Opinion – SUPER WAR HEATING UP

There are many issues that have the wider defence community considering how they might vote in the coming federal election.
High on the list is military superannuation, particularly those who were compulsorily subscribed to what ultimately became the Defence Force Retirement and Death Benefits Scheme (DFRDB).

Disgruntled veterans are not stupid, so by comparing multiple responses know their grievances are not being reasonably considered, despite carefully crafted submissions based on new compelling evidence.
They may not riot, but have pencils and will vote.

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Invitation – 42 FOR 42 AFGHANISTAN MEMORIAL LUNCHEON

You are invited to a luncheon at the QLD Cricketers Club, East Brisbane, with guest speakers The Hon Dr Brendan Nelson, Director – Australian War Memorial and Darren Lehmann, past Australian test cricketer and Coach.

Event to be held on Friday, 15 March 2019 from 12:00 pm to 3:30 pm (AEST) Queensland Cricketers’ Club
411 Vulture Street
East Brisbane, QLD 4169
Australia


It is a 2 course luncheon with beverages included. We will also be holding a monster raffle and auction.

All funds raised go towards the building of the Afghanistan War Memorial Garden in Brisbane. This will honour the 41 Fallen Veterans killed in action, the 42nd representing those that have lost the battle back home and all those that are still fighting the battle. The memorial will also tell the full story of the longest conflict Australian troops have ever fought in.

Please share this event on Facebook and Twitter. We hope you can join us.

ATTEND EVENT

Afghanistan War Memorial Garden 42 FOR 42.·MONDAY, 28 JANUARY 2019 42for42 is a not-for-profit organisation which was founded by ex-Army veterans whose aim is to help struggling veterans and their families by building a memorial dedicated to those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. The 42 stands for the 41 soldiers who were killed in Afghanistan, with the 42nd representing the soldiers we have lost and continue to lose to suicide, and those who have returned with injuries and mental illness. It is our vision and mission to build a Memorial Garden in the grounds of Suncorp Stadium beside the Anglican Church of Australia. This is a wonderful opportunity to show your pride, respect and honour to those that have fallen and walk tall beside their families and brothers-in-arms.

Share this event on Facebook and Twitter.We hope you can join us, Lest We Forget

VETAFFAIRS – Summer 2018 EDITION

The Summer 2018 issue of Vetaffairs is now available here, featuring:
• Details of the planned Australian Defence Veterans’ Covenant, Australian Veteran Card and Lapel Pin announced during the Invictus Games Sydney 2018, as well as stories about the Games themselves, their legacy and DVA’s forums on families, employment and transition from defence service to civilian life.

• Reports on the Centenary of the First World War Armistice, the #1MS social media campaign, the Anzac 360 app bringing the Remembrance Trail on the Western Front to life and the Just Ask initiative to help Australians learn more about their family’s connections to service.

• Information about the new Veterans’ Employment Commitment, which will help veterans to more easily identify organisations that are committed to hiring and supporting ex-service men and women.

• Download a printable PDF version of Vetaffairs (2.7 MB). Listen to the audio version (MP3 99.7 MB), noting the large file size. 

• DVA is providing reduced services from Tuesday, 25 December 2018 to 2 January 2019. 

• DVA is on the move in Brisbane. The offices will move from 259 Queen Street to 480 Queen Street in January. 

If you are a DVA client you will automatically receive a mailed copy of the Newsletter. If not a client then Email [email protected]  to receive future issues on CD, to request an email alert when Vetaffairs is published online, or to subscribe to DVA e-news.


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.

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

We did it!  Final concept plans for Oasis revealed…

Well we did it!

Working closely with the Queensland Government (Coralee O’Rourke, our State representative for Mundingburra, in particular) and Counterpoint Architects for the past 6 months to perfect the master plan, we now have a clear way ahead.

The step up from just refitting an old DPI building to redesigning the entire 5000m2 block and saving significant money by incorporating half the current building and preparing a master plan for growth of The Oasis Townsville is gold!

In February we’ll complete the detailed design and we’ll start demolition and construction after the potential wet season (fingers crossed we get one!). It’s been a bit tricky working with bureaucracy and politicians not to get ahead of government decision making and financial approvals and information dissemination but your patience has been rewarded.
Thanks to everyone involved.

John Caligari
Executive Officer

READ MORE HERE

 

 

 

Virtual Reality Brings Australian Remembrance Trail to Life

VIRTUAL reality technology and stunning 360-degree drone footage are bringing the Australian Remembrance Trail along the Western Front to Australians across the world, through an Anzac 360 app featuring interactive videos.
download 16The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC, Darren Chester, today launched the new app at the Sir John Monash Centre in France.
“While Gallipoli will be forever etched in our nation’s history, it was right here on the Western Front that we suffered our greatest losses during the First World War,” Mr Chester said.
“This new app and videos, developed in partnership with News Corp Australia and produced by Grainger Films, will allow all Australians, including our next generation of school children, to experience these sites from their classroom or at home in their living room.
“Most importantly, it allows those who cannot visit these sites in person the opportunity to feel like a visitor, but at the same time inspiring others to travel over here to France, or across the border in Belgium.”
“The partnership with News Corp Australia will allow us to take viewers on a journey by exploring Australia’s story on the Western Front through a present day lens and technology.”
Eight key sites and battles are explained, highlighting the challenges our troops faced some 100 years ago, from the well positioned enemy to the tactical decisions that had to be made, or moments of bravery that resulted in a Victoria Cross.
The clips merge 360-degree aerial and ground footage from the present day with period imagery, graphics and more.
“This year we have seen our nation commemorate the 100th anniversary of the battles in Le Hamel and Villers-Bretonneux, and also mark the opening of the Sir John Monash Centre, which covers just some of the topics and sites featured in these videos,” Mr Chester said.
“I encourage all Australians to download the app and view the videos, learn more about the Australian Remembrance Trail and in doing so, never forgetting our troops and what they did right here on the Western Front,” Mr Chester said.
The app is free to download from the App Store and Google Play- search Anzac 360.

10th November 2018

GOOD NEWS – RCB Review Group to meet with Minister Darren Chester

Persistence, Perseverance and Patience.

The Minister has agreed to meet with the RCB RG in Canberra on the 26th and the 27th November 2018. The first meeting is with the Minister’s Defence Advisor and Defence Department staff  and the second meeting with the Minister.

The RG in all its submission since 2006 has sought such a personal meeting without success: the government preferring to communicate in writing.

We thank the Minister and look forward to the meetings.

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.

The Veterans’ Covenant and the Veterans’ Card

The Federal Government is developing an Australian Veterans’ Covenant (the Covenant) to recognise the unique nature of military service and support veterans and their families.

This initiative was first mooted by DFWA some ten years ago, and we have been lobbying since then for its introduction.

A key initiative related to the Covenant is the Veteran Card.
As such, the card is in effect simply an ID card, issued by a recognised authority and therefore having some status, that can then be recognised by companies or organisations offering discounts or other benefits.

Anyone who is eligible for a DVA White, Gold or Orange card will be eligible for the Veteran Card, including veterans who are transitioning or have transitioned from the Australian Defence Force (ADF). It also includes certain Reservists.
The Veteran Card will support up to 600,000 veterans, in Australia.

This initiative will formally start in December 2018. However businesses, organisations and individuals can choose to make use of the existing DVA White, Gold and Orange cards at any time.

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