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Tasmania Consultative Forum - Summary 15 February 2017 meeting

Present
Name Role
Jan Hyde Deputy Commissioner TAS (Chair)
Graeme Barnett RFD Australian Peacekeeper and Peacemaker Veterans’ Association (APPVA) (via video conference)
Helen Watling JP Hobart Legacy
Rodney Hanson Naval Association of Australia (NAA) (via video conference)
Wing Commander Charles Hill Younger Veterans Forum (YVF)
GPCAPT Rex Bean (Ret’d) Royal Australian Air Force Association (RAAFA)
Ray Williams Totally and Permanently Incapacitated Association (TPI)
Jacinta Leahy Partners of Veterans Association (PVA)
Brian Harper OAM Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia (VVAA) (via video conference)
Terry Roe JP (proxy) Returned and Services League (RSL) Tasmania
LTCOL Shaun Harding CSC (proxy) Army Area Representative – Tasmania (AAR-T)
Alan Robertson OAM Advocacy, Training and Development Program (ATDP)
David Waddle (observer) Advocacy, Training and Development Program (ATDP)
Di Darcey (proxy) Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPAC)
Stephen Knox Mates4Mates (M4M)
Jessica O’Neal Scribe, DVA
Apologies
Name Role
Terry Byrne OAM Launceston Legacy
Rosemary Charlston War Widows Guild (WWG)
Brigadier John Withers Senior Australian Defence Force Officer (SADFO)
Peter Hind Defence Reserves Support (DRS)
Alex Schouten Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPAC)
Matthew McGuinness Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS)
Robert Dick RSL Tasmania

Business Arising

  • Members/proxies who attended the National Consultative Forum (NCF) and did not originally receive the NCF survey were resent the survey with completion date 31 October.
  • Access to DVA client files to Ex-Service Organisation (ESO) representatives post digitisation.
  • Attendance at the Veterans Employment Initiative Form.
  • The APPVA census questions proposal was raised at the Ex-Service Organisation Round Table (ESORT) forum on 10 November.

Agenda Items

  • Business area updates
  • ATDP update
  • ESO updates

Business Area Updates

The following areas of business were discussed:

  • The Prime Ministerial Advisory Council on Veterans’ Mental Health is currently organising a face-to-face meeting at Parliament House to occur on 2 March 17.
  • The National Consultation Framework (NCF) Review Steering Committee met in December to consider the first draft of the NCF Review Report. A final draft of the report was provided to the Secretary in January, and a brief has been provided to the Minister. The next step is consideration of the draft report by the ESORT.
  • DVA is working with Defence on the Government’s 2016 Election Commitment Creating a better veterans’ transition process.
  • The Prime Minister launched the Prime Minister’s Veterans’ Employment Program on 17 November 2016.
  • The inaugural meeting of DVA’s new consultative forum, the Female Veterans and Families Forum, was held on 5–6 December 2016 in Canberra.
  • Discussed the changes to policy concerning evidentiary requirements in cases involving abuse.
  • A Military, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 single appeal pathway modelled on the appeal process under the Veterans Entitlement Act 1986 was a recommendation of the Review of Military Compensation Arrangements. The Bill was passed on 15 September 2016 and applies to all claims lodged on or after 1 January 2017.
  • Following the successful trial of Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) in the NSW/ACT registry, ADR was rolled out to Victoria and Tasmania in September 2016.
  • On 9 Nov the Government introduced a Bill to create a standalone version of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 for current and former ADF members. It has now been referred to a Senate Committee, submissions can be made up to 24 February.
  • Improving Processing Systems project was established in 2016 and by May 2018, Rehabilitation and Compensation staff will all be working in a reliable and stable system for the registration, investigation, determination and management of claims.
  • As part of the 2015–16 Budget, the Government announced that it would rebalance the assets test from 1 January 2017.
  • Discussed the results of the DVA Patient Satisfaction Survey that aims to measure and continuously improve the effectiveness of entitled persons’ hospital care and their satisfaction with that care.
  • DVA is continuing to work with the Department of Health (DoH) and Department of Human Services to implement DoH’s administered Short-Term Restorative Care initiative for the general community, including veterans. Stage 1 of the Increasing Consumer Choice in Home Care was also discussed.
  • The National Disability Insurance Scheme and its interaction with DVA rehabilitation arrangements was discussed and a FAQ sheet was provided.
  • The ESORT Hearing Services Working Group held three meetings during 2016 to discuss issues relating to the delivery of hearing services to DVA clients.
  • DVA is undertaking a review of the Rehabilitation Appliances Program schedule to ensure the currency of Assisted Listening Devices technology.
  • Under the measure announced in the 2016-17 Budget, anyone who has ever served in the permanent forces of the ADF is able to access Non Liability Health Care treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, depressive disorder, anxiety disorder, alcohol use disorder and substance use disorder. A handy one-page eligibility document was provided.
  • A panel of providers has been established for alcohol and substance abuse. In Tasmania, the Salvation Army provides these services.
    A clinical trial of a new treatment option for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder is underway in Australia.
  • The final Peer Mentor workshop of the pilot program is being held in Wagga Wagga in February.
  • A Media Release on suicide and key statistics were provided.
  • Department’s progress in ascertaining the extent of homelessness in the veteran community was discussed.
  • In December, DVA ran an outreach program in Townsville for current and former serving members of the ADF who are concerned about having been prescribed anti-malarial medications, such as mefloquine, during service.
  • The theme for this year’s 10,000 steps national challenge is The Kokoda Track. The challenge will begin on 21 October will finish on 17 November. It will include more personal challenges.
  • Update on national and international commemorative services in 2017 was provided, including a discussion about security at certain sites.
  • Update provided on the Sir John Monash Centre.
  • More than 270,000 people have visited the ANZAC Experience across multiple locations in Australia.

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

  • The transition from Training Information Program to ATDP has been lengthy and complex.
  • To date about 15 training packages have been accredited and the remainder are being done progressively to a completion date of 30 June 2017.
  • Recognition of Prior Learning and Mentoring sessions will be conducted in Hobart on 10-11 April at the RAAF Memorial Centre for southern advocates/practitioners.
  • On 12-13 April information sessions will be held in Hobart, Ulverstone and Launceston. Information flyers will shortly be issued to all ESOs.
  • DVA has engaged a professional to update the Repatriation Handbook. The publication will be placed on the DVA website.

4. ESO Updates

Hobart Legacy

  • Twenty-six additional children of former serving ADF members residing in the Philippines could become wards of Hobart Legacy.

Naval Association of Australia (NAA)

  • Membership is steady. Experiencing problems getting younger veterans to join.
  • Holding a commemorative event on 26 February to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the first hoisting of the Australian White Ensign.
  • Barney’s last meeting, a new NAA president will be elected on 1 March 2017.

Australian Peacekeeper and Peacemaker Veterans’ Association (APPVA)

  • Unveiling service for the Peacekeepers national memorial will be held in September 2017 in Canberra.

Younger Veterans Forum (YVF)

  • Attended YVF in Sydney on 17 November 2016.
  • Next YVF to be held in March.

Mates4Mates (M4M)

  • In December last year all Hobart staff attended a development session held in Queensland.
  • Mates4Mates currently has over 200 members in Tasmania.

Partners of Veterans Association (PVA)

  • Membership is steady.
  • Enquired whether there are developments in regards to DVA commissioning a research project to analyse the data gathered in the Vietnam Veterans Family Study. Information to be provided in minutes.

ADF Officer

  • Discussed senior leadership changes in Tasmania.

RSL Tasmania

  • State Congress to be held at the Launceston Country Club on 19 May 2017.
  • Discussed Armistice concert to be held in 2018.

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Association

  • The Battle of Britain commemorative event will be held at the RAAF memorial centre on 16-17 September 2017.
  • This will be Rex’s last year as President.

Department of Premier and Cabinet

  • Tasmanian Veterans Advisory Council to transition to a reference group.
  • The first Centenary of ANZAC grant round of $50,000 has been distributed.
  • Ms Leonie Hiscutt (Liberal member for Montgomery) will be the State parliamentary representative for the Frank Macdonald prize tour.
  • The Soldiers’ Memorial Avenue is due to be completed with the next six months.
  • The Belgium exhibition will be held at the Anglesea Barracks Museum. Further information will be advised in due course.

Budget – Wednesday 10 May 2017, 1130-1230 (Hobart and Launceston via video)

Next meeting - Wednesday 26 July 2017, 1400-1600 (Hobart and Launceston via video)

Average: 1 (1 vote)