Veterans deserve to benefit

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THE TOWNSVILLE BULLETIN TACKLING BUREACRATIC INTRANSIGENCE - Bulletin Editor Ben English has championed veterans issues since assuming the role.
This compassionate, insightful and powerful editorial deserves to be shared.

"WHEN Australia’s repatriation department was established after World War I, a fundamental principle in determining any benefits claim was when in doubt, the veteran should be given the benefit of that doubt.
In Townsville there is little doubt the anti-malarial drugs mefloquine, tafenoquine and primaquine can have long-term adverse health consequences for some individuals who have taken them.
That is why the Repatriation Medical Authority’s decision to categorically rule out a link between anti-malarial drugs and brain injury in ADF members appears to be, at best, a premature one. At worst, it is a decision that may well come back to haunt the RMA in the same manner as the Agent Orange scandal in the decades following Vietnam. Both mefloquine and tafenoquine were trialled on Townsville-based personnel deployed to East Timor and Bougainville at the turn of the century..."


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First camp for children of veterans affected by mental illness

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DVA Minister Tehan's media release - 26 August 2017

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The first Kookaburra Kids Foundation camp for children of current and former Australian Defence Force (ADF) families affected by mental illness will take place this weekend.
The camp will give the children the opportunity to have fun in a supportive environment while also learning about mental illness and developing coping and resilience skills.
More than 30 children from the ACT region will participate in the camp which includes a range of activities led by qualified volunteer leaders.
The Government announced funding of $2.1 million in March for the Australian Kookaburra Kids Foundation to run a two-year pilot program to help children of veterans.
The Government recognises the burden of service extends beyond veterans to their families. That is why we are committed to supporting programs such like the Kookaburra Kids Foundation camps.
Australian Kookaburra Kids Foundation CEO Pam Brown said through activities and group work, the camp program allowed children to gain a greater understanding of mental illness and to form new friendships with other children who are facing similar challenges.
“We look forward to continuing to work with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to launch the Kookaburra Kids Program nationally, enabling us to support more of the ADF community,” Ms Brown said.
Anyone looking to get involved with Kookaburra Kids, or to refer a child, please visit

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.

MEDIA RELEASE THE HON DAN TEHAN MP - Ministerial statement on veterans and their families

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The first annual Ministerial Statement on Veterans and Their Families.was tabled in the House of Representatives today 14th August 2017

Dan Tehan

"As the Prime Minister has said, in these centenary years of Anzac, we best honour the Diggers of the First World War by supporting the servicemen and women, the veterans and the families of today.

It is important that all Australians understand the unique nature of service. It is important that all Australians understand what support they currently provide to our veterans. It is important that all Australians understand where our support needs to be targeted into the future.

For the men and women who serve or have served our nation; for their husbands, wives, and children; for their mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers – this Ministerial Statement is for you..."



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