From: Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Subscription List
Sent: Saturday, 1 October 2011

ON BASE SUPPORT FOR OUR DEFENCE MEMBERS

Current serving Australian Defence Force (ADF) members will be better connected to services offered by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) with a new advisory service announced today by the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Warren Snowdon.

“This initiative will not only assist those leaving the ADF, but will also ensure current serving members understand and are informed about the support and services they may be entitled to receive such as health services, rehabilitation, compensation and income support.

“We recognise the importance of providing ADF members with information and support should they suffer an injury whilst serving. We also recognise that transitioning out of the ADF can be a significant and difficult change for members and their families,” Mr Snowdon said.

The On Base Advisory Service will provide for a smoother transition into civilian life for those who have served our country with distinction,” he said.

“We’ve taken this important step because we have listened to our serving community and their families and the need for enhanced services. This service is about providing a comprehensive support program regardless of what phase of service a member is in,” he said.

From next week, DVA staff will begin taking up accommodation on over 35 Defence bases around the country to provide information and assistance about DVA services and benefits to current serving members.

DVA will provide either a full or part-time presence on bases, depending on the local need. The Advisors will be located at Defence Health Centres, or within the health precinct, allowing all ADF members to access the service, regardless of their location.

Mr Snowdon said that the new On Base Advisory Service will provide significant benefits for the defence community.

“This service is a part of a much larger program of work – the Support for Wounded, Injured or Ill Program (SWIIP), which will enhance the way Defence and DVA work together in supporting and caring for our ADF members,” he said.

SWIIP works to identify an individual’s need for support services earlier, streamlining rehabilitation and compensation processes, making contact with DVA easier, and collaborating with Defence to support transitioning ADF members.

All On Base Advisors will receive specialised training focusing on the contemporary ADF experience, the Defence environment including current rehabilitation and transition systems and the full range of DVA services and support.

Mr Snowdon met with the first group of Advisors at their training earlier this week in Canberra.

“The three-day intensive training course provided those who will be taking on this important role with the information they need to assist our ADF community,” Mr Snowdon said.

For more information about the On Base Advisory Service or to make an appointment call 1300 550 461.

Media inquiries:
Minister Snowdon: Marcus Butler 0417 917 796 or 02 6277 7820
Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203