Innovative Strategy to Support ADF Members Past and Present - 27 Aug 2007

MINASSIST 047/2007

The Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence Bruce Billson today launched an innovative project aimed at enhancing support structures for serving and former Australian Defence Force members and their families.

The ADF Integrated People Support Strategy is a new whole-of-government support service that will offer a full 'continuum of care' for ADF members past and present, and their families.

The strategy will give past and present ADF members and their families consistent and ready access to high-quality, accurate, and timely professional advice, information and support.

Defence and the Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) have worked closely together to develop this innovative strategy over the past year. One of the key initiatives of the strategy is the ADF Integrated People Support Model.

The model will incorporate and strengthen existing support services internal and external to Defence. Pilots of the whole-of-government service delivery model will commence at two Defence sites on 2 October 2007.

The two Defence sites will be Edinburgh in South Australia and Fleet Base West in Western Australia.

"This initiative reinforces Defence's commitment to working with the Department of Veterans' Affairs, other government bodies and family support agencies to provide through-life support to our ADF members, former members and their families," Mr Billson said.

The ADF Integrated People Support Strategy will deliver a whole-of-government support system that captures the four themes of Through Service Support, Separation Ready, Separation Reconciliation and Separation Review.

Mr Billson said his goals for these themes include:

Through Service Support: ensuring that ADF members are informed about and encouraged to access available physical and emotional wellness, injury remediation and impairment support available through their unit, regiment, service or tri-service and also DVA programs to assist in achieving and sustaining optimal well-being and work-place performance.

Separation Ready: ensuring that all reasonable assistance and support is available and utilised by ADF members preparing for the transition to civilian life.

Separation Reconciliation: ensuring that all Defence-related matters are resolved before separation occurs, with a formal reconciliation confirmation to the satisfaction of the Commanding Officer.

Separation Review: that we revisit key Separation Ready and Separation Reconciliation themes and offers of support 3-6 months after actual separation.

Mr Billson said the project also continues to recognise the vital role that ex-service organisations have to play in the support continuum.

"The initiative follows the recent announcements of significant additional funding for Defence family support projects and new resources to assist ADF members and families make financial decisions.

"This support strategy is just one of a range of measures the Government is putting in place to ensure that Australia's Defence community has access to the highest quality services and advice," Mr Billson said.

Contact:
Cameron Hill
Ph: 03 9781 2333
Mob: 0408 239 521