Home' Vetaffairs : Autumn 2016 Contents 2 — Vetaffairs Autumn 2016
Vetaffairs is published by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs as a
free newspaper for Australia’s veteran community.
Editor Megan MacDonald
email firstname.lastname@example.org | fax (02) 6289 6025
mail GPO Box 9998 Canberra, ACT 2601
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In January 2016 I travelled to France and the UK. This trip provided
a very valuable opportunity to share information with our interna-
tional counterparts about delivering services to veterans now and
into the future.
One of the highlights of my visit was the sod-turning ceremony
for the Sir John Monash Centre (SJMC) at Villers-Bretonneux. The
Centre will be the central point to the existing Australian Remem-
brance Trail along the Western Front which links First World War
sites of significance to Australia. With construction of the Centre
having commenced, I look forward to it being open to visitors by
Anzac Day 2018.
Another highlight was a visit to the Defence Medical Rehabilita-
tion Centre, Headley Court. Headley Court provides world leading
rehabilitation services to members of the British Armed Forces, with
a particular focus on the treatment of amputees and those who have
experienced multiple or complex injuries. It was a very impressive
facility and my visit gave me some insight into how the British sys-
tem for delivering medical and rehabilitation services to veterans
As I mentioned in my last Vetaffairs column, 2015 was a very busy
year. Our achievements in 2015 position the Department well to
deliver innovative programs and initiatives that are responsive, cli-
ent focused and connected in 2016. These initiatives will include:
DVA is continuing to review the way our services are being
delivered to meet the changing needs of veterans. Through this
process so far we have finalised new arrangements for delivering
services in several regions, including in some cases, colocation
with the Department of Human Services. These arrangements
are working well and we will continue to explore new opportuni-
ties in consultation with our stakeholders.
• DVA case coordination services will be fully implemented in
2016. We now have more than doubled the number of case coor-
dinators who are available to assist clients with complex needs.
This $10 million initiative also includes activities which will
make sure Defence personnel are better supported with infor-
mation about DVA as they transition into civilian life. This will
help veterans to access the treatment, rehabilitation and other
support services they require more quickly, improving outcomes
in the longer term.
• 2016 will also see the commencement of an evaluation of the deliv-
ery of VVCS counselling services via Skype. Providing services via
Skype allows clients who are unable to leave their homes or live
in locations where there are no staff or outreach clinicians to get
the support they need when they need it, without having to travel.
More information about this exciting project is provided on page 7.
This year, as part of the annual Australia Day Awards list, more
than 20 Australians have been honoured with the award of the Medal
of the Order of Australia (OAM) for their service and commitment to
Australian veterans and their families. The recipients hail from all
over Australia, and in different ways have each provided exceptional
service to the welfare and support of the veteran community. On
behalf of DVA, I extend congratulations to those people honoured in
this year’s awards, and a sincere thank you to all those who may not
have been officially recognised but are still making a big difference
in the lives of veterans and their families.
Lastly, I have been pleased to see the large number of visitors to
the Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience which has already been
to several towns across Tasmania, Victoria and New South Wales.
The travelling exhibition will be visiting major cities and regional
hubs right across Australia until April 2017, with Tamworth and
Toowoomba coming up next. I encourage you all to attend if this
interactive exhibition is coming to a city near you. This is a free
event but bookings are essential as places are limited – see story
on page 13 or www.spiritofanzac.gov.au for more information.
News from the Department
Simon Lewis, PSM
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We have now also launched an online version of the Notice-
board – see details on page 16 for more information or visit
5000 Poppies appeal
Would it be possible to print an update
about the 5000 Poppies appeal for the
100th anniversary of the landing at
Gallipoli 2015? I made a poppy for each
of my family of ex-servicemen. I felt it
was the least I could do. I would dearly
love to know what happened to them
and where they might end up?
Editor’s note: We understand that the
5000 Poppies installation will be visiting
the Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea
Flower Show 2016 in London in May (see
more details). We will endeavour to publish
an update in a future issue.
Evidently the 100 year commemora-
tion of Anzac overshadowed the 70th
anniversary of the end of Second
World War in 1945.
For both the 50th and 60th anniversa-
ries, medallions were issued. Two of
these, one for each anniversary, were
presented to ex-veterans who visited
Townsville for the ceremonies held in
that city. The third medallion, for the
60th anniversary, was issued by DVA
and presented by the Federal MP for
Townsville at a special ceremony.
However I was pleased to see that the
70th anniversary was not completely
forgotten. As the report in the Sum-
mer issue shows, seven veterans were
able to commemorate the anniversary
in New Guinea. Perhaps, for those few
veterans then left by the 75th anni-
versary of the ending of the Second
World War, a medallion will be issued
Vetaffairs welcomes letters to the
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featured. Letters should be sent to:
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Canberra ACT 2601
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Vetaffairs publishes letters in good
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reply to letters to the editor.
Do you have a complaint, compliment or suggestion for DVA?
Phone 1300 555 785
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Phone 133 254 or from regional Australia freecall 1800 555 254
Planning for the 2016 Anzac
Day commemorations at
Gallipoli and Villers-Breton-
neux is well on track.
In 2016, no ticket or place
in a ballot is required to
attend the Dawn Service at
Gallipoli. However, if you
are attending the service
it is recommended that
you plan your trip carefully
and visit DVA’s website for
information on issues such
as what to take, transport
and advice on safety and
security. You can register
your attendance at www.
In the interests of the
health and wellbeing of
visitors, the Lone Pine ser-
vice, which in recent years
occurred after the Dawn Ser-
vice, will not be conducted
from this year onwards.
Instead a wreath laying cer-
emony will be conducted
in the afternoon of 24 April
2016 and a formal com-
memorative service will be
held at Lone Pine on the
anniversary of the battle,
6 August 2016.
If you are planning on
attending the 2016 Anzac
Day Dawn Service at the
Australian National Memo-
rial at Villers-Bretonneux
in France you can regis-
ter your attendance at
The Australian Gov-
that you register with
Smartraveller prior to trav-
elling overseas, available at
See page 11 for more
information on upcoming
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