Vol 25 No 1 March 2009

Vetaffairs is published three times a year and distributed to more than 370,000 members of the veteran 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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Page 1

Memorial honours Borneo veterans
A memorial to the efforts of more than 20,000 Australian servicemen involved in ending Japanese occupation of Brunei in the Second World War was dedicated in December.

Family study: more army personnel needed
Registrations for the Vietnam Veterans’ Family Study are still open.

Pensions, allowances increase
Veterans’ pensions increased from 20 March following the latest round of indexation adjustments.

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Jack celebrates 110th birthday
Australia’s last remaining First World War serviceman and oldest Australian male, Jack Ross, celebrated his 110th birthday on 11 March.

New DVA internet site
DVA will launch its new internet site in April.

Pension rates from 20 March
Table showing new maximum rates.

Page 3

Events to mark Battle of Binh Ba
The 40th anniversary of the Battle of Binh Ba, one of the most decisive Australian victories of the Vietnam War, will be commemorated in Canberra in June.

Govt considers Clarke submissions
The Government has started considering the more than 470 submissions received as part of revisiting recommendations of the 2003 Clarke Review of Veterans’ Entitlements that were not acted upon by the former government.

Independent review completed
Professor David Dunt has provided the Government with the findings of his two independent reviews into the mental health and well-being of current and former servicemen and women.

Confusion over compensation
A number of recent media reports have suggested that compensation benefits available to dependants of military personnel are inadequate compared with civilian compensation schemes.

Lower deeming rates benefit pensioners
Many veterans are benefiting from three deeming rate reductions applied since late last year.

Page 4

Same-sex couples recognised
All de facto couples, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender, will be recognised under Australian Government reforms.

Support available after disaster
Support and information services are available for veterans and their family members affected by the devastating Victorian fires and severe flooding in far north Queensland.

Page 5

Memorial to airmen restored
A restored memorial commemorating eight WW2 airmen who died when their Lancaster Bomber was shot down near Stadil, Denmark was dedicated late last y ear.

News from the Office of Australian War Graves

  • Memorial at Le Hamel rededicated
  • Individual graves for Fromelles soldiers
  • Wagga graves vandalised
  • Director reappointed

Changes for partners pension
The Australian Government has modified eligibility rules for separated partners.

Page 6

PM’s council focuses on ex-service issues
The Prime Ministerial Advisory Council on Ex-Service Matters focused on identified priorities at its inaugural meeting in Canberra late last year.

Decorated officer MAJGEN Craig Orme has been appointed a member of the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission.

Vietnam Veterans’ Family Study – Your questions answered

Support for ADF members
A program supporting ADF members leaving the forces will be rolled out across Australia.

Page 7

Solomon Islands study completed
A study into the health of Solomon Islands veterans has found no immediate ill-effects from deployment.
Govt assistance announced
The Government announced a package of measures in February to address the ongoing financial crisis.

PM unveils designs for memorials
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd last month unveiled the designs for two new national memorials to be built in honour of Australia’s First and Second World War servicemen and women.

Poster commemorates East Timor service
Australia’s role in restoring peace to East Timor is the focus of this year’s Anzac Day commemorative poster.

Anzac Day ceremonies around the world
Dawn Services around the world will mark the 94th anniversary of Anzac Day.

Page 8

40th Battalion flag raised again
An Association flag given to the officers and soldiers of the 40th Battalion AIF has been restored with the assistance of an Australian Government grant.

Our pages of history
Books published by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the Australian War Memorial.

Page 9

Art Prize winners announced
An artwork titled Self Portrait, Daily Mask produced by the daughter of a Vietnam veteran, won first place in the Lou White Art Prize announced late last year.

Insurance cover available
Many people are not aware that they can access economical insurance cover if they’re eligible under the Defence Service Homes (DSH) Act 1918 even if they have paid out their DSH loan or never used their loan benefit.

Tribunal considering criteria for honours and awards
The Independent Defence Honours and Awards Tribunal was established in July 2008 to look into a series of long-standing issues relating to the eligibility criteria of certain Defence Honours and Awards.

News from the Australian War Memorial

  • Memorial prepares for battlefield tours
  • Exhibition of First World War aviation
  • Director reappointed

Page 10

Help DVA to control fraud
DVA is working hard to protect the repatriation system and to ensure that the people who deserve entitlements are those who are actually getting them.

We may ask for your tax file number
Commonwealth Seniors Health Card holders and applicants will be asked to provide their tax file number, and if a member of a couple, their partner’s tax file number to be eligible for a card.

Off the Shelf

Medals lost and found

Page 11

Dr Killer’s column: The precious gift of sleep

How to call Veterans’ Home Care
If you want to contact the Veterans’ Home Care Assessment Agency you will need to use a land line phone rather than a mobile phone.

Toward better care in hospital
Private hospitals are being encouraged to boost levels of patient care as part of a new DVA initiative.

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