AIR FORCE ASSOCIATION NSW
Connecting the Air Force family with each other and the community since 1921

News Articles of Interest

Air Force News Paper

Branch Newsletters

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460 Squadron Veterand and Friends Group July to September 2017 Newsletter

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Click above for the latest Sunderland Squadrons Branch September newsletter

Commemorations

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The DVA website link in the message below provides additional detail and links to the required application documents. The link above will also provide a portfolio of the required application documents.

Subject: 75th anniversary of Australian work on Hellfire Pass and the completion of the Thai Burma Railway [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

I am writing to you regarding the Australian Government’s planned commemoration of the 75th anniversary of Australian work on Hellfire Pass and the completion of the Thai Burma Railway on 16 October 2018 in Ballarat.

This commemoration is part of the Century of Service domestic commemorations program during the Anzac Centenary period 2014-2018.

The Century of Service honours and commemorates the service and sacrifice of all Australian service men and women who have defended our values and freedoms in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations from the Boer War to today.

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) would like to invite nominations from Australian Second World War veterans specifically from Hellfire Pass and the completion of the Thai Burma Railway to attend the planned commemorations in Ballarat supported by DVA. Veterans will need to register their interest with DVA by completing all of the enclosed forms and returning them by 3 August 2018.

The nomination process involves assessment of military service and medical assessments to determine fitness to travel. If selected, the Veteran will travel to Ballarat with one nominated carer for the commemoration.

A travel program will be developed for veterans and their carers by DVA and itinerary details will be provided once the nomination process has been completed.  DVA will provide ground transport, air travel, accommodation and some meals for each veteran and carer. It is likely veterans and carers will be away from their homes for approximately three days.

I have written to you regarding these commemorations, with the view that this invitation and the attached nomination forms reach as many veterans as possible.  To assist in this endeavour, I ask that you distribute this email and the forms to your membership and through your networks as soon as practicable.

Nominations should be made by completing the enclosed forms:

•             Veteran Nomination form  

•             Veteran Medical Information form including a Patient Health Summary printout from your GP

•             Carer Nomination form

•             Service History Questions

•             Media Consent form

Nomination forms are available on DVA’s website at:  https://www.dva.gov.au/commemorations-memorials-and-war-graves/commemorations-and-anniversaries/domestic-commemorations

In view of the logistical requirements in arranging veteran and carer attendance at this commemoration, it will be necessary to receive all veteran nominations by no later than 1700 AEST Friday 3 August 2018.

If the veteran nominees have any queries about the nomination process or completing the forms, please telephone Domestic Commemorations on 02 6120 8078. 

Amanda Gilmartin

Director (A/g)

Domestic Commemorations

Client and Commemorations Branch | Commemorations and War Graves Division 

Department of Veterans’ Affairs

Location: Level 9, Gnabra Building, 21 Genge Street, Canberra City, ACT 2601
PO Box 9998, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia

t:  02 6120 8078 ext: 608078

www.anzaccentenary.gov.au | www.anzacportal.dva.gov.au

DFRDB

Click here to view the Attached is an update that relates to the latest on the DFRDB fight. document

Attached is an update that relates to the latest on the DFRDB fight.

It has some important info and the address of a web site you can look at to keep up to date. It will be of great benefit to the cause if you forward this to all your ex Service contacts of the DFRDB era.

Also very important, contact CSC and ask for all your pension details since your retirement from the service. You will probably get a bit of a shock when you see in black and white how badly we have been treated pension wise.

Please ensure you register and get your details from CSC and this will give us the data base we need.

Regards

Jim Hislop

 

Click here to view the DFRDB Update from DFWA document

from Richard Usher
President,
Defence Force Welfare Association (WA Branch) Inc
 

 

 

Click here to view the  document

DFWA CALLS ON GOVERNMENT TO LEAD BY EXAMPLE ON THE ROYAL COMMISSION INTO BANKING AND SUPERANNUATION

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ADSO and RSL have issued a joint media statement calling on the Government to include the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation (CSC) into the Banking Royal Commission terms of reference.

DVA Info

Click here to view the DVA Factsheets document

Veteran Payment

As part of DVA’s commitment to improving access to services for veterans and their families, the new Veteran Payment is now available to eligible individuals and their partners. This payment provides interim financial support to veterans who cannot work or support themselves while they await liability decisions on claims for mental health conditions under either the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA) or the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Defence-related Claims) Act 1988 (DRCA).

Extended Family Support Package

The Family Support Package is designed to extend family support under the MRCA for veterans and their families. There are two distinct groups that will benefit from this initiative: eligible veterans and their families, and eligible spouse or partner of deceased veterans. This initiative will provide guidance and financial support to alleviate pressures when needed the most. The time-limited support available include expanded childcare funding, additional counselling services and eligible widow(er)s will be entitled to home help.

Attached are DVA Factsheets which provide more information on these measures, including eligibility and payment details. If you have further questions or would like additional information, please contact the Department.

 

Click here to view the  document

See the PDF document media release by Hon. Dan Tehan MP Minister for Veterans Affairs.

Detailing issues discussed at the second round table of ministers responsible for veterans' affairs

 

 Medianet Release

 

 



14 Aug 2017 3:53 PM AEST - Tehan Media Release - MINISTERIAL STATEMENT ON VETERANS AND THEIR FAMILIES

 

 

 

 

 

14 August 2017

Ministerial statement on veterans and their families

I ask leave of the House to give the first annual Ministerial Statement on Veterans and Their Families.

As the Prime Minister has said, in these centenary years of Anzac, we best honour the Diggers of the First World War by supporting the servicemen and women, the veterans and the families of today.

It is important that all Australians understand the unique nature of service. It is important that all Australians understand what support they currently provide to our veterans. It is important that all Australians understand where our support needs to be targeted into the future.

For the men and women who serve or have served our nation; for their husbands, wives, and children; for their mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers – this Ministerial Statement is for you.

There are currently around 58,000 Australians serving in our Defence Forces. Some will serve overseas. Others will serve in barracks and bases around our country. No matter who they are, all of them will become veterans.

In the Australian community, there are an estimated 320,000 veterans who have been deployed. Many thousands more will not have seen service outside of Australia. These men and women have worn their uniform in both peace time and in conflicts. They have given service from World War Two to the current deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan.

On average, our ADF personnel will serve for around eight and half years. Each year, around 5,200 will leave. Some will leave service and move on to new careers, using the skills and experience of their time in Defence to strengthen our workforce. Some will be business men and women, some will be community leaders, some may enter this Parliament and some will go on to be Governors-General.

However, some may not have a choice in leaving. Through medical or administrative discharge, their time in Defence will come to an end.

For these veterans, it might be the simple things that are harder. It may be that they haven’t considered what the future may hold. It may also be that they carry with them the burden of service – mental health conditions or injuries that will require support.

A key focus of this Government is on how these men and women transition out of the Australian Defence Force.

In the last twelve months, over 1,400 members of the Australian Defence Force separated for reasons not of their choosing. Ten years ago, just over 740 members separated involuntarily.

How we help these men and women and provide for their transition is integral to ensuring that none of them fall through the gap between Defence and civilian life.

It is at this point that we as a Government, and as Australians, can make a real difference. This task begins in the Department of Defence and continues with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

Currently, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs supports about 291,000 Australians. Just over half of these people are veterans or currently serving members of the ADF. Around 48 percent are women. Around 82,000 are widows or widowers and around 2,500 are children of veterans.

Today, more than 203,000 of DVA’s clients are 65 years or over while about 23,000 are under the age of 40.

This is the state of our veterans in Australia. They are representative of every aspect of service and from every walk of life. They are old and young. They are from the country and the city.

It is why, in the last twelve months, the Government has held the first Female Veterans Forum and the first Veterans Families Forum. It is why we have held the first meeting of State and Territory veterans ministers, to provide input on how we can work together across all levels of government on issues such as veteran homelessness.

Serving our veterans requires our Government and Australians to acknowledge the various backgrounds and needs of the veteran community in order to put our help where it is most needed.

Australians should be proud that we recognise the importance of service and remain one of the only countries with an independent Department to serve our veterans. The Government is committed to maintaining a stand-alone Department for our veterans.

This year, DVA will provide over $11 billion in payments and services. That includes pensions, income support, compensation, healthcare, rehabilitation, counselling services, transport, transition assistance, home care, housing, commemorations, education and grants funding.

Around $6.2 billion, or 54 percent of the Department’s budget, will be spent on providing veterans and their families with income support and compensation.

Around $5 billion, 44 percent of the Department’s budget will be spent on meeting the healthcare needs of veterans and their families.

I am pleased to note that in the recent renegotiation of hospital agreements we have secured priority for private rooms for veterans, wherever possible.

I’d also like to note that the Department of Veterans’ Affairs provides medical services to veterans  and war widows by making payments to providers that are significantly higher than Medicare rebates. This ensures the widest possible availability of providers for those we serve.

Around 0.8 percent of the Department’s budget will be spent on commemorations and maintaining memorials and headstones.

Over 95 percent of the Department’s budget comprises payments that are legislated, fully-funded and uncapped.

If there is a need, it will be funded and the Department will provide assistance.

For example, in the 2017/18 Budget, DVA is estimated to spend $11.3 billion but if more veterans present with eligible claims, this figure may be higher.

The Department employs around 2,000 staff throughout Australia. About a third of them are headquartered in Canberra. The rest are spread across offices in each state and territory, in capital cities and regional towns.

In a typical 9 to 5, five-day week, DVA will process about 95 compensation or income support forms every hour, receive two letters or emails every minute, and take a phone call every couple of seconds.

The administration costs of the Department represent less than three cents of every dollar it spends.

DVA works hard to provide quick and strong support for veterans and their families. But it is not perfect. People make mistakes. As a result, the Department will not always get it right.

In this first Ministerial Statement on Veterans and Their Families, I also want to reflect on what we need to do better.

Some in the veteran community have found the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to be adversarial, slow or bureaucratic.

In the Department’s satisfaction survey, we have seen a distinct decline in overall satisfaction from 93 percent in 2010 to 83 percent in 2016. While this number is still high, it represents where the Department could have served veterans better.

For example, at the Veterans’ Review Board there were over 2,900 decisions made in 2015/16. Of these, nearly half were made to change or reverse the decision of the Department.

If veterans are not satisfied with a decision of the review board, they may apply to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

In 2015/16, 223 of the 307 rulings of the Administrative Appeal Tribunal were made against the Department.

We know that getting decisions right the first time can make an enormous difference to veterans. We are working to reduce the number of cases that go to administrative review. This will be good news to our volunteer advocates, who assist veterans with their appeals.

Recently, we have implemented a trial of Alternative Dispute Resolution for veterans who choose to appeal a decision with the Veterans’ Review Board. As a result, cases that may have taken up to a year to resolve have been resolved in as little as three months. We are now rolling this out nationwide.

In 2013/14, wait times for initial liability under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act and for the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act were 144 days and 160 days respectively. They have now come down to 107 and 110 days respectively.

However, permanent impairment claims have gone from 129 days and 112 days to 156 and 148 days respectively. This is not good enough and the Department has been tasked to improve it.

The Department is working on ways to leverage technology to deliver better services and cut paperwork. For example, some claims that used to take 117 days to process now only take 60 days. These trials are promising and the Department is looking at how we can implement them across the system.

However, we can only have a better service from DVA if they have the tools to do the job. We have listened to the veteran community on the need to put them first with DVA.

We have made the first serious investment in years into the Department – $166.6 million towards making DVA a 21st century Department with a 21st century service culture. This includes a significant investment in upgrading DVA's computer systems and processes.  Claims and wait times will be cut by this investment, something that is long overdue.

One of the most important services we provide is mental health support. In this first Ministerial Statement on Veterans and Their Families, I would like to focus on the issue of veteran mental health.

The Department of Defence and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs spend more than $244 million a year on providing mental health support and treatment to current and former ADF members. This includes services provided by GPs, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers and hospitals as well as pharmaceuticals and online information and support tools.

It also includes access to the Veteran and Veterans’ Family Counselling Service (VVCS), which is at the frontline of the Government’s veteran mental health support response and has been for more than 35 years. This service is part of the strong legacy of our Vietnam veterans, whose experience has informed  how we care for modern veterans.

VVCS provides free and, importantly, confidential counselling and support for current and former members of the ADF and their families.

It has 26 centres around Australia and a network of more than 1,100 outreach clinicians. It delivers services to more than 27,000 members of the ADF community and their families annually.

We know, the burden of mental health conditions can also fall on families of veterans.

Over two years the Government has expanded VVCS to include as many families as possible. The recent Budget has provided $8.5 million to continue to expand eligibility for VVCS.

We recognise that as a result of a veteran’s service, children can be affected. In March the Government allocated $2.1 million over two years to the Australian Kookaburra Kids Foundation to deliver age appropriate mental health education to the children of veterans with a mental health condition.

We know mental health treatments work best when intervention is early. The faster that we provide support to veterans, the better their chances of recovery and for mitigating any long-term impact.

For many years, Governments only provided mental health support when a veteran was able to prove their condition was caused by their service.

Last year, the Turnbull Government decided that Australia should provide its veterans with free and immediate mental health treatment.

Under the scheme, any veteran who had served one day in the full-time ADF would be given full cover for five of the most common mental health conditions: post-traumatic stress, depression, anxiety, alcohol abuse, and substance abuse.

For the first time, an eligible veteran with one of these conditions didn’t have to prove it was caused by service. From the moment of contact with the Department to register their need for support, we would be there for them.

The Turnbull Government has now completed this reform.

In this year’s budget, we have covered all mental health conditions. From now on any veteran of the full-time ADF will get free and immediate mental health cover.

This programme of non-liability mental healthcare is fully funded and completely uncapped – if there is a need it will be met.

This common sense approach to mental health support is the biggest change in veterans’ policy in decades and we must continue to build on it.

As all Australians know, one suicide is one too many. Suicide affects all areas of our community – eight Australians a day take their own life and it remains the greatest cause of death for men between the ages of 14 and 44.

As we have seen, our veterans and members the ADF are sadly not immune. We are determined to address suicide in our community. Everyone has a role to play.

Last year the Government commissioned the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) to provide the first accurate, robust data ever produced on suicide among the serving and ex-serving populations.

This study was independent of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. This research is providing a greater understanding on where and how to help those who are struggling.

The AIHW study has revealed the suicide rate is 53 percent lower for men serving full-time in the ADF and 49 percent lower for men in the reserves when compared to the general population.

In all male ex-serving members, the rate of suicide is 13 percent higher than the general population.

However, men who have left the ADF between the age of 18 and 24 have twice the risk of suicide compared to their peers.

The Government will continue to independently track this data in order to provide support.

This information is informing our approach to suicide prevention.

The Government also asked the National Mental Health Commission to review the suicide prevention services offered by Defence and DVA.

Their comprehensive report told us to target four areas:

1.         Improving suicide prevention and mental health support for serving ADF, veterans and their families.

2.         Improving the transition process from the ADF.

3.         Improving family support.

4.         Transforming DVA’s systems, processes and culture.

These reviews helped inform the Government’s action on veterans’ mental health in this year’s Budget, which included an additional $58.6 million in mental health funding.

As part of this, the Government is investing $9.8 million to pilot new approaches to suicide prevention and improve care and support available to veterans. This will include funding to increase support for those discharging from hospital and who are at risk.

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs also has a range of suicide awareness and prevention resources, known collectively as Operation Life.

As I have already said, the moment a member of the ADF becomes a veteran is crucial so we must do better at the transition Process.

Just as members of the ADF prepare for being posted to a deployment, we should prepare them for posting to civilian life.

To give some idea, when a soldier leaves the ADF they may have never filled out a rental application, written a resume or used a Medicare card.

We know that for some ADF personnel, the transition period can bring significant change and with that change comes stress.

For example, until January last year the Department of Defence didn’t have the capacity to notify the Department of Veterans’ Affairs when a serving member became a veteran.  Until a recent change in policy, DVA only knew of around one in five ADF members leaving Defence.

An important component of this is the Early Engagement Model. The aim of the Early Engagement Model is that when a serving or former ADF member needs DVA in the future, they will already be registered with the Department. This will reduce claims processing times.

Another reform that will improve our processes will be to allow Defence, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation to share medical information on a veteran in order to save them from having to undergo up to three separate medical assessments.

Additionally, this Government took to the last election a commitment to ‘No Discharge Without Documentation’. This initiative will ensure all separating members of the ADF leave with the necessary documents to make the transition phase more seamless. This includes their medical and training records.

This ongoing work is led by a Transition Taskforce that was established after the last election.

Veterans need to be able to walk into civilian life with confidence and dignity.

This Government is committed to making that happen through the Prime Minister’s Veterans’ Employment Initiative.

As the Prime Minister has said, this is not about charity. We are not asking businesses to engage in some sort of philanthropic exercise. We want to remind business leaders that the servicemen and women of Australia have unique skills and extraordinary experience.

The Initiative is about helping business appreciate the unique skills former ADF members can bring to a job. Launched last November, it highlights the Government’s commitment to improving the support provided to veterans during their transition out of the ADF.

Through the program’s Industry Advisory Committee on Veterans’ Employment we will develop strategies for business to recognise and transfer the talents of our veterans into post-service careers.

Already over 1,000 jobs on the jobactive website have been identified as veteran-preferred and we will have more to say on The Prime Minister’s Veterans’ Employment initiative in the coming months.

Helping our former Defence personnel find meaningful post-service careers is one of the best ways we can honour their service and sacrifice.

A key reason for giving this statement is to outline how Australia can do better for its veterans.

As a Government we commit today to the following:

1.         A stand-alone Department of Veterans’ Affairs;

2.         A Department that focuses on the needs of the veteran first; and

3.         A stronger voice for the veterans’ community.

It is imperative that Australia continues to provide veterans with their own Department. It is the best way that their service and unique needs will be recognised and provided for.

However, we acknowledge that the Department must focus on the needs of those it serves as a priority. Veteran Centric Reform, providing funding for the upgrade of the Department’s systems, and an improved service culture are the first steps.

Veterans’ Affairs legislation is complex. Across three Acts, the support that is provided to different ages and cohorts can be difficult to navigate. Parliament is looking at how we can begin to modernise and simplify this legislation. This includes placing all the relevant Acts under the control of the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs.

In any effort to provide support, we should also look to how we can provide payments faster. The time between making a claim and receiving rehabilitation can be lengthy. This year’s Budget has provided for a pilot to provide rehabilitation to veterans as soon as they have submitted their claims rather than after approval. If this leads to better outcomes, Parliament should look to developing this model over time across the veteran entitlement system.

Equally, we need to ensure that when the veteran community speaks, it does so with one voice. My challenge to the veteran community is for them to respond to this statement each year with a single voice so that we can better serve all veterans.

In other countries, veterans’ organisations have united together into a national confederation or association, with the varied and differing needs of each group within the community putting forward their needs through a single body. I believe it is time that veterans’ organisations create a similar body in Australia.

If veterans can form this body and provide a response to this statement with one voice, I will ensure their response is tabled in Parliament annually.

All of these are projects that will make our systems of support for service stronger. We must commit to them each year in order to ensure progress.

Australia should be proud of how it serves and cares for its veterans and their families. It is a core role of any society that we serve those who have served in defence of our country and our values.

As a Parliament it is our duty to watch over the care we provide our veterans. To ensure these men and women are provided for and that future generations understand their sacrifice.

This Ministerial Statement on Veterans and Their Families is an important part of that duty. It will be the touchstone of how we mark our service to them each year.

END

Media enquiries: 
Minister Tehan’s Office: Byron Vale, 0428 262 894
Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203

Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for crisis support and free and confidential counselling. Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 8 8241 45 46).  VVCS is a service founded by Vietnam veterans.

 

  

 

Jobactive website address for veterans 

https://jobsearch.gov.au/jobseeker-info/employment-assistance-for-veterans

Australia

Media Release

The Hon Dan Tehan MP

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs
Minister for Defence Personnel
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Cyber Security
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC

17 June 2017

More than 1,000 jobs for veterans flagged

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Dan Tehan today said more than 1,000 jobs flagged as suitable for veterans had been advertised on the Government’s jobactive website as part of the Prime Minister’s Veterans’ Employment Program.

The Industry Advisory Committee on Veterans’ Employment, which comprises business leaders from the private sector, met in Canberra this week to review progress on a number of initiatives that will improve the employment pathways of former Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel within the private sector.

Mr Tehan said in this year’s Budget the Government provided $2.7 million to support the Advisory Committee’s work, establish the Ex-service Organisation Industry Partnership Register and manage the Prime Minister’s Annual Awards.

Mr Tehan praised the positive response since the Government had added a ‘Defence Force Experience Desirable’ category to its jobactive website (https://jobactive.gov.au/).

“More than 1,000 jobs have already been advertised on the jobactive website as suitable for a former member of the ADF,” Mr Tehan said.

“The Prime Minister’s Veterans’ Employment Program is already delivering improvements to the employment prospects of our former ADF personnel.

“It is also raising awareness about the unique skills and talents our veterans learn in the military and can bring to a career in the private sector.

“This program is about improving the transition from the ADF into post-service employment and highlighting the opportunities for business when they employ a veteran.

“The Industry Advisory Committee is developing policies and practices that could be implemented by businesses keen to attract these valuable employees. It is also developing strategies to support veterans as they adjust to a working life outside of the military.

“More than 60 businesses from across Australia have already expressed an interest in working with the Advisory Committee. I encourage people to consider how the unique skills and talents of our veterans could help their business and to register their interest in the Prime Minister’s Veterans’ Employment Program.”

Industry Advisory Committee on Veterans’ Employment chair George Frazis said the committee was working to ensure veterans got the support they deserve when looking for a job.

“Improving the opportunities available to today’s veterans to secure appropriate employment is just part of the great debt we all owe to our servicemen and women,” Mr Frazis said.

“More and more employers are recognising the valuable skills veterans can bring to their businesses, and the Committee is working to ensure that all businesses are aware of the wide range of skills and capabilities that veterans gain during their service.”

Businesses can register their interest in the Prime Minister’s Veterans’ Employment Program by emailing: veteransemployment@dva.gov.au.

Media enquiries:

Minister Tehan’s Office: Byron Vale, 0428 262 894
Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203

Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for crisis support and free and confidential counselling. Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 8 8241 45 46). VVCS is a service founded by Vietnam veterans.

 

 

 

AIR FORCE ASSOCIATION ADVOCATES ARE READY TO ASSIST ELIGIBLE VETERANS

WITH DVA AND ADVOCACY ADVICE

Australia

Media Release

The Hon Dan Tehan MP

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs
Minister for Defence Personnel
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Cyber Security
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC

 

15 June 2017

Government passes Gold Cards for BCOF and BNT veterans’ legislation

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Dan Tehan today called on surviving participants of the British Nuclear Test (BNT) program in Australia and veterans who served as part of the British Commonwealth Occupation Force (BCOF) to register for free health care.

Mr Tehan said the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) Budget passed the Senate today.

Mr Tehan said the passage of the Bill meant the Government’s $133.1 million program to provide a Gold Card to the surviving participants of the BNT program in Australia and veterans who served as part of the BCOF would come into effect from 1 July.

“The Gold Card can be used by eligible former members of the Australian Defence Force to pay for their health care,” Mr Tehan said.

“This Budget measure will also provide this health care coverage for affected pastoralists, Indigenous people and other civilians determined to be within the same vicinity as the participants of the BNT.

“I strongly encourage anyone who believes they are eligible under this program to contact DVA and begin the process so everything is in place for the 1 July start.

“Starting the process now will help people get their required paperwork in order in time for 1 July when DVA will be able to begin processing applications.”

DVA can be contacted on 133 254 or 1800 555 254 for regional callers.

Media enquiries:

Minister Tehan’s Office: Byron Vale, 0428 262 894
Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203

Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for crisis support and free and confidential counselling. Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 8 8241 45 46). VVCS is a service founded by Vietnam veterans.

Australia

Media Release

The Hon Dan Tehan MP

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs
Minister for Defence Personnel
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Cyber Security
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC

26 May 2017               

Long Tan Bursary recipients announced

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Dan Tehan today congratulated the 37 students from across Australia who will receive financial support towards their post-secondary education as recipients of a Long Tan Bursary.

Mr Tehan said the Long Tan Bursary honoured the service and sacrifice of Australia’s Vietnam War veterans by providing financial support for their children to undertake post-secondary education.

Recipients of the Long Tan Bursary receive financial assistance of up to $12,000 over three years.

“Providing the children of our Vietnam veterans with educational support is just one way we continue to honour the service and sacrifice of the men and women who served our country in Vietnam,” Mr Tehan said.

“It is an honour to announce the 37 recipients of the 2017 Long Tan Bursaries and wish them the best of luck with their further study.

“Every Vietnam veteran can feel a measure of pride that these young Australians have received an incredible opportunity in recognition of their service.

“The sacrifices their parents made during the Vietnam War will never be forgotten or underestimated.”

Recipients of 2017 Long Tan Bursaries by state:

  • Northern Territory – 2
  • New South Wales – 6
  • South Australia – 4
  • Queensland – 14
  • Victoria – 6
  • Western Australia – 5

Applications for each academic year open on Vietnam Veterans’ Day, 18 August, and close on 31 October. The Long Tan Bursary scheme is administered by the Australian Veterans' Children Assistance Trust on behalf of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. For more information, visit www.dva.gov.au.

Editor’s note: Students will be presented with bursaries at state presentations in the coming months. A list of recipients in each location, is attached.

Long Tan Bursary recipients for 2017

NT

Matthew Doyle

Bachelor of Commerce

Christopher Wheat

Diploma of Nursing

 

NSW

Angel Cano

Diploma of Information Technology

Adam Davidson

Bachelor of Criminal Justice

Jacob Morath

Bachelor of International Studies – Bachelor of Laws

Luke Toutou

Bachelor of Laws

Catherine Allingham

Doctor of Medicine

Dominik Turner

Bachelor of Physiotherapy

 

QLD

Elizabeth Arnold

Bachelor of Nursing

Alannah Jade Brooks

Bachelor of Nursing

Sally Browne

Bachelor of Business/Bachelor of Laws (Honours)

Jacob Catheray

Bachelor of Creative Industries

Neve Cavanagh

Bachelor of Science

Sharon De Loryn

Bachelor of Science

Billie Jo Homuk

Bachelor of Science

Made McLean

Bachelor of Design/Bachelor of Business

Victoria Odmark

Bachelor of Science

Cheriden Osmond

Bachelor of Clinical Science and Osteopathy

Melody Sanders

Bachelor of Education (Primary)

Emilee-Clare Smith

Bachelor of Business and Commerce

Matthew Wade

Diploma of Business Administration/ Diploma of Business

Keeley Walker

Bachelor of Education (Primary)

 

VIC

Eirene Donnelly

Bachelor of Commerce

Tess Homann

Bachelor of Communication (Public Relations)

Robert Kennedy

Bachelor of Applied Science/Master of Podiatric Practice

Claudia Phillips

Bachelor of Fine Arts

Kimberley Prince

Master of Teaching (Primary and Early Childhood Education)

Marcus Tarticchio

Bachelor of Commerce

 

WA

Joshua Millard

Bachelor of Science

Kerry Elder

Advanced Diploma of Kinesiology

Tyro Lavine

Diploma of Screen and Media

Kathleen McAdam

Bachelor of Arts

Kaisha Saunders

Bachelor of Science-Pharmacy

 

SA

Naomi Burt

Bachelor of Nursing

Darren Halsey

Diploma of Nursing

Nathan Peacock

Bachelor of Visual Arts

Carl Watson

Bachelor of Science

 

 

Media enquiries:

Minister Tehan’s Office: Byron Vale, 0428 262 894

Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203

 

Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for crisis support and free and confidential counselling. Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 8 8241 45 46). VVCS is a service founded by Vietnam veterans.

 
 

Australia

Media Release

The Hon Dan Tehan MP

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs
Minister for Defence Personnel
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Cyber Security
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC

 

Tuesday, 9 May 2017                                                                                                        BUDGET 2017–18

 

Mental health support for veterans and their families, and medical coverage for veterans of nuclear testing

The Government will expand the range of mental health conditions current and former Australian Defence Force (ADF) members can seek treatment for on a non-liability basis as part of the 2017–18 Budget.

The Government will also provide a Gold Card to cover the health care costs of the surviving participants of the British Nuclear Test program in Australia in the 1950s and 1960s and veterans who served as part of the British Commonwealth Occupation Force (BCOF). The Government has allocated $133.1 million for this initiative to cover eligible veterans.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Dan Tehan said this year’s Budget represented a significant increase in funding of $350 million in support of veterans and demonstrated the Government’s commitment to the men and women who defend our nation.

“The Government is focused on responding to the mental health needs of our former ADF personnel and providing support that will help them to achieve a fulfilling postservice life,” Mr Tehan said.

“In last year’s Budget, we made treatment for depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and drug and alcohol misuse free for anyone who had served a day in the full-time ADF.

“The $33.5 million expansion of the non-liability health care program to cover all mental health conditions announced in tonight’s Budget recognises that the earlier a veteran gets treatment, the better the health and other outcomes. This includes access to the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS).

“Importantly, a veteran does not have to prove their mental health condition is related to their service. The funding for mental health treatment is demand-driven and not capped – if an eligible person requires treatment, it will be paid for.”

Mr Tehan said the Government understands that partners, families and former partners of veterans are affected by military service. In recognition of this, the Budget will provide $8.5 million to expand eligibility for VVCS.

“The partners and children of our contemporary veterans, who have had one day of full-time service, will have access to the services and support provided by VVCS, including counselling and group programs,” Mr Tehan said.

“Former partners of ADF personnel will also be able to access VVCS up to five years after a couple separates or while co-parenting a child under the age of 18.

“VVCS is the frontline mental health service for those in the veteran community and is a vital service that saves lives. It is available 24/7 on 1800 011 046.”

Mr Tehan said that as an initial step in the Government’s response to the National Mental Health Commission’s report into suicide prevention services, and our broader commitment to addressing mental health issues, it was providing $9.8 million to pilot new approaches to suicide prevention and improve care and support available to veterans.

“The Mental Health Clinical Management Pilot will assess the benefits of providing intensive clinical management to help meet a veteran’s complex mental health and social needs on discharge from a mental health hospital,” Mr Tehan said.

“We will also pilot an expansion of the successful Coordinated Veterans’ Care (CVC) program to improve support for veterans with both chronic physical and mental health conditions as a result of their service.”

Mr Tehan said the Government would provide $2.7 million for the Prime Minister’s Veterans’ Employment Program, launched in November last year.

“The money will be used to support the recently established Industry Advisory Committee, create an Ex-Service Organisation Industry partnership register and develop and manage the annual Prime Minister’s Veterans’ Employment Awards.  

“The Prime Minister’s Veterans’ Employment Program is about helping business appreciate the unique skills former ADF members can bring to a job. Helping our former Defence personnel find meaningful post-service careers is one of the best ways we can honour their service and sacrifice.”

Mr Tehan said funding of $166.6 million would be provided in this year’s Budget to implement the first stage of Veteran Centric Reform to modernise the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) antiquated ICT systems to provide easier access to DVA services.

“This is a significant investment to improve how the Department meets the needs of its clients and is a critical part of bringing DVA’s ICT into the 21st century,” Mr Tehan said.

“As part of this, DVA will implement a suite of initiatives to support members to successfully transition out of the ADF, such as conducting a two-year trial that will allow veterans to access medical treatment while their Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 or Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 claims are processed.

“Veterans and their families have told us there were problems with the way DVA processed claims. We have listened and we have responded with money to deliver better support and services for veterans, underpinned by digital access, streamlined processes and modern technology.”

The Government has committed an additional $19.6 million over two years to support domestic and international commemorative activities for the Anzac Centenary and Century of Service, and the 100th anniversary of the Armistice of the First World War on Remembrance Day, 11 November 2018.

Additional Budget measures for veterans include:

  • $18.0 million as part of the Government’s Energy for the Future Package so more than 235,000 DVA clients will receive a one-off payment for energy bills
  • $9.1 million for accelerated access to rehabilitation services, streamlined access to Incapacity Payments, and improved access to the Totally and Permanently Incapacitated disability pension for veterans working past the age of 65
  • $1.2 million to continue the income support bonus for DVA clients receiving an Education Allowance under either the Veterans’ Children Education Scheme (VCES), or the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act Education and Training Scheme (MRCAETS)

$5.0 million to develop a first pass business case for the Australian War Memorial to examine ways to provide additional exhibition space.

 

Media enquiries:

Minister Tehan’s Office: Byron Vale, 0428 262 894

Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203

 

Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for crisis support and free and confidential counselling. Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 8 8241 45 46). VVCS is a service founded by Vietnam veterans.

 
 

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Click on the link to view the Tehan Media Release - Supporting Younger Veterans

 

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Australia

Media Release

The Hon Dan Tehan MP

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs
Minister for Defence Personnel
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Cyber Security
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC

 

4 May 2017

 

Increased reimbursement for medical expenses

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Dan Tehan today said veterans could now claim up to $1,000 reimbursement for medical expenses when they have applied to the Veterans’ Review Board (VRB) or the Specialist Medical Review Council (SMRC) review process.

Mr Tehan said the reimbursement amount had been increased from $467.50 to $1,000 for each medical condition to encourage the early submission of medical evidence.

"This measure fulfils another election commitment and will encourage veterans applying for a review at the VRB to get any necessary medical evidence as soon as possible to help speed up the review process," Mr Tehan said.

"Increasing the amount that can be reimbursed will ensure those applying to the VRB are appropriately remunerated for any relevant out-of-pocket medical expenses incurred as a result of obtaining evidence for VRB hearings."

"The Government is committed to supporting the veteran community and their families, and this new measure further demonstrates work to strengthen this support."

 

Media enquiries:

Minister Tehan’s Office: Byron Vale, 0428 262 894
Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203

 

Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for crisis support and free and confidential counselling. Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 8 8241 45 46). VVCS is a service founded by Vietnam veterans.

 
 

 

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Non-liability health care

The Government’s 2016-17 Budget measure to extend the eligibility for nonliability health care (NLHC) treatment for mental health conditions is now in effect.

This means that all those who have served in the Australian Defence Force (ADF) permanent forces are now eligible for health care for a range of mental health conditions without needing to prove that the condition has arisen from, or is linked to, their service.  Reservists are also eligible if they have any period of continuous fulltime service.

The conditions covered under this arrangement are:

  • post-traumatic stress disorder;
  • depressive disorder;
  • anxiety disorder;
  • alcohol use disorder; and
  • substance use disorder.

Treatment is provided through a DVA Health Card – For Specific Conditions (White Card) and may include services provided by a general practitioner, medical specialist, psychologist, social worker, occupational therapist or psychiatrist, as well as hospital services, specialist PTSD programs, and pharmaceuticals.

The White Card also confers eligibility to access counselling services through the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service - VVCS.

The new arrangements also make it easier to apply.  Applications no longer need to be lodged on an official form, but can instead be made over the phone or by email.  In addition to this, a diagnosis is no longer required prior to being approved for NLHC treatment.  Instead, a diagnosis from a general practitioner, psychiatrist or clinical psychologist can be provided to DVA within six months of approval.  Once a diagnosis of one or more of the five conditions is provided, treatment approval becomes permanent.

For more information:

Australian Government Department of Veterans' Affairs via mail81.atl161.mcsv.net 

17:42 (14 hours ago)
  
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March 2018

Welcome to the March issue of DVA e-news, featuring updates on the Prime Minister's Veterans' Employment Awards, and DVA's suite of online resources and mobile apps. Also in this issue:
  • Passage of the Veteran-Centric Reforms No.1 Bill
  • Veterans celebrating their 100th birthdays in 2018
  • Introducing the new Minister for Veterans' Affairs
  • The Veterans' MATES pharmaceutical resource

PM's Veterans' Employment Awards finalists announced

Boeing Defence Australia’s first female chief engineer, a project management consultant from Turner & Townsend and Westpac’s Autism Program Manager will vie for the inaugural Veteran Employee of the Year award at next week’s 2018 Prime Minister’s Veterans’ Employment Awards.
Kathryn Burr (Boeing Defence Australia), Stuart Munro (Turner & Townsend) and Rachel Ranton (Westpac Group) are the three finalists in the category.
The 12 finalists across the five employer-focused categories are:

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs the Hon Darren Chester MP congratulated all the finalists and noted that the judges had a tough time with selections given the high standard of nominations.
‘The calibre of entries is an indication of the efforts Australian employers have undertaken in recent years to create employment opportunities for veterans and to support their transition to the civilian workforce,’ Mr Chester said.
‘These employers recognise that veterans are hard-working, committed, strategic, disciplined and adaptable staff.’
The Minister acknowledged the extensive talents and expertise of the three finalists in the employee category.
‘Kathryn Burr, Stuart Munro and Rachel Ranton are fine role models for other ex-service men and women looking to further their careers beyond the ADF,’ he said.
DVA will publish a special edition of DVA e-news after the winners are announced on the night of 28 March. Follow the awards hashtag, #PMVeteransAwards, on social media for updates during the evening.
For more information on the awards and the Prime Minister’s Veterans’ Employment Program, visit www.veteransemployment.gov.au

New Veterans' Affairs Minister sworn in

The Hon Darren Chester MP was sworn in as the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Minister for Defence Personnel and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC on 5 March 2018.
Born and educated in Sale, Mr. Chester lives in Lakes Entrance with his wife Julie and their four children, and is the Federal Member for Gippsland.

He was first elected to Federal Parliament on June 26, 2008. He served as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence under the Abbott Government and Assistant Minister for Defence under the Turnbull Government. In February 2016, he was appointed to Cabinet as the Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport. He served three months on the backbench from December 2017 to February 2018.
Since being appointed Minister for Veteran’ Affairs, Mr. Chester has been meeting and consulting with veterans and veterans’ groups including the Ex-service Organisation Round Table (ESORT).
Prior to entering Federal Parliament, he worked as a newspaper and television journalist. He is a keen sportsman who enjoys boating, camping and running marathons. He also assists as a volunteer with his children’s junior sporting interests, including the Lakes Entrance Surf Lifesaving Club and Lakes Entrance Football Netball Club.

High rates of satisfaction with pharmaceutical resource 

Large numbers of veterans and healthcare providers have described the Veterans' medicines advice and therapeutics education services’ (Veterans’ MATES) program as useful.

77% of veterans, 94% of pharmacies and accredited pharmacists, and 80% of doctors who use the resource said they found the Department of Veterans’ Affairs initiative helpful.
Veterans’ MATES provides written advice to general practitioners (GPs) and pharmacists about potential medication problems with their veteran patients and encourages investigation, review and changes in treatment for those veterans.
Other educational material is sent to participating medical practitioners who are the veteran’s primary provider, as well as community pharmacists, accredited pharmacists and Residential Aged Care Facilities.
The focus is on increasing the use of under-used medicines, reducing adverse drug events, reducing use of unnecessary medicines and improving the use of health services.
The program has proven useful to health providers and achieved significant improvements in outcomes for veteran patients.
For more information about the program, health professionals can contact the Veterans’ MATES Health Professional Helpline on 1800 500 869.

Mental health support on your mobile phone - anytime, anywhere.


In its Mobile Consumer Survey 2017, Deloitte found that 88% of Australians own a mobile device and that more and more people are using their handheld devices while browsing for information, news, entertainment and advice.

With this in mind, DVA has a number of online mental resources and apps to assist our clients. These include dedicated websites for the Veterans and Veterans’ Counselling Service (VVCS), DVA’s mental health portal ‘At Ease’ and ‘High Res’ which contains online tools and resources to help build resilience.

In addition, there are a series of apps such as ‘Operation Life’ designed to help those at risk deal with suicidal thoughts, and ‘The Right Mix’ to help manage alcohol consumption. DVA also actively uses social media channels such as Facebook and YouTube to publicise mental health programs and services. These tools are free to access and are available 24/7 anywhere there is access to the internet.

These resources are in line with DVA’s Veteran Centric Reform agenda and our commitment to making our programs and services more easily accessible to veterans, their families and carers, medical practitioners and health providers.

 

100 not out!

2018 is the 100th anniversary of the final year of the First World War and a number of veterans are celebrating their 100th birthdays this year as well.

One such veteran is Harold Murray of NSW who was born on 8 March, 1918. He went on to become a Sergeant in the 27 Field Company of the Royal Australian Engineers, and served in New Guinea during the Second World War. Harold’s advice for a long life is to enjoy good food and take life one day at a time.

Another 'birthday boy' is Robert Anderson from Tweed Heads. He was a Lance Corporal in the Australian Special Wireless Group and says that the best part of serving in the ADF was meeting his late wife, then a signalwoman in the Australian Women’s Army Service.

Joyce James was born in Wollongong on 15 March, 1918 – where she worked as a school teacher and educational psychologist. In 1945 she travelled to England to marry Francis James – a RAAF pilot who had been shot down on Anzac Day 1942, but repatriated to England in an exchange of prisoners. Enroute, Joyce saw one of the ships in her convoy torpedoed by a U-boat, but made it safely to England where she married Francis on Anzac Day, 1945.

Happy 100th birthday all and thank you for your service!
Follow us on Facebook to find more stories of 2018 centenarians.

Passage of VCR Bill provides additional support for veterans and their families

Veterans and their families will receive additional support services with the passage of the Veterans’ Affairs Legislation Amendment (Veteran-Centric Reforms No. 1) Bill 2018 (VCR Bill) through Parliament.

Greater family support, increased access to childcare, homecare and counselling are all part of the services provided through this legislation which highlights the importance of families to veterans’ health and wellbeing.

A new Veteran Payment will provide veterans who are unable to work with financial support while they wait for liability for their mental health condition to be determined.

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.

From 1 May 2018 a new pilot program, the Coordinated Veteran Care mental health pilot, will provide 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 who have suffered a catastrophic injury will be looked after with a new mechanism to provide household and attendant care services based on the individual needs of the veteran.

Other measures in the Bill 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, and automating Qualifying Service determinations which will remove the requirement for veterans to make an application for the determination.

Did you know?
Hancocks Jewellers of London has manufactured every single Victoria Cross since the medal’s inception in 1857, and also make the Victoria Cross for Australia. The medal itself is cast, not struck like a coin or pressed using a die, and is hand-finished by the jewellers, who use bronze from cannons captured during the Crimean War to make the medals. 
The German ‘Schwerer Gustav’ (Heavy Gustav) rail gun of the Second World War was the heaviest moving artillery piece ever built. It weighed 1,350 tons, needed a crew of 250, was over 45m long, fired 7.5 ton shells and required a specially built track and 25 carriage train to move it.  
Australia’s 19th Prime Minister, Sir John Gorton, served as a fighter pilot in the RAF during the Second World War. On 21 January 1942, he was shot down over Singapore by a Japanese fighter. He was thrown heavily into his Hurricane’s instrument panel as he crash-landed, suffering severe facial injuries – the scars of which remained visible for the rest of his life.  
Australian singer Little Pattie performed for Australian troops in Vietnam with Col Joye and the Joye Boys in 1966. Her song "He's My Blonde-Headed, Stompie Wompie, Real Gone Surfer Boy" was a popular hit of the Vietnam War era.  
‘Enola Gay’, the Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber used to dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, was named after pilot Col. Paul Tibbets’ mother – Enola Gay Tibbets. The Enola Gay was returned to the US in 1946 and prepared for preservation. It is now on permanent display at the National Air and Space Museum’s centre in Chantilly, Virginia.
Copyright © 2018 Australian Government Department of Veterans' Affairs, All rights reserved.


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February 2018



Welcome to the new-look DVA e-news, featuring updates on the Anzac Day Schools' Awards and the new Veteran Centric Reform Bill. Also in this issue:
  • Centenary of Defence Service Homes 
  • Applications open for Veteran and Community Grants 
  • Veterans' art recognised in Vic Health Awards 
  • Republic of Korea War Service Medal approved

Open now: Anzac Day Schools' Awards 2018

The 2018 Anzac Day Schools’ Awards competition is now open.

 

The Anzac Day Schools’ Awards are designed to promote learning about this significant commemorative day. Since the Awards' inception, DVA has received many inspiring entries and encourages schools to participate in this rewarding activity.

 

Winners and runners-up of the competition will receive prize money, a plaque and certificates. There are also six special categories that schools can be nominated for that encourage a specific focus for entries.    

 

There are many significant events that schools can choose to inspire their commemorative events. By theming their Anzac Day activities and the entry, students can gain a greater insight into a specific aspect of Australia’s wartime history.  Judges are interested in creative, innovative entries where students demonstrate an understanding of Australia’s wartime history.

It is highly recommended that schools involve local veterans in their activities as previous entries have shown that by doing so, students can enhance their learning, gain empathy and demonstrate higher engagement with Anzac Day.

 

For more information on the competition or to submit an entry, visit The Anzac Portal. Entries close 25 May 2018.

2018 marks 100 years of Defence Service Homes


It’s a while away yet, but this Christmas Defence Service Homes turns 100.

On 25 December 1918, six weeks after the end of the First World War, then Governor-General Sir Ronald Crauford Munro Ferguson gave royal assent to the War Service Homes Act ‘to make provisions for Homes for Australian Solders and Dependants of Australian Soldiers’.

The Act created the War Services Homes Commission, nine months after the inauguration of the parent Repatriation Department. The Commission was designed to be ‘of some assistance in making the burden of life easier to the returned soldier’.

The eligible customer base for the organisation at its inception consisted of the 270,541 servicemen who had made it home after the First World War, and widows and certain widowed mothers of those killed in action.

The first home was completed on 21 July 1919 in Canterbury NSW.

The organisation became Defence Service Homes in 1972 when the benefits of the scheme were extended to those who had been deployed during more recent conflicts.

Today Defence Service Homes continues to offer home building insurance to eligible veterans, Australian Defence Force members and their surviving partners, providing home loans to around 5,000 clients and home insurance to 55,000.

Find out more on the Defence Service Homes website.

Veterans' art recognised in Vic Health Awards



Leading health promotion agency, VicHealth, recognised the Australian National Veterans Arts Museum (ANVAM) in the prestigious annual VicHealth awards in December 2017. ANVAM’s inaugural exhibition, A March to Art: Identity, was awarded a Highly Commended by VicHealth in the ‘Building Health through Art’ category.

The exhibition included works by 18 current and ex-serving veterans from across Australia, representing all three services, and family members with a focus on the value of arts for veterans' wellbeing. 

View all artworks from the A March to Art: Identity exhibition on the ANVAM website.

ANVAM’s next exhibition, March to Art: Community, will open on 25 March through to 25 April 2018 at the Collins Place Gallery in Melbourne.

 

Vetaffairs Summer edition



The Summer edition of Vetaffairs is online now, featuring: the By the Left campaign, which aims to prevent the questioning of women veterans over the placement of their medals; an update on DVA's trial online claims application, MyService; a feature on widows working to raise awareness of issues around service-related suicide; and 2018 Young Queenslander of the Year Phillip Thompson on the Prime Minister’s Veterans’ Employment Awards.
 
 

Veteran Centric Reform Bill helps veterans and families

On 15 February 2018, the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, the Hon Michael McCormack MP, introduced the Veterans’ Affairs Legislation Amendment (Veteran-centric Reforms No. 1) Bill 2018 (VCR Bill) into the Parliament. The VCR Bill would implement several new initiatives to deliver additional services to the veteran community and their families.

 

The Bill would provide additional support services for veterans and their families through increased access to childcare, home care and counselling, and create a new veteran payment to help address concerns raised by the final report of the Senate Inquiry into Suicide by Veterans and Ex-Service Personnel. 

The Veteran Payment will be a new income support payment to provide interim financial support while a veteran’s mental health claim is decided. Partners of veterans may be eligible for the Veteran Payment.

 

Other measures in the VCR Bill include a new pilot program to provide improved mental health support to veterans in remote and regional areas of Australia and the automation of a qualifying service determination to make it easier for veterans to make an application for a service pension.

 

Applications open for Veteran and Community Grants

Applications for DVA's Veteran and Community Grants are now available on the Australian Government’s Community Grants Hub. This is the first of DVA’s grants programs to be made available on the Hub.

The establishment of the Hub ensures grants are accessible to all Australians including veteran organisations.

Ex-service organisations, veteran representative groups, community-based and private organisations are encouraged to apply online via the Hub to receive funding for projects or activities which improve the independence and quality of life for members of the veteran community.  

If you need help using the Hub, assistance can be provided through the Hub itself, via email  (support@communitygrants.gov.au) or by phoning 1800 020 283.

If you think you will need any help, please ask early. This will ensure that any issues can be worked through in time for your application to be considered for funding.

Progressively, other DVA grant programs will continue to open on the Hub over coming months. In early March, the Building in Support and Excellence and Grants in Aid programs will open, followed by the Saluting Their Service Commemorations Community Grants program in late March.    

To subscribe to receive alerts about opening grants programs on the Hub, please register for alerts at www.communitygrants.gov.au.

 

Republic of Korea War Service Medal approved for Korean War veterans



Veterans of the Korean War have been approved to wear the Republic of Korea War Service Medal by the Governor-General, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd).

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel Michael McCormack said the approval to wear this medal after it was initially refused by the British Government in 1951 shows the Australian Honours and Awards system has evolved to become its own unique system of recognising our service men and women.

'The Australian Council of Korea Veterans Associations has campaigned to have the decision reconsidered from an Australian perspective,' Mr McCormack said.

'The approval to wear the Republic of Korea War Service Medal demonstrates the Australian Defence Force’s willingness to consider and accept change.

'During the Korean War, in which more than 15,000 Australians served, Australia used the Imperial Honours and Awards system and was therefore subject to the award policies set by the United Kingdom.'

Mr McCormack said the Republic of Korea War Service Medal was introduced by South Korea in 1951 to recognise the assistance provided by members of the United Nations forces in combatting communist aggression in Korea.

'It has been policy to accept only one foreign award for a particular service or campaign,' Mr McCormack said.

'In this case the United Nations Medal Korea had been accepted and therefore the offer of the Republic of Korea War Service Medal from the South Korean Government was refused.'

As a foreign award, the Republic of Korea War Service Medal is not administered by Defence. Eligible veterans may purchase the replica medal from any reputable medal dealer. Find out more on Defence's website.

Copyright © 2018 Australian Government Department of Veterans' Affairs, All rights reserved.
Vetaffairs is published as a free newspaper for Australia's veteran community.

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January 2018



Welcome to the new-look DVA e-news, featuring an update on the Morning Star tapestry, pictured above and now on display at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne ahead of its installation at the soon-to-open Sir John Monash Centre in France. Also in this issue:
  • Michael McCormack’s appointment as Minister for Veterans’ Affairs 
  • The 25th anniversary of Operation Solace in Somalia 
  • VVCS's next community webinar to examine peer support 
  • The impact of superannuation splitting on incapacity payments 
  • A new online directory of advocacy services 
  • Vetaffairs Summer edition now online 

Tapestry on show at Shrine ahead of journey to France



Morning Star, an Australian-made tapestry created to hang in the Sir John Monash Centre in France, will be on public display at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne until 25 February 2018.
 

The tapestry, like the Sir John Monash Centre itself, commemorates the service of Australians in the First World War and the 46,000 Australian lives lost on the Western Front.


It depicts a pathway through eucalypt trees and bush towards dawn light, and features inset images of war-bound ships departing Australia along with young men who were about to enlist.


Designed by Australian war artists Lyndell Brown and Charles Green and brought to life by Australian Tapestry Workshop weavers over almost 4,000 hours, Morning Star was created using manual techniques that have been used in Europe since the 15th Century. Australian wool, sourced from sustainable producers, was dyed on-site into more than 370 different colours, shades and tones for use in the 5 x 2.5 metre work.  


The designers have worked collaboratively since 1989 and travelled to Afghanistan and the Middle East as official war artists to the Australian War Memorial in 2007. They say the tapestry depicts the journey of young Australians to the Western Front, communicating ‘the places for which the Australians fought and the imaginary spaces they carried with them’. 


Morning Star will be transported to its permanent home in France following its exhibition at the Shrine. The Sir John Monash Centre will open in April.

Marking 25th anniversary of Operation Solace in Somalia



A series of commemorative events and reunions will be held in coming months to mark the 25th anniversary of Operation Solace, Australia’s 199394 major commitment to peacekeeping operations in Somalia.

NSW Governor David Hurley AC DSC, who was in command of the Army’s 
1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (1 RAR) in Somalia, will host a reception at Government House in Sydney on 26 April 2018 to mark the anniversary. He will lead members of units who deployed to Somalia in 1993 in the Anzac Day Parade the day before (see www.1rar.asn.au/news/7680 for registration details).

The Australian Government has provided nearly $29,000 in funding to assist with commemorations of the peacekeeping operations including a 1RAR reunion function in Townsville on 17 May (see www.1rar.asn.au/events/140114 for more information).

Operation Solace was a response to a call in late 1992 from the United Nations for assistance with its humanitarian operation in Somalia, where a humanitarian disaster was being compounded by a complete breakdown in civil order. Australia had already contributed a tri-service contingent to the UN Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM) under Operation Iguana, but Operation Solace was of a very different magnitude.


The Australian contribution to peacekeeping in Somalia comprised more than 1,500 personnel. Australia sent personnel from each of the three services to UNOSOM between October 1992 and November 1994 and personnel to serve under the auspices of the Unified Task Force, with the main body arriving in Somalia in January 1993. 

Four Australians were wounded or injured during operations and on 2 April 1993, Lance Corporal Shannon McAliney was accidentally killed.


Read a Q&A with then Corporal Lance Johnson (pictured above) about his deployment in Somalia in 1993 on the Anzac Centenary website.

Advocacy services directory
now available online



Looking for someone to help you with accessing DVA benefits and services? An online directory of organisations that offer accredited military advocacy services is now available on the Advocacy Training and Development Program (ATDP) website.

Military advocates provide assistance and advice to current and former members of the Australian Defence Force and their families. Military compensation advocates provide guidance and assistance with submitting claims to DVA for pensions, compensation and rehabilitation. Military welfare advocates help clients to access the entitlements, benefits and support available from DVA, other government agencies and community-based service providers.


The Advocacy Training and Development Program (ATDP) provides accreditation for qualified military advocates who have professional skills and experience that meet nationally-recognised standards.

This accreditation provides assurance that advocates are qualified to provide advice and assistance that meets the specific needs of veterans and their families, no matter where they live or when they served.

The new directory provides contact details for ex-service organisations offering accredited advocates. You can search the directory by town, suburb, state or postcode to find the organisation closest to you. When you contact the organisation, be sure to ask for an ‘ATDP Accredited Military Advocate’.


The Directory of Advocacy Services is available on the ATDP website.
 

McCormack appointed
Minister for Veterans' Affairs



Member for Riverina the Hon Michael McCormack MP succeeded Member for Wannon the Hon Dan Tehan MP as Minister for Veterans’ Affairs on 20 December 2017.

Mr McCormack, who had served as Minister for Small Business since the 2016 election, said he was proud to be taking on the role among other new portfolios.


It is an honour to be appointed Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Minister for Defence Personnel, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of the ANZAC and Deputy Leader of the House, Mr McCormack said.


As someone who has a passionate interest in military history, I look forward to getting on with the job of advocating for Australia's servicemen and women, and our veterans.

Mr McCormack has produced a commemorative Anzac Day booklet for residents of his electorate each year since entering Parliament in 2011, as a meaningful acknowledgment of the men and women who have served our nation.

The former newspaper editor and small businessman served as Assistant Minister for Defence in the lead-up to the 2016 federal election. He lives in Wagga Wagga, NSW, which is home to the Army Recruit Training Centre at Blamey Barracks, Kapooka and RAAF Base Wagga, as well as many retired servicemen and women.

Mr Tehan, now Minister for Social Services, paid tribute to veterans on his departure from the portfolio.


From our oldest living veterans of World War II to the current personnel I met on operations in Iraq, I have been humbled by them and their service, he said.

VVCS community webinar to
focus on peer support



The next Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) community webinar, to be held on Wednesday 31 January, 7pm–8pm AEST, is entitled Peer Support – the value of mates.

It will examine the importance for
recovery from service-related trauma of connecting with those who have had similar Australian Defence Force (ADF) experiences .

Townsville-based VVCS Peer Advisor Timothy Loch will join VVCS National Advisory Council Chair Professor Jane Burns and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) expert Dr Mark Creamer on the panel.

Mr Loch served in the ADF between 2004 and 2014 as a combat engineer, and completed deployments to East Timor and Afghanistan. He transitioned out after being wounded in an improvised explosive blast in Afghanistan.

The panellists will share resources to allow participants to help friends, family and colleagues experiencing challenging personal times.

Upcoming VVCS community webinars will examine military transition, suicide prevention, families, anger and chronic pain.

The last webinar of 2017, entitled Exercise and Wellbeing – a healthy mind and body, remains available on the VVCS website along with earlier sessions on military PTSD and sleep disturbance. They also appear on VVCS’s playslist on the DVA YouTube channel.


Register and submit questions for the Peer Support webinar.

Incapacity payments affected by superannuation splitting

Some DVA clients whose superannuation payments are split with an ex-spouse may be affected by a change in the way the Department calculates incapacity payments.
 
Incapacity payments are now reduced by the amount of Commonwealth-funded superannuation benefit an individual receives in the hand rather than the amount of superannuation the client received prior to the split.  Any of the superannuation that is paid directly to an ex-spouse (by way of a separate member benefit) is not considered to be received by the client and is not held in calculations of incapacity payments.

Incapacity payments are payable under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA) and the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Defence-related Claims) Act 1988 (DRCA) as compensation for an incapacity for work due to a service-related injury or disease.

Incapacity payments are reduced by the Commonwealth-funded component of superannuation clients receive (if any). After a relationship breakdown the amount of superannuation an individual receives may be reduced as a result of some of the superannuation benefit being paid directly to an ex-spouse under superannuation splitting laws.

For further information please call 1800 555 254 or email generalenquiries@dva.gov.au.

Vetaffairs Summer edition



The Summer edition of Vetaffairs is online now, featuring the By the Left campaign which aims to prevent the questioning of women veterans over the placement of their medals; an update on DVA's trial online claims application, MyService; a feature on widows working to raise awareness of issues around service-related suicide; and 2018 Young Queenslander of the Year Phillip Thompson on the Prime Minister’s Veterans’ Employment Awards.
 
Copyright © 2018 Australian Government Department of Veterans' Affairs, All rights reserved.
Vetaffairs is published as a free newspaper for Australia's veteran community.

Our mailing address is:
GPO Box 9998 Brisbane, Queensland 4001

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You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

 

Click Here for Winter Edition 2018 Vetaffairs

Includes:

SITREP

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The Air Force Association New South Wales Division Newsletter, SITREP issue 4 is available for download by using the link 'Click Here to View the Document".

This is the fourth edition of SITREP, News and Views from the association members. The first issue being published in November last year.

The Association is very appreciative of the volunteer time and effort freely by Ian Gibson, Secretary of the Radar Air Defence Branch and editor of SITREP for producing four issues in the past twelve months. Association secretary Peter Ring promoted the idea that we needed to have a member's association newsletter, Ian's offer to volunteer and assist in the editorial role, being quickly accepted.

Our thanks to Ian and Peter for providing the Association members and the reading public visiting the website with the SITREP newsletter.

For the non-military educated readers, SITREP is a military term used for Situation Report.

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Issue 3 of SITREP. the Air Force Association NSW Division News and Views is here for your enjoyment.

Click on the link for your PDF copy.

SITREP will be published on this website quarterly. Memories, articles and photos old and new are required for the next and future editions.

Email your items to Peter Ring at newsandviews@raafansw.org.au

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The second issue of SITREP. the Air Force Association NSW Division News and Views is here for your enjoyment.

Click on the link for your PDF copy.

SITREP will be published on this website quarterly. Memories, articles and photos old and new are required for the next and future editions.

Email your items to Peter Ring at newsandviews@raafansw.org.au

Click here to view the  document

The first issue of SITREP. the Air Force Association NSW Division News and Views is here for your enjoyment.

Click on the link for your PDF copy.

SITREP will be published on this website quarterly. Memories, articles and photos old and new are required for the next and future editions.

Email your items to Peter Ring at newsandviews@raafansw.org.au

Veteran Support

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Veterans’ Advocacy and Support Services Scoping Study

Please click for details

 

https://www.dva.gov.au/consultation-and-grants/reviews/veterans-advocacy-and-support-services-scoping-study

Transitioning from the military can be a challenge.

This VVCS community webinar discusses - the latest research on what helps people transition, as well as practical tips to help individuals and the people supporting them to get through the process successfully.

If you missed it, its now available for viewing!

Check it out at bit.ly/VVCS_TransitioningWebinarYT

Click here to view the  document

 

 Prepared for Australian war widows residing in NSW and holding a DVA Gold Card, by the Guild’s Community Services Team, which is qualified to assist war widows with their concerns. 

Click here to view the  document

Click on the link to view the Australian Veterans' Children Assistance Trust information and where to apply for 2018 education scholarships.

Advertisement from The Australian 19th April 2017

Australian Government Department of Health Community Announcement.

The Australian Government is currently offering a free blood test for per- and poly- fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) to people who live or work or have lived or worked, in the affected investigation areas surrounding RAAF Base Williamtown and Army Aviation Centre Oakey.

If you would like more information on the Voluntry Blood Testing Programme for PFAS please visit www.health.gov.au/pfas

Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)

Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances, also known as “PFAS”, are a group of manufactured chemicals that have been used since the 1950s in a range of common household products and specialty applications, including in the manufacture of non-stick cookware; fabric, furniture and carpet stain protection applications; food packaging; some industrial processes; and in some types of fire-fighting foams.

The Environmental Health Standing Committee (enHealth), which is a subcommittee of the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC), has developed guidance for state and territory public health units for use in assessing any public health risks where PFAS have been released into the environment. There are many types of PFAS, with the best known examples being perfluorooctane sulfonate, known as “PFOS”, and perfluorooctanoic acid, known as “PFOA”. enHealth has also developed a factsheet with general information for the public about these three types of fluorinated chemicals. Both this guidance and the factsheet were endorsed AHPPC and is available at Environmental health publications.

More recently, PFAS have been found to have contaminated sites where there has been historic use of fire-fighting foams that contained PFAS. Over time, these chemicals have worked their way through the soil to contaminate surface and ground water, and have migrated into adjoining land areas. The release of PFAS into the environment is an emerging concern, because these chemicals are highly persistent, have been shown to be toxic to fish and some animals, and can accumulate in the bodies of fish, animals and people who come into contact with them. However, there is currently no consistent evidence that exposure to PFAS causes adverse human health effects.

Further information is available in the following Factsheet:

State regulatory authorities have taken action to reduce the environmental and public health risks at sites where there is confirmed contamination with these chemicals.

For information regarding the Department of Defence PFAS Investigation and Management program, please visit the Department of Defence's website

(Information taken from website reference)

The Williamtown Investigation Areas (click on link to access map)

 

Does kidney dialysis prevent you from enjoying a holiday away due your dialysis requirements and routine.

Well maybe not any more, Kidney Health Australia have introduced mobile dialysis chairs into Victoria and New South Wales.

Use the link below or search “Big Red Kidney Bus” to find out all about the BIG RED KIDNEY BUS travelling holiday locations in Victoria and New South Wales.

http://kidney.org.au/your-kidneys/support/dialysis/dialysis-and-travel/big-red-kidney-bus

There is also a link on the Links Page for use after this News item is removed.

 The Big Red Kidney Bus was awarded the 2015 National Disability Award for Excellence in Community Accessibility, and also won the Gold Innovative Models of Care Award at the 2015 Victorian Public Health Care Awards.


Kidney Health Australia's award-winning Big Red Kidney Bus program provides a mobile dialysis service, allowing those who require dialysis the chance to have a holiday whilst still receiving treatment. 

The Big Red Kidney Buses are open to all Australians on hospital, satellite or home dialysis.  The buses travel to popular holiday destinations across Victoria and NSW, where they are located for up to six weeks at a time, staffed by experienced dialysis nurses and renal technicians.

Click here to view the Application for Defence Medals document

 



About V360                                      Link to www.V360.org.au

V360 Australia Ltd. is a registered charity established in October 2015 with the aim of conducting assertive outreach, raising awareness and providing ongoing support for homeless veterans throughout Australia. Our outreach operators work Australia-wide and comprise a team of experienced people, both veterans and civilian. When anyone is referred to us an immediate process of triage and dispatch is undertaken. Most referrals are actioned within hours.

On any one night it is estimated that around 3,000 Australian Defence Force veterans are sleeping in conditions that are classified by the Australian Bureau of Statistics as homeless.

V360 Australia Ltd. are an assertive organisation. This means we respond immediately to referrals and actively look for veterans all around Australia who are sleeping rough or otherwise experiencing homelessness. Our aim is to reach out to and connect with these veterans – in person – as soon as possible after identifying they are in need.

Warries and Stories

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As It Happened: An Aircrew Experience by Fred Barnes AO DFC AFC

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DustOff -  Lloyd Knight

Vietnam Chopper Reflection

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Historical Anecdotes

77 Squadron RAAF In Korea 1950-1953

Writtten by Col King

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The 1954 Around Australia REDEX Relabiltiy Trial contributed by Peter Marosszeky

Losing a Wingman - the Price we Pay by Maurie Baston as published in Air Facts 2 Nov 15

Click Here for Losing A Wingman

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"Through Korean Skies" written by Col King a Korean war veteran.

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WW 2 Dambusters Raid contributed by Peter Stevens

Click here to view the Bill Hamilton War Diaries document

The Bill Hamilton war diaries provide a very interesting read and insight to conditions of the South West Pacific war theatre during Bill's time there. Published here with permission of his son Lester Hamilton.

Bill was discharged from the RAAF on compassionate grounds whilst posted to 11 Squadron (Catalinas) at Rathmines, he resumed employment at the Railway Commissioner’s Blue Metal Quarry at Bombo, NSW; having gained RAAF 2E fitter qualifications he was able to take a job as Diesel Fitter / Lorry Driver until retirement in 1968. Quite a few Kiama service organisations benefited from Bill’s volunteer work as an office bearer, such as the Rugby League club, RSL and Scouts, and he always made the effort to attend the Anzac March in Sydney, although his overseas service had a significant effect on his overall health. Bill died of complications from Parkinson’s disease on the 21st April, 1972.

Bill's son Lester is keen to hear from others who served as RAAF crew on PT Boats, or of any published works covering their service.

To contact Lester use the Contact Us form on this website and we will forward your details to Lester.

Reflection of K Block, Support Command ……by Lorraine Folkes

II would like to share one of the happy times one of many that I had whilst working for the RAAF.  My husband was in the RAN and he was posted to HMAS Cerebus in the early 70's, as I was working at 2SD I applied and was fortunate to receive a transfer to RAAF Support Command at Victoria Barracks in Melbourne.

Well I fitted in straight away it was a great place to work and we worked in a little old weatherboard building called "K" Block.  Our immediate bosses were a Squadron Leader and a Flt Lt, both very nice.  Well this particular summer we were getting very very hot weather (not that it bothered the rest of us).  Any way this day the Flt Lt was complaining bitterly about the heat, he came to my desk and said "Lorraine I will be back shortly".  Upon his return he went straight to his office and approximately half an hour later called me into his office.  "Come in Lorraine come in" "isn't this wonderful" Well I was quite surprised as in the window was a beautiful air conditioner and the Flt Lt was in his glory.  "Feel how beautiful and cool it is in here now Lorraine" I replied "Sir did you go into the city and buy it", "Oh no he replied I went to the RAAF stores and requisitioned it"

Well the next day suddenly the workman turned up and out of the window came the air conditioner the workman were escorted by a Group Captain who in no uncertain terms told the poor Flt Lt he didn't care how hot he felt he was not having the air conditioner as not even the Air Vice Marshall had one, though needless to say the Air Vice Marshall did not work in K block.

I thought I would share this as it still makes me laugh when I think of the poor Flt Lt and his lovely air conditioner. 

Lorraine Folkes 

 

Wings

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Click on link to download the 2017 Spring edition of WINGS

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Cover photograph and pages scanned from a war time edition of WINGS, 20th February 1945 edition.