To the Prime Minister and other recipients,

It is with disgust and anger that I write to you regarding the significant decline in DVA service, attitude, compliance with the “Model Litigant Rules” and the supposed “Beneficial Provisions enshrined in Repatriation Legislation” (VEA, DRCA/SRCA, MRCA).

I have been a Veterans’ Advocate for over 22 years and a level 4 Tribunal Advocate for the past 13 years. I bring these matters to your attention from a position of experience and expertise in the veteran’s space.

As part of the Royal Commission Working Group established in 2015 I have campaigned long and hard to bring the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) and the Ex-Service Organisations Round Table (ESORT) to account for years of inaction, bullying, abuse of power and self-indulgence bordering on criminality. Which had a significant impact on the rise of self-harm and suicide in the wider defence and ex-service community.

When the previous government was dragged kicking and screaming into announcing a Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran suicide, I expected that this would encourage both DVA and ESORT to lift their game and immediately strive to improve service and assistance to the veteran community. Disturbingly this has not occurred, in fact, the DVA service delivery and claims backlog has increased along with the time taken to process claims (TTP) and the High Impact Error Rate under MRCA is at just over 70 high impact errors in every 100 claims. This situation is a national disgrace. Noting the urgency of your Government response to the youth crime and alcohol issues in Alice Springs it would be reassuring to see the same sort of response to the current “Veteran’ crisis facing the whole nation with veterans of all races, sexual orientation and religions beliefs being impacted by the incompetence of DVA and ESORT.

Sir, I urge you to meet with those of us who are working on the coal face of the veterans’ space and co-operatly work towards making the DVA fit for purpose and arresting the alarming rate of suicide, self-harm and other social impairments facing wounded and injured members of ADF and Veteran community as a matter of urgency.

I am directing this to your office as it appears that correspondence to the minister’s office is being intercepted by DVA and placed in file 13 never to be seen again. Or on a more concerning note that Minister Keogh is going down the path of blissful ignorance shown by the 10 previous Ministers who have contributed to this basket case that currently is DVA.

No more political games with veterans’ lives we do not want to see another veteran take their own life due to DVA incompetence. Please help us make Shaun Spain the last one.


Rod Thompson

Advocate (Level 4)

0415 988 015

c/–91 Ghost Gum Street Bellbowrie 4070 (RYAN Electorate)

Founding Member of the Royal Commission Working Group (2015)

You may also like


  • Alan Foyle February 19, 2023   Reply →

    Not to take the focus away from more deserving Vets but I have suffered for many years as a result of my ADF/Vietnam and Timor service. I never contacted DVA because of the feedback I received from other Vets on the adversarial contact they had with DVA. I didn’t need the angst. Now, in my twilight years I have several issues as a direct result of that service. Despite many emails, phone calls, etc they still haven’t even got my service details correctly recorded. Certificates of Service submitted three times – How hard is it?

    I submitted my claims in July 2021 and have only received one phone call in that time asking, “How are you feeling?” Far King terrific! That’s how I feel. Thanks for looking after me? I just keep my BUPA account current as I have no confidence in DVA looking after me.
    Had a gutful.

  • Peter charles joseph Pola February 23, 2023   Reply →

    Alan this barstardry by DVA and sanctioned by our bloody politicians is getting worse and its about time we stopped thses poli’s vote catching at our memorials and remembrance ceremonies and telling both us and worse still the general population about how they look after the veterans. BULLSHIT. These vote catching liars and hypocriytes should be banned from remembrance ceremonies until they start being truthful and honest if POSSIBLE.

  • Alan Foyle February 23, 2023   Reply →

    I wanted to comment on the “How much is eNOugh?” blog but I can’t get access to it so I have just added to this blog to pass on an opinion. It is my opinion – not seeking approval from anyone. I believe that is still an option available to non-First Nation people or have I been cancelled? I’ll check my Give-a-fark meter for any replies. Normally don’t get any registering, if negative.

    I could not believe the amount of $$$$ allocated to “First Nation”?? people a day. I was just sitting here sipping on a Gin and Tonic and I thought, what if all the Vets declared their “First Nation” heritage and jumped on the gravy train leaving from Platform 7 every day. Like I mean to say, to qualify all you have to do is invent an obscure name the Whities have difficulty in repeating (with no record to confirm) and say you are a “Proud bullshitblah person”. Then you get a free ticket on the many gravy trains now available to you, but not Vets.

    Vets have to walk the wobbly path via DVA with endless reports for no gain but that is only if you get anyone interested enough to contact you. I walked past a First Nation office (we fund) several years ago. Didn’t see much going on in there – must have been morning-lunch-afternoon tea time. I wonder if that satisfies the requirements for my kids to get paid to go to school? Must look into that one. Also, the cold weather is approaching. Must get a few doors and fence palings organised to keep the wood heater going. Have signed up for the TAFE Course on How To Screw Centrelink 101 – Living the Dream Certificate III. Good for the CV.

Leave a comment