Issue 6 - 2013
In this issue:
Gallipoli 2015 ballot now open
Australians planning to attend Anzac Day commemorations at Gallipoli in 2015 can now apply for the ballot.
There’s no rush to apply – the ballot is open until midnight 31 January 2014. Applicants will be advised of the outcome by Anzac Day 2014 to allow enough time for those successful to organise and pay for their trip.
The ballot is open to Australian citizens and permanent residents who are a minimum of 18 years of age on or before 25 April 2015.
For more information on the ballot or to apply, visit the DVA Gallipoli 2015 website www.gallipoli2015.dva.gov.au. Paper applications are also available from Ticketek by calling 1300 364 002.
New WWI Interpretive Centre in Belgium
A significant tribute to Australian WWI service was unveiled in Belgium in early November, with the support of the Australian Government.
Digital and other displays tell the story of Australia’s first large-scale action in Belgium, the June 1917 Battle of Messines.
Called Plugstreet 14-18 experience, the centre’s name reflects how Australian and British soldiers commonly referred to Ploegsteert during the war.
It joins the list of new and refurbished elements of the Australian Remembrance Trail along the Western Front that have already opened at Ypres and Zonnebeke in Belgium, and at Bullecourt in France. Progress of the Trail’s development can be viewed at www.ww1westernfront.gov.au.
Travelling to France for Anzac Day in 2014?
Attending an Anzac Day Dawn Service in France can be a once-in-a-lifetime experience but it’s important to come prepared.
Register for email or SMS updates to receive helpful information and tips on what to bring, what to expect, how to get there and be notified of any changes to traffic arrangements or services.
The update service is optional and people can still attend Anzac Day commemorations if they have not registered.
For more information on Anzac Day commemorations in France, or to register for updates, visit the France Anzac Day 2014 webpage.
Easier, faster travel claims now online with DVA MyAccount
MyAccount, DVA’s online service portal, now offers clients more choice in how they claim reimbursement of travel expenses - and the good news is that claiming travel expenses on MyAccount can be faster!
Online travel claims can now exceed a 100km round trip and the online service has been extended to eligible clients under the MRCA and SRCA Acts. It is important to remember that while DVA does not require receipts to be lodged with claims, receipts will need to be retained for at least four months in case we have need to sight them.
To start claiming your travel expenses online, activate your MyAccount by phoning 1800 173 858 during business hours. For more information go to www.MyAccount.dva.gov.au.
2013 has been a big year for DVA, with our first venture into the smartphone app world.
This week the new and improved version of ON TRACK with The Right Mix was launched by the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson. The app helps users track their drinking habits and the impact on their wellbeing and fitness. New functions have recently been made available, allowing users to graph data and send it to their clinician if they wish.
Our first app, PTSD Coach Australia, was launched in February to help veterans manage their Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in partnership with their health professional.
As we approach the holiday season, now is a good time to visit the App Store or Google Play and download the apps.
Take care of your brain with MHPE
The November issue of Men’s Health Peer Education (MHPE) magazine, focusing on brain health, is now available for download. Key articles include: Your Brain Matters: A guide to healthy hearts and minds, The brain that changes itself, Make yourself StrokeSafe, Memory Changes, Acquired Brain Injury and more.
The magazine, part of the MHPE program, aims to raise awareness of men’s health issues while encouraging current and former members of the Australian Defence Force to share responsibility in managing their health and wellbeing. Download a copy of the magazine from the MHPE web page.
Need a little help this Christmas?
For many of us, Christmas is a time of family, friends and celebration, but we must also remember that for some, Christmas can be a lonely, isolating time.
So these holidays, why not take the time to call or visit someone who you think may be spending the festive season alone. Your kindness may be just enough to give them some valuable Christmas cheer.
Are you going to be alone over Christmas? Why not reach out to your family, friends or your local veteran community. Many ex-service organisations and community groups hold events over the Christmas period that you could be a part of.
If you need support or help, remember that the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) has a range of services you can access right now. VVCS can be contacted 24 hours a day across Australia on 1800 011 046 or visit DVA’s
DVA services during Christmas–New Year
DVA offices will be closed from close of business Tuesday, 24 December 2013 and will re-open on Thursday, 2 January 2014.
It is important to recognise that while the offices may be closed, many of the key DVA services critical to our clients will still be available. More information is available on the DVA website.
Media releases are available through the DVA Media Centre.
A free and confidential counselling service for Australian veterans, peacekeepers and their families. For more information on VVCS services and eligibility, please visit the VVCS website or phone 1800 011 046.
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