Home' Vetaffairs : Vetaffairs - Summer 2017 Contents 13 — Vetaffairs Summer 2017
Clients have their say
on DVA legislation
Attendees at the first DVA Legislation Workshop last month.
The inaugural DVA Legislation Workshop
was held on 9 November 2017, providing the
veteran community with an opportunity
to shape the future direction of the Depart-
ment’s legislation program.
There were 29 attendees at the event, rep-
resenting 20 organisations. They were joined
by staff from the Department of Defence, the
Commonwealth Ombudsman’s Office and
advisers from the office of the Minister for
As the Deputy President of the Repa-
triation Commission noted in his opening
remarks, the Workshop is a new forum to
consult, discuss and prioritise DVA’s future
There was wide-ranging discussion at the
workshop about the issues affecting veter-
ans and their families. Some of the topics
The need for a case management model
to ensure DVA clients receive the fullest
Better promotion of the full range of
rehabilitation services available and re-
branding from rehabilitation to wellness.
The vital role that families and carers play
in ADF members’ lives and the need for
DVA to do more to support them in sup-
The need for the creation of a single Act
to replace the existing Acts. Workshop
participants indicated that this should
take the most beneficial provisions from
the existing Acts and also include a Mili-
Inconsistencies across the Acts in how
they deal with the same issue. We now
have an opportunity to consider these
problems and look to provide more con-
sistency across the Acts.
The importance of education and training
and recognising prior learning.
Transition issues such as better support
in the five years after transition and the
usefulness of education and re-training
to focus on positives.
The need to promote a paradigm of well-
ness and health so that DVA assists its
clients to be healthy and happy and lead
The list of issues discussed, as well as
other information about the Workshop, is
available on DVA’s legislation webpage at
will keep the veteran community updated as
it investigates suggested legislative reform
To provide feedback on any of these, or
other legislation issues, please email:
The Seventh Circle: A former Australian soldier’s
extraordinary story of surviving seven years in
Afghanistan’s most notorious prison
By Rob Langdon, Allen & Unwin, $32.99, 304pp
Rob Langdon served in the Australian Army for 14
years before becoming a security contractor in Iraq and
Afghanistan. In July 2009, he was protecting a convoy
when he shot and killed an Afghan guard who had
drawn a pistol on him. After Langdon’s claim of self-
defence was dismissed by a Kabul court, he spent seven
years in Pol-e -Charkhi prison, before being pardoned and released in 2016.
The Seventh Circle is his account of what it took to stay alive and sane in the jail
known as ‘the world’s worst place to be a westerner’.
Palestine Diaries: The Light Horsemen’s
own story, battle by battle
By Jonathan King, Scribe, $39.99, 448pp
In this third instalment of his First World War centen-
nial trilogy, historian Jonathan King tells the story of
the Light Horse in their own brutally honest words,
day by day, battle after bloody battle. Published
together here, many for the first time, are the diaries,
letters, and photos of those brave young men, whose
service and sacrifice helped shape a nation, while also
planting the seeds of the modern Middle Eastern conflicts.
Beersheba: Travels through a forgotten
Australian victory (Centenary Edition)
By Paul Daley, Melbourne University Press,
A hundred years have passed since members of the
4th Australian Light Horse Brigade raced across six
kilometres of exposed ground, surprising the well-
entrenched Turks and striking the decisive blow
in the British capture of the strategic stronghold of
Beersheba. In this special Centenary Edition of his
Prime Minister’s History Prize-shortlisted study of the battle, Paul Daley
sheds new light on a dark episode starkly at odds with the Anzac mythology.
If you would like your title featured in off the shelf, please send us a summary
of the book (maximum 150 words) along with the price and page extent and a
high resolution .jpg of the book’s cover.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to GPO Box 9998, Brisbane QLD 4001.
PLANNING FOR NATURAL DISASTERS
Whether you live in an area that is prone to
natural disasters or not, it is wise to regularly
review your home and contents insurance.
Summer in Australia is synonymous
with barbecues, long days at the beach
or pool, and ice cream vans cruising
through the streets. But in many parts
of the country, it is also synonymous
with natural disasters including bush-
fires, cyclones and severe storms, so it
is important to prepare yourself, your
family, your pets and your property.
Everyone should consider setting up
a household emergency kit with essen-
tial items such as a portable radio, spare
batteries, torch and a first aid kit. In
cyclone and bushfire prone areas, this
kit should include a list of emergency
contact numbers including those of a
friend or relative in a different state who
would be the central point of contact
should your family be separated during
Other practices we should all work
into our routines include regular mow-
ing, clearing of roofs, gutters and
downpipes and raking of leaves, dead
limbs and twigs in the garden.
Making sure smoke alarms are
installed and working correctly by test-
ing them monthly and changing the
batteries at least once each year is a
must for the to do list whether your
home is in a disaster-prone area or not.
• Put together a bushfire plan.
• Inspect chimneys at least twice a year and clean
them at least once a year.
• Make sure your gutters are cleared.
• Clear items that will burn from around the house,
including wood piles, outdoor furniture, barbecue
grills and tarps. Clear all flammable vegetation.
In case you are unable to leave your home:
• Make sure each family member knows how to use
a fire extinguisher and show them where it’s kept.
• Keep handy household items that can be used as
fire tools such as a rake, axe, handsaw or chain-
saw, bucket and shovel.
• Ensure the garden hose is long enough to reach any
area of your home and structures such as sheds.
CYCLONE AND STORM PLANNING
• Have an evacuation plan in place. Your local coun-
cil can provide advice on whether your home is
prone to flooding in a storm, and also inform you
of evacuation advice.
• Keep trees and shrubs away from the house and
• Perform regular maintenance on your home and
property as materials deteriorate over time, espe-
cially in sub-tropical and tropical climates.
• Be aware of changes to building standards. These
standards are in place to reduce the risk of dam-
age to your home, so have a builder check the
structural soundness of your home as well as the
condition of the roof.
• Fit your windows with shutters or metal screens.
Defence Service Homes Insurance
(DSHI) also suggests you review your
insurance to make sure it is current and
covers all your assets. Check you are
not underinsured – many people only
discover this after their house has been
damaged by a natural disaster.
Check to ensure buildings or other
structures on the property such as
sheds, solar panels and fences are
covered by the policy; the estimated
cost of repairing or rebuilding a
home factors in new building codes
and requirements such as triple
glazing of windows or use of fire-
resistant building materials.
There is more information on
preparing your property for natu-
ral disasters on the DSHI website
DSHI can provide advice on how
much to insure your home for, as
well as an obligation-free check-up
of your current insurance arrange-
ments. Just visit our website or call
us on 1300 552 662.
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