Affiliated with the Vietnam Veterans Federation of Australia
NEWS AND INFORMATION
On this page we discuss matters concerning the Veteran Community in Australia
"The widows and dependents of those who have fallen will be provided for; the unemployable will be generously pensioned, and the maimed will be settled in occupations for which they are fitted. The Commonwealth Government undertakes the full responsibility for the welfare of the returned soldiers..." Priime Minister Billy Hughes 1917.
For all matters relating to claims against DVA
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I believe, our duty is to ensure our more recent comrades, the soldiers, sailors and airmen of Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan, Peacekeepers & Peacemakers, do not suffer in the same way as Vietnam Veterans suffered on our return home from that war. We can do this by helping our younger comrades with their compensation claims and appeals. Ensuring we acknowledge their outstanding service given under extremely difficult and dangerous conditions and keep reminding the government of its obligation to properly compensate and care for those whose service has damaged them.
The VVPPAA NSW will do what it can to ease the path for our worthy successors.
This will become even more important when most of our troops are pulled out of Afghanistan.
A few years down the track we know that the psychological damage done by the trauma of these wars will really begin to manifest itself. By then, the media interest in our veterans will have waned. What is newsworthy while the war is being fought will fail the 'interest' test when the fighting is over. It is then that the really hard work begins, of reminding governments of their continuing obligation.
Frank Cole - NSW State President
STATE PRESIDENT COMMENT
Over the last few years, the government, the Repatriation Commission and the Department of Veterans Affairs have been disappointing.
It was only resistance in the Senate from the Opposition, Jacqui Lambie and other cross-benchers that foiled the government’s attempts to downgrade the indexation of the TPI Pension,General Rate Pensions, Invalidity Service Pension and more.
Continue to read more HERE
Not enough is done for veterans’ partners.
Yet it is clear that partners can be, and in many cases are, second wave war casualties.
Continue to read more HERE
Those seeking information about why we came together in the mid 1970's and became the organisation we are today, I recommend browsing through the 'About Us' page, and have a look at the 'Agent Orange' article in 'Current Issues' later on this page.
DVA - Military Compensation
Commonwealth Superannuation (MSBS, DFRDB and Retrospective medical discharge claims)
Asbestos - Dust Disease Tribunal claims
Industry super claims - income protection - TPD appeals
claims for Detriment Caused by Defective Administration - CDDA
The following articles reflect a broad spectrum of our activities in relation to Veterans and our efforts to protect their entitlements, regardless of government and governance of issues that affect us and those that will follow.
It provides an insight into the demands that constant vigilance is required to protect hard won rights and entitlements that the younger soldier of today will need to understand so that those that come after them are treated as equally.
Productivity Commission review into DVA
The Australian Productivity Commission conducted an independent inquiry into whether the compensation and rehabilitation system currently available for veterans in Australia is fit for purpose now, and whether the system is likely to effectively and efficiently support veterans and their families in thefuture.
The Productivity Commission reported in February 2019, and while we feel it exposed the DVA failures and misconduct it remains an enigma as to what the reports final decisions and outcomes were.
Our researchers have delved deeply into the report and released their findings in our March 2019 newsletter.
You can read the report HERE
New DVA 12 Step Programme
UNDER current DVA arrangements, a GP may refer a client to physiotherapists and other allied health services for up to a year at DVA’s expense (except for dental and optical, for which no referral is required). For chronic conditions, the GP can make an ongoing referral.
Under the new arrangements, which will be in place from 1 July 2019, GPs will only be able to make a referral to physiotherapists and other allied health services at DVA’s expense for up to 12 sessions or one year, whichever comes sooner. This new arrangement will also apply to those clients with a chronic condition. Dental and optical services will still not need a GP referral.
You can read the report HERE
The Agent Orange affair
We came home to a hostile community, many taking their angst toward government out on the unsuspecting soldier returning from war. In many cases DVA did not want to know us, and some RSLs shunned us.
Then we began to notice that a lot of returned veterans from Vietnam, and more importantly, our children, were suffering cancers and deseases that proved to be as a result of the veterans exposure to herbicides and defoliants used in Vietnam.
Our long march to retribution explains a lot of how we developed over the intervening 40 years, and we carry on the fight for todays veteran and service personnel. No better insight can come but from the report on why we forced a 'NEW' history on the effects of those herbicides to be commissioned by the Government.
Due for release during 2019, you can catch up on the issue HERE
In House Services
At our Granville office, and indeed, all our sub-branches, you will find fully qualified Compensation Advocates, fully conversant with all three (3) ACTs that effect the welfare of serving and ex-service members of the ADF. There is a brief description of each ACT available HERE.
Advocates assist and guide those who feel they may be entitled to lodge a claim against DVA for injury or disease that may have been as a result of their service with the ADF. Others may require assistance with application forms for a range of services, such as but not limited to Service Pensions, Travel Allowances, Medical referrals, and the like
Personable interviews take place in environs that include privacy protection, and with a kindred advocate volunteer who was formerly a member of the ADF in most cases. In some of our centres there may be paid employees undertaking the same roll as our volunteers, who are no less qualified, having gone through identical training sessions and peer coaching.
All members and ex-serving members of Australian Defence Forces (ADF) are entitled to certain rights under Australian Acts of Parliament, that define those rights and the conditions under which they are enabled.
Parliament considers that if a member or past member of the ADF is killed, wounded, suffers injury or disease in the performance of their duty, then the government has due diligence to compensate the member or his family, in the case of death.
Every employee has the right to be compensated for any injury suffered through the normal act of doing their job. Members of the Australian Defence Forces, (ADF), are no different with the exception that their job includes training and tasks which can and do result in death, major injuries, disabilities, and disease, that the civilian workforce would never encounter.
Historically governments have usually tried to enact legislation that caters for the unique nature of defence service. From the first world war onwards, there have been Acts of parliament to help and compensate for death and injuries received during service with the defence forces. These have been amended over the years as the nature of defence service changes. Currently there are three Acts governing ADF service, and each are different in their own way, requiring in most cases a different standard of proof relating to death or injury and disability due to service.
To navigate through the maze of technical and legal details of each Act takes a lot of training and practice and the Compensation Advocates of our organisation are some of the best trained and experienced within the ex-service community. Most of the Advocates have military service, some for more than 20 years, and combined with their knowledge of service life, can be of great assistance to anybody seeking our help. In addition, there are Advocates from all 3 services as well as the cadet corps organisation to ensure that there is always someone to talk to who is familiar with your service.
Interviews are conducted in a friendly environment ensuring your privacy and confidentially are protected. All our Advocates are familiar with the provisions of the Privacy Act to ensure your information is protected.
Our services do not just involve compensation, but the full gambit of information and services needed by our defence force members. Whether your request is for service medical or administrative records, service certificates, medal entitlements, pension applications and information, or any other matter that is of concern we can provide assistance in obtaining whatever is needed.
VVPPA has been at the forefront of the training of Advocates for many years and this continues with the latest Advocacy Training Development Program (ATDP) where Training is accredited with a major training institute which ensures that Advocates are not only familiar with the current legislation but are tested to ensure that their knowledge complies with the high standards set by our organisation. We pride ourselves on the high quality of our advocacy work as the results of decisions indicate.
And remember, all our services are provided totally free of any charges to our clients.
There has been an attempt in recent times to get claims submitted online, siting the ease of preparation and convenience, as some of the benefits of modern technology. Experience has shown that the claim prepared by one of our Advocates is not only more likely to succeed, but have a better result for the veteran and their family members. Claims prepared by our Advocates will ensure that future claims will not be jeopardised by omission or mistake when compiling the original claim.
We strongly advocate that anyone considering a claim against DVA, for any condition related to their service, consult a qualified practitioner, due to the complexities of the Defence Acts involved. You should not attempt direct contact yourself, or avail yourself of the DVA on-line claims application facility, without assistance. It may jeopardise the outcome and impact on any future claim.
Our Outreach Program continues to be extremely successful in reaching out to Veterans living in remote regional areas or unable to easily get to one of our sub-branches. We also visit ADF Bases at Holsworthy and Victoria Barracks Sydney, Darwin NT, Townsville Qld, and Perth WA.
The experienced Compensation Advocates who undertake the program cordinate each trip, and travel over several days to meet their clients in different communities and on Base establishments. Remember, we assist all Veterans, service and ex-service personnel in all matters relative to Disability Claims, Pension applications, War widow claims, affected by VEA, MRCA DRCA Acts.
Anyone wishing to avail themselves of the Outreach Program is asked to contact the Granville office and request that one of our Outreach Officers contact you directly, to be included in the next available program.
Call 02 9682 1788
UPDATED COPY BELOW
One way we reach our membership, and several government ministers, is via our Federation Jounal, 'THE VIETNAM VETERANS NEWSLETTER'. It is by far one of the most respected publications within the Australian services and veteran communities.
It's aim is to promote relevant news of concerns and issues to our membership, and it is not unusual that each publication draws debate about exactly what successive governments, the DVA and the RMA are trying to get away with, and their responsibility of veteran care in Australia
Hard Copies of current issues may be available from our offices at times. However, the best way to ensure delivery of your hard copy is to keep your membership up to date. The images below will link visitors to a (.pdf) printable version of the publications shown. It is best viewed in mobile landscape, laptops, or full desktop mode, or downloaded for printing and read later.
Some printable/downloadable copy have been redacted to keep the integrity of indexed pages, and include only items not affecting articles such as Branch Listings, advertising, reunion notices and the last post. Also, some imaging has been returned to original full colour, previously unavailable on the printed hard copy. However, from Mar (April) 22 the download and original hard copy are the same, without redaction.
REUNIONS % NOTICES
We will publish a list of Reunions and Notices from time to time, as and when information is supplied to us. Most are unit notifications and all care is taken to ensure the details are correct. If you cannot reach the relative party at the contacts given, please contact the Webauthor to advise.
The current list is available for download HERE