Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Pension Increases

Veteran pension payments have increased in March in line with the biannual indexation process.
Pension recipients including veterans, their partners, war widows and widowers across Australia will see the increase from 20 March 2016.
Due to pension rates calculating on a daily basis, the first pension paid after the indexation on payday 31 March 2016 will comprise both the old and new rates.
The new pension rates will be fully effective from payment date 14 April 2016.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

BeyondNow - Suicide Safety Planning App

Safety planning is exactly what it sounds like – creating a plan to stay safe during those really difficult moments. 
The BeyondNow app makes this suicide prevention tool even more valuable by putting your plan in your pocket – you’ll always have it on hand if you need it. It can be hard to think clearly when you’re in a suicidal crisis or having thoughts or feelings about suicide. Having all your warning signs, coping strategies, reasons for living and support listed in one place means you can focus on working through the steps until you feel safe. We hope that you and your loved ones will never need this app. But if you do, we hope it can guide you through the tough times.
You can download the app from the App Store or Google Play. 
For more info about safety planning and BeyondNow, visit bb.org.au/1S12SXE
BeyondNow was developed by beyondblue and Monash University, and funded by donations from The Movember Foundation Australia.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

BEST Grant Funding Round 18 (2016-17)

The Building Excellence in Support and Training (BEST) grants program supports ex-service organisation practitioners and advocates to provide pensions and welfare assistance to the veteran and Defence community.
It also links closely to the Training and Information Program, which provides the essential skills for claims, advocacy and welfare work.
Applications are now invited for funding under BEST Round 18 for the 2016-17 financial year
Applications will be accepted from 15 March 2016 to 15 April 2016.
Further information can be found on the DVA website.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

At Ease Portal

Did you know the Department of Veterans' Affairs has a number of innovative websites and free mobile applications (apps) which you can use to help manage your mental health and wellbeing concerns whenever and wherever you need? Taking action early is the key to good mental health. The At Ease portal is DVA’s ‘one stop shop’ to access a wide range of online mental health and wellbeing resources. www.at-ease.dva.gov.au If you’re looking for simple, relevant information and advice to help recognise the symptoms of poor mental health, or to keep your family healthy while caring for someone with a mental health condition, the At Ease Veterans and Veterans Families website is the place to start. www.at-ease.dva.gov.au/veterans/ Or, perhaps like many others you’ve made the decision to find the ‘right balance' of alcohol, diet and exercise. If so, use the Right Mix Your Health & Alcohol website www.therightmix.gov.au and the On Track with the Right Mix app to help achieve a healthier lifestyle. www.at-ease.dva.gov.au/veterans/resources/mobile-apps/ To combat your stress levels and help you relax and unwind, use the simple tools found on the High Res resilience website. www.at-ease.dva.gov.au/veterans/resources/mobile-apps/ You can also use the High Res app to help manage your immediate reactions to stressful situations on-the-go. If you are concerned about suicide awareness and suicide prevention within the veteran community, access the dedicated Operation Life Online website to learn how you can help those at risk. www.at-ease.dva.gov.au/suicideprevention/ Remember, information to help you and your family cope with a range of mental health and wellbeing issues is readily available at your fingertips – simply check out the At Ease portal www.at-ease.dva.gov.au

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Australian Family Physician magazine is issued to all members of the Australian College of General Practitioners. 
The March edition is principally devoted to the Defence Community and their health care.
Members of the veteran community are encouraged to discuss the material with their GP so he/she does bother to read it and they are familiar with it.

Monday, 7 March 2016

Remembering Brigadier Bill Rolfe AO (Retd)

MEDIA RELEASE 04 March 2016
The Hon Dan Tehan MP
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC 
Minister for Defence Materiel
Remembering Brigadier Bill Rolfe AO (Retd)
The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Dan Tehan, today paid tribute to a distinguished Australian, Brigadier Bill Rolfe AO (Retd), who has died after a long illness.
“I offer my sincere condolences to Brigadier Rolfe’s family and friends as they mourn the loss of a man who served our nation and the community, particularly the ex-service community, with distinction,” Minister Tehan said.
“Brigadier Rolfe was a Royal Military College Duntroon graduate who served as a platoon commander with the 2nd Battalion in South Vietnam and was mentioned in dispatches for his service.
“During operations in Vietnam, he suffered injuries that led to the amputation of both legs below the knee. However, testament to his determination, Brigadier Rolfe overcame this setback, gaining a law degree from the Australian National University and continuing his military career in a variety of legal officer positions.”
In 1982, Brigadier Rolfe was the first Australian officer to attend the Graduate Course at The Judge Advocate General’s School, U.S. Army, in Charlottesville, Virginia. He was then appointed Director of Army Legal Services in 1986 and Director General of Defence Force Legal Services in 1989.
Brigadier Rolfe retired from the Australian Defence Force in 1992, when he joined the National Security Branch of the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Legal Practice.
In 1997, he was appointed as head of the Veterans’ Review Board, an independent statutory tribunal responsible for review of Repatriation Commission decisions on entitlement to, and assessment of, disability pensions. He resigned in 2007 to become a Commissioner of the Repatriation Commission and a Member of the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission, retiring in July 2010.
Brigadier Rolfe was appointed as an Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day Honours List in 2008 for services to veterans.
The Minister said Brigadier Rolfe, a highly respected member of Australia’s ex-service community, was involved with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs until his death, most recently in relation to advocacy review work.
“As a result of this work, the creation of a new Advocacy Training and Development Program was endorsed by the ex-service community and the Government in late 2015,” Minister Tehan said.
“Brigadier Rolfe retired as President of Legacy Canberra on 29 January 2016 due to his ill health.
“During this sad time, my deepest sympathies are with Brigadier Rolfe’s widow, Joan Susanne, to whom he was married for more than 40 years, and their three children.”

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Disability Parking Space App

The BlueBays app displays the location of disability parking spaces in South Australia. 
Anyone can collect, map and share the locations of spaces and additional information such as nearby facilities or physical barriers. 
This app was created by the Department for Communities and Social Inclusion (DCSI) and is available free from the App Store or Google Play.

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Operation Life - Keep Calm, Stay Safe

Operation Life - Keep Calm , Stay Safe
The new Operation Life mobile application (app) is designed to help those at risk deal with suicidal thoughts and is recommended to be used with the support of a clinician.
The app provides on-the-go access to emergency and professional support and self-help tools to help users regain control, keep calm and take action to stay safe. The app also contains web links to online resources, including information on suicide awareness, prevention training and counselling.
The app is available free from the App Store or Google Play.
(Note: some features of this app may not be accessible on earlier model iOS and Android phones.)
For more information about suicide awareness and prevention see the Operation Life Online website.