CONTACT MAGAZINE # 47

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DFWA’s LEADERSHIP BATON TO CHANGE HANDS

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The Defence Force Welfare Association (DFWA) announces with sad regret that, after more than 10 years of distinguished and success-laden service as its National President, Colonel David Jamison AM (Retd) has elected to step down from his leadership position with effect Monday 14 August 2017. David can be rightfully proud of his tenure.

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Under his watch the Association has not only grown in its effectiveness as a body fully capable of fostering the best interests and welfare of all members of the ADFand their families both during and/or after their period of service but has also been at the forefront of promoting unity within the wider ex-service community. That unity has translated into a firmer, more cohesive and louder veterans’ voice being heard within the corridors of legislative power.

In that regard, David’s drive and vision was instrumental to the formation in 2010 of the Alliance of Defence Service Organisations, now numbering 17 Associations. And more recently, instrumental as well to the formation of an even wider collective of Defence community-focussed bodies, including the RSL and Legacy among others, each of whom have agreed to collaborate in an environment of respect and trust to better promote and protect the well-being of members of the Australian Defence Community.

That Community will undoubtedly use David’s legacy of achievement as a building block to truly work together with a unity of purpose going forward.

Stepping immediately into David’s so-to-speak shoes will be the Association’s Deputy President, Kel Ryan.

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He is credited post his Army career also with long years of service to the ex service community. That has included being RSL Queensland’s State Deputy President, President 5 RAR Association, President of the Royal Australian Regiment Queensland Branch, and Vice President DFWA. More about Kel another time! Please extend a welcome to Kel going forward.

Opinion - DVA rumours just ‘fake news’

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 Opinion - Ross Eastgate, Townsville Bulletin 10th August 2017

TWO years ago the ambitious but hapless Stuart Robert was given a dual responsibility as minister for both Veterans’ Affairs and Human Services.
Veterans were rightly concerned Canberra bureaucrats had finally achieved their longheld ambition to subsume veterans entitlements into the wider health and welfare pool.
If that was indeed the plan, Robert’s personal ineptitude scuppered his ministerial career and the two ministries were again separated.
As reported in the Bulletin this week, social media last weekend exploded with rumours DVA would be disbanded and its dependencies shifted to the Department of Human Services.
On Monday Veterans’ Affairs minister Dan Tehan issued a press release insisting the Government was committed to a stand-alone Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
“There are no plans to merge DVA with the Department of Human Services,” Mr Tehan said.
“There is no meeting planned for this week and there is no agreement to be signed in the near future to subsume DVA into DHS.”
It is not strictly true for the minister to claim that the DVA is a stand-alone agency. It has for some time increasingly sourced services from other agencies and contracted providers.

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Tehan Media Release - New Appointments to the Prime Ministerial Advisory Council on Veterans' Mental Health

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09 August 2017

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Dan Tehan today announced three new appointments to the Prime Ministerial Advisory Council on Veterans’ Mental Health (PMAC).

Mrs Joy Jenkins, Ms Jocelyn Parsons and Dr Sheralyn Rose will sit on the PMAC and advise the Prime Minister, the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and the Government on high-level strategic and complex matters relating to the mental health of veterans and their families.

PMAC met in Canberra today to discuss transition out of the ADF, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report into the prevalence of suicide among current and former members of the ADF and the Government response to the National Mental Health Commission Review of Suicide Prevention Services in the ADF.

“The Australian Government remains committed to doing everything it can to support the mental health needs of current and former Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel and their families,” Mr Tehan said.

Mr Tehan said the three new members would bring experience and their own unique perspective to the important job of veterans’ mental health.

Joy Jenkins is the Partners of Veterans Association representative on the Council and is the daughter of a Vietnam veteran and married to a serving Defence member who is a veteran of both the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. She is a strong advocate of the value of small local associations to support the families of veterans.

“Jocelyn Parsons served for more than 20 years in the Royal Australian Navy and saw operational deployment to the Middle East. Since leaving the permanent forces she has worked as a crisis and emergency response manager across a number of industries and has long been a supporter of veterans.

Dr Sheralyn Rose has held a variety of positions in consultation, policy formation and senior management over a long career in primary health care. She has a comprehensive background in assessing population health needs, including mental health and suicide prevention programs.”

The three new members will bring the total number of PMAC members to 12. Former Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Russ Crane AO CSM RANR is chair and Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith VC, MG the deputy chair.

Members of the Council have been appointed until December 2019. Biographies can be found here. http://www.pmac.dva.gov.au/biographies.htm

Media enquiries:
Minister Tehan’s Office: Byron Vale, 0428 262 894
Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203

Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for crisis support and free and confidential counselling. Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 8 8241 45 46). VVCS is a service founded by Vietnam veterans.

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Please see the following files attached:
[Tehan Media Release - New PMAC members.pdf]
Distributed by AAP Medianet

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