28681 WO1 Phil Cannane RAE

It is with great sadness that I advise an Icon of the 32 Small Ship[ Squadron Warrant Officer Phil Cannane  has passed away.

Phil was a stalwart of the unit and a mentor to the many young Sappers posted to the unit, no matter from which trade stream, he guided us all into the oddities of this unique unit..

To his family and friends condolences are offered, he is at peace now, no longer suffering, never to be forgotten by all who served with him. May he now rest in peace.

I thank Graeme Inglis for passing this information on including that his funeral has already has been today.

218527 RICHARD ALAN ‘BARNEY’ BIGWOOD – 1RAR & 4RAR

With great sadness, I have been informed by Tony Mullavey, President of the Vietnam Veterans of Australia, St Marys Sub-Branch, NSW, that our infantry comrade and mate passed away peacefully at 4:35 am Sunday morning.

Barney battled the ravages of prostate cancer valiantly for several years, finally succumbing to this dreadful disease early yesterday morning, following his very recent admission to palliative care.

With COVID-19 funeral gathering restrictions only allowing a maximum of 10 people, has prompted Tony to perhaps otherwise organise a celebration of his life. The terms of this celebration will be advised at a date to be determined.

Royal Commission

To the veterans and members of the Australian Defence Force, families, friends, and others in the wider Defence community who have engaged with my work,

I am writing to let you know that my appointment as the interim National Commissioner for Defence and Veteran Suicide Prevention concludes today. It has been my very great privilege to engage with you in the course of this extremely important work.

Earlier today I handed the Report of my Independent Review of Past Defence and Veteran Suicides to the Australian Government. My report contains 39 recommendations to the Government about immediate actions that can be taken in support of efforts to prevent these tragic deaths by suicide in the Australian Defence and Veteran community.

I understand my Report will be tabled in Parliament, and referred to the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide (Royal Commission) to inform its inquiries. The Government will decide when the Report will be tabled. Once it has been tabled, the Report will be available on my website at nationalcommissionerdvsp.gov.au, where you will also be able to order a hard copy.

I want to especially thank everyone in the community, including families and those experiencing suicidality, who came forward to share their deeply personal experiences with me. The courage you have demonstrated has been humbling, and your insights have greatly enhanced this important work.

The Government has announced that subject to the passage of legislation, the functions and powers of an ongoing National Commissioner for Defence and Veteran Suicide Prevention will commence either after the Royal Commission concludes, or at an earlier point if recommended by the Royal Commission

I hope that in due course we will see the permanent establishment of a National Commissioner for Defence and Veteran Suicide Prevention. In the meantime, if you are interested in doing so, I encourage you to engage with the Royal Commission. I am very pleased that the crucial task of inquiring into Defence and veteran suicide will continue through the Royal Commission.

Commissioner Nick Kaldas APM, the Chair of the Royal Commission, has asked me to give you the attached letter, and fact sheet, introducing you to the Royal Commission, inviting your participation, and setting out the legal assistance available to people who wish to engage with the Royal Commission.

More information about the Royal Commission is available on their website, which is accessible at defenceveteransuicide.royalcommission.gov.au. If you have any further questions, you may wish to contact the Royal Commission at [email protected] or by phone on 1800 329 095.

My revised reporting deadline of 15 September 2021, was set by the Supplementary Terms of Reference issued to me by the Government on 6 August 2021. These revised Terms of Reference are available on the Office of the National Commissioner website at nationalcommissionerdvsp.gov.au/publications/terms-reference-independent-review.

These Supplementary Terms of Reference ensure my work complements, but will not duplicate, the work of the Royal Commission. The earlier Terms of Reference provided by the Government on 8 December last year are also available on my website at the link above. Those Terms of Reference provide greater detail about the focus of the Review.

Again, I sincerely thank you for your courage and resilience in sharing your personal experiences, stories and insights with me. Again, it has been a privilege to work with you.

Yours sincerely

Dr Bernadette Boss CSC
Interim National Commissioner for Defence and Veteran Suicide Prevention

ALLIANCE OF DEFENCE SERVICE ORGANISATIONS

MEDIA STATEMENT
‘CONTESTING’ ANZAC DAY

Many parents will undoubtedly know at least something about the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority. It is instituted to ‘….inspire improvement in the learning of all young Australians through world-class curriculum, assessment and reporting’.

But what is ‘world class’ about the Authority looking for a fight?

Veterans and many other Australians are curious about why there is now an impetus by the Authority to question and indeed to transform the way the nation commemorates such historically defining events as ANZAC Day. Why is the Authority seeking to pressure students and their teachers to ‘contest’ the notion of ANZAC Day?

Authority Chair Belinda Robinson has spoken of “a commitment to, and respect for, knowledge, facts, truth and respect”. Yet the current Draft Curriculum emphasises, indeed demands, that such defining moments in the nation’s history be “contested”.

The words contest, contesting or contested are mentioned numerous times in the draft report. But the words are not defined, nor is there guidance to allow teachers to structure their lessons accordingly.

Is the Curriculum Authority promoting the notion that such defining events as ANZAC Day and facts around it be disputed? Is the Authority having a bob each way in expressing support and commitment but then encouraging teachers to dispute the fact and to question the significance of ANZAC Day?

The group of 18 ex-service Associations that make up the Alliance of Defence Service Organisations (ADSO)1 calls on the Chair of the Curriculum Authority to be upfront with veterans’ and the broad Australian community to explain why the facts around ANZAC Day
and other significant historical events are being disputed.

Kel Ryan
National Chairman
Alliance of Defence Service Organisations
Phone: (02) 6265 9530 | Mobile: 0418 759 120
PO Box 4166 KINGSTON ACT 260

National Service personnel who served in the Australian Army

National Service personnel who served in the Australian Army

 

Listing by Corps

‘Yes’ column is those who served in Vietnam

Extracted from the Nominal Roll…  Vietnam War   (https://nominal-rolls.dva.gov.au/)

 

  National Service  
  Yes No not listed Total
­Select Corps 0 1 0 1
­Australian Army Aviation Corps 6 65 0 71
­Australian Army Catering Corps 550 782 0 1332
­Australian Army Legal Corps 3 26 0 29
­Australian Army Psychology Corps 1 14 0 15
­Australian Intelligence Corps 34 164 0 198
­Australian Staff Corps 0 82 0 82
­Royal Australian Armoured Corps 759 1062 0 1821
­Royal Australian Army Chaplains Department 0 58 0 58
­Royal Australian Army Dental Corps 39 85 0 124
­Royal Australian Army Educational Corps 14 52 0 66
­Royal Australian Army Medical Corps 388 945 0 1333
­Royal Australian Army Nursing Corps 0 47 0 47
­Royal Australian Army Ordnance Corps 702 1150 0 1852
­Royal Australian Army Pay Corps 2 56 0 58
­Royal Australian Army Service Corps 1634 1902 0 3536
­Royal Australian Army Provost Corps 139 256 0 395
­Royal Australian Corps of Signals 880 1834 0 2714
­Royal Australian Engineers 2697 2562 0 5259
­Royal Australian Infantry Corps 8218 8038 0 16256
­Royal Australian Survey Corps 21 125 0 146
­Royal Corps of Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers 947 1932 0 2879
­Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery 1668 1734 0 3402
­Women”s Royal Australian Army Corps 0 1 0 1
­Australian Army Band Corps 14 50 0 64
­Red Shield Philanthropic Representative 0 6 0 6
­Philanthropic (Campaigners for Christ) 0 4 0 4
­Philanthropic (Red Shield – Salvation Army) 0 7 0 7
­Philanthropic (Australian Red Cross Society) 0 13 0 13
­Philanthropic (YMCA) 0 1 0 1
­Royal Australian Army Educational Corps (Public Relations) 13 37 0 50
unknown 55 69 10 134
Total 18784 23160 10 41954

 

 

Veterans living in QLD/Anti-Malarial Medications Health Assessment Program

VETERANS LIVING IN QLD

ANTI-MALARIAL MEDICATIONS HEALTH ASSESSMENT PROGRAM

  • The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) has engaged Bupa Australia to deliver a national program of health assessments for veterans who are concerned about the anti-malarial medications MEFLOQUINE (trade name Lariam®) or TAFENOQUINE (trade names Kozenis® and Kodatef®).
  • The Program is open to any veteran who has concerns having taken these anti-malarial medications and offers a single comprehensive health assessment to investigate any reported symptoms. Interested veterans can access the program at no cost.
  • Assessments will be conducted by a Program General Practitioner (GP) who has received training in anti-malarial medication and has an understanding of the mental and physical health issues of veterans concerned about these medications.
  • At the conclusion of the assessment, the participating veteran will receive a customised Health Support Recommendations Plan that will provide a basis for further investigation and/or treatment, as required. The GP conducting the assessment may provide referrals for follow-up treatments to be coordinated through the veteran’s regular GP.
  • There are currently nine GPs recruited to the program. The largest number of these are in Queensland with two in Brisbane (West End and Everton Park), one in Ipswich and Townsville. A GP in Cairns has also signed a provider agreement with Bupa although they have not yet been inducted into the program. Elsewhere in Australia there are GPs in Adelaide, Sydney (East Hills), Fremantle and Jerrabomberra (ACT region).
  • Bupa are working to expand the geographic coverage of the program and are in discussions with the Tristar Medical Group to access their network to place GPs in Darwin, Mission Beach and regional Victoria.
  • Go to www.dva.gov.au and search for “Mefloquine” for more details.
    Veterans can also register interest for a health assessment by calling the 1800 MEFLOQUINE (1800 633 567) hotline, Monday to Friday during business hours. Alternatively, veterans may call Bupa directly on 1800 692 798 to book this health assessment. A copy of the program flyer is available for distribution amongst your community. Hard copies are also available to anyone that is interested.
  • If you have any questions about the program or to request copies of the flyer, please send an email to: [email protected] and the DVA program manager will respond.

Thanks,

Tara Hatzismalis

Assistant Secretary Processing and DHOAS

Deputy Commissioner QLD

Department of Veterans’ Affairs

 

RAN SENIOR OFFICER APPOINTMENTS AND PROMOTIONS

Many of our members continue to follow the postings and promotions of senior naval officers with interest. The following postings and promotions have been announced by the Chief of Navy following the governments’ announcement concerning the acquisition of nuclear-powered submarines.

VICE ADMIRAL JD MEAD AO, RAN IS APPOINTED AS CHIEF OF NUCLEAR POWERED SUBMARINE TASK FORCE FROM SEP 21

COMMODORE MP BUCKLEY, CSC, RAN IS APPOINTED AS HEAD NUCLEAR POWERED SUBMARINE CAPABILITY ON PROMOTION TO REAR ADMIRAL FROM SEP 21

COMMODORE BR SONTER, RAN IS APPOINTED AS DIRECTOR COMBINED MARITIME OPERATIONS US PACIFIC FLEET ON PROMOTION TO REAR ADMIRAL FROM JAN 22

COMMODORE ML HUDSON, CSC, RAN IS APPOINTED AS NUCLEAR POWERED SUBMARINE TASK FORCE LIAISON OFFICER (USA) FROM DEC 21

COMMODORE GNC HOLTHOUSE, AM, RAN IS APPOINTED AS NUCLEAR POWERED SUBMARINE TASK FORCE LIAISON OFFICER (UK) FROM DEC 21

COMMODORE PJ LEAVY, CSM, RAN IS APPOINTED AS CHIEF OF STAFF HEADQUARTERS JOINT OPERATIONS COMMAND FROM JAN 22

COMMODORE DG GROGAN, CSM, RAN IS APPOINTED AS NAVAL ATTACHE WASHINGTON FROM DEC 21

 

ANNUAL AIHW REPORT HIGHLIGHTS NEED FOR VETERAN SUPPORT

The Australian Government has today received a report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) into the rate of suicide among serving and former-serving members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

The Report outlines that of the almost 373,500 men and women who have served over the past 36 years, tragically 1,273 have taken their own lives in the last two decades.

This report builds on previous editions by expanding the cohort analysed from those with at least one day of ADF service since 2001 to those with at least one day of service since 1985.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel Andrew Gee said the report highlights the long term nature of the issue of veteran suicide and re-affirms the need for Australia to give our veterans and their families the best support possible.

“My priority is putting veterans and their families first, and making sure they are getting the services they need, when and where they need it,” Minister Gee said.

“While there has been important national progress in addressing the issue of veteran suicide such as free mental health treatment for life, there is clearly much more to be done and we can’t wait for the conclusion of the Royal Commission to get cracking on it.

Overhauling the claims process

“I have directed the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to make the speeding up of claims processing as well as reducing the backlog a matter of utmost urgency so that we can make sure our veterans receive the necessary financial support and wrap-around services.

“To this end I have also directed that the Department overhaul the veteran claims processing system and accelerate the appointment of independent consultants to deliver a plan, and yield results within three months of their work being provided to the Australian Government.

“This work will include three-monthly milestones, and deliverables that are veteran centric and draw upon international best practice for implementation.

“It will include an examination and assessment of the claim forms and processes used to brief and engage external medical advisers and specialists.

“This will expedite the claims process and identify inhibitors so our veterans and their families can receive timely payments.

“It will also make sure that the $98 million allocated to addressing the claims backlog in the May budget is used as effectively as possible.

Joint Transition Authority

“The transition from military to civilian life is one of the keys to addressing this issue which means the work of the Joint Transition Authority (JTA) is of critical importance and I am keen to see it fast-tracked.

“I’ve directed the Department of Defence to provide me with detailed options and a proposed timeline to speed-up the JTA Implementation Plan to ensure that we provide better support to our ADF members and their families as they transition from military to civilian life.

Harmonising legislation

“Veterans’ legislation has long been cumbersome and confusing for veterans to understand.

“I am focused on the issue of structural and legislative reform and have also instructed the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to create a roadmap to harmonise the three Acts dealing with veterans’ compensation and rehabilitation.

“This report once again highlights the unacceptably high rate of suicide in the Defence and veteran communities, and the importance of the work of the Royal Commission.

“Suicide doesn’t just affect the individual, it is deeply traumatic for loved ones, families and whole communities. Our nation needs to do everything it can to prevent it.”

This is the fourth annual monitoring report of its kind, and expands on earlier work by including historical records of members with at least one day of ADF service since 1985. Previous research dated back to 2001.

The AIHW report is available at www.aihw.gov.au.