RARA QLD – eNews 2/2019 April

RARA Queensland’s eNews replaces the previously printed Newsletter “The Spirit”. This is the second quarterly edition.

Enjoy the Read

Media Statement – ADSO Policy Objectives 2019-2022

The Alliance of Defence Service Organisation (ADSO) welcomes the opportunity to announce its core Policy Objectives as a timely reminder to those seeking election to the 46th Parliament of Australia that the veterans’ community, speaking largely with a single voice, continues to seek redress of a series of key grievances, many of which have been outstanding for far too long.

Some issues have been the subjects of unfulfilled promises, not the least of which includes the inability to provide Australia’s most disabled Veterans and their families with an adequate standard of living.

kel

In commenting on the Objectives and encouraging all sides of politics to find legislative ways to redress each issue in turn, ADSO’s National Spokesman, Kel Ryan, wished to acknowledge that the Government, with the Opposition’s support, had taken action on a long-held key Objective, namely to legislate an Australian Military (Veterans) Covenant that gives formal recognition to the Unique Nature of Military Service. The Covenant has passed in the House of Representatives. Senators in the next parliament will have the honour of debating the important Bill and giving effect to it in law.

ADSO also wishes to support the outstanding initiatives that established ‘The Oasis Townsville’, a long-held aspiration of the Townsville ESO Community to have a single hub to which all veterans and their families could go, to be then referred out to the services available from the other ESOs in the area. The ‘Oasis’ is a model concept that could in whole, or in part, be replicated in other parts of Australia. ADSO wishes to congratulate all involved.
The Oasis is reflective of the collaboration that is possible between Ex-Service Organisations to help each other to achieve outcomes for a common cause; to have a shared focus on supporting serving and ex-serving members of the Australian Defence Force; to make the lives of these men, women and their families better, healthier, happier and more rewarding.
16th April 2019

ADSO comprises:
The Defence Force Welfare Association (DFWA), Naval Association of Australia (NAA), RAAF Association (RAAFA), Royal Australian Regiment Corporation (RARC), Australian Special Air Service Association (ASASA), the Australian Federation of Totally and Permanently Incapacitated Ex-Service Men and Women (TPI Fed), the Fleet Air Arm Association of Australia (FAAAA), Partners of Veterans Association of Australia (PVA), Royal Australian Armoured Corps Corporation (RAACC), the National Malaya & Borneo Veterans Association Australia (NMBVAA), Defence Reserves Association (DRA), Australian Gulf War Veterans Association, Australian Commando Association (ACA), the War Widows Guild of Australia (WWG), Military Police Association Australia (MPAA), the Australian Army Apprentices Association (AAAA), the Women Veterans Network Australia (WVNA) and the Combat Support Association (CSA).

Australian Defence Veterans’ Covenant

To prepare for the launch of the Australian Defence Veterans’ Covenant, you are now able to apply for all components of the Covenant, including the Veteran Card, lapel pin and oath, on MyService.

The Covenant serves to recognise the unique nature of military service and the contribution of Defence families. For more information about the Covenant visit the DVA website.

I do not have a Veteran Card…
Log on to your MyService Account, select ‘Apply for the Australian Defence Veterans’ Covenant’ and follow the prompts to apply for your Veteran Card, lapel pin and oath.

I recently applied for the new Veteran Card…
Log in to your MyService account, select ‘Apply for the Australian Defence Veterans’ Covenant’ and follow the prompts to apply for your lapel pin and oath.

I have an old DVA white or gold card…
Log on to your MyService Account, select ‘Apply for the Australian Defence Veterans’ Covenant’ and follow the prompts to apply for your lapel pin and oath.
You will receive the new-look Veteran Card when your current card expires.

I am a Reservist, however, I am not eligible for a Veteran Card…
Although you are not eligible for a Veteran Card, you can still receive the lapel pin and oath. To apply, log on to MyService, select ‘Apply for the Australian Defence Veterans’ Covenant’ and follow the prompts to apply for your lapel pin and oath.

Need help with myGov or using DVA’s online services? Call us!
myGov support line: 13 23 07
DVA General Enquiry Line: 1800 555 254


A Salute to the Space Age Florence Nightingales

I decided to let all of you take a rest from my cluttering scribbles and thus moved to into hospital for a short stay of five weeks, before I managed to escape via a tunnel I had dug with a stolen spoon. It was a good time to reflect on all those yesterday’s and how fortunate I was to have been born is such a lucky country as ours.

Mid the sick,  be they old and young and from all walks of life, there was always the grin, the humour  and respect for each other and often a humorous tale from yesterday. Above all was the highest regard and admiration we had for the staff, from the youngest of  the cleaners to the seniors within the medical profession.   Many of the teams were nurses, always at the front line, so to speak. They were constantly exposed to an environment of pain and suffering. Often was their soothing reassurance to someone in fear of the unknown.

Thus this short  note below was sent to their office, hopefully to be seen by all of them.

                                        THANK YOU

“It is close to my escape and it would be very remiss of me not to thank all of you for your tireless dedication and valued assistance in my rehabilitation.

There were so many wonderful qualities which all of you demonstrated in the course of your duties; they included tolerance, patience, cheerfulness, sense of purpose and many more.

The challenges you set were so appropriate, and in a short time the achievement of personal goals became addictive.

All of you deserve recognition for recovering those from illness and injuries then preparing health, mind and confidence for each and every patient’s tomorrows.

For my experience , all I can say is thank you.

My immense respect and admiration to each and every one of you.”

George Mansford – March 2019
Prisoner, Cell 6, Level 2

A SALUTE TO SPACE AGE NIGHTINGALES

“The magic lantern still burns bright”

          Nightingales so busy in towns and the outback far away
Where “I need help” is a common plea heard every day
Blood tests, sutures and injections are a few of many tasks
Always a reassuring smile when a patient asks

If you whirred back in time to a war long ago
You would find a weary angel at Balaclava, nursing to and fro
Guided by a flickering lantern in dark crowded tents for sick and dying Young and old, stricken by wounds, fever, misery, pain and heavy sighing

I know naught of Florence’s dreams for all those tomorrows
Yet history records her crusades to counter pain and sorrow
Always was the pride of her noble profession no matter when or where
She became a bible of discipline, team work, respect and care

New deeds are added to her path of never ending footprints every day
She endured with strong heart and clear sense of purpose in many ways Sleep sound, Florence;  those who follow will use your true compass well
In today’s army of mercy, your lamp burns bright for disciples with tales to tell

“Space age nurses standing tall have answered the call”

George Mansford – March 2019

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

Health News – When a thirst might be dangerous

In the heat of summer, it can take as little as 30 minutes to become dehydrated. But it’s not just the heat that can dry you out.

Air-conditioning or even just sitting in front of a fan for extended periods can do the job of dehydrating you just as quickly.

Dehydration can be subtle, but it can turn into a serious health concern. While there are many opinions on how much water you need to drink on average each day to stay properly hydrated, different hydration requirements among people will vary. However, making sure you drink at least a few glasses of water each day should help to stave off the effects of dehydration.

From minor symptoms such as having trouble concentrating, thirst and a dry mouth, to more serious concerns such as nausea, headaches, heat stroke and fever, dehydration affects people in different ways. Dehydration can become so bad that you can land in hospital.

So, how can you tell if you’re dehydrated? Here are nine signs to look out for:

  1. Increased thirst and a dry sticky mouth
  2. Tiredness, confusion and anger
  3. Dry eyes and blurred vision
  4.  Headaches, dizziness and disorientation
  5. Cramping
  6. Not sweating
  7.  Dark-coloured urine
  8. Fever
  9. Dry skin

READ MORE

Tips:
Plain water is good for you, but experts recommend a combination of water, electrolytes and sodium to stay properly hydrated.

If you’re in the sun for too long, or exercise a little too strenuously, it’s important to know that you can still overheat, no matter how much water you drink.

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.

‘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

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.