Opinion – When Australia Punched Above its Weight


ONE hundred years ago in Paris, the victorious allies were negotiating a treaty to formalise the armistice declared on November 11, 1918. The Little Digger, PM Billy Hughes defended our diggers’ sacrifice.


PM Billy Hughes with Aussie Diggers

READ MORE

ANZAC DAY 2019

Thank you Australia for keeping the spirit of Anzac alive

See the video presentation that will be shown on the big screen at the MCG  before the Anzac day clash between Essendon and Collingwood.

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).

Federal Election 2019 – ADSO Policy Objectives

We’re back and ready for action.
At Election time the Government, all Parties and Pollies are accountable to the Australian people for their past performance and we veterans individually assess the impact of their election policies on our Family and the Nation’s future prosperity. The lead up to the Election is the time when Interest Groups such as ADSO have the best opportunity to be heard and listened to and to influence the Parties’ Veterans’ policies.

The Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia’s motto “Honour the dead but fight like hell for the Living”, truly reflects Australia’s paramount national interests in relation to military service: honouring the dead by commemorating their service and caring for the well-being of veterans and their families.
The Nation’s Promise to veterans as stated by PM Billy Hughes in 1917: “We say to them – ‘You go and fight, and when you come back we will look after your welfare’ ….we have entered into a bargain with the soldier, and we must keep it!”, is a non-discretionary obligation.
That commitment, which led to the national obligation to maintain for veterans and their families care and a reasonable standard of living, has been broken in certain areas by successive Governments.

ADSO – A REMINDER
ADSO is an active representative voice for our Australian Defence Family to the Australian Parliament and the Australian people. We advocate to Governments for the well-being of our Defence Family and protection of its service entitlements. We are a non-partisan Alliance of most major ex-service organisations. We lobby the Government, its appropriate Ministers and political parties to achieve our objectives. 
Our Canberra lobby team has direct access to the DVA Minister through quarterly meetings with him and staff on topical issues and importantly we are represented by eight of ADSO’s members on DVA’s National Consultative Framework and its constituent forums (ESO Round Table (ESORT)National Aged and Community Care Forum (NACCF)Operational Working Party (OWP) and Younger Veterans — Contemporary Needs Forum (YVF). It is a formal consultative structure designed to facilitate effective communication between the veteran and ex-service community, the Repatriation and Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commissions, and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA). It gives us the opportunity to highlight DVA policy and process problems and seek remedies. Have a look at what they discuss at their quarterly meetings.
And we respond to all Government inquiries related to veterans’ issues with researched submissions and attend related public hearings and inquiries to address them.
Major submissions in the past few years have been:
• 2019 – The Productivity Commission Inquiry into DVA – ADSO Submission March 2019 and ADSO Submission July 2018.
• 2016 – Senate Inquiry into Veterans Suicides – ADSO Submission dated 7 Oct 2016; supplementary submission dated 11 Oct 2016.

ADSO intends to become an Incorporated entity this year to give it greater strength, governance and opportunities.

ADSO’s MAJOR POLICY OBJECTIVES – 2019 Election and Beyond

Download ADSO Policy Objectives PDF

download 43

 They will be released by our national spokesperson Kel Ryan in Townsville tomorrow Tue 16th April 2019.

WE NEED YOUR HELP – HERE’S HOW
To be successful we need your support. Even though these objectives may have no benefit to you personally NOW, they do to others of our Defence Family such as the:
• 235,000 military superannuants administered by the Government protected Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation (CSC);
• 110,000 MSBS members who have preserved benefits that are poorly indexed and not receivable until their notional retiring age and not portable to another complying Superannuation Fund;
• DFRDB Superannuants who commuted;
•  Widows whose reversionary payment is unfair;
• 27,000 TPIs whose disability payments have been severely eroded;
• 90,000 veterans whose disability payments have been eroded, and
• 290,000 DVA clients.
We hope that being part of our Family you will be supportive in whatever way you can.

Regardless of the election result we will be promoting our issues to all the newly elected MPs/Senators through our Advocates in Canberra and our Action Groups in the electorates by offering our support to brief them on veterans’ matters.

There is no doubt that using direct action tactics especially with social media is effective in promoting our issues. Please share our activities with your family and friends on Facebook, twitter or other social media.

Join Us. If you have not yet joined us, then please  subscribe to receive our free Updates and/or volunteer to join your local electorate Action Group Team or become an Advisor. As an Advisor you can assist us with your experience and expertise in a particular Campaign policy objective, such as arketing,public relations, media, investigative journalism, superannuation, legal, health, information services and technology, accounting, financial planning, sales, etc.

Add On. If you already subscribe to receive our Updates, then please consider increasing your involvement by volunteering to join your local electorate Action Group Team or becoming an Advisor.

Stay InformedKeep up to date with the Fair Go Campaign

Donating to Fund the Campaign

We are all unpaid volunteers and are motivated by the need to protect and care for our Defence Family. We fund our Campaign solely by donations from our supporters. If you can, please make a donation. Every donation, no matter how small, will make a big impact on our ability to get our message into the community. It will help pay for our promotions and promotional material (posters, Fact Sheet handouts etc), professional advice and administrative expenses. We are fortunate that many of our supporters provide their professional advice free. Thanks for your donation.

THANK YOU AUSTRALIA FOR YOUR SUPPORT IN PROTECTING THE PROTECTORS
UNITED WE SUCCEED, DIVIDED WE FAIL


Ted Chitham & Alf Jaugietis
Co-Directors ADSO Fair Go Campaign
15 April 2019

RCB Update 2/2019

A big shout out and thanks to our supporters for your generous donations to our RCB Legal Fighting Fund. The result is very encouraging – every little counts and as is said in the song from little things big things grow.

You all know that over 12 years our RCB Review Group’s representations to the Government of the day, via its Defence Department and its Ministers, have been rejected for reasons that we challenged as being false and misleading. We contend that our evidence reveals that a deception has been perpetrated to disguise the true nature of RCB’s deployment, thereby denying the troops access to eligible repatriation and other entitlements. Further, our numerous requests to meet with the Ministers’ decision recommending staff have been ignored until Minister Chester’s infamous 26th November 2018 “clayton’s meeting” in Canberra. See our Update 1/2019

Since then the Minister has greeted our requests for an independent of government judicial inquiry with SILENCE.

We have now contracted with a solicitor/barrister specialising in administrative law to give us a legal opinion on our evidence to: firstly, support an action against the Commonwealth in the matter of its non-recognition of RCB service as warlike; and secondly, support an action against breaches of ministerial, ministerial and defence staff advisors’ codes of ethics and conduct.

We expect to receive the legal opinions very soon and certainly before the Federal election. Those legal opinions will determine our future actions, either in a legal court and/or the court of public opinion. As an example of the latter action read the DFRDB Commutation Issue below and note our request to Minister Chester here

Defence Force Retirement & Death Benefit – Commutation issue – A Summary

 It is worth noting that  Minister Chester’s decision to appoint an independent examination of this matter was decided three days before the ABC TV 7.30 Report publicly “blew the whistle” on  a subject that  DFWA and ADSO have made numerous representations over many years to Governments without success. (Sounds familiar Guys?)

The Minister’s latest decision is an example of the power of the national media to influence the Government especially when an election is at hand.

What needs watching is the Minister’s determination of what is an independent body. If it is not external to Government then the issue remains within the Government’s “loop of self-protection” and cannot be acceptable.

RCB – Where to from Here?

We wait for the legal opinions before deciding further action.

In the meantime we prepare our chosen national media source and our own national social media campaign, and brief certain influential sitting party politicians and election candidates including the cross benchers in both Houses before the Election.

Encourage more donations from our supporters, friends and family: look upon the donation as an investment.

Thanks all for your support, suggestions, comments and donations: they are greatly appreciated. I can assure you all of the outstanding dedication of the RCBRG that remains resolute in it’s determination to pursue our claim beyond the Parliament.

Prior Planning, Persistence, Patience and Perseverance Prevents Poor Performance

Robert Cross
RCB Service 1973, 1974/75, 1982
RCB Group Leader
Date: 10/04/2019

DVA Better Access for Veterans and their Families

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs is working closely with the veteran community to make sure we are designing MyService to best suit your needs and preferences.

It is with thanks to feedback from MyService users, that we have recently updated the claims page to display all claims in a single view, rather than a drop-down menu. This will make it easier for you to navigate the claims process and find the information you need quicker.

Log on to your MyService account now to experience the change for yourself.

Log onto MyService now

‘Thank you for your service’ – photographic exhibition

A photographic exhibition titled ‘Thank you for your service’ showcasing the diversity of current Australian Defence Force (ADF) members, veterans, and their families, will go on display today at Sydney’s Anzac Memorial, Hyde Park, in the lead-up to Anzac Day 2019.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester said the exhibition is made up of remarkable photographs taken by one of Australia’s most respected photo-journalists Alex Ellinghausen, of more than 40 men and women who serve or have served in defence of Australia and their families.

“The images showcase men and women from a wide range of backgrounds doing a wide range of jobs in all three services and from a variety of deployments, as well as the family members who have supported them,” Mr Chester said.
“This exhibition is a reminder that as a nation we should be immensely grateful for what our current and former ADF personnel have done and are doing, and the sacrifices made by their families.
“It highlights why it is important to acknowledge their service, which can be as simple as saying ‘Thank you for your service’.”

Mr Chester said Alex Ellinghausen had been invited to photograph the exhibition after being awarded the 2018 Press Gallery Journalist of the Year.
“Alex is an incredible talent and the first photojournalist to win this prestigious award,” Mr Chester said.
“He has done a remarkable job capturing the images on display and I congratulate him on the quality of his work.”

The exhibition comprises four themes: diversity of personnel, diversity of task and individual, transition into civilian life, and support of loved ones and respect and recognition. The exhibition has been put together by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs in partnership with the ADF, the New South Wales Government, The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.
“I encourage all those in the community to visit the exhibition, view the photos and read the stories of these individuals,” Mr Chester said.
“To those who participated in this exhibition, thank you. For those who haven’t served, it is difficult to understand what life in the ADF is like and it is my sincere hope this exhibition will provide a further appreciation of what it means to serve.”
The exhibition is free to attend and will be on display at the Anzac Memorial, Hyde Park for three months. For those looking to visit the exhibition, please check details on the Anzac Memorial website. Australians can also view an online gallery of the exhibition on the DVA website here.

Troops call for better access to yoga and meditation

As the Australian Defence Force grapples with post-traumatic stress disorder among troops, former and active personnel are calling for better access to emerging therapies like yoga and meditation.

Yoga classes and specially designed meditation are already being used on some Australian military bases with promising results.

Former and active troops concede that military leaders and doctors are increasingly accepting of non-medical treatments, but they say some soldiers are still missing out on the benefits.

Listen to the Report here


Duration: 4min 19sec
Broadcast: Thu 21 Mar 2019, 12:06pm

Opinion – Spinks walks behind giants

FORMER Regimental Sergeant Major of the Army Don Spinks AM has been appointed Australia’s next repatriation commissioner.

Spinks follows many distinguished predecessors and has big boots to fill. He also has the opportunity to bring a soldier’s perspective to the role. He needs to continue to display the determination which distinguished his career. 

READ MORE

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs visits Queensland

VETERANS and their families in Queensland will have the opportunity to meet with the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester who will be hosting a series of roundtables in the electorates of Bonner, Capricornia and Petrie this week.

Mr Chester said part of the Government’s commitment to put veterans and their families first is to hear directly from the ex-service community, receive their feedback and to update them on how some of the Government’s initiatives are delivering meaningful changes.

“The Government is investing in the largest reform of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs in its 100-year history and I am confident we are making great progress in improving support and services,” Mr Chester said.

“I want to take every opportunity to meet with veterans and their families to understand what we are doing right and where we could be doing more for those in the ex-service community.

Each year, the Government provides more than $11 billion for services and programs to support 290,000 Australians.”

Monday, 11 March 2019.

Commentary.

This media release appears to be an excellent opportunity for the ex-service community to attend to have their say on matters that concern them and their family. BUT on further inquiry with the office staff of both the Bonner and Petrie MPs we found that for Bonner attendance is by invitation only and their are no vacancies and for Petrie they want current serving and their families that live in the electorate.

So this Media Release which raises expectations of an open forum fails on closer examination of its reality as a roundtable by invitation to more than the ex-service community.

Minister, previous Coalition and Labor DVA Ministers have conducted open forums, will you? And Minister when can we expect to see the release of the Coalition’s 2019 Federal Election Veterans’ Policy? Hopefully earlier than the 2016 Policy release eight (8) days before the Election