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The importance of family
Being a member of the Australian Defence
Force (ADF) is a unique occupation and
belonging to a Defence Force family can be
quite different to being part of a civilian one.
Dad or Mum could be away for months at a
time, leaving their partner to manage the
household duties and raise the children.
A career in the ADF involves the whole
family. When an ADF member is posted, the
whole family is posted. This may include
moving states or countries. For the partner,
searching for a job, changing schools for the
children, leaving friends and family behind,
is a major upheaval.
If the ADF member has been deployed there
could be difficult times ahead. They don’t or
can’t talk about what they have experienced.
The family cannot be involved, leaving not
only the ADF member feeling alone but the
whole family feeling lonely and confused.
When the ADF member returns home from
deployment, he/she will have been gone for
several months. Sometimes they are not the
same person who left. The trauma they have
experienced has changed them. This can
place a huge amount of stress on the family
as they re-adjust to this person. The partner
in particular has to deal with their veteran,
the children, and the extended family.
We understand that without family involve-
ment in the life of a veteran and his or her
community there may be little progress in
their ability to cope with the issues they face.
We also believe that without support, the
partner’s ability to care for and nurture the
family and in particular the veteran may be
Over the past almost 20 years, the support
of the family has become more evident with
Defence, DVA and the many ex-service organ-
isations offering assistance at almost every
level and for every member of the family,
both currently serving and past serving.
Serving members have access to the
Defence Community Organisation, Defence
Families, the Veterans and Veterans Families
Counselling Service as well as many organisa-
tions available that can help ease the burden
for the family.
The internet and social media play a huge
role in the life of the younger military families
with countless apps available for support and
guidance throughout their time in service.
Leaving the ADF should involve both the
member and their partner, as a smooth tran-
sition back into civilian life involving both
parties is crucial. Partners and their veteran
should be encouraged to attend courses and
seminars about life after the ADF. Through
Government initiatives beginning this year,
children of the military both past and present
will be able to attend camps and gain cop-
ing skills associated with living in a military
For many of those who are no longer serv-
ing, the friendships formed during service
endure throughout life, offering support of a
Throughout our history as a nation, the pil-
lar of strength for our ADF member has been
the family. The recognition of this strength
is now coming to the fore, in particular the
contribution of the partner in overseeing the
health and wellbeing of the entire family.
No man is an island and for partners the
support of others in a similar situation is
essential, as is the nurturing and care of
Submitted by The Partners of Veterans
Association of Australia (www.pva.org.au).
Its national help line is 1300 553 835.
Legacy youth and veterans face an uphill battle
This year marks the 75th anniversary
of the Kokoda Campaign. Legacy Aus-
tralia, in partnership with the Australian
Defence Force (ADF), has launched Oper-
ation Legacy Australia Kokoda Challenge
2017 (OP LAKC 17) – a youth leadership
development activity for Legacy youth
aged 16–25 and mentoring initiative for
currently serving veterans.
OP LAKC 17 will see 25 Legacy youth,
accompanied by 10 serving veterans,
walk the Kokoda Trail from 28 August
to 7 September to coincide with Legacy
Week 2017, Legacy’s national campaign
to help raise funds and awareness for
the families of those who served their
Major General Stuart Smith AO DSC,
Legacy Australia Ambassador and for-
mer Legacy ward, said that:
Our support of Operation Legacy
Australia Kokoda Challenge 2017 sym-
bolises our commitment to caring for
the dependants of those that have
died or become incapacitated follow-
ing their military service. Defence
veterans mentoring Legacy youths
reflects the true spirit of Legacy. The
75th anniversary of the Second World
War Battle of Kokoda, where so many
Australian soldiers, sailors and airmen
distinguished themselves, will pro-
vide a wonderful inspiration.
Through our interaction with Legacy
families, especially our Legacy youth, we
do what we can to build resilient young
people who make valuable contribu-
tions to their local community and the
wider Australian public.
Tony Ralph, Chairman Legacy Aus-
tralia said that, ‘by pairing Legacy youth
with a serving ADF member, OP LAKC
17 provides a vehicle in which Legacy
can support the ADF in their duty as
the Defence family to look after itself by
those who have served and returned’.
The responsibility of returning sol-
diers looking after their mates, the very
catalyst for establishing Legacy and
the RSL following the First World War,
continues today. They are called to the
same noble act of caring for the families
of defence personnel who gave their life
or health in defence of the nation.
We believe OP LAKC 17 will build better
awareness of the work of Legacy in the
ADF, while providing serving veterans
with a unique and rewarding experience.
OP LAKC 17 may be an uphill battle for
Legacy youth and serving veterans, yet
it stands as an example of collaboration
in meeting the needs of contemporary
Any questions regarding OP LAKC 17
can be directed to email@example.com.
Submitted by Legacy Australia
Navy Week Victoria
The Naval Commemoration
Committee of Victoria (NCCV)
with the support of the Navy
League of Australia and the
Naval Association of Aus-
tralia have scheduled several
events, starting on Saturday,
21 October 2017, to support
the Australian Defence Force,
and Navy in particular.
This is the 50th anniver-
sary of hoisting the current
Australian White Ensign. It is
also the 75th anniversary of
the loss of many Australian
warships during the Second
The most important activ-
ity will be the Navy Week
Victoria Ball. While there will
be a Remembrance aspect,
there will be a strong empha-
sis on the value of the current
Australian White Ensign. The
Ball is open to all service and
ex-servicemen and women,
their families and friends.
It will be held at the iconic
Melbourne Town Hall com-
mencing at 7.00 pm. The cost
will be $155 per person and
we encourage everyone with
any connection to Defence to
go to our website at navyvic.
net or email us at navy.week.
firstname.lastname@example.org for all
information such as payment
Guest of honour will be Vice
Admiral Tim Barrett AO CSC
RAN, Chief of Navy.
Earlier in the day, we have
scheduled a seminar from
10.00 am to 3.00 pm. Chief
of Navy will be the keynote
speaker at this event. Again,
more information is avail-
able on our website, or you
can email naval.commemora-
for advice and to register.
Sunday, 22 October 2017 will
be the Seafarers Church Ser-
vice, conducted at 10.30 am, St
Paul’s Cathedral. This impor-
tant service for mariners has
been conducted since 1907.
It would help to advise the
organisers by emailing NCCV
as mentioned above.
Sporting events will be
scheduled during the follow-
ing week and you can find
out about these activities by
going to the website.
If you have difficulty in
emailing us, you can write
to the NCCV Secretary at 316
Nicholas Street, Fitzroy VIC
3065. Please provide a tele-
Navy Week is an impor-
tant opportunity for Defence
personnel to meet, discuss
relevant matters and above
all enjoy the camaraderie.
With your help we can lift the
profile of Defence and Navy in
particular in Victoria.
Submitted by The Naval
tee of Victoria (navyvic.net).
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