Sandakan Memorial Park in the state of Sabah in Borneo, Malaysia.

Are you prepared for bushfire season?

It’s worth remembering that serious bushfires can occur in suburban communities as well as regional and rural ones. 

Update on the Sir John Monash Centre

Work is continuing on the Sir John Monash Centre, which will tell the story of Australia’s experience of the Western Front in France and Belgium during the First World War. 

ESORT rounds off the year with message of solidarity

The Ex-Service Organisation Round Table (ESORT) had its final meeting for 2016 on 10 November. 

News from the Australian War Memorial

  • For Country, For Nation exhibition
  • New Middle East display to open

AWM items for sale

  • Afghanistan: the Australian story – 2-DVD set 
  • Fighting Monsters: an intimate history of the Sandakan tragedy 
  • Wartime magazine issue 76 – Indigenous service 
  • DVA Calendar 2017 – Animals in war 

Reunion notices

Medals lost and found

Noticeboard

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