St Patrick’s Day Greetings

To all our Irish friends a Happy St Patrick’s Day

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs visits Queensland

VETERANS and their families in Queensland will have the opportunity to meet with the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester who will be hosting a series of roundtables in the electorates of Bonner, Capricornia and Petrie this week.

Mr Chester said part of the Government’s commitment to put veterans and their families first is to hear directly from the ex-service community, receive their feedback and to update them on how some of the Government’s initiatives are delivering meaningful changes.

“The Government is investing in the largest reform of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs in its 100-year history and I am confident we are making great progress in improving support and services,” Mr Chester said.

“I want to take every opportunity to meet with veterans and their families to understand what we are doing right and where we could be doing more for those in the ex-service community.

Each year, the Government provides more than $11 billion for services and programs to support 290,000 Australians.”

Monday, 11 March 2019.

Commentary.

This media release appears to be an excellent opportunity for the ex-service community to attend to have their say on matters that concern them and their family. BUT on further inquiry with the office staff of both the Bonner and Petrie MPs we found that for Bonner attendance is by invitation only and their are no vacancies and for Petrie they want current serving and their families that live in the electorate.

So this Media Release which raises expectations of an open forum fails on closer examination of its reality as a roundtable by invitation to more than the ex-service community.

Minister, previous Coalition and Labor DVA Ministers have conducted open forums, will you? And Minister when can we expect to see the release of the Coalition’s 2019 Federal Election Veterans’ Policy? Hopefully earlier than the 2016 Policy release eight (8) days before the Election

Army presented new Banner on its Birthday

Celebrations for the Australian Army’s 118th birthday commenced on 1 March with Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove and Victoria Cross recipient Corporal Dan Keighran VC presenting the Australian Army with a new Army Banner on behalf of the nation.

CAPTIONThe new Army Banner is paraded for the first time at the Australian War Memorial during the Army’s 118th birthday celebrations, Canberra. Photo by Corporal Kyle Genner.

The Banner, consecrated at the Royal Military College – Duntroon Chapel on 20 February 2019, was accepted on behalf of all ranks of the Australian Army by Regimental Sergeant Major – Army Warrant Officer Grant McFarlane.

Chief of Army Lieutenant General Rick Burr said the Army’s birthday was a day to recognise and remember all that the Army’s soldiers had achieved and endured over the past 118 years.

“We also acknowledge how these accomplishments put us in good stead to prepare for the contemporary environment – to be ready now and to become future ready,” Lieutenant General Burr said.

Army’s birthday celebrations included the presentation of the Theatre Honour Iraq which acknowledged the achievements of Australian soldiers during operations in Iraq.

“This title will be adorned on the new Army Banner and we pride ourselves on the Army values of courage, initiative, respect and teamwork,” Lieutenant General Burr said.

“Today we celebrate these values and the high ethical standards to which we hold ourselves accountable.

“Our people are our Army – they lead, inspire and make a difference.”

The retiring Army Banner, replaced because of its deteriorating condition, was presented in 2001 as a gift from the nation to commemorate the Centenary of the Australian Army.

It will be laid up at the Blamey Barracks Chapel, Army Recruit Training Centre, Kapooka, NSW.

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International Women’s Day – Recognising Women in war time

TODAY as we celebrate International Women’s Day and recognise the achievements of all women, we pay a special thanks to those who have supported and served our country abroad and on the home front.

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Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester acknowledged the women who have served and supported Australia in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations for more than a century.
“In times of uncertainty during the First World War women stepped into roles to support those fighting on the front line by fundraising and producing packs to send to them, as well as providing medical and nursing support,” Mr Chester said.
“The Second World War saw the expansion of these roles so that women were no longer confined to nursing or voluntary positions and had the opportunity to enlist in the three service arms.
“By 1944, close to 50,000 women were serving in the military and thousands more had joined the war effort in a civilian capacity through organisations such as the Australian Women’s Land Army.
“Since then the roles available to women have expanded further and women can now apply for every position in the Australian Defence Force. For those who have served Australia, past and present, thank you for your service.”
In honour of their service and sacrifice, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs has developed a radio series to highlight the enormous contribution that women have made.
“I encourage all Australians to listen out for the Women in War series on radio networks across Australia, which tells the untold stories of the vital roles played by women during wartime,” Mr Chester said.
Listen to the series on the Anzac Portal.

Friday, 8 March 2019

Opinion – Respecting National Sensitivities

The decision to move this year’s Villers-Bretonneux Anzac Day commemorations in northern France from dawn to mid morning caused outrage. PM Scott Morrison has since reversed this decision but was that the right thing to do?

READ MORE

Vale – Lt Col Barry Petersen

Dear All, 

This is to notify you that Army Regimental No. 13668, Lieutenant Colonel Arthur Barry Petersen MC MiD JP (aka Barry Petersen) passed away on February 28, 2019 at 8p.m.  after a nine-year battle with prostate which finally spread into his bones during September 2017.

He has requested a simple cremation service.   We will try to notify you when the Medical Faculty surrenders his remains, plus the date and venue of the cremation.

He requested that there be no religious service.

Kindest regards,

Ektanat Suwan

Managing Director

Lang Suan House Co Limited

Media Release – Community and Peer Program to Help Vulnerable Australian Veterans

FOLLOWING the success of a two-year Community and Peer Pilot in Townsville, Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling will now roll-out their Community and Peer Program across Australia, Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester said today.

Open Arms download 15

“The Government is putting veterans and their families first and is committed to ensuring that they have access to the mental health support they need,” Mr Chester said.

“The primary aim of the Townsville Community and Peer Pilot was to enhance the management of complex and high-risk clients in the region, particularly vulnerable individuals considered to be at risk of suicide.

“The Pilot demonstrated that ‘lived experience’ mental health peer workers within Open Arms could enhance the management of vulnerable clients.

“Some veterans are reluctant to reach out for help because they are unable to get over the stigma of seeking professional mental health treatment.

“Peers often have a good understanding of the challenges and issues they face, and can help provide a bridge between the veteran community and professional mental health support.

“Rolling out the Community and Peer Program across Australia will provide a new pathway for clients who were previously unlikely to consider accessing or being referred to Open Arms services.

Mr Patrick McGurrin, Chief Executive of Townsville Private Hospital, said “peer support can connect with vulnerable individuals on a more personal level than traditional mental health support programs. This can result in more timely and comprehensive care being provided by specialist mental health services to those in need”.

The Community and Peer program also assists individuals and families who are currently accessing Open Arms services to connect to other services and initiatives in the veteran community. The Open Arms Peers also support a regional peer network coordinating mentoring and training for other peers working with the veteran community.

The Community and Peer Program will be rolling out to all states and territories throughout 2019.

Read More about the Community and Peer Program: visit the Open Arms website.

27 February 2019

Vale – Lt Col Ken Bladen AM

We have been advised that Ken beloved husband of Stephanie and loving father of Louise, Penny (dec) and Emma; father-in- law to John and Cameron, passed away peacefully at Hollywood Hospital 22nd February. “Duty First”. 

Ken was a graduate of the OCS class of June 1954 and served with 1 RAR and 2 RAR in Malaya 1961 – 1963 and 7 RAR in SVN from April to November 1967.

Ken Bladen (Left) – winner of the Queens/Kings Medal

Funeral details to be advised.

Currently, the Guest Book for Ken BLADEN is available for viewing, but not accepting entries until Tuesday, 26 February 2019.View

Rest in Peace

Scam Alert – NBN robocall scam threatens to disconnect households from the internet

A phone scam claiming to be from the National Broadband Network (NBN) is alive in Queensland and other States.

The ACCC is warning the community that scammers are pretending to be from NBN to con victims out of their money and personal information. The latest robo call includes an automated voice that tells you that the NBN is now in your area and you have 24 hours to connect to it or be disconnected from your present service by pressing 1 to talk to a technician.

NBN Co chief security officer Darren Kane said people needed to protect their personal information by being on guard, verifying who they were talking to and never disclosing bank accounts or other personal details to an unsolicited caller.

“It is important to be aware that NBN Co will never make unsolicited calls or door knock to sell broadband services,” he said.

Mr Kane said any scams should be reported to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission through its Scamwatch website.

People can protect themselves by following some tips:

  • If you’re ever in doubt about contact you’ve had from someone saying they’re from NBN trying to sell you an internet or phone service, hang up the phone and call your retail service provider to check if the person calling is a fraud.
  • You can only connect to the NBN network by purchasing a plan through a phone and internet service provider. Go to NBN’s website to check if your home or business address is able to connect to the NBN network and see which phone and internet providers are available in your area.
  • Never give your personal, credit card or online account details over the phone unless you made the call and the phone number came from a trusted source.
  • Never give an unsolicited caller remote access to your computer.

If you think you have provided bank account or credit card details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately.

Senate Estimates Finance & Public Administration Legislation Committee Hearings – Jim Molan

Watch Sen. Jim Molan’s questions on superannuation matters to Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation‘s CEO, Peter Carrigy-Ryan here.

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