Operation Comapss | #CheckYourMates

https://www.opcompass.org.au/

CONNECT to others

Make the time to meet with mates, especially those you haven’t seen in a while. Connecting can be a simple as a phone call, fishing, a game of golf, morning tea, or a meal together. “Let’s catch up for a coffee or beer!” “Let’s catch up for a coffee or beer!

YARN to listen

Start the conversation to allow mates to open up about how they’ve been travelling – the key is to listen and not judge. The best way to start this process is a simple “How have you been?”

MOTIVATE to act

The last step is in some respects the most important, encouraging action and offering support to any mate you think might need it. This step can include connecting your mates with professional services.

Just Ask About Your Military History. You Might be Amazed

AUSTRALIANS are being encouraged to Just Ask questions within their families and make enquiries online to see if they have a lost family connection to one of the almost two million people who have served Australia in wars, conflicts and on peacekeeping operations over the past century.

download 16Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC Darren Chester said the Anzac Centenary period encouraged many Australians to research their family history, which had uncovered for some a lost connection to the First World War.
“As time moves forward Australia continues to lose more of the original living memories of our wartime history, but uncovering the story of military ancestors is a straightforward process that can yield amazing results,” Mr Chester said.
Start by asking your oldest relatives what they know or if anyone has letters, diaries, medals or other memorabilia from a war, conflict or peacekeeping mission that could provide some clues.
“From there, it’s as simple as searching the online database of the Australian War Memorial, the National Archives of Australia, the National Library of Australia and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
“Communities should also use the valuable local resources such as local libraries, RSL branches and historical societies, which do an amazing job at documenting and preserving our history.”
In addition, if your relative was from the UK or New Zealand, you can search sites such as the UK National Archives and the NZ National Archives.

As part of the launch of the Just Ask initiative, Ancestry.com is providing 100 hours’ free access to its database from 9–12 November 2018 for people to track their family story.

“Throughout the Anzac Centenary period 2014–18, many people have found long-lost connections to the First World War, giving them a broader understanding and respect for their family history,” Mr Chester said.
I have been privileged to hear first-hand the experiences of Australians reconnecting with their family history and what it has meant to them.
“With the additional access to Ancestry, Australians will be able to readily research their family’s history and start the search for a connection to our military history.
“As a nation we need to take collective responsibility for preserving our family history and acknowledge those who have served and who are currently serving our country.
“On Remembrance Day this year, the 100th anniversary of the First World War Armistice, I encourage all Australians to buy a poppy, attend their local commemorative service, and stop for a minute’s silence.”
For more information about how to research your family connection, visit the Department of Veterans’ Affairs website.

PM’s Media Release – Recognising and Respecting our Veterans

Veterans and their families are at the centre of a fresh package of initiatives from our Government to recognise their vital role and service to Australia.
We understand the home front is just as important as the front line.
Our Government will develop an Australian Veterans’ Covenant that will be enacted in legislation so the nation can recognise the unique nature of military service and support veterans and their families.
Like the United Kingdom Armed Forces Covenant, the Australian Veterans’ Covenant is for the Australian community to recognise the service and sacrifice of the men and women who commit to defend the nation, and pledge their commitment to support veterans and their families.
As part of this Veterans’ Covenant, a new Australian Veterans’ Card and an Australian Veterans’ Lapel Pin will make it easier for all Australians to recognise and respect the unique contribution that veterans have made to Australia and for our veterans to reconnect with others who have served.
As we have seen throughout the Invictus Games and in the lead up to the Centenary of Armistice, Australians want to acknowledge and show respect for our veterans who have given so much in their service.
Businesses, government and community organisations can also play their part in recognising and respecting those who have served. The card and the pin can help these organisations identify veterans when they aren’t wearing their uniform or medals, so they can offer discounts and extra support.
The new Card and Lapel Pin will for the first time enable everyone across the nation to recognise and acknowledge the unique nature of military service and support the more than 300,000 veterans in Australia and their families.

The Prime Minister will be writing to businesses and communities to urge them to recognise the service of our veterans.
In addition to the record $11.2 billion annual support our government delivers for veterans and their families, we will invest $11.1 million in these measures to deliver a national approach to recognise veterans and will further consult defence and veterans communities in coming weeks.
We will also deliver $6.7 million to develop the SoldierOn Fussell House accommodation facility to be co-located at the Concord Repatriation Hospital in Sydney that the NSW Berejiklian Government is investing more than $340 million to rebuild. This includes the National Centre for Veterans Health – an Australian first, state of the art centre for specialised health care for veterans.
Named for Lieutenant Michael Fussell who was serving with the Special Operations Task Group in Afghanistan when he was killed in action by an Improvised Explosive Device detonation, the facility will house up to 40 veterans and their families at a time and will especially benefit those from regional and rural areas when veterans are getting treatment.
Our Government will also invest $7.6 million for the Kookaburra Kids Defence Program to boost their targeted support to children of ex-serving defence force members who are experiencing mental health issues due to their service.
The Kookaburra Kids Defence Program was first supported by our government with a $2.1 million injection in a pilot program in NSW, the ACT, Queensland and the NT for 569 children, and this extra investment will see the program expand into Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia for 1,750 children.
As a country we can always do more to recognise and back in our veterans. Our government is committed to setting Australia up to support the veterans of today and tomorrow.

THE HON SCOTT MORRISON MP, PRIME MINISTER
THE HON DARREN CHESTER MP, MINISTER FOR VETERANS’ AFFAIRS; MINISTER FOR DEFENCE PERSONNEL; MINISTER ASSISTING THE PRIME MINISTER FOR THE CENTENARY OF ANZAC
JOINT MEDIA STATEMENT
Saturday, 27 October 2018

Carer Allowance – Important Information

Are you a carer? Have you received a request from Centrelink asking for details of your income? From 20 September 2018, the Government introduced an income test for Carer Allowance, which is paid by the Department of Human Services (DHS) through Centrelink. As a result, recipients of this payment must now have an income under the income test limit (currently $250,000 for individuals and couples).

Recipients of DVA income support payments, such as the Service Pension, Veteran Payment and Age Pension, will automatically meet the new income test requirements. However, DHS has advised that it has already issued letters to Carer Allowance recipients, some of whom may be DVA income support recipients, requesting they complete the Carer Allowance adjusted taxable income details form.

If you have received a letter requesting your income details and would like more information, or an extension of time to respond, you can contact Centrelink’s Carers Line or the new Carer Gateway.

Centerlink Carers Line: 132 717
Website: Carer Gateway

DVA is working with DHS to address veteran community concerns as a matter of urgency.

Retreat for Veterans Gets DVA Funding Boost

A former soldier , Roger Dwyer, who assists returned service personnel in recovering from post traumatic stress disorder will be able to make major improvements to his Camp Gregory Veterans Retreat because of a $20,000 DVA Community Services grant.

Chester Media Release – Accessible mental health support for veterans

THE Government today acknowledged the release of two reports from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) — the 2018 update on the Causes of death among serving and ex-serving Australian Defence Force personnel: 2002–2015, and the National suicide monitoring of serving and ex-serving Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel.
download 16Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester said the latest findings show those who choose to serve in the ADF are, on average, healthier than the general community. However, the findings also highlight the need to support the mental health of veterans, particularly those under 30.
“Our Government is putting veterans and their families first,” Mr Chester said.
“We are committed to supporting the physical and mental health of veterans and these reports provide a valuable contribution to our understanding of veterans’ health.
“We have taken significant steps in recent years to increase mental health support to our veterans, and our priority now is to enhance support to veterans during their transition period.
“Our Government provides more than $11.2 billion each year to deliver services and programs to support 290,000 veterans and their families, with $200 million spent on mental health alone.”

Eligible transitioning ADF members now automatically receive a DVA Health Card – Specific Conditions (White Card), which can be used to access treatment for any mental health condition, regardless of whether or not it is related to their service.
“This builds on the 2018–19 Budget measure, which expanded mental health treatment to eligible current and former Reservists without the need to link this condition to their service,” Mr Chester said.
“ADF personnel who receive a White Card for mental health treatment will not be required to make a claim with DVA to get treatment for mental health conditions—they can simply use their card to access treatment.”

women veterans anzac day 255661 1524533230888 main.640x0cADF veteran, Kellie Dadds who has been deployed eight times says the support will be valuable.
“This initiative will be welcomed by veterans who are transitioning from the ADF as it is another step easing the transition process. Knowing this support is available when required is pleasing and will ensure that veterans get treatment early should they need it,” Ms Dadds said.

Current and former ADF members transitioning to civilian life also have access to a comprehensive one-off health assessment with their general practitioner (GP).
“From 1 July 2019, all those leaving the ADF will be able to access an annual comprehensive health assessment by a GP for the first five years after they discharge,” Mr Chester said.
“This is a $2.1 million commitment from government and will assist in the early detection and treatment of mental and physical health concerns during transition to civilian life, addressing a high risk period for the emergence of mental health conditions and suicide.”

Mental health treatment provided through a White Card can include: consultations with a GP; psychiatrist; psychologist; mental health social worker or mental health occupational therapist; specialist PTSD programs; subsidised pharmaceuticals required to treat a condition, and hospital treatment. Health assessments can be accessed with a Medicare card.

Former ADF members who have already transitioned to civilian life can still access DVA funded treatment for any mental health condition through the use of a White Card by emailing the Department at [email protected]or calling 1800 555 254.
Eligible transitioning ADF members will receive their White Cards in the mail.

21 September 2018

Poem – Joanna Collett – Where’s the Aussie Aid?

Dear Mrs Collett

Goodonya lovely lady to write of problems in OZ which are rife

Thanks to Canberra Suits, our once lucky country is in big strife

Long ago with blood, sweat and tears, we became a free nation

Until a space age virus whacked Pollys with blindness and retardation

Hang in there lovely lady, let your voice be loud and never mute

I support your views with this letter to the Boss of Canberra suits

Dear Prime Minister,

Political correctness is gathering speed to change what used to be

While OZ burns, Parliament fiddles with debates on He or She 

Gladiators paint finger nails pink and chastened if foe are made dead 

Black is no longer black, and if you disagree, be careful what is said

Racist, bigot or homophobic is now used to counter opposing views  

Ape, dunce, midget, sheila and basxxtard are terrible words and taboo **

On TV, you quoted from Dot’s poem, of “Drought and flooding rain”

It’s been heard for over a hundred years by thirsty mobs in pain

Yet still with each flood, precious gold escapes freely to the sea

Sir, go abroad where lakes and dams are where arid land used to be

Let’s get off our arse and create a disaster fund this very day

You could start by reducing foreign aid until we can pay our way  

There are no leaders at the wheel and OZ is on a dangerous sea

Reefs of poverty, discontent, and disunity are near and soon to be

It’s time to change direction and once more be united as one

Time for true blue leaders to take us from darkness and find the sun

To rationalise immigration, debt, energy, kill PC and much more

Rescue our beloved OZ, stolen by a noisy few, or go find the* #*door

George Mansford  – August 18

***The reason I distort basxxxsrd is because a robot rejects all of the message to many recipients. 

 

Mrs Collett’s letter poem to the Prime Minister says:

G’day Mr Turnbull, I trust that you are fine,

Sorry to be bothering you, but there’s something on my mind

I listened to a bloke last week; he had a bit to say

You lot may have heard of him? He delivers all that hay?

 

He spoke of countless hours and the distances they drive

Feeding starving stock, to keep bush hopes alive

They do not get assistance from your tax funded hat

They do it on their own, all off their own bat

 

I’m not politically minded and I don’t have any clout

And I know you’ve done a tour, to learn about the drought

But there’s just some burning questions, that have left us feeling beat

Why did we fund a foreign land, to learn to cut up meat?

 

And what about those soccer boys, who went and got all lost

You pulled out all the bloody stops, plain just showing off

You’ve bigger problems here at home, there’s drought up to our necks

So what does your mob go and do?  Give them big fat cheques!

 

Don’t they have a government to deal with all this stuff?

Why should it be up to us, what’s with all your fuss?

Should we not be reigning in and look after our own

Have you never heard the phrase “charity starts at home”?

 

I realise there’s many things, that need an allocation

And I also can appreciate, complex trade relations

I’m not sure if you realise, but if our stock all die,

There won’t be any trade you see, your deals will all run dry

 

As a rule we’re not a whinging lot, our requests are but a few

Most of us who work the land, are tested, tried and true

We respect that we are guardians, and sustain it for the kids

But I often have to wonder, what future will it bring?

 

I guess all that I’m wondering, is “where’s the Aussie aid”?

Wrapped up in a swag of tape, only then to be repaid ! 

There’s Aussie blokes and chicks out there, putting you to shame

Helping fellow Australians, in their time of pain

 

I’m just a simple farmer, grazier, wife and mum

And even though we’re feeding stock, we’re better off than some

I’ve never had to shoot a cow, who could no longer stand

But many have before me, and I pray, I’m not dealt that hand

 

So will you take another look; admit that we’re in strife ?

And do more than bloody empathise, before another farmer takes their life ?

I’d like to think you’ll do what’s right and put Australia first

And help your own damn country, before this drought gets any worse

Joanna Collett
Wee Waa NSW

War veterans find new meaning in civilian life by responding to disasters

When soldier Geoff Evans was serving in Afghanistan in 2010, a roadside bomb exploded underneath him. His spine was crushed and he had a brain injury so severe, he couldn’t write his own name.

While in recovery, the former Australian Army Lieutenant met a homeless veteran. The encounter led to his decision to start a charity to support veterans who were living rough.

But he didn’t stop there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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CSC Campaign: Veteran Protest Rally

As part of our campaign to seek inclusion of the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation (CSC) in the Royal Commission into the Banking, Superannuation and Finance Services Industry, a Dignified Veteran Protest Rally will be staged when the Royal Commission convenes in Brisbane on 28 June.

Our aim is to draw media and public attention to our cause and have the Veteran Voice be heard at the Royal Commission.

We will also use the opportunity to draw attention to past Government practice of making retrospective changes to the rules of law that affect veteran benefits.

You’re invited to  join us and show your support to the younger Veterans in this “Dignified Protest”. If you are in the Brisbane area, come along for 15 minutes or more, and have a chat to the younger Veterans who are affected by unfair CSC policies. They will value your support. BYO coffee.

Get a photo of yourself holding a placard (they will be provided) – Bragging rights to your kids and grandkids of you participating in a “Demo”, then go have a coffee with mates in the Roma Street Gardens.

When: Thursday 28th June. From 0945 to 1130.

Where: Outside Brisbane Magistrates Court, 363 George Street, Brisbane. (People and media will be arriving for the Royal Commission Hearings starting at 1000hrs.)

Dress. Smart Casual or better, with Medals – as you would wear on Anzac Day. Service dogs welcome.

We need your support so spread the word on social media and bring your mates

Queensland Government – Smart Savings Concessions

Find and apply for concessions and rebates that can help ease cost of living pressures for Queenslanders.

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