Vetaffairs

Vol 25 No 3 September / October 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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1

Pension Rise
Veterans’ pensions increased from 20 September following the latest round of indexation adjustments.

Allowances
Self-funded retirees
Income test changes
The share market and your pension
Pensioners benefit from new index
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Vietnam Veterans return
Pilot Officer Robert Carver and Flying Officer Michael Herbert came home to a hero’s welcome in August, almost 40 years after they died in combat in Vietnam.
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(127Kb)

2

Letters to the Editor
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New Deputy Commissioner for DVA Tasmania
Jan Hyde has been appointed Deputy Commissioner of Tasmania within the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
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Battle for Australia Day observed
The second official observance of Battle for Australia Day was marked with services held around the country on 2 September.
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Farewell to General Manager
DVA General Manager, Kerry Blackburn, is leaving DVA after more than 13 years in the Department.
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(164Kb)

3

95th anniversary of First World War
4 August marked the 95th anniversary of the beginning of the First World War.
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70th anniversary of Second World War
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Alan Griffin joined former allies and enemies on 1 September, in an historic ceremony in Poland to mark the 70th anniversary of the start of the Second World War.
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Mariners commemorated on Merchant Navy Day
The wartime service of merchant mariners was remembered on 3 September – Merchant Navy Day.
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Shrine of Remembrance exhibition
The origins of the Second World War – 70th Anniversary. On until 1 November 2009.

Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels presented with medallions
Commemorative medallions honouring Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels’ care for Australian soldiers during the Second World War have been presented.
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(162Kb)

4

Vietnam Veterans Day
Australians gathered to remember the service and sacrifice of Vietnam veterans on 18 August.
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A service to mark Korean Veterans’ Day
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Alan Griffin and Korean Minister of Patriots and Veterans Affairs Mr Yang Kim attended a service in Canberra to mark Korean Veterans’ Day.
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Vietnam Veteran’s memory lives on
The memory of Arthur Booker – the 62-year-old Vietnam Veteran who lost his life when taken by a crocodile in September 2008 – will live on in the form of a three metre sailboat.
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DVA Christmas and new year closures
The Department of Veterans’ Affairs will be closed from Friday 25 December 2009 to Friday 1 January 2010. All offices will reopen on Monday 4 January 2010.
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To all Vietnam Veterans
A poem by 15-year-old Alicia Stewart.
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Pensions rise (continued from page 1)
What if Consumer Price Index is higher than Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index?

(193Kb)

5

Changes to service eligibility for Repatriation benefits
Following reviews by the Department of Defence, changes to eligibility for service in Operation Damask VI and the Australian Training Support Team – East Timor have been made.
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New concession factsheets
New concession factsheets are now available from DVA. Each State and Territory now has a single factsheet that outlines the concessions available and the eligibility requirements that need to be met for each concession.
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Lost health cards
If a Repatriation Health Card is lost or stolen, members of the veteran community should contact the Department of Veterans’ Affairs immediately to arrange a replacement card.
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New offices for DVA and VVCS Tasmania
DVA and VVCS staff in Hobart will relocate to new offices on the weekend of 21 and 22 November.
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Warning to health care providers
The Department of Veterans’ Affairs has been warned about an advertising scam that has been operating Australia-wide, targeting health care providers.
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Day Clubs – everyone welcome
In more than 140 Day Clubs across the country, hundreds of volunteers and members gather each week to have fun, make friends, learn new skills and experience a range of activities.
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(156Kb)

6

NSW Sandgate War Cemetery upgraded
A horticultural and structural upgrade to the Sandgate War Cemetery in New South Wales was completed in June.
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Victorian Garden of Remembrance
Two sections of commemorative wall at the Victorian Garden of Remembrance were rebuilt in June.
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Removal of old concrete stairs at Hellfire Pass, Thailand
OAWG is planning to demolish the condemned staircase into Konyu Cutting (Hellfire Pass) in November and December this year.
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Adelaide River War Cemetery refurbished
The sandstone structures at Adelaide River War Cemetery were refurbished in May this year.
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Opening of the new Australian Memorial Hall at the Kundasang Gardens, Malaysia
The opening of the new Australian Memorial Hall at the Kundasang Gardens in Sabah, Malaysia, on 17 August was attended by approximately 80 visitors from Australia, Malaysia and the United Kingdom.
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The Australian War Memorial, London
The Australian War Memorial in London has been repainted.
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Torres Strait restoration
September saw the culmination of two years preparation from the Office of Australian War Graves (OAWG) to visit the Torres Strait to conduct maintenance on 19 war graves and commemorations throughout Cape York and on several islands.
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(339Kb)

7

Debunking the myths – the claims process
Some of the common myths associated with the lodgement of a compensation claim under the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA), the Safety Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRCA) and the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA).
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(83Kb)

8

Dr Killer's column – We need our MATES
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Suicide prevention workshops
Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) has launched a series of free workshops known as Operation Life.
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F-111 Deseal/Reseal report tabled in Parliament
The F-111 Deseal/Reseal report has been tabled in Parliament.
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Memorial collection continues to grow
The Australian War Memorial (AWM) has a large and diverse collection of objects which continues to grow with Australia’s involvement in recent peacekeeping operations and the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
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Sidney Nolan works on display
A new exhibition of works by Sidney Nolan (1917-1992) is on display at the Australian War Memorial until 18 November 2009.

(154Kb)

9

A higher level of dementia care
The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Alan Griffin recently opened the new facilities at Cumberland View Aged Care Living in Wheelers Hill Victoria.
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Training for ex-service organisations
TIP offers training to ESO representatives in three broad areas – compensation and pensions, welfare and advocacy.
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DVA staff bound for Kokoda
14 lucky DVA staff members were selected to walk the Kokoda Track in September this year.
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Relatives of WW1 Kinglake men sought
In preparation for Anzac Day 2010, relatives and descendants of servicemen who served in WW1 from the Kinglake area of Victoria are being sought.
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(243Kb)

10

New publications released
2010 DVA calendar: Gallipoli
The Anzac Walk
The search for the Sydney
Mud and Dust: Australian Army vehicles & artillery in Vietnam
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(163Kb)

11

Naval service remembered
Australian Naval ships and crews that served on active service in Malaya and Malaysia from 1955 to 1971 have been remembered with a new memorial at Echuca on the Victorian border.
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Off the shelf
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Reunions
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Medals Lost & Found
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(145Kb)

12

Noticeboard
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Noticeboard - Army
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Noticeboard - Navy
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Noticeboard - Air Force
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Noticeboard - Miscellaneous
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(134kB)