Have your say on DVA’s mental health and wellbeing services

30 January 2023

DVA is developing a future model of mental health and wellbeing service delivery to guide how we provide support to current and former Australian Defence Force (ADF) members and families. This will include:

  • Open Arms –Veterans & Families Counselling (Open Arms) services – including 24/7 telephone support, counselling (in-centre and outreach), group programs, care coordination, peer support, mental health and suicide prevention training, and online self-help resources.
  • DVA Coordinated Client Support Case Coordination– including Triage and Connect services; Wellbeing and Support Program (WASP); Case Management; Service Coordination / Family Support, Disability Support Pathway, and ADF Transition Support.
  • DVA On-base Advisory services
  • DVA Community Support Advisor services
  • DVA funded mental health and wellbeing support programs– including the Psychiatric Assistance Dogs Program, Men’s Health Peer Education Program, and Trauma Recovery Program.

To ensure Australian veterans and families have a voice in the development of the future model, we are conducting a survey, individual interviews, and co-design activities.

About the survey

The survey focusses specifically on the experiences of veterans and families who have used any of the services identified above.

We would also like to hear your ideas about improving DVA’s future mental health and wellbeing support services and service delivery.

Information provided via the survey will help us to better understand your service experiences to date, as well as how we can meet the future support needs of Australian veterans and families. We are also working closely with the DVA team planning to develop a new Defence and Veteran Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy. Input from the survey will be shared with the team to inform the development of the Strategy in due course.

You will not be required to provide your name or any specific information that identifies you. We have tried to make the questions as general as possible to protect your privacy.

The survey will close at midnight AEDT on 28 February 2023

Who can participate?

We want to hear from you if you are aged 18 years or older, are currently using or have used any of the services listed above, and are from either or both the following groups:

  • current and former serving ADF memberswith any length and type of service, including Reservists with continuous full-time service or hazardous service; and
  • family members of living and deceased ADF veterans,including spouses/partners, ex-partners, widows/ers, adult children, parents, and siblings of current and former serving veterans.

How to participate

If you meet the eligibility criteria above, and are interested in participating in the survey, please click on the survey link below.

Other ways to contribute

If you have links to the veteran community but have not used the services listed above, or do not want to complete the survey, you are welcome to register your interest in the Review Program via this Latest News story.

We will only use the contact details you provide to inform you about program updates and future opportunities to contribute to the development of the new service delivery model. All information you provide will be stored securely and confidentially. If, after registering, you do not wish to be contacted by the department regarding program updates and future opportunities, please let us know via the email address below.

Information about the process to register your interest in being interviewed about your service experiences is provided at the end of the survey.

Questions and feedback

If you have questions about the survey or eligibility criteria, or would like to provide feedback, please email [email protected]

Proceed to Survey

 

HIGHLIGHTS – Ben Fordham Live

Be prepared to be shocked!

The link below will take you to the Ben Fordham radio program this morning. I invite you to listen to this podcast, it runs for 50 minutes and is well worth listening to the whole segment from his program this morning, you will have your eyes opened and like me shocked! While I recommend the whole 50 minutes if you are short of time be sure to listen from 20:54 minutes.

My thank to Bob Buick who took the time to send me the link.

https://www.2gb.com/podcast/highlights-thursday-february-2nd/

 

Please feel free to share this widely 

Japan’s Billion Dollar Aircraft Carrier is Finally Ready for Action!

Japan is ready to go to war with China and their big gun is none other than their aircraft carriers. Between the presence of the Chinese ships in the Pacific south of Japan and the sailing of Japan’s aircraft carrier shockingly close to China’s Liaoning, one thing is clear, the tensions between both countries continue to rise.

As a result, Japan has invested quite literally a boatload of time and money into building its military might, particularly in terms of aircraft carriers, and into building its relationships with world powers whose military might has already been established – the US and UK.

Transportable US Army Bridges

Powerful Modified M1 Abrams Tank

The Joint Assault Bridge (JAB) is designed to lay bridges over water and other obstacles.  The JAB ensures that Army units always have a portable bridge handy capable of handling the weight of tanks. The new bridge layer replaces an older model that’s more than 50 years old.

 

Sorry, January 26 was not an invasion!

By Dr KEVIN DONNELLY – Senior fellow at the ACU’

The announcement by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to overturn the decision by the Scott Morrison government to punish local councils for refusing to hold citizenship ceremonies on January 26 has reignited the debate about the significance of Australia Day.

Indigenous activists condemn the arrival of the First Fleet as an invasion leading to genocide.

ABC broadcaster Stan Grant, who describes himself as a “proud Wiradjuri man”, describes the arrival of Europeans as the nation’s “original sin”. A sin that still exists after hundreds of years and that will continue to stain innocent generations for years to come.

In the Australian national curriculum students are told the convict settlement “was viewed by First Nations Australians as an invasion” leading to “dispossession and the loss of lives through frontier conflict, disease and loss of food sources and medicine”.

While there is no doubt the establishment of the penal colony and its gradual expansion led to Aborigines suffering dislocation, disease and violence at the same time the reality, compared to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, is that it’s wrong to describe European settlement as an invasion.

The Admiralty’s orders to Captain Arthur Phillip stated, “You are to endeavour by every possible means to open an Intercourse with the Natives and to conciliate their affections, enjoining all Our Subjects to live in amity and kindness with them”.

The fact Phillip took no reprisal after being speared and that convicts were punished when they ignored Phillip’s orders to treat any Aborigines encountered with respect also proves how wrong it is to describe the penal colony as an invasion.

As noted by Watkin Tench, one of the marines who arrived with the First Fleet, “all ranks of men have tried to effect it (to coexist peacefully with the Aborigines) by every reasonable effort from which success might have been expected I can testify”.

It’s wrong to emphasise what the historian Geoffrey Blainey describes as a black armband view of history where future generations and recent immigrants are held morally responsible for a supposed invasion they had nothing to do with.

While many denounce Australia Day as Sorry Day and argue there is nothing beneficial or worthwhile about January 26, the reality is that was the day Phillip raised the British flag in Sydney Cove proving to the French, who had recently arrived in Botany Bay, this was a British colony.

Unlike the French, who were soon to experience the violence and terror of the 1789 revolution, we were a colony that inherited a political and legal system drawing on the Magna Carta and Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England that embodied essential rights and freedoms.

A colony that also drew on Enlightenment values such as liberty, reason and tolerance that help explain why the British were the first to abolish slavery. Such was the strength of the anti-slavery movement Phillip argued in the new colony “there can be no slavery in a free land, and consequently no slaves”.

Proven by the arrival of the King James Bible and the first church service held on February 3, 1788, by the Reverend Richard Johnson, Australia’s foundation is also deeply imbued with Christianity.

Central to Jesus’ teachings is what St Paul describes as the belief “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus”.

Concepts like the inherent dignity of the person, the right to freedom and liberty and a commitment to social justice and serving the common good are biblical in origin. While not always followed, over time such Christian teachings have ensured Western societies like Australia are beacons of freedom in an increasingly hostile world.

One of the mantras employed by Aboriginal activists is that now is the time for truth-telling. The same applies to both sides of the debate. Rather than condemning the arrival of the First Fleet as an invasion leading to genocide, it’s time to tell the truth.

The evidence proves, notwithstanding the eventual violence, dispossession and disease following the colony’s expansion across the Blue Mountains, the original intention was to treat the Aborigines fairly.

It’s also true since January 26 1788 Aborigines have benefited from European settlement proven by the right to vote, to be treated equally before the law and decisions like Mabo guaranteeing land rights.

While representing 3.8 per cent of the population, it’s also true Aborigines receive approximately $30b annually in government grants, subsidies and payments.

It should not be ignored that before European settlement, instead of being the First Nations, there were hundreds of different Aboriginal tribes and violence and warfare existed as it always has among other cultures and throughout history.

 

 

Database Updates

Hi everyone,

Our son, Glenn, built our Veteranweb website, his work is always ongoing as he ensures we provide the best site possible. He has also been working on building a professional Veteranweb Forum, which has not been an easy task, there are a number of factors, including insurance and legal issues that have to be implemented, particularly with the total size of our database. One very important thing that we must do is ensure that our database is up to date and we can verify it’s correct.

Glenn has his own IT business and is currently away on business, he indicated that he will be asking everyone to check that your information is up to date. Please, he is giving me and you a great deal of his time, your help is very important.

Thank you for your support and stay safe.

Ray

Veteranweb Network

France, Australia to jointly send new ammunition to Ukraine.

By Vivienne Machi

France and Australia have committed to jointly provide 155-millimetre ammunition to Ukraine, the nations’ defence ministries announced Tuesday.

French defence contractor Nexter will be tasked to manufacture the artillery shells, while Australia will provide the powder, according to the French Ministry of Defence. The agreement was made during a Jan. 30 meeting between French Defence Minister Sebastien Lecornu and Foreign Affairs Minister Catherine Colonna, and their Australian counterparts, Defence Minister Richard Marles and Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong, in Paris.

The Ukrainian Army has expended roughly 3,000 rounds per day defending its territory against Russia’s invading forces, U.S. defence officials shared last year. Last week, the U.S. Army announced plans to rapidly expand its production capacity of 155mm artillery shells, to meet both Kiev’s demand for ammunition and that of U.S. forces.

The “unprecedented partnership” to build new artillery rounds comes as France and Australia continue to repair diplomatic relations following Australia’s 2021 decision to cancel a multibillion-dollar contract for French-made, diesel-powered submarines and instead join a tri-national partnership with the United States and the United Kingdom – known collectively as AUKUS. That pact is centred on technology collaboration, particularly regarding nuclear reactors for Canberra’s submarines. Australia in June 2022 agreed to pay contractor Naval Group €555 million (U.S. $602 million) in compensation.

At Monday’s meeting, the ministers also signed a declaration of intent between Paris and Canberra on military space cooperation, according to a joint statement. Areas of focus include earth observation, space situational awareness and satellite communication capabilities for defence.

 

France committed last year to supply 18 Nexter-built Caesar howitzers to the Ukrainian Army; on Tuesday, Lecornu announced plans to send an additional 12 Caesars to Kiev in the coming weeks, during a press conference alongside Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Rezniknov in Paris. The howitzers are outfitted with 155mm guns that can fire at ranges of up to 40 kilometres (25 miles). Denmark also recently committed to sending its entire stock of 19 Caesar howitzers to Ukraine.

The deliveries will be supported by a €200 million (U.S. $217 million) fund set up by France’s parliament to support arming Ukraine. On Wednesday, France’s defence ministry plans to sign a deal with technology company Thales to provide the company’s Ground Master 200 multimission radar to Kiev, also supported via the military arms fund, Lecornu shared at the press briefing.

As of October 2022, Australia has provided Ukraine with a total of approximately AUS $655 million (U.S. $462 million) in support, including AUS $475 million in military assistance and at least 90 Bushmaster protected mobility vehicles, according to Canberra’s Defence Ministry.

 

NATO chief warns China could bring war to region.

The New Daily and AAP

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg has warned that China is closely watching the lessons of Russia’s “brute force” invasion of Ukraine and could bring war to the Asian region.

Mr Stoltenberg used strong words to accuse China of “bullying its neighbours” and building up its military forces – including nuclear weapons.

He warned that the Info-Pacific region faced “growing challenges” as authoritarian Beijing pushed back against the international rules-based order.

“China is substantially building up its military forces, including nuclear weapons. Bullying its neighbours, and threatening Taiwan. Trying to control critical infrastructure. And spreading disinformation about NATO and the war in Ukraine,” said Mr Stoltenberg during a trip to Japan.

“Beijing and Moscow are leading an authoritarian pushback against the international rules-based order. The Indo-Pacific faces growing challenges, from China’s coercive behaviour to provocations by North Korea.

“And in Europe, Russia continues to wage its brutal war of aggression against Ukraine. This war is not just a European crisis, but a challenge to the world order.”

Mr Stoltenberg said if Russian President Vladimir Putin won in Ukraine it would “send a message” to China that authoritarian regimes can achieve their goals through “brute force”.

“This is dangerous. Beijing is watching closely. And learning lessons that may influence its future decisions,” he warned.

“What is happening in Europe today could happen in East Asia tomorrow. So we must remain united and firm. Standing together for freedom and democracy.”

Mr Stoltenberg was in Japan, which is a member of NATO, and he had earlier visited South Korea.

“The world is at a historical inflection point in the most severe and complex security environment since the end of World War II,” he said with Japan’s premier Fumio Kishida.

China has previously criticised NATO’s efforts to expand its alliances in Asia.

Russia, which calls its invasion of Ukraine a “special operation”, has repeatedly cast NATO’s expansion as a threat to its security.

Late last year, Japan unveiled sweeping plans to beef up its defence capabilities, changes once unthinkable for a pacifist country that will make it the third-biggest military spender after the United States and China.

Bolstering its co-operation with NATO in areas from maritime security and arms control to cyberspace and disinformation will further help to respond to the changing strategic environment, the statement said.