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Tasmania Consultative Forum - Summary 26 October 2016 meeting

Present
Name Role
Jan Hyde Deputy Commissioner TAS (Chair)
Brigadier John Withers Senior Australian Defence Force Officer
David Webb (proxy) Returned and Services League (RSL) Tasmania
Rodney Hanson Naval Association of Australia (via video conference)
Graeme Barnett Australian Peacekeeper and Peacemaker Veterans’ Association (via video conference)
Ray Williams Totally and Permanently Incapacitated Association
Alan Robertson Advocacy, Training and Development Program
Matthew McGuinness Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service
Stephen Knox Mates4Mates
Helen Watling Hobart Legacy
Kevin Evorall (proxy) Launceston Legacy (via video conference)
Jacinta Leahy Partners of Veterans Association
Alex Schouten Department of Premier and Cabinet
Wing Commander Charles Hill Younger Veterans Forum
Anne James Executive Officer, DVA
Jessica O’Neal Scribe, DVA
Apologies
Name Role
Rosemary Charlston War Widows Guild
Rex Bean Royal Australian Air Force Association
Robert Dick RSL Tasmania
Terry Roe Tasmanian Veterans Advisory Council
Brian Harper OAM Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia
Terry Byrne OAM Launceston Legacy
Peter Hind Defence Reserves Support

Business arising

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution training for advocates was held in Launceston on 30 Sep 16 and Hobart on 14 Oct 16.
  • It’s Why We’re Here two day course being held for DVA staff on 8-9 Nov 16. Two former serving members and a spouse will be in attendance.
  • Veterans Health Week family fun day is being held on 30 Oct 16.

Agenda Items

Business Area Updates

  • DVA senior staffing changes
  • 10,000 steps program, Virtual Walk of Battlefields of Western Front, was highly successful. A survey will be sent to participants this week via survey monkey.
  • Deputy Commissioner Tasmania will be taking over the management of the Veterans’ Children Education Scheme (VCES) teams in Queensland and South Australia.
  • VEA claims statistics provided. Statistics on MRCA/SRCA initial liability claims are not available by state of origin.
  • Output numbers provided for complaints, compliments and feedback received for Tasmania and Australia.
  • Review of the National Consultation Framework (NCF) has commenced and due to be completed by December 2016. Surveys opened on 27 Sep 16 and closed on 21 Oct 16. A further opportunity was provided for those members who did not receive the original survey.
  • Ex-Service Organisation Round Table (ESORT) National Leadership Strategy Meeting is being held in Melbourne on 31 Oct 16.
  • The Review of suicide and self-harm prevention services available to veterans and Australian Defence Force members was announced on 11 Aug 16.
  • At the time of the meeting, 210 submissions had been received into the Senate Inquiry into suicide by veterans and ex-service personnel announced on 1 Sep 16.
  • DVA is transitioning towards digital-based processes and away from paper-based practices. From late Nov 16 DVA will commence scanning incoming mail and will cease creating new paper-based client records. There was a question about how Advocates will be able to access client files online. This question was referred to National Information Access Processing Team for a response.
  • Discussed the progress of the joint digitisation project, Project Albany, between DVA and National Archives of Australia.
  • DVA is currently completing a two-step process in order to secure funding from Government for the next 5-6 years to implement DVA’s major transformation agenda.
  • Veteran Centric Reform has introduced the Early Engagement Model to improve service delivery and claims processing for current ADF members.
  • The Repatriation Commission and the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission have approved an additional five conditions to be added to the existing list of conditions where streamlined procedures can be applied.
  • DVA received $23.9 million in the 16-17 budget to implement a two year Improving Processing Systems program.
  • Discussed the Prime Ministers election commitment for Veteran Employment forum that will be held in mid-Nov 16. A question regarding any potential Tasmanian employers being invited to attend the forum was referred to the forum organisers.
  • More than 200,000 people have visited the Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience across multiple locations in Australia.
  • Client service survey letters have been sent this week to 12,000 randomly selected clients. 3000 veterans will be interviewed by telephone.

Agenda Item – Census

  • Australian Peacekeeper and Peacemaker Veterans Association (APPVA) has requested support from DVA and ESO’s in requesting two questions relating to military service to be added to the 2022 census. Meeting agreed and this was referred to ESORT.

Agenda Item – Advocacy, Training and Development Program (ATDP) Update

  • Expressions of Interest were advertised for the Regional Manager and Administrative Support Officer positions.
  • In Aug and Sep 16 participants, including two Tasmanians, attended mentoring and essentials training in Sydney.
  • Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) was rolled out this year.
  • ATDP Canberra staff will be visiting Tasmania in late November to speak to ESOs.

ESO Updates

Senior Australian Defence Force Officer

  • Discussed changes to security structure.

Department of Premier and Cabinet representative

  • Tasmanian Veterans Advisory Council is ceasing this year and will be replaced by a reference group.

Mates4Mates

  • Feedback received from recent survey of services provided through Mates4Mates. Working on improvements from feedback received.

Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service

  • Six month trial has commenced for online video counselling.

Totally and Permanently Incapacitated Association

  • Hobby exhibition for Veterans Health Week was held on 25-26 Oct 16.

Younger Veterans Forum/ Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Association

  • The next Younger Veterans Forum meeting in being held in Nov.
  • At the previous meeting, submissions were put in for clarification on selected DVA factsheets. These factsheets are currently being reviewed.

ATDP Representative

  • ATDP roadshow, dates to be advised, was previously going to be conducted via video conference but as a result of discussions between Alan Robertson and ATDP staff in Canberra this was changed to face to face.

Returned and Services League (RSL) Tasmania

  • RSL branches and ESO are working collaboratively together to provide services to the ex-service community.

Partners of Veterans Association (PVA)

  • Maintaining membership levels.
  • Field of Remembrance work has been transitioned from the War Widows Guild to PVA.
  • Next of Kin workshop in conjunction with VVCS was held in Devonport on 25 Oct 16.

Hobart Legacy

  • Hobart Legacy in partnership with RSL has awarded a scholarship to a Legatee child to study medicine.
  • Attended the Legacy Australia Incorporated AGM.
  • Concert being held at City Hall on 12 Nov 16. $5 donations for entry.

APPVA

  • Recently attended AGM.
  • Questioned BEST funding to the Tasmania Ex-Service Support Association (TESSA).

Next meeting

Wednesday 15 Feb 16, 14:00 (Hobart and via Video Conference – Launceston)

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