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.

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

 

 

 

Federal Labor’s Commitment to Defence Personnel and Veterans

A Shorten Labor Government is committed to ensuring ADF personnel, veterans and their families are supported both during and after their service.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello

Over the past two years as Shadow Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel I have announced a number of policies which Federal Labor will implement if elected.

At a recent roundtable in Brisbane, a member of the ex-serving community asked for a summary document which detailed all of our achievements to date.To this end, I have developed the below document and encourage you to share this amongst your networks.

While this is a list of the policies we have announced to date, this is not an exhaustive list of the work we have done or the only policies we will take to the next election. It will be updated as new policies are announced.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you require any assistance.

Yours sincerely

Amanda Rishworth MP
Shadow Minister for Veterans’ Affairs
Shadow Minister for Defence Personnel

Federal Labor’s Commitment to Defence Personnel and Veterans

A Shorten Labor Government is committed to ensuring ADF personnel, veterans and their families are supported both during and after their service.

Labor has taken a number of steps while in Opposition to support veterans and ex-service personnel including establishing a Senate Inquiry into the use of anti-malarials in the ADF and backing in calls of the ex-serving community to include the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation in the Banking Royal Commission.

In addition, we have developed and announced a number of policies which we would implement if elected.

While this is a list of the policies we have announced to date, this is not an exhaustive list of the work we have done or the only policies we will take to the next election. It will be updated as new policies are announced.

Committed to signing Australia’s first Military Covenant

A Shorten Labor Government will establish a Military Covenant which will stand as a testament to our ongoing commitment to those who are or have served our country.

This solemn promise will be signed by the Prime Minister and the Chief of the Defence Force which acknowledges the unique nature of military service. Importantly, it will be accompanied by legislation which requires Government to report regularly on how they are best meeting their responsibilities to ADF personnel and the ex-serving community. Further information can be found here.

Committed $121 million to a comprehensive Veterans’ Employment Program

A Shorten Labor Government has committed $121 million over four years to address veterans’ unemployment.

Labor’s comprehensive veterans’ employment policy has four main elements which are designed to assist veterans into meaningful employment post their time in the ADF.
Helping businesses to train veterans
By providing grants of up to $5,000 per veteran for job specific training and conducting a national education campaign on benefits of hiring a veteran
A new veterans’ employment service
The service will provide comprehensive, wrap around support for up to five years
Expanded access to additional education and civilian training
By altering the eligibility requirements and funding amounts available through the Career Training Assistance Scheme funding

Translating the experience of veterans
Will work with States and Territories, Universities and industry bodies for greater automatic recognition of skills

Our comprehensive employment will best prepare those leaving the ADF to move into meaningful employment and enable businesses to take advantage of the many skills of an ex-ADF member. Further information can be found here.

Will develop a Family Engagement and Support Strategy

A Shorten Labor Government will give families a seat at the table and a voice when it comes to the services available to them.

As recommended by the National Mental Health Commission, Labor will develop a national family engagement and support strategy which will provide a national blueprint to include engagement of DVA with military families. It will also ensure the best practice support for families of serving personnel and ex-ADF members is consistently available across the country.

Importantly, it will address the lack of engagement with families and acknowledgement of the critical role they play. Further information can be found here.

Will establish the Western Front Fellowship

A Shorten Labor Government will establish the Western Front Fellowship located at the Sir John Monash Centre in Villers-Bretonneux.

The fellowship Program will offer eligible post-secondary students a four-month placement at the new Sir John Monash Centre, representing some of Australia’s most-important history to visitors.

Fellows in the program will work full-time, and will be supported financially through a stipend wage, receive rent assistance and be partially reimbursed for their flights.

They will have the opportunity to develop and refine their expertise in Australian military history, responsible for taking tours, giving presentations, and answering questions about Australia’s military history around the Western Front. Further information can be found here.

Established the Senate Inquiry into the use of anti-malarials in the ADF

In response to the continued concerns of members of the ex-serving community, Labor established a Senate Inquiry into the use of anti-malarials in the ADF, which is currently taking evidence and due to report back at the end of November.

Labor called for the inquiry as we believed it was important to work through this issue in an open and transparent manner and provide a thorough and comprehensive report about the use of Quinoline anti-malarial drugs in the ADF. Further information can be found here.

Called for the inclusion of Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation in the Banking Royal Commission

Labor has backed in the calls of the Alliance of Defence Service Organisations and the National Returned and Services League of Australia for the Royal Commission into the misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry to include the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation.

As it stands, the CSC has been excluded from the Terms of Reference preventing current ADF members, veterans and public servants from having confidence in their superannuation fund.

Labor continues to call on the Federal Government to include CSC in the Terms of Reference. Further information can be found here.

ALP Polices b840668d 926e 4dbc b55b 2b98892a1936

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

Retreat for Veterans Gets DVA Funding Boost

A former soldier , Roger Dwyer, who assists returned service personnel in recovering from post traumatic stress disorder will be able to make major improvements to his Camp Gregory Veterans Retreat because of a $20,000 DVA Community Services grant.

Information Benefit for ADF, DFWA and Ex-service men and women in SE QLD and Northern NSW

Australia Zoo to give something back to Veterans and ADF members as part of Federal MP’s initiative

As we celebrate Veterans Health Week, Federal Member for Fisher Andrew Wallace has announced a collaboration with Australia Zoo which will see current and former ADF personnel  enjoy a free visit to the popular tourist attraction.

Dubbed the Sunshine Coast Veterans Day, Mr Wallace has worked with local veterans groups and with the Zoo to make entry to Australia Zoo free for card holding veterans and current ADF personnel as well as their partners on 11 October 2018.

Mr Wallace said “Our service men and women put their lives on the line to keep Australians safe. We all owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude, and I am determined to do what I can as your Federal Member of Parliament to give something back. We know that getting out and doing something fun with mates who understand your service can make a big difference to the mental health of current and former service men and women. That’s what Sunshine Coast Veterans Day at Australia Zoo is all about.”

Veterans and current personnel will simply have to show their ADF ID, White or Gold Card to get free all day entry to the Zoo. Australia Zoo is one of the country’s best known wildlife attractions, with more than 1,200 animals and a wide variety of exhibits and experiences to enjoy.

Wes Mannion, Director of Australia Zoo said “Australia Zoo has a long history of supporting our veterans and their spouses and we’re looking forward to welcoming our local service men and women and giving them a great day at the biggest and best wildlife conservation facility in the entire world!”

The initiative is part of a series of activities Mr Wallace has pursued on the Sunshine Coast to support local service men and women. These include his Sunshine Coast Veterans Forum, held in August with Senator Jim Molan, and his Fisher Defence Industry Initiative which, among other objectives, aims to generate greater employment opportunities for former service men and women through the development of a local defence industry. Mr Wallace has also advocated in Canberra for additional Commonwealth support for former ADF personnel to undertake tertiary education.

Mr Wallace said “We have 15,000 veterans living here on the Sunshine Coast, and as a community we should do all we can to show them how much we value their contribution. I am very grateful to Australia Zoo for coming on board and demonstrating how committed they are to our local community and to honouring our service men and women. I can’t wait to meet many more of them on the day.”

For more information, contact the Office of Andrew Wallace MP on (07) 5493 5556 or [email protected].

John Lowis
President
Defence Force Welfare Association (QLD Branch)
Victoria Barracks Brisbane

Chester Media Release – Accessible mental health support for veterans

THE Government today acknowledged the release of two reports from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) — the 2018 update on the Causes of death among serving and ex-serving Australian Defence Force personnel: 2002–2015, and the National suicide monitoring of serving and ex-serving Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel.
download 16Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester said the latest findings show those who choose to serve in the ADF are, on average, healthier than the general community. However, the findings also highlight the need to support the mental health of veterans, particularly those under 30.
“Our Government is putting veterans and their families first,” Mr Chester said.
“We are committed to supporting the physical and mental health of veterans and these reports provide a valuable contribution to our understanding of veterans’ health.
“We have taken significant steps in recent years to increase mental health support to our veterans, and our priority now is to enhance support to veterans during their transition period.
“Our Government provides more than $11.2 billion each year to deliver services and programs to support 290,000 veterans and their families, with $200 million spent on mental health alone.”

Eligible transitioning ADF members now automatically receive a DVA Health Card – Specific Conditions (White Card), which can be used to access treatment for any mental health condition, regardless of whether or not it is related to their service.
“This builds on the 2018–19 Budget measure, which expanded mental health treatment to eligible current and former Reservists without the need to link this condition to their service,” Mr Chester said.
“ADF personnel who receive a White Card for mental health treatment will not be required to make a claim with DVA to get treatment for mental health conditions—they can simply use their card to access treatment.”

women veterans anzac day 255661 1524533230888 main.640x0cADF veteran, Kellie Dadds who has been deployed eight times says the support will be valuable.
“This initiative will be welcomed by veterans who are transitioning from the ADF as it is another step easing the transition process. Knowing this support is available when required is pleasing and will ensure that veterans get treatment early should they need it,” Ms Dadds said.

Current and former ADF members transitioning to civilian life also have access to a comprehensive one-off health assessment with their general practitioner (GP).
“From 1 July 2019, all those leaving the ADF will be able to access an annual comprehensive health assessment by a GP for the first five years after they discharge,” Mr Chester said.
“This is a $2.1 million commitment from government and will assist in the early detection and treatment of mental and physical health concerns during transition to civilian life, addressing a high risk period for the emergence of mental health conditions and suicide.”

Mental health treatment provided through a White Card can include: consultations with a GP; psychiatrist; psychologist; mental health social worker or mental health occupational therapist; specialist PTSD programs; subsidised pharmaceuticals required to treat a condition, and hospital treatment. Health assessments can be accessed with a Medicare card.

Former ADF members who have already transitioned to civilian life can still access DVA funded treatment for any mental health condition through the use of a White Card by emailing the Department at [email protected]or calling 1800 555 254.
Eligible transitioning ADF members will receive their White Cards in the mail.

21 September 2018

Nutrition Key Theme for Veterans’ Health Week 2018

NUTRITION is the theme of the over 140 events and activities being held during Veterans’ Health Week 2018, Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester MP said today.

“Proper nutrition is vital for all of us to lead healthier lives. We know that good nutrition leads to improved health and wellbeing, which plays a major role in helping veterans achieve better lifestyle outcomes. When we eat better, we feel better and we are much healthier and happier,” Mr Chester said.

“Veterans’ Health Week, which starts today, is a fantastic opportunity for the public to support and attend the many different events and activities all over the country to positively engage with veterans and their families to promote the benefits of leading a healthy lifestyle.

“There are over 140 fun, interactive and educational events scheduled across the country this year such as the Sunshine Coast RSL’s cooking masterclass with celebrity chef Matt Golinski, the Darwin RSL’s tri-service long table cook-off, and the Vietnam Veterans’ Association’s Nutrition Expo in Melbourne.

”Other events include the Salisbury RSL in Adelaide’s veterans two-course cooking competition, the Armadale RSL in Western Australia’s ‘How to eat cheaper but better’ cooking expo, and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) Sydney office’s ‘Bike N Blend’ pedal-powered healthy smoothie making event.”

In addition, DVA’s National Dietetic Adviser – Assistant Professor Tara Diversi, has created a series of nutritious, healthy, delicious and easy to make recipes to help veterans, their families and everyone else enjoy the benefits of healthy eating–available on DVA’s website and Facebook page.

“I urge everyone to get involved in Veterans’ Health Week events organised by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA), Ex-Service organisations and community groups across the country to make the week a success.,” Mr Chester said.

“These events are all about assisting veterans and their families to live happy, healthy and active lives. The Government is committed to the ongoing care of those who have served our country and supporting Veterans’ Health Week is one of the ways we do this.”

Veterans’ Health Week runs from Saturday 22 September to Sunday 30 September 2018.

The full list of Veterans’ Health Week recipes, events and activities can be found on the DVA website: dva.gov.au/veterans-health-week

22 September 2018

Labor commits to a Military Covenant

Hello

I am writing to you as the Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten MP, and I have recently announced that Labor will commit, if elected, to the establishment of a Military Covenant.

This Covenant recognises the unique nature of military service and our obligation to those who serve our country and their loved ones.

When a person commits their life and their safety to the Australian Defence Force, we in turn undertake a commitment to supporting them and their loved ones both during and after their service.

A Military Covenant is a document signed by the Government and the Chief of the Defence Force which reinforces this commitment. The Covenant will be accompanied by legislation which will require regular reporting to Parliament on how the Government is meeting its obligation to our current and ex-serving defence personnel.

The Military Covenant will stand as a testament to Labor’s commitment to those who are or have served our country.

This builds on Labor’s previous commitments to the current and ex-serving defence community including our $121 million Veterans’ Employment Policy and our Family Engagement and Support Strategy.

Further information on this commitment can be found here.

In addition, as the Shadow Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, I regularly communicate with ex-service organisations and members of the veteran community, if you would like to be kept in the loop, please email me at [email protected]
Yours sincerely

Amanda

Happy Fathers Day

To all the military Dad’s currently serving, at home or away, and veterans our best wishes to YOU for a HAPPY FATHER’S DAY