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Vol 32 No.2 Winter 2016

NEW – Read Vetaffairs Winter 2016 edition in interactive Realview format here.

Table of contents

Australians reunited: 33 Australians return home

On 2 June 2016, more than 160 family members and representatives of the veteran community witnessed the repatriation of 33 Australian servicemen and dependants from cemeteries at Terendak in Malaysia and Kranji in Singapore, where they had laid for more than 50 years.

Greater access to mental health care

Eligibility for early treatment for a range of mental health conditions is being expanded and made easier to access as part of non-liability health care (NLHC).

Letters to the Editor 

  • The diggers in my lounge room

News from the Department

Simon Lewis PSM, Secretary of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA), discusses the 2016–17 Budget for Veterans’ Affairs and upcoming DVA initiatives. 


The Summer 2015 edition of Vetaffairs contained an error in the article ‘Rebalanced assets test to apply from 2017’.

News from the Minister

Minister for Veterans' Affairs, the Hon Dan Tehan MP, discusses additional resources to support mental health treatment, veterans’ employment initiatives and addressing homelessness over the next three years while maintaining existing support.

Budget focuses on veterans’ mental health

A full summary of the 2016–17 federal Budget measures for Veterans’ Affairs.

Coordinated client support

A Government announcement in the 2015 Budget, has allowed DVA to significantly increase its capability to support veterans, widows and dependants with complex and multiple needs through the expanded Coordinated Client Support (CCS) model.

Interested in veteran community statistics?

DVA has been leading by example in the regular release of statistics about its current client base and creating new reports in response to public interest.

Indexation of rates 1 July 2016

See the new pension and income support rates table as of 1 July 2016 here.

Veterans helping veterans to combat mental health issues

DVA has partnered with two consortiums, located in Sydney and Townsville, to conduct a 12-month pilot program to train veterans as mentors to help their peers who have a mental health condition.

A word from the Principal Medical Adviser

Dr Ian Gardner, Principal Medical Adviser, discusses keeping healthy during the winter months. 

Additional aids to assist with dementia

An additional range of items has been added to the Rehabilitation Appliances Program (RAP) to assist members of the veteran community who are experiencing symptoms of dementia.

Get connected during Veterans’ Health Week 2016

Social connection, the relationships people have with others, is the theme of Veterans’ Health Week (VHW) in 2016, which runs from Saturday, 22 October to Sunday, 30 October.

Improvements to interim incapacity payment arrangements

The 2016–17 Budget included a measure to improve how interim incapacity payments are calculated.
Important information about non-liability health care (NLHC) for mental health
NLHC provides access to treatment for a range of mental health conditions without needing to prove that your service caused the condition.

50th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan

The commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan and Australia’s service in the Vietnam War will be an important event in DVA’s Century of Service commemoration program for 2016.

Anzac Day 2016 around the world

This year thousands of Australians attended Anzac Day services across the globe. Many visited the sites where historic battles took place, to honour all those who have worn our nation’s uniform, and commemorate all those who have lost their lives while serving.

Helping your mate

Starting a conversation with someone you suspect is having mental health issues is one of the hardest, yet most important, things you may ever do.

Barriers to seeking mental health support

Dr Stephanie Hodson CSC, DVA Mental Health Adviser, discusses some of the common reasons that stop us from seeking help for mental health problems, and provides advice about how to get past them.

Helping veterans to find and keep civilian jobs

The Veterans’ Vocational Rehabilitation Scheme (VVRS) is a voluntary program run by DVA to help veterans with eligible service under the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 to find and keep employment.

ESO News

The theme for the 2nd edition of our new ‘ESO News’ page is ‘what is a veteran?’

  •  Aussie vets inspire at Invictus Games (Returned and Services League of Australia)
  •  Safeguarding our veterans’ families (Legacy Australia)

Widows' News

News from the War Widows’ Guild of Australia.

Sir John Monash Centre uncovering hidden relics

The Sir John Monash Centre will tell the story of Australia’s experience of the Western Front in France and Belgium during the First World War. Excavation of the Centre site has uncovered a number of relics.

Fall of Singapore commemorations

The commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Malayan Campaign and the Fall of Singapore will be one of the key events of DVA’s Century of Service commemoration program in 2017.

Nominations now open

Nominations are now open for Second World War veterans wishing to attend the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Fall of Singapore to be held on Wednesday, 15 February 2017, at the Australian Ex-Prisoners of War Memorial in Ballarat, Victoria.

Maintaining good relationships with clients

Some important news about DVA’s complaints management framework.

Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience rolls on to northern Australia

The Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience exhibition, which contains more than 200 artefacts from the Australian War Memorial, has continued in 2016 with visits to northern NSW and Queensland.

The importance of Qualifying Service

Qualifying Service is one of the criteria used to determine if you are eligible for a service pension, but it also carries with it other benefits.

Take charge of your health

Did you know that all former serving personnel can access a comprehensive health assessment from their general practitioner (GP)?

Off the shelf

  • Veterans’ Entitlements and Military Compensation Law (Third Edition), Robin Creyke and Peter Sutherland
  • Brothers in Arms: The Great War Letters of Captain Nigel Boulton, RAMC and Lieutenant Stephen Boulton, AIF, Louise Wilson

New fraud reporting form available online

DVA has launched a new simple, user friendly online form for reporting suspected fraud.

Dr Killer honoured for enduring commitment to veterans’ health

Former DVA Principle Medical Advisor Dr Graeme Killer AO was recently recognised by the Australian Medical Association (AMA), which awarded him the prestigious AMA President’s Award.

Living remotely is no obstacle to obtaining assistance from DVA

Torres Strait Islander and Korean War veteran William ‘Bully’ Saylor found that living on remote Darnley Island was no obstacle to gaining assistance from DVA.

Increased travel allowances

Travel allowances for transport, meals and accommodation under DVA’s Repatriation Transport Scheme increased from 1 July 2016 in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Long Tan Bursary recipients announced

Thirty-four students from across Australia have been selected to receive funding under the Long Tan Bursary Scheme to help meet the cost of their education.

News from the Australian War Memorial

  • AWM welcomes “Chook” home to roost.

AWM Items for sale

Publications and items for sale:

  • Remembering Vietnam Cap
  • Phantoms of Bribie, Ian Mackay
  • Wartime Magazine Issue 75, Australian War Memorial
  • You’ll be sorry, Ann Howard.

Reunion notices

Medals lost and found


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