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YVF - Summary 17 November 2016 meeting

The forum convened in Sydney on Thursday 17 November 2016.

Discussions covered a range of topics.

Advocacy Training Development Program

The Forum received an update on the Advocacy Training Development Program.

The Forum was advised the program will assist veterans to gain entitlements with the assistance of accredited advocates and will assist in ensuring the consistency of advocacy services across the veteran community. The program officially started on 1 July 2016.

Information about the ATDP program is available on the DVA website, located in the ‘Consultation and Grants’ section, and alternatively members can sign up for the online newsletter.

Transition and Wellbeing Research Programme

The Forum received an update on the Transition and Wellbeing Research Programme. Data analysis is currently underway with an anticipated delivery of the first report, Mental Health Prevalence, in mid-2017. The remaining seven reports are anticipated progressively from mid-2017 to mid-2018.

Mental and Social Health Update

The Forum was updated on ongoing mental and social health initiatives. These include research into homelessness among former members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF); research into suicide in the ADF and ex-serving community; responses to the Senate Inquiry into the mental health of ADF personnel, and the Senate Inquiry into suicide by veterans and ex-serving personnel; and assisting with the National Mental Health Commission’s suicide prevention review.

Principal Medical Adviser Update

The Forum was updated on current medical projects from Dr Ian Gardner, Principal Medical Adviser. Current projects include the establishment of a dedicated team to process claims in which mefloquine or tafenoquine use has been declared, analysis by Defence of the ADF Suicide Database, updated work with the F-111 research and health studies and two detailed Literature Reviews to determine the correlation between past exposure to fuels and solvents and the diagnosis of cancer.

National Consultation Framework (NCF) Review

The Forum was advised the current NCF Review is in progress. The survey for the NCF was sent to participants in September and has now closed.

Member Submissions

The Forum heard six member submissions from the Australian Peacekeeper and Peacemaker Veterans’ Association, Australian Special Air Service Association and The Warrior's Return.

The six member submissions addressed:

  • DVA appeals process and legal correspondence
  • Specialist Medical Reviews for veterans receiving incapacity payments
  • Liability cover of former ADF employees in future employment
  • Claims and overpayments
  • Home care and attendant care
  • Proposed plans for new changes to the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRCA).

Guest Presentations

The Forum heard two guest presentations:

  • Mr Phillip Thompson from Mental Illness Fellowship - North Queensland spoke to the Forum about the Invictus Games and adaptive sport. Adaptive sport is widely known and recognised to empower the healing of our wounded, injured and ill through a holistic approach.
  • Dr Madeline Romaniuk from the Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation presented an update on the latest findings from the Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation research currently being undertaken.

The next forum will meet on Wednesday 15 March 2017.

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