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Tasmania Consultative Forum - Summary 14 February 2018 meeting

Present

Name Role
Luke Brown Deputy Commissioner TAS — Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) (Chair)
Mark Travers Director, Digital Client Experience DVA
David Waddle Advocacy, Training and Development Program
John Methven OAM Advocacy, Training and Development Program Manager Region Three
Graeme Barnett RFD Australian Peacekeeper and Peacemaker Veterans Association (via video conference)
Helen Watling JP Legacy Hobart
Jacinta Leahy Partners of Veterans Association
GPCAPT Rex Bean (RTD) Royal Australian Air Force Association — Tasmania
LTCOL Shaun Harding Senior Australian Defence Force Officer
Ray Williams Totally and Permanently Incapacitated Association
Malcolm Cash Vietnam Veterans' Association of Australia (via video conference)
Anne James Executive Officer — DVA — (Via Video Conference)
Katrina Walker Scribe — DVA

Apologies

Name Role
Peter Hind Defence Reserve Support Council — Tasmania
Alex Schouten Department of Premier and Cabinet Tasmania
Stephen Knox Mates4Mates
Terry Roe JP Returned and Services League — Tasmania
Alex McNeill OAM Naval Association of Australia — Tas (NAA)
Mary Marsh NAA — Proxy
Matthew McGuinness Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service
Rosemary Charlston War Widows Guild — Tasmania

Business Arising

From November DCCF-Tas: Disconnect between ADF diagnosis and diagnostic protocols under Statements of Principles (SOPs).  Graeme Barnett advised he has approached the affected members for permission to discuss their concerns with the Department. However, they were unwilling to disclose their personal information.  Luke Brown advised that the issue raised is being considered and examples are not required. 
Item closed

Agenda Items

MyService Presentation

MyService demonstration and information session was provided by Mark Travers, Director Veteran Centric Reform Digital Client Experience.

Advocacy Training and Development Program (ATDP)

David Waddle was appointed ATDP Regional Management Group 3(RMG3), Deputy Manager, on the retirement of Alan Robertson OAM CSM JP.

David Waddle introduced John Methven OAM, ATDP Manager RMG3. Mr Methven briefed members on the ATDP the accreditation process and requirement for recognition of competency to achieve accreditation.  Training is available for new participants and Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) in Tasmania 17 and 18 April.  Expressions of interest should be submitted now, if nominees or their ESO experience any difficulty with the process they are asked to contact aso3@atdp.org.au or 08 8290 0449 for assistance.  Mr Methven asked all ESO members to pass this this message to current and potential advocates.

Partners of Veterans Association (PVA)

"Lack of engagement with Younger veterans by traditional ESO"

Jacinta Leahy raised concerns regards engaging and promoting membership of traditional ESO to young Veterans. Luke Brown offered to facilitate a working group to develop a process to consult with the younger veteran cohort.  The majority of forum members stated this was unnecessary as they felt their organisations were already aware of younger veteran attitudes towards traditional ESOs.  Jacinta will liaise with LTCOL Shaun Harding re the possibility of meeting with local ADF members to promote the PVA.  Item Closed

Business Area Updates

The Hon Michael McCormack MP was sworn in as Minister for Veterans' Affairs on 20 December 2017.  The Hon Dan Tehan MP was promoted as the Minister for Social Services.

Under the digital transformation initiative, 12 Commonwealth agencies have been selected to participate in a shared grants administration program. The Community Grants Hub will administer the grant rounds but the policy and Ministerial approval will remain with DVA. Some DVA staff have transferred to Department of Social Services to work in the Hub.  Luke Brown asked that any issues experienced when applying via the hub be reported to him.

Mefloquine is a medication used for the prevention and treatment of malaria. ADF records show that between July 2000 and September 2016, approximately 1,979 ADF personnel were prescribed mefloquine. Most of these prescriptions were as part of the Australian Malarial Institute studies undertaken in Timor Leste from 2000–2002. Concerns have been raised about possible neurological side effects and outreach sessions have been conducted in Townsville, which has a significant concentration of potentially concerned ex-ADF members. Luke Brown asked the DCCF attendees to canvas their organisations to determine if an outreach program is needed in Tasmania.

Further information:  Mefloquine information

ESO Updates

Australian Peacekeeper and Peacemaker Veterans Association (APPVA)

Graeme Barnett RFD  advised he was re-elected as President APPVA at their Annual General Meeting.

Legacy Hobart

Helen Watling announced her tenure as president ceases in August 2018.

Partners of Veterans Association (PVA)

Jacinta Leahy advised the PVA National Conference will be held in Hobart 23–24 May 2018.

Royal Australian Air Force Association — Tasmania (RAAF-A)

GPCAPT Bean announced that Geoff O'Hara will be appointed RAAF — A President later this year.

He advised that Flight Lieutenant Dee Cherry, has recently been appointed to the Younger Veterans — Contemporary Needs Forum (YVF) as the national RAAF-A representative. FLTLT Cherry provided an informative presentation to RAAF-A (Tas) in December 2017.

GPCAPT Bean asked if the YVF related to younger age or recently separated ADF members.  There was broad discussion surrounding the terms "veteran" in this context.  Luke Brown provided advice that "veteran" has a number of different meanings that may be linked to legislation, deployment cohorts and a variety of other contexts.  It is commonly considered that those who have served and who are or may become clients of the Department are considered veterans, regardless of technical definitions linked to specific legislation.

Senior Australian Defence Force Officer (SADFO)

LTCOL Shaun Harding announced key changes in staff in principal units.  Bravo Company will be relocating to Anglesea Barracks in within twelve months.

Totally and Permanently Incapacitated Association of Tasmania (TPI — Assn)

Ray Williams advised a series of bus trips to reduce social isolation has commenced. This is enabled under Veteran and Community Grant funding.

Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia (VVAA)

Malcolm Cash advised that Mr Brian Harper OAM will be stepping down as president at their next AGM.

Next forum

Budget Brief:   9 May 2018, 14:00 (Hobart and via Video Conference — Launceston)

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