Vol 27 No.3 Spring 2011

Vetaffairs is distributed to more than 300,000 members of the veteran and defence force 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

Angus Houston heads Anzac Centenary Advisory Board

Following a distinguished six year tenure as Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, AC, AFC (Ret’d), will lead the planning and development of the Anzac Centenary commemorations taking place from 2014 to 2018.
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Smoother transition to civilian life

Dedicated staff from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs will operate at more than 25 military bases around Australia from October, providing advice and support on injury, physical and mental health and compensation issues. These staff will assist personnel in their transition to civilian life.
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Pensions and allowances increase

Veterans’ pensions have been increased from 20 September following the latest round of indexation adjustments. The first full payment at the new rates of pension will be payday 6 October 2011.
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(PDF 259KB)

2

Letters to the Editor

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Correction

In the June 2011 issue of Vetaffairs within the story Vietnam Veterans Centre in US on page 3, we referenced Long Tan Day instead of Vietnam Veterans Day.
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DVA’s new DC in WA

Mr Peter King commenced with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs on 1 August 2011 as the new Deputy Commissioner for Western Australia.
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Indexation

Maximum base pension rates are adjusted each March and September by the greater of the movement in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index (PBLCI), and then compared with Male Total Average Weekly Earnings (MTAWE).
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New program to maintain graves of bravest

The graves of recipients of Australia’s highest honours for bravery will be protected under a new maintenance program, announced by the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Warren Snowdon, on 29 August.
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(PDF 89KB)

3

New pension rates from 20 September – rates table

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14 Australian WWI soldiers honoured

The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Warren Snowdon, honoured 14 Australian World War One soldiers at a headstone dedication ceremony in Fromelles, France on 19 July.
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Rationalisation of Temporary Incapacity Allowance

The Temporary Incapacity Allowance (TIA) from the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA) from 20 September 2011.
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The Prisoner of War Recognition Supplement

The Prisoner of War Recognition (POWR) Supplement, commenced on 20 September 2011, with the first payment scheduled for 6 October.
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(PDF 128KB)

4

Improved support following a service death

Today’s Australian Defence Force (ADF) members carry out their work in often hazardous and dangerous environments, both within Australia and overseas. These dangers are repeatedly brought home to the Australian public with the news of the death of a service person. Young partners and family members most intensely grieve these losses.
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DSHI reviews premiums and expands product range

Australia’s summer of disasters has triggered premium increases for Defence Service Homes Insurance (DSHI). The cyclones, bushfires and floods that created devastation across the nation have forced DSHI to raise premiums by approximately 20 per cent.
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Honouring the fallen in Ypres, Belgium

The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Warren Snowdon, joined the newly appointed Chair of the Anzac Centenary Advisory Board, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, AC, AFC (Ret’d) on 18 July to honour Australian service on the Western Front.
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DVA’s CVC program supported by AMA

A program that will offer a holistic approach to health care to thousands of Australia’s most vulnerable and ill veterans has received support from the Australian Medical Association (AMA).
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(PDF 106KB)

5

War Widows work with VVCS

The Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) has developed a range of short programs in conjunction with the War Widows’ Guild of NSW, to assist and support war widows.
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Dr Killer's column –Women living a long life

A long and meaningful life: I guess this is what most of us, men and women, wish for. I suppose it is really what genetics, advances in health care and what we do to help ourselves is all about (not to mention a bit of luck as well).
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70th anniversary of women’s services

This year heralds 70 years since the formation of three specific military services for the women of Australia.
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Kate Rhodes OAM memorial scholarship

The Kate Rhodes OAM memorial scholarship, set up by the ACH Group in South Australia, was established to honour the leadership and visionary efforts of the late South Australian President of the War Widows’ Guild of Australia, Mrs Kate Rhodes OAM.
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(PDF 139KB)

6

News from the AWM

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New appointments to the AWM Council

Two appointments to the Australian War Memorial (AWM) Council were announced in July. Mr Kevin Woods CSC, OAM will join the Council for the first time and Ms Wendy Sharpe has been reappointed, after approval was given by the Governor-General, Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce AC.

Gallipoli and the Western Front tours

From the hauntingly beautiful ridges, valleys, and beaches of the Gallipoli Peninsula to the evening Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate in Ypres, the War Memorial’s tour of Gallipoli and the Western Front embraces the major sites where Australian soldiers served.

When war came to our shores

Australians across the nation paused on 7 September to honour the contribution of those who helped to defend our shores when the Japanese threat was at its greatest, on Battle for Australia Day.
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Vietnam Veterans’ Day

Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Warren Snowdon joined Australian’s on 18 August to mark Vietnam Veterans’ Day – the day dedicated to reflecting on the service of the men and women who served during the Vietnam War.
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Merchant mariners remembered

The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Warren Snowdon, encouraged Australians to remember the service and sacrifice of merchant mariners on Saturday 3 September – Merchant Navy Day.
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Remembering Korean War Veterans

On 27 July – Korean Veterans’ Day – Australians stopped to remember  the men and women who served in the Korean War.
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Expansion of the Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917

As part of his visit to France in July, the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Warren Snowdon, visited the Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917 and presented a cheque to the museum to help with the cost of an expansion.
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(PDF 100KB)

7

Debunking the myths – The Pension Loans Scheme – an alternative to a reverse mortgage

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(PDF 70KB)

8

Dr Killer's column – Talk Turkey

On 8 June this year, I wrote to approximately 70,000 DVA card holders about a new mental health self-help program called the Wellbeing Toolbox. This program requires access to a computer and the internet. Following this mailout, my mailbag contained a lot more letters than I expected, but I found most of them very helpful.
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Your health and alcohol-www.therightmix.gov.au

For most veterans who drink at low-risk levels, alcohol is just part of the mix in a healthy lifestyle that includes a good diet and regular exercise. But some veterans drink to cope with the symptoms of depression or posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), such as anger, stress and sleeplessness.
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(PDF 55KB)

9

High levels of patient satisfaction

Members of the veteran community are experiencing high levels of satisfaction with private hospitals, based on surveys completed post-discharge.

Many of those who have stayed overnight in a private hospital as an acute care medical or surgical patient have been given a questionnaire to fill in after they are discharged.
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Gold Card myths

There is a popular myth that the Gold Repatriation Health Card for All Conditions is automatically transferred to the surviving partner when the eligible veteran dies. This is not strictly so.
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Gallipoli service provider reappointed

Following a competitive tender process, Melbourne-based company Definitive Events will continue to partner with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to support Anzac Day commemorations at Gallipoli, Turkey, in 2012.
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Keep a Prescription Record Form

Under the Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (RPBS), veterans and war widows are required to pay a concessional co-payment towards the cost of their pharmaceuticals.
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VVFS questionnaire – have you completed yours?

More than 27,500 registered participants have now received the Vietnam Veterans’ Family Study (VVFS) questionnaire. Completing and returning this questionnaire is essential so that your experiences can be understood and future support services can be offered.
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DVA is on Facebook

DVA is now on Facebook! Facebook is a popular social networking site, where registered users can elect to ‘like’ the Department’s page. This will allow followers to receive up-to-date news and events as they are posted by the Department.
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(PDF 102KB)

10

Publications available now

2012 DVA calendar: The War Comes Home: 1942

Whispering Death: Australian Airmen in the Pacific War

Kokoda Wallaby: The Rugby International Who Became a Kokoda Hero

Fighting Nineteenth: History of the 19th Infantry Battalion AIF 1915–1918
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Medals Lost & Found

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(PDF 132KB)

11

Reunion notices

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Off the Shelf

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(PDF 66KB)

12

Noticeboard

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Noticeboard Air Force

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Noitceboard Army

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Noticeboard Navy

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Noticeboard Miscellaneous

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Receive Vetaffairs electronically

If you would like to receive your copy of Vetaffairs electronically, please visit the DVA website www.dva.gov.au and click on the Vetaffairs link on the home page.
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(PDF 80KB)