Tuesday, 28 November 2017

VVCS Perth - PTSD Group Program for partners and families

Do you have a loved one with PTSD?

VVCS will be delivering a group program on PTSD for partners and families in Perth on Tuesday 5 December.

For more information or to register your interest, call VVCS on
1800 011 046 (during business hours) or visit www.vvcs.gov.au/Services/GroupPrograms/GroupProgramRegistration.aspx

Monday, 27 November 2017

VVCS Webinar on Exercise and Wellbeing

Did you miss the VVCS community webinar on exercise and wellbeing earlier this month? 
It’s now available for viewing! 

Simply click the link below to learn how exercise can improve your mental health and the resources available to support you.


Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Statements of Principles Updates

At the meeting of 11 October 2017 the RMA:

Determined Statements of Principles (SOPs) for:

substance use disorder59/201760/2017
immune thrombocytopaenia63/201764/2017
These SOPs revoke the SOPs previously determined for these conditions.

Determined New Statements of Principles (SOPs) for:

ulnar neuropathy at the elbow65/201766/2017
The above SOPs take effect from 4 December 2017.

Summary of Changes

  • Summary of ChangesPDF 

Decided to Undertake Consultation regarding:

ConditionReasons for DecisionDate for final decision
chilblainsIntention to remove one or more factors7 February 2018

Completed Investigations

The above determinations conclude the previously advertised investigations into:
The above investigation notices appear in the Government Notices Gazette of 14 November 2017.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Soldier On Education Courses

Soldier On’s education courses are available to both ex service personnel and their immediate families, to assist with them finding meaningful employment.
For more info about their education programs please visit-

Thursday, 16 November 2017

All current and former ADF members with at least one day of full-time service are eligible for immediate treatment for any mental illness.

There is no need to lodge an application form, nor is there any need to establish that these conditions were caused by your service. Treatment is available for as long as it is needed.

For immediate assistance call Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service on 1800 011 046 at any time, or call DVA on 133 254 (1800 555 254 for regional areas).

Monday, 13 November 2017

Aged and Community Care

DVA provides a variety of in-home and community support programmes focused on assisting you to continue living independently by supporting your health, well being, and community connection.

You can find information about DVA administered programs and other in-home and non DVA community support services here-


Thursday, 9 November 2017

24/7 Services Hub for ex-Defence Personnel in Townsviile

Lieutenant General John Caligari AO, DSC (retired) alongside director of 'Veterans Off The Streets Australia' and committee member of Townsville RSL sub branch, Floss Foster OAM have secured the Oasis Veterans Hub

Ex-Army personnel to be supported by Oasis Townsville
Townsville Bulletin - 09 November 2017

A 24/7 SERVICES hub for ex-Defence personnel and their families in Townsville should be opened early next year, with the State Government agreeing to a site.

The Oasis Townsville (TOT) will provide a one-stop shop for welfare support and employment transition services to ex-ADF personnel and their families.

TOT will be at the former Department of Primary Industries Biosecurity lab on the corner of Darter and Colvin streets, Oonoonba.

TOT leader retired Lieutenant General John Caligari said the project was almost 10 years in the making and was the brainchild of Veterans Off The Streets Australia managing director Floss Foster and Townsville leaders of prominent ex-service organisations (ESOs).

He said TOT would be manned around the clock to provide advice and support with matters affecting transitioning and adapting to life outside the ADF.

“Many services, especially those provided by ESOs, are currently dispersed across the city from Kelso right to the CBD,” he said. “Individual organisations do some incredible work but it’s often hard for them to capture all the people they need to help. People who have mental health problems often only give it one shot to seek help and end up going to the wrong place so we need to have just one place for them to go where they’ll know they’ll be looked after.”

The building has been dormant since 2012 and it is understood it requires about $1 million in refurbishment.
Labor has committed to transferring and repurposing the site in the new year if re-elected.

Mr Caligari said he would seek the same support from Pauline Hanson’s One Nation, Katter’s Australian Party and the LNP to ensure the project moved ahead.

Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland Coralee O’Rourke said ex-ADF personnel and their families faced unique challenges, including high unemployment, elevated risk of social isolation, drug addiction and suicide. She said Labor’s commitment to the TOT site was part of its plan to tackle these issues in Townsville.

“The hub will complement existing services … and will help fill the identified gaps in the current service provision,” she said. “The hub will also act as a co-ordination and referral service to existing programs and providers. It will also act as a social space for ex-ADF personnel and their families to interact with other veterans and also seek assistance to navigate the existing services available to them.”


Friday, 3 November 2017

Continuing Professional Development – the new ‘refresher’

Welfare and Compensation Officers and Advocates have always kept their knowledge up-to-date by attending refresher training – usually face-to-face foundation or add-on courses at the advocate’s current level.

The ATDP is introducing a new system to ensure military advocates have the latest skills and knowledge: 
Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

Like all ATDP training, CPD is a contemporary learning practice. It is designed to ensure that advocates continue to provide the high-quality service that current and former ADF members and their families expect and deserve.

CPD is a points-based system – just like those used by engineers, accountants and many other professions.
Points are earned through a range of activities, such as online quizzes, attending special courses and watching video tutorials. All options are designed to reinforce and grow knowledge and skills.
The program will give advocates the greatest flexibility in what they do, and how and when they do it – online at home, or at a conference or seminar. It is tailored to suit practitioners at each level in either welfare or compensation.

Advocates will discover that acquiring points won’t take more time out of their schedule than the old system, and they will be able to say with confidence to their insurer, to their authorising organisation and to their clients that their knowledge is ‘current’.

The CPD program is expected to be rolled out in the first half of 2018.
There will be a comprehensive program of information sessions and training programs before the system comes online.

Friday, 27 October 2017

Veterans' Forum - Adelaide

An invitation to a Veterans' Forum on Wednesday 15th November.
If you wish to attend please ensure that you RSVP as per the details on the flier.

An A4 version of the flier can be viewed/downloaded/printed here

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Round table forum for younger ex-ADF personnel

Orygen, the National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, in partnership with Phoenix Australia, Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health, is working through a number of ideas to improve the transition of younger serving ADF personnel.

To ensure that young people who have experience of this process are engaged in this important work they are holding a round table forum in Brisbane in the afternoon of Wednesday 1 November 2017.

They want to hear from younger ex-serving ADF personnel about what you think of these ideas.

The round table forum will present the background to the ideas and outline the direction they are taking.

If you are aged under 25 years and have transitioned out of full-time ADF service, they invite you to register your interest to be part of this forum.

Places will be limited to enable discussion and ensure everyone has an opportunity to contribute.

To register your interest to participate, go to  www.orygen.org.au/roundtable-invitation

Monday, 23 October 2017

Advocacy News

The latest edition of Advocacy News can viewed/downloaded here

Thursday, 19 October 2017

ATDP nomination and application process

The process for applying to undertaking ATDP training is a multi-part process requiring input from a number of parties.
In order for the process to progress each party needs to ensure that they take the action necessary for the application to proceed to the next step. Much of this relies on automated emails be sent by the ATDP system.
The main issues which can cause a hiccup in the process are:

  • Incorrect email addresses being entered into the system.
    Check and double check that the email address that you are entering is correct.
  • Automated emails going to Junk Mail folder
    Emails sent by the automated system can sometimes end up in your Junk Mail folder. Check this folder regularly to ensure that you have not missed any of these emails.

A step by step guide to the nomination/application process can be found here.
(This guide will be available ongoing via the link to the right under 'ATDP Information)

Monday, 16 October 2017

ATDP Vacancies

Are you an experienced advocate who'd like a say in the future of advocacy training?

The ATDP is seeking applications from people who would like to volunteer for the following positions:

Membership of the Capability Framework Management Group (CFMG) - two positions
Regional Manager of Regional Implementation Group 1 (Qld & NT) will also be a member of the CFMG

Position Descriptions and instructions on how to apply are available by clicking on the links below-
CFMG Member 
Regional Manager

Please send your application to   ATDP.Communications@dva.gov.au
by 2400 AEDT on Sunday 22 October 2017.

For both positions, please contact Roger Greene, A/g CFMG Chair on:
0411 431 189   or  cfmgchair@atdp.org.au

For more information about the CFMG click on the link below-
Capability Framework Management Group

Thursday, 12 October 2017


 As of 12 October 2017, the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Defence-related Claims) Act 1988 (DRCA) has replaced the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRCA) for current and former members who have injuries or illnesses arising from their service prior to 1 July 2004.
This new legislation will provide rehabilitation and compensation for current and former members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

The DRCA duplicates the SRCA, but has been modified to cover only current and former ADF members and their dependants.  Eligibility and benefits under the DRCA will be the same as those currently available under the SRCA.  Those members and dependants with existing claims and entitlements under the SRCA will now be automatically covered by the DRCA. 

The commencement of the new Act will not alter the eligibility and benefits currently available under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 or the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986.

The new Act will give the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs responsibility for all rehabilitation and compensation schemes that cover current and former ADF members and will recognise the unique nature of military service. 

Further information on the DRCA, and on making a claim for rehabilitation and/or compensation due to a service related injury or illness, can be found on the DVA website.

DRCA on DVA website
Factsheet MCS01

Monday, 9 October 2017

ATDP Vacancies

Are you an experienced advocate who'd like a say in the future of advocacy training?

The ATDP is seeking applications from people who would like to volunteer for the following positions:

Membership of the Capability Framework Management Group (CFMG) - two positions 
Regional Manager of Regional Implementation Group 1 (Qld & NT) will also be a member of the CFMG

Position Descriptions and instructions on how to apply are available by clicking on the links below-
CFMG Member 
Regional Manager

Please send your application to   ATDP.Communications@dva.gov.au 
by 2400 AEDT on Sunday 22 October 2017.

For both positions, please contact Roger Greene, A/g CFMG Chair on:
0411 431 189   or  cfmgchair@atdp.org.au

For more information about the CFMG click on the link below-
Capability Framework Management Group

Friday, 6 October 2017

Change from SRCA to DRCA

You may be aware that a new Act has been passed to replace the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRCA) for current and former Australian Defence Force (ADF) members with coverage under Part XI. 
The new Act, the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Defence-related Claims) Act 1988 (DRCA) will replace the SRCA from 12 October 2017.

The DRCA replicates the SRCA, modified to apply only to current and former ADF members and their dependants.  The commencement of the DRCA will separate compensation for current and former ADF members with service prior to 1 July 2004 from compensation available to civilians covered by the SRCA. 

It is important to note that:

  • The DRCA will replicate the relevant provisions of the SRCA, as it stands at the date of commencement on 12 October 2017. 
  • The eligibility and benefits available under the DRCA are the same as those available under the SRCA.  
  • All existing claims and entitlements under the SRCA will automatically become claims and entitlements under the DRCA. 
  • All new claims relating to service prior to 1 July 2004 will be determined under the DRCA from 12 October 2017. 
  • There will be no impact on claims under the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 or the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004.  

Please remember to use the new claim forms that reference the DRCA when you are lodging claims.  These will be available on the DVA website. 
The new Act will be available on the Federal Register of Legislation from 12 October 2017.

Click here to view/download frequently asked questions on the DRCA. 
Alternatively, you can contact  (02) 6289 4847 or email  drca.information@dva.gov.au  if you have any questions.

VVCS Webinar - Exercise and Wellbeing

Community Webinar - 1 November 2017   12pm - 1pm AEDT
Exercise and physical activity are essential for our health. 
While most of us know that physical activity is important for the health of our muscles and bones, exercise provides many benefits for our mental health too. 
Join VVCS at their next community webinar on Wednesday 1 November, covering the topic of exercise and wellbeing. 

For more info and to register visit bit.ly/VVCSwellbeingwebinar

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Information Session - Adelaide

ATDP Region 3 Manager, David Rye, will be conducting a ATDP Information Session in the Combined Mess at Torrens Parade Ground at 1pm Monday, 16 October 2017.

The session will provide an up-date on the program, training and RPL for anybody interested in the ATDP.

We invite ESO executives, members and advocates as well as those interested in volunteering with this program to attend.
The session is expected to last approximately one hour.

Please RSVP to  aso3@atdp.org.au  by Thursday 12 October if you will be attending.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

DVA Hearing Services Webpage Update

The Hearing Services web page on the DVA website has been updated.


Hearing loss can have a significant impact on independence, participation in community life and the ability to communicate with others. Veterans with hearing loss can access services and support through a range of DVA programs, including the DVA Rehabilitation Appliances Program (RAP) and the DVA Tinnitus Program. Veterans can also access services through the Australian Government Hearing Services Program (the program) which is administered by the Department of Health.
The Australian Government recognises the importance of supporting people with hearing loss and provides high quality fully subsidised hearing devices and support through the Hearing Services Program. Under the Hearing Services Program, eligible DVA clients can select a high quality hearing device, at no cost, from an extensive range of over 200 high quality devices from the fully subsidised schedule. Device technology available on the fully subsidised schedule is constantly updated based on expert advice.
Depending on individual needs, support for eligible DVA clients may consist of:

  • a comprehensive hearing assessment;
  • an individual rehabilitation plan including establishing hearing goals and communication training;
  • advice and support about hearing loss;
  • if required, the fitting of a fully or partially subsidised hearing device;
  • if required, Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs), free of charge from the RAP;
  • free maintenance of these devices; and
  • access to additional support for more complex hearing and communications needs, such as tinnitus.
Visit the webpage for more information.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Information Sessions - Tasmania

Information session will be conducted by the Region 3 Manager, David Rye, in Tasmania during October.

The sessions are open to ESO executives, members, advocates and those who may be interested in undertaking ATDP training and will provide an update on the ATDP, training and the Recognition of Prior Learning process.

If you would like to attend a session please RSVP to:
anne.james@dva.gov.au  before 5pm on 18 October

  • Hobart  23 October
    Legacy House, 159 Macquarie St Hobart
  • Ulverstone  24 October
    Ulverstone Ex-Service Club, 21 King Edward St Ulverstone
  • Launceston  25 October
    Launceston RSL, 313 Wellington St Launceston

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Engage - new on-line support portal


What is Engage?
Engage is an online portal that current, transitioning, and former ADF members; their families, and/or those involved in their support can use to locate support services.

Engage simplifies the process of accessing support by providing information on not-for-profit services available from a range of service providers.

How does Engage work?
Engage simplifies the process of accessing support by providing information on not-for-profit services available from a range of service providers.

Engage will ‘connect’ users to specific support providers based on different criteria including their:

  • Need
  • Physical location – local, regional and national, and
  • Service or support required.

What type of support services can be accessed through Engage?
The following categories of support services can be accessed through Engage:

  • Emergency Support
  • Staying Active
  • Financial and Legal Support
  • Employment Services
  • Assisted Living
  • Claims and Pension Assistance
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Partners, Parents and Families
  • Work on Behalf of the Veteran Community

How do I access Engage?

Engage is accessible through any World Wide Web enabled device.


Monday, 25 September 2017

Level 1 Consolidation/Assessment (Pilot) Workshops

Nominations are called for candidates to attend Level 1 Pilot Consolidation/Assessment Workshops.

It is essential that candidates nominated for the Pilot courses have completed all workplace experience and eLearning requirements, in addition to having completed and certified Workplace Experience Logbooks (WEL) and Portfolios of Evidence for consideration that meet at least the minimum evidential requirements.

Nomination Procedure

Responsibility for initial conformation of readiness for assessment is vested in the candidate's Workplace Mentor, who then notifies the Regional Mentor (or nominated coordinating mentor).
Both the Mentor and the Regional Mentor need to be satisfied that:

a)  The candidate has undertaken the eLearning requirements for their Unit of Competency

b)  The candidate's WEL show evidence of the experiences outlined in the appropriate mentor checklist

c)  The dates in the WEL and subsequent timeframe for experience are appropriate

d)  The candidate's Portfolio of Evidence meets the assessment requirement

e)  The candidate's full name and USI are included with the nomination to the ASO

The Regional Mentor is then responsible for notifying the ASO that the candidate is ready for consolidation/assessment.
The ASO is then to provide the National Training Manager with the list of potential attendees.

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Media Release (21 Sep 17) Veteran Pensions Set to Increase

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
21 September 2017

Veteran pensions set to increase

Veteran pension payments have increased in line with the biannual indexation.
The increase will cover pension recipients including veterans, their partners, war widows and widowers.
Due to the calculation of pension rates on a daily basis, the first pension paid after the indexation on payday 28 September 2017 will comprise a component of both the old and new rates.
The new pension rates will be fully effective from pension payday 12 October 2017.
The table below highlights the new fortnightly rates.
SERVICE PENSIONOld rate (fortnightly)New rate (fortnightly)Increase (fortnightly)
Single person $888.30 $894.40 $6.10
Couples (each) $669.60 $674.20 $4.60
Single person – transitional $748.00 $752.40 $4.40
Couples (each) – transitional $603.40 $607.00 $3.60
War widow(er)’s pension $902.80 $909.10 $6.30
Income support supplement $266.60 $268.50 $1.90
T&PI (Special rate) $1,364.30 $1,373.80 $9.50
Intermediate rate $926.20 $932.70 $6.50
EDA $753.60 $758.90 $5.30
100 per cent $485.00 $488.40 $3.40
10 per cent $55.43 $55.77 $0.34
These are the maximum rates of payment and include any Energy Supplement payable.
Pensions are indexed twice a year in March and September. For a full list of pension rates, please visit www.dva.gov.auor call 133 254 or 1800 555 254 from regional Australia.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Payneham RSL Veterans' Centre (South Australia)

Payneham RSL has established a Veterans' Centre for the use and delivery of advocacy services to the ex-service community in a family friendly environment.
It is open to all serving and retired ADF personnel and their families.

360 Payneham Rd, Payneham
Tuesday - Thursday  0900 - 1200

For further information about the Veterans' Centre, download a flier here,
or contact Scott Jeffrey  0439 963 550     jeffro140274@gmail.com

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Veterans Health Week event - Townsville

Veterans Off The Streets Australia, in conjunction with Veterans Health Week, will be conducting a Community Sleepout in Townsville from 2pm Saturday 21st October to 8am Sunday 22nd October.

For more information, download a flyer here, or visit www.votsa.org.au

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

ADF Post-discharge GP Health Assessment

Your health is everything and it’s important to stay on top of it. Being at your best and enjoying a longer, healthier and happier life means taking action.

After you have left the Australian Defence Force (ADF), you can access a comprehensive health assessment from your GP to track how you are going.
This assessment has been designed specifically for you. It can help your GP identify the early onset of any physical or mental health conditions you may be experiencing and provide treatment or refer you to other services, if you need it.

Are you eligible?
The assessment is available to all former serving personnel. This includes those who have left the permanent force and are now in the Reserves, and those who have left the Reserves.
There are no time restrictions for accessing this one-off assessment. 

DVA will fund the assessment through the usual DVA health card arrangements. 
If you’re not a DVA client, a Medicare rebate is available. Your GP may decide to bulk bill the assessment at no cost to you. If your GP charges a fee that is higher than the rebate, you will need to pay for the gap.

Talk to your GP, tell them you have served in the ADF and ask them about this health assessment.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Canberra Veterans' Access Network relocation

From Monday 18th September, services through the Canberra Veterans’ Access Network (VAN) office will be delivered from the Department of Human Services (DHS) Service Centre at 2–6 Bowes Street, Woden ACT.

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) announced the move in July. It will provide easier access to services for the local veteran community, including the ability to access a variety of services in one central place.
Feedback regarding the co-location from both the veteran community and VAN staff has been positive.

The DVA presence is clearly identified within the DHS Service Centre.
All Canberra VAN office staff have relocated to the new location and are continuing to deliver the same services to the veteran community as they did from the previous location.

The new arrangements will ensure that DVA assistance can be accessed from a modern facility, which has direct access to a large car park and is close to public transport.
DVA will continue to work with the local veteran community to ensure the services provided by the Canberra VAN office continue to meet their needs into the future.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Information Sessions - Queensland

Queensland Advocates and ESOs

We are pleased to invite you to attend an Information Session about the Advocacy Training and Development Program (ATDP).

What it's About
These sessions will provide you with an opportunity to:

  • Meet members of the ATDP team
  • Obtain an overview of the ATDP and gain an understanding of the ATDP
  • Ask questions about the ATDP 

When and Where
Tuesday 26th September 2017
12.30pm to 2.00pm
Location: Stanthorpe RSL
46 Marsh Street
Stanthorpe, Q 4380
Lunch provided.

Wednesday 27th September 2017
1.00pm to 3.00pm
Location: Oakey RSL
76 Campbell Street,
Oakey, Q 4401
Afternoon tea provided.

Please RSVP for catering purposes by emailing the Region 1 Administration Officer, Tamsin McGuin at aso1@atdp.org.au no later than 20th September 2017.

We hope you can take some time to come to one of the Information Sessions and we look forward to seeing you there.

Peter McNamara
Manager ATDP Region 1 (Qld & NT)

Thursday, 14 September 2017

R U OK Day

Today is R U OK?Day, a national day of action and a reminder to all Australians that you’ve got what it takes to have a life-changing conversation.

Use today to start these conversations and as a reminder to keep them going all year round.
If every Australian takes the time to ask, listen, encourage action and check in when someone around them is struggling, we’ll move closer to our vision of a world where we are all connected and are protected against suicide.

More at www.ruok.org.au

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

New compensation Act for veterans (DRCA)

Parliament has passed the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Defence-related Claims) Act 1988 (DRCA), which will replace for Australian Defence Force (ADF) members the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRCA). There will be no change to eligibility or the coverage of entitlements or benefits available to current and former members of the ADF.

The purpose of this change was to move all military compensation legislation under the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs. Mr Tehan said the legislation gave the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs policy responsibility for all veterans’ compensation legislation.

“This new legislation will allow for more consistency for veterans’ entitlements subject to consultation with the defence and ex-service community. This will allow the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to improve the services it offers,” Mr Tehan said.

DRCA will commence 28 days after Royal Assent when all veterans and ADF members with existing claims under the SRCA will automatically become claims under the DRCA.

Mr Tehan assured the Parliament that there would be no change to coverage in this move but that the Government had put in place a safety net for any unforeseen situations.

Any new claims for injuries and illnesses due to service prior to 1 July 2004 which are lodged on or after the commencement date will now also be DRCA claims.

Further information on the DRCA, and on making a claim for rehabilitation and/or compensation due to a service related injury or illness under any of the military compensation Acts, can be found at www.dva.gov.au.