9RAR Christmas Edition Newsletter 2018

View the official National newsletter of the 9 RAR Association (VIC)  by clicking here.

CONTACT Newsletter 82

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Productivity Commission – Draft Report Into Compensation and Rehabilitation for Veterans

MINISTER for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel Darren Chester today welcomed the Productivity Commission draft report of its inquiry into compensation and rehabilitation for veterans.

“The report reinforces a commitment to putting the well-being of veterans and their families first, it outlines the importance of a whole-of-life focus and it acknowledges the key role of families,” Mr Chester said.

“These are all central components of the Government’s efforts to provide the high-quality support and assistance our veterans and their families want and deserve.

“I welcome the draft report and as a Government we will carefully consider the recommendations put forward and respond once the final report has been completed.”

“A number of significant recommendations have been proposed­ — none of these have been accepted or rejected at this stage.

“This report will also help to start a conversation amongst the veteran community on the future of the military compensation and rehabilitation system in Australia, and I look forward to hearing those views. I will be conducting a series of roundtables to receive direct feedback early in 2019.

“The Department of Veterans’ Affairs is already changing for the better – under our Government.” 

The Productivity Commission operates independently, and its findings and recommendations are based on its own analyses and judgments.

The coming months will give the Government and the Commission the opportunity to hear the views from the veteran community and other stakeholders before the Commission finalises its report in June 2019.

“Our Government is committed to putting veterans and their families first and we will continue to work with the Productivity Commission and the wider veteran community over the coming months to address key issues,” Mr Chester said.

“I acknowledge the support that the Productivity Commission demonstrated in the draft report for the Department of Veterans’ Affairs’ transformation, under the Veteran Centric Reform program.

“This transformation has seen a number of new programs and initiatives established,including the very successful My Service platform, the digitisation of records project and general improvements with our processing systems. I am confident that we are on the right path with our transformation journey.”

Individuals wishing to view the report, or put forward their views, can do so at www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/current/veterans#draft

December 2108 Victoria Xmas Newsletter

View the official National newsletter of the Vietnam Veterans Museum by clicking here.

SUMMER EDITION OF SIT REP

View the official National newsletter of the Vietnam Veterans Museum by clicking here.

Is History Repeating Itself?

Who was asleep at the wheel as our nation reached out for tomorrow?

Who misplaced our compass bearings of faith, hope and many dreams?

Who masked our vision and doused our spirit for new generations to follow?

Who distorted a history of courage, endurance, sweat and unity to be seen? 

Who hindered our trek, fueled with freedom and no chains or lash to be seen? 

In our space age, we have lost direction and move at reckless speed 

So much division in our ranks, and for leadership, a desperate need 

We sip the good wines of life and ignore dark cloud heading our way

We’re already in heavy seas and true course of our journey is now astray

Fools obeying faceless leaders are now on the scene   

Bullies and agitators, just like followers of Hitler, Mao and Stalin had been 

These brown and red shirts are intent to change our ways 

For us to obey and learn a revised history will be their first order of the day

Political correctness has strangled common sense without a murmur 

Growing apathy numbs tongue and courage, and our values slip further

At sacred ballot booths, intimidation is created by local Bully Bands 

Has not blood been spilt to protect voting without fear in our land?

There’s talk of immunity from criminal charges for minors until mid-teens

While the Greens want voting age to be dropped to sixteen 

Drugs such as Ice in are clearly destroying our precious society

Yet our law makers are asleep, and drug brewers boldly run free 

What odds the ghosts of our pioneers would scratch their heads and ask why? 

Those who stood the storms of war would surely let loose with angry cry

 Politicians! Please note, lessons from apathy are readily seen in history books 

All you have you to do is to turn dusty cobwebbed pages and look

No more hypocrisy, contradictions and “perhaps” or “maybe”

Stop stumbling in darkness, and light a very bright beacon for all to see

Cease appeasing mindless thugs and do what must be done

Lead the way; give us back our way of life, or pack your swag and run

We need a brave Captain at the wheel as we reach out for tomorrow

To follow our compass bearings of faith, hope and so many dreams  

We still seek new horizons and vision for new generations to follow

On a journey fueled by blood, sweat and tears and no chains or lash to be seen

Heads up, always together; we know where we’re going and where we’ve been

George Mansford © July 2018

DVA Media Release – Investment Pays on Claims Processing Times

The 2018 Client Satisfaction Survey of more than 3000 randomly selected DVA clients, including veterans, war widows/ers, carers and dependants, found an overall satisfaction rating of 81 per cent for DVA services.

• Overall satisfaction of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) services remains above 80 per cent and satisfaction among clients aged 45-and-under is improving.
• Improvements at DVA mean around 85 per cent of rehabilitation and compensation claims are processed in one system and in reduced timeframes.
• The goal to improve the quality of service to veterans and their families by reducing claim processing times is being achieved.
download 16Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester said the survey results illustrate DVA’s Transformation program continues to show positive results for veterans and their families, but that there is still much more to do.
“Satisfaction for DVA clients aged 45 years-and-under is up from 49 per cent in 2016 to 56 per cent in 2018, and dissatisfaction of this group has more than halved from 31 per cent to 15 per cent for the same period,” Mr Chester said
“It also showed for clients aged 45–64 years, satisfaction has improved from 69 per cent to 72 per cent from 2016 to 2018.
“Change takes time and there may be small disruptions to services for clients, however, tracking the ongoing satisfaction of DVA’s clients through the survey is one important way to gauge the outcomes and benefits of system improvements.”
The Transformation program has an ongoing commitment and investment from Government, including more than $166 million in 2017–18 and more than $111.9 million in 2018–19.
READ THE FULL RELEASE

Bringing home and sending off Joel Clifo

This is not something we wanted to do but unfortunately in these sad times we need to call on ours and Joel’s loved ones with helping with the costs to bring him back home to the country that he spent many years defending, and giving him a send off only a true champion deserves!

This would not have been what Joel would have wanted, a very proud man who worked hard to become the self sufficient, help anyone in need, loveable person we are all missing and grieving for today.

A son, a brother, a soldier, a boxer, a coach, a mentor,  a friend and true success in his own right and we want to send him out in the best way we can. Please do not feel obligated and we appreciate any help given and any funds that are not used will be donated to mates4mates a cause close to Joel.

Joel, a veteran from 8/9 RAR has recently passed whilst overseas on holidays.  His friends are reaching out for financial support in getting his body back and funeral arrangements. The link to a GoFundMe page if you could share or if there’s anything you could do to help?

https://www.gofundme.com/bringing-home-and-sending-off-joel-clifo

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Opinion – France on the Frontline

Disturbing images from Paris this week show French riot police firing on anarchic protesters, the so-called “yellow vests” protesting against their government’s economic policies.
Such confronting scenes would not be replicated here – or could they?

Australians tend to be more civil in their political disputation but there now exists a level of political dissatisfaction which has been becoming more aggressive in its expression.
Given the ability for social media to inflame resentment, perhaps it is not too far fetched to suggest some people are already attempting to mobilise global support for the “yellow vests”.

‘Disheartening’: Veterans ‘let down’ by inquiry into anti-malarial drug trials

Veterans are disheartened by a Senate inquiry into anti-malarial drug trials they say have left them with debilitating symptoms for nearly 20 years.

Australian Defence Force personnel took quinoline drugs mefloquine and tafenoquine while deployed to Timor-Leste and Bougainville in Papua New Guinea between 1999 and 2002.

A Senate inquiry this year heard from veterans who have since suffered a range of symptoms including memory loss, vertigo, migraines, vivid nightmares, hearing and vision loss, irritable bowel syndrome, aggression and suicidal thoughts.

Most have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder but believe they actually have acquired brain injuries from toxicity and need rehabilitation.

They struggle to access the help they want from the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) because it doesn’t match their diagnoses.

The Senate committee accepted their symptoms were genuine in its report tabled this week, but made no findings on the causes of the health issues.

“We’re basically back to square one again,” Colin Brock, who was deployed to Timor-Leste in 2000 and served for 20 years, told The New Daily on Wednesday.

“It’s pretty disheartening.

“The government has looked like they’re doing something but it has actually, I believe, been a whole waste of time.”

An internal inquiry into the mefloquine trial by the ADF Inspector-General in 2016 found it was carried out ethically and in accordance with national guidelines.

The Repatriation Medical Authority found there was insufficient evidence that exposure to the drugs causes acquired brain injury, a finding supported by a September review by the Specialist Medical Review Council.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE