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ESO Round Table - summary of meeting 8 May 2012

The Ex-Service Organisation (ESO) Round Table met for the eighteenth time in Canberra on 8 May 2012.  The Chair welcomed LTCOL David Catterall who was recently appointed National President of the TPI Association replacing Mr Greg Blyth and Mr Terry Nolan as the new Chairman of the ASASA replacing LTCOL David Lewis. 

There were several important agenda items that were carried over from the previous meeting held on 22 March 2012.  Members were provided with a closed session briefing on DVA Budget initiatives and measures announced as part of the 2012-13 Budget.

Vietnam Veterans Education Centre and ‘The Wall’

The Vietnam Veterans Education Centre (VVEC) is being developed as part of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington DC as a reminder of the courage, sacrifice and devotion of those who fell, those who returned, and those who waited.

Members were advised that the OAWG is currently sourcing contact details for the next of kin of the 521 war dead and will be requesting their permission to display the name and image of the family member in the VVEC.  Where necessary, OAWG will seek the assistance of the ESOs to establish contact with the next of kin. This will take place during the second half of 2012.

Military and Public Service Superannuation

Mr Hyams and Mr Carrigy-Ryan from the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation advised members that the Board does not have a remit to advise the Government on indexation parameters. 

Mr Hyams provided an explanation on the background of the merger between the Military Superannuation and Benefits Fund with the ARIA civilian fund which has now been completed.  He also briefed members on the governance arrangements, membership appointments and enhancements made possible through the merger.  These enhancements included access to better and larger investments, top quality staff, economies of scale, and better fees negotiated with investment managers. 

Telemonitoring Trial

Ms Daniel outlined the telemonitoring trial which will build on the Coordinated Veterans’ Care Initiative.  The trial is being conducted at six sites (Armidale and Coffs Harbour in NSW; Mandurah and Geraldton in WA; Kingston in TAS; and Toowoomba in QLD).   The project involves the placement of telemonitoring equipment into veterans’ homes which will allow the veteran’s GP and practice nurse to monitor their condition from the time of surgery.

The program is aimed at veterans whose needs are complex and will assist veterans to stay in their homes longer.  It will not preclude the need for a face-to-face consultation but will reduce the need for extended travel. 

Understanding Military Culture Overview

Mr Pearce outlined DVA’s presentation on “Understanding Military Culture and Mental Health” package.  He advised members that the program has been presented to more than 700 DVA staff.  Members endorsed the training and congratulated the Department on its endeavour to educate staff on these matters.

Details about membership, terms of reference and summaries of previous meetings of the ESO Round Table are available on the Department’s consultation website.

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