Opinion – Campbell off to Poor Start

IF General Angus Campbell had hoped for a smooth transition to his well deserved new role an ill conceived decision has put paid to that.

Campbell is widely regarded as an outstanding candidate for the role, including by predecessor General Peter Cosgrove.

Campbell is a taciturn soldier who brings combat experience with a considered intellect to his role.

His appointment canvassed hope he would end the Morrison era ideological and social engineering nonsense which has so annoyed the majority of serving and ex-army veterans.

READ MORE

DVA Minister – Kapyong Day Commemorates Landmark Battle of Korean War

KNOWN as Kapyong Day, today recognises the anniversary of a turning point in the Korean War when Australians helped prevent Communist forces from occupying the South Korean capital, Seoul, for the third time in less than a year.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester said on this day 67 years ago near the ruined village of Kapyong, United Nations forces fought a successful defensive action that prevented a Chinese breakthrough on a crucial part of the front.

“Kapyong is among the most significant battles that Australian troops fought in Korea, as they conducted a difficult defence and carried out a series of fighting withdrawals while containing the Chinese advance towards Seoul.

“United Nations forces were confronted with a major Chinese offensive in late April 1951. The Chinese attacks through the Kapyong Valley on 23 April threatened to overwhelm the defences, in that area held by Commonwealth and United States forces including the 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (3RAR).

“Fighting continued throughout the night and following day until the Australians were forced to withdraw to new positions in the rear, a difficult task for units still in contact with the enemy.  Having failed to break through the Commonwealth and United States line, the Chinese abandoned their attacks.”

As well as being remembered as a major victory for United Nations forces, the Battle of Kapyong was one of Australia’s most hard fought battles of the Korean War.

“The Battle of Kapyong was a close fought action in which 32 Australians were killed and 59 were wounded and three taken prisoner. For its part in the battle, 3RAR was awarded a United States Presidential Citation,” Mr Chester said.

“The service and sacrifice of Australians involved in the Korean War and the Battle of Kapyong must never be forgotten.

“We recognise and honour those who have defended our freedoms and values, and their memory will live on.”  

Veterans of the Korean War will be honoured at a national commemoration in Canberra on 27 July 2018 to mark the 65th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice. For more details visit www.dva.gov.au.

Chester Media Release – Expanding services for veterans and their families in partnership with Australia Post

A program to improve easy access to general information about mental health services, counselling, rehabilitation, and transition and support services for veterans and their families has been launched in Mount Gambier, South Australia and North Lakes in the Moreton Bay area of Queensland as part pilot the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) is conducting with Australia Post.

download 16Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester said the trial is part of the Turnbull Government’s ongoing commitment to put veterans and their families first.

“This pilot, in partnership with Australia Post, is exploring the opportunity for DVA to further expand its reach to veterans and their families by tapping into the extensive network of Australia Post outlets,” Mr Chester said.

“The pilot provides easy access to general information about mental health services, counselling, rehabilitation, and transition and support services to veterans and their families who may not have had prior contact with DVA.

“This expansion to a further two sites will provide more information about the way this service is accessed by veterans and their families in metropolitan and regional areas and will help us assess the benefits of the service further.”

The pilot supplements DVA’s existing face-to-face service delivery network by leveraging the large Australia-wide footprint of Australia Post, it does not replace any existing DVA program or service.

Information is available via the in-store Australia Post kiosk facilities, as well as the Australia Post concierge service, in-store posters, brochures and videos.

A feedback form is available via the in-store iMac in which DVA is seeking ongoing user feedback to continue improving the service. The pilot will be evaluated before its conclusion at the end of June 2018.

18th April 2018

Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for support and free and confidential counselling. Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 8 8241 4546). VVCS is a service founded by Vietnam veterans.

DVA Minister – Putting Veterans and their Families First – New Study to Improve Advocacy Services

A MAJOR study to improve advocacy services for veterans and their families has commenced under the leadership of the former Chair of the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce, Mr Robert Cornall AO.

download 16Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester said the study was part of the Turnbull Government’s ongoing commitment to put veterans and their families first and delivers on a significant part of the Government’s response to the concerns raised in the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Reference’s committee report: The Constant Battle: Suicide by Veterans.

“Veterans and their families deserve to have easy access to the best services available to them and this study has been established to ensure that happens,” Mr Chester said.

“This study will go a long way to helping our younger veterans and their families navigate the compensation claims and appeals processes and it will address a number of improvements to the current advocacy model which were recommended in the report.

“Mr Cornall has an excellent track record in working with the Defence and legal communities, and I’m confident he’ll bring all his experience to bear on finding new ways to ensure those who’ve served our nation get the best possible advocacy.”

Mr Cornall will talk to younger veterans, female veterans, veterans’ families, ex-service organisations, and the broader Defence community in coming months.

The latest research will be reviewed, veterans’ advocacy services in other countries will be examined, and advocacy models in other areas, such as the legal services, community, and disability sectors will be looked at.

“I hope many individuals and organisations will contribute their experiences and ideas to the study,” Mr Chester said.

Separate to this study, Mr Chester said the recent passage of new veterans’ legislation will also have a big impact on improving the health and wellbeing of those who have served their country.

For more information about the advocacy study, visit  here  or send an email to [email protected].

16 April 2018

Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for support and free and confidential counselling. Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 8 8241 4546). VVCS is a service founded by Vietnam veterans.

Media Release – DVA Minister Welcomes New Department Secretary Appointment

MINISTER for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester has welcomed today’s appointment of Ms Liz Cosson AM CSC as Department Secretary.

Liz CossonsMs Cosson replaces Simon Lewis who served in the role since 2013.
“Mr Lewis has made an outstanding contribution to reforming the department and placing the needs of the veterans at the forefront of everything we do,” Mr Chester said.
“He has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in the public service and I wish him well in his retirement.”
Mr Chester said he was looking forward to working with the new secretary to continue placing the needs of veterans and their families first.
“In my short time in the role as Minister, Ms Cosson has impressed me with her professionalism, dedication and determination to care for our veterans and their families,” Mr Chester said.
“As Chief Operating Officer she has been instrumental in the reform process currently underway and I’m confident that we can continue to deliver an improved level of service.
“The focus of our efforts over the next 12 months will be engaging with younger veterans and working to ensure the transition from military service to civilian life is made easier for all concerned.
“We have made great progress but there is still work to be done and I’m confident Ms Cosson will continue to make a huge contribution to the veteran community.”

11 April 2018

Opinion – Mental health lift a good start

Veterans’ Affairs Minister Darren Chester announced a new $31 million program, the Coordinated Veterans’ Care mental health pilot, which starts on May 1. He said the program aimed to support veterans in rural and regional communities with chronic mental health and comorbidity issues.
This should be welcome news for veterans and families for whom mental health has become a sometimes almost unbearable burden.
As always, there is a catch.

Read More

Independent Inquiry into the System of Compensation and Rehabilitation for Veterans

The Turnbull Government has today (28 March 2018) announced a Productivity Commission inquiry into the system of compensation and rehabilitation for veterans.

The Commission is the Government’s independent research and advisory body on a range of issues affecting the welfare of Australians.

This inquiry will examine whether the system of compensation and rehabilitation for veterans is fit for purpose now and into the future. It follows the Government’s response to a report by the Senate Standing Committee on Defence, Foreign Affairs and Trade on suicide by veterans and ex-service personnel.

The Commission will also review the governance arrangements, administrative processes and service delivery of the Veterans’ Affairs portfolio.

download 16Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester said the inquiry will build on the Government’s agenda of placing the needs of veterans and their families at the centre of the services provided by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

“As we mark 100 years of repatriation and continue caring for the next generation of veterans, this inquiry will help inform how we deliver services for our ex-service men and women and their families into the future,” Mr Chester said.

The Commission is due to report to Government within 15 months.

Public consultation will be undertaken as part of the inquiry and the Government encourages all interested parties to participate. Further information and the terms of reference are available on the Commission’s website.

 

 

Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for crisis support and free confidential counselling. Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 8 8241 4546). VVCS is a service founded by Vietnam veterans.

DVA Minister Media Release – Delivering Better Services for Veterans & their Families

VETERANS and their families will receive increased support services and income support payments after the Senate passed new legislation today.
The legislation follows a $31 million boost to mental health services which was announced late last year.

download 16Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester said the legislation was part of the Turnbull Government’s ongoing commitment to improve services for veterans and their families and delivers a significant part of the Government’s response to the concerns raised in the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Reference’s committee report.
“We are constantly striving to deliver the support and services needed for those who have served our nation,” Mr Chester said.
“This is a great outcome for veterans and their families who play such an essential role in a veteran’s health and wellbeing with additional services to be provided under these new measures which include increased access to childcare assistance, home care and counselling.
“We have also established a new income support payment for veterans with mental health problems who are unable to work so they have a source of income. This will reduce the stress this places on both the veteran and their family in what can be a difficult time.
“Partners of veterans may also be eligible for the Veteran Payment and veterans with dependent children may be entitled to the maximum rate of Family Tax Benefit Part A without being subject to the Family Tax Benefit means test while they receive the Veteran Payment.”

Mr Chester said from 1 May 2018 a new pilot program, the Coordinated Veteran Care mental health pilot will commence which aims to support to veterans in rural and regional areas with chronic mental health at the mild to chronic status combined with co-morbid health conditions.

“Veterans are at the heart of many communities around Australia and it is essential they have access to these services no matter where they live and this a great initiative to ensure vital mental health services are delivered,” Mr Chester said.
“Veterans who have suffered a catastrophic injury will also be supported with access to household and attendant care services based on their individual needs.”

Mr Chester said the qualifying service determination has also been simplified by automating the process which will remove the requirement for veterans to make an application for the determination.

“There are also a range of other initiatives underway which will further deliver on our commitment to support our veterans who have given so much to our country and this Government is ensuring they receive and have access to support services they need now and into the future.”

Other measures in the legislation include an entitlement to a Gold Card for Australian Defence Force members who served in Japan after the cessation of hostilities at the end of World War II and before the British Commonwealth Occupation Force commenced.

Separate to this legislation, Mr Chester said anyone who has served one day in the Australian Defence Force can have mental health treatment free for any mental health condition.

22 March 2018

Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for support and free and confidential counselling. Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 8 8241 4546). VVCS is a service founded by Vietnam veterans.

Hide comment form Hide comment form

Bold Italic Underline Stroke Quote Ordered List Unordered List Add URL Smileys

  5000 Characters left

Antispam Refresh image Case sensitive

 

ALP Media Release – More Support to Help Veterans get Jobs

The Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten and the Shadow Minister of Veterans’ Affairs Amanda Rishworth have today announced that a Shorten Labor Government will commit $121 million to a comprehensive Veterans Employment Policy to provide greater support to our defence personnel as they transition to civilian life.

 

 

 

Labor’s plan will help our veterans into good jobs by doing more to boost recognition of their significant skills and experiences, and better support veterans moving into the civilian workforce.

Best estimates cite veterans’ unemployment as sitting at 30 per cent. For those who did not medically discharge, there is an estimated 11.2 per cent unemployment rate – which is more than double the national rate. This is unacceptable.

Helping business to train veterans

A Shorten Labor Government will provide eligible business with a training grant of up to $5,000 in order to help veterans gain the skills and experience they need to move into a civilian job.

Whilst businesses are open to employing veterans, there can be specific short term skills gaps which act as a barrier to employment for an otherwise suitable veteran applicant. This grant is designed to bridge this gap.

In addition, Labor will fund an education campaign on the many benefits and translatable skills of veterans, to be developed by the Industry Advisory Committee

A new veterans’ employment service

A Shorten Labor Government will establish an employment and transition service which provides greater individualised, tailored support to transitioning veterans over a longer period of time.

Labor will establish a Defence Employment and Transition Service. This will be teamed with additional Transition Advisers, who understand both the unique skills and experience of our ADF personnel and how to best translate these skills for civilian employers.

Labor will ensure Advisers are trained and equipped to provide one-on-one support and advice to transitioning ADF personnel to give them greater opportunities, tailored assistance and effective support for longer. This expanded role will also undertake a comprehensive audit of the skills obtained by veterans during their service and ensure appropriate civilian recognition is obtained. Transition Advisers will also assess other barriers to successful transition such as secure housing and good social support.

Labor will extend access to this support for up to five years, following a period of intensive support during the first 12 months.

Expanded access to additional education and civilian training.

Labor will enable better access to additional education and civilian training for transitioning ADF members by reducing the length of service required to access the Career Training Assistance Scheme and increase funding for members, starting from $5,000 and increasing to $7,500 depending on the years served.

Labor will review access to training assistance to ensure that those with a higher risk following their time in the ADF can receive greater support.

Translating the experience of veterans

A Shorten Labor Government will work:
– to ensure that veterans receive recognition of prior skills and experience within civilian professional organisations and institutions;

– with States and Territories to expand the Queensland initiative of translating service personnel’s rank and length of service to a tertiary entrance score;

– with peak professional bodies to identify any current ADF training which meets professional civilian standards and work to ensure these are recognised outside of the ADF; and

– with Defence to establish a temporary security clearance for veterans to utilise as they apply for civilian work, providing a greater incentive to prospective employers.

When our men and women undertake to serve their country, we make a commitment to them and their family to support them after their time in the ADF. That is why Labor believes this is the first step to ensure those working in the defence force can move into meaningful employment, which is a key element of successful transition from the ADF to civilian life.

The Veterans Employment Policy will be funded through existing Defence resources.

Further information on Labor’s policy can be found here.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Sen. Jim Molan – A yellow attack from the Greens in cowards’ castle

The Australian Editorial – 8th February 2018

Yesterday,  Mr Bandt derided Senator Molan as a “complete coward”. That it is not a misprint — the Greens MP  ….. dubbed the military leader who risked all on the battlefields of Iraq and in the liberation of East Timor a “complete coward”. 

It got even worse. Mr Bandt accused the former major general of being a war criminal. “I tell you what, if there was a proper inquiry into the war in Iraq,” the Greens MP said, “I think you’d find Jim Molan would probably be up for prosecution rather than praise.”

That this attack was laughable, vitriolic, unbecoming and irksome must be obvious to any functioning adult. Yet Mr Bandt’s hateful intercession was no accident and he was no loner. Other Greens, including leader Richard Di Natale and senators Sarah Hanson-Young and Nick McKim, also viciously attacked Senator Molan who, within hours of walking into parliament, became a new lightning rod for far left vitriol.

A yellow attack from the Greens in cowards

The Royal Australian Regiment Association pledges its support to Sen. Molan (Major General A.J. Molan AO, DSC  (Retd)) and condemns Bandt‘s denigration of  him and by association the ADF

Duty First