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Rehab@DVA — Vol. 4 No. 1 — March 2018

Hon Darren Chester MPChanges to the Ministry

The Prime Minister has announced that the Hon Darren Chester MP, Member for Gippsland, has become the new Minister for Veterans' Affairs, Minister for Defence Personnel and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC. He will also take on the role of Deputy Leader of the House of Representatives.

The Minister said that he is honoured to be appointed to the portfolio and continue the work of his predecessors in improving the support and care for veterans and their families.

The Department welcomes the Minister and his staff, and we look forward to working with them.

Sharing SuccessBrian Kajewski

Brian Kajewski — "Winning my battle"

Brian shares his courageous story of transition to civilian life after spending several months in hospital with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Brian spent a lengthy period of time in the Reserves and full-time service which involved deployments to East Timor and Banda Aceh. To help Brian with his PTSD, his rehabilitation provider assisted him find a new support outlet with Martial Arts. Martial Arts played a significant role in Brian's recovery, which has provided him the confidence to start instructing Military Cadets. View Brian's full story



Mark ToogoodMark Toogood — "Post-Traumatic Growth"

Mark tells us the difficulties he faced when medically discharging from the ADF after serving in both East Timor and Iraq. To manage PTSD, Mark shares the importance of broadening his support network to new and different people. This led Mark to participating in a knife-making course which gave him an opportunity to work with his hands and be creative.

Mark is now employed at Tharwa Valley Forge which provides knife-making courses for the veteran community. View Mark's full story


DVA trainDVA e-learning

DVA e-learning courses are available on DVAtrain and will provide you with the information required to work with our diverse client group.

Training modules provide you with information on military culture, recognising risk behaviours as well as provide you with constructive ways to respond to difficult or challenging situations.


suicide awarenessDealing with at-risk clients

As a rehabilitation provider you would understand there is always potential for any individual to demonstrate self-harm, threatening or aggressive behaviour without warning.

Our client population is no different. Therefore, it is important for all staff to be aware of what to do in the case of an emergency.

A client is considered 'at risk' if they:

  • threaten self-harm
  • display aggression
  • threaten or commit physical assault.


Dial 000 in an emergencyIn an emergency

If you or your staff have contact with a DVA client whom you consider to be 'at risk':

  1. Call the Police using Triple Zero (000) from a safe location
  2. Follow up — debrief with your immediate manager and other staff involved (family may also require support)
  3. Once the immediate situation has been settled talk to the client's treating health specialists and outline immediate strategies to provide support
  4. Plan, document and deliver, based on advice provided by the treating health specialist.
  5. Report the event to relevant parties using your workplace protocols.


MRCA Families assistance package

In October 2017, the Minister for Veterans' Affairs announced a range of initiatives, driven by the Senate Committee report, The Constant Battle: Suicide by Veterans. One of the initiatives aims to positively influence veterans' families to maintain their connections to their family, community and employment. More information will be available closer to the implementation date of 1 May 2018.


If you have a topic that you would like to hear more about, please let us know by emailing

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