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Hotline – July 2020

In this edition:


Unfortunately, COVID-19 restrictions at Victoria Barracks prevents DFWA access to our office. This has caused some difficulties in responding to requests for help.

DFRDB Commutation and Reduced Pension for Life

As reported in Qld News in Camaraderie, the Ombudsman ruled recently that there was no case for the ceasing of the reduction of DFRDB super pension for veterans who had commuted, on reaching the life expectancy age in the DFRDB Act.

Mr Ken Stone, who lead the campaign on this has decided to continue the fight and is seeking “pledge” support for a legal challenge. Many are rightly angered by just an “apology”. However, the hard cold fact is that it would be extremely difficult to prove that veterans suffered a financial penalty because of acting on this wrong information and commuted. DFWA has seen no formal legal advice on the issue provided by Mr Stone and would not recommend making any pledge without seeing formal legal advice giving decent odds of winning.

“Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Meet Our Vice President Cairns

VP Cairns John Wilson (L) with DFWA National President Kel Ryan (R) appreciating the Cairns weather in June this year.  

John joined us last year when he and his wife Audra moved from Adelaide. John was largely responsible for the re-formation of the South Australian Branch a few years ago and we are very grateful for his contribution here, especially making DFWA presence felt with the NQ candidates in the last federal election.

DFWAQ RE-Organisation

Your Committee is hastening slowly on the re-organisation of DFWAQ and is reviewing options in light of other activities:

  • The ACT Branch became the ACT Chapter of the NSW Branch on 1 July. The ACT Branch formally “unincorporated on 30 June and its members were transferred to the NSW Branch. The ACT Chapter President is now a member of Executive Committee of the NSW Branch. The Chapter will continue its local operations as before and will be represented at National level through the NSW Branch.
  • Work has commenced on the review of DFWA as a national body and will result in further change. It is planned that this process will continue with a new or re-drafted Constitution to be voted on at the DFWA National AGM at the end of the year. Part of the review will address member management. Is this best done by the State Branches or done centrally?
  • A new membership, stakeholder and financial management system is being developed which should reduce volunteer workload considerably at both state and national level and provide better communications.

DFWAQ Annual General Meeting

On current plans, the AGM will be held on Friday 25th September 2020 commencing at 1030 in Victoria Barracks, preceded by Morning Tea at 1000hr.

All Office Bearer positions will be declared vacant. Nominations are called for the positions of President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer and volunteers are also called for general Committee Member positions to help as and when you can., eg help man a stall for one day at an ADF Transition Seminar at South Bank.  All assistance would be gratefully received. A Nomination and volunteer form is provided in this mail-out. Please consider helping out on regular basis or for any particular area of interest.

We are considering changing the meeting location to a more accessible venue and a more convenient time outside of normal working hours. While there is free parking available at Victoria Barracks, access can be difficult. Also, those working or with other commitments, may find meetings in working hours inconvenient. So we are considering alternative venues and times, e.g. a Weekend morning at an RSL Branch or other venue.

Please let us know your thoughts. ( or leave a message on 07 3233 4480).

DFWAQ Support

If you know of any veterans or members having a tough time in this COVID crisis or are having difficulties generally and could do with assistance, let us know. DFWAQ can provide support in dealing with bureaucracy and obtaining financial assistance in urgent cases.

Odd Bits – Snippets of News

Resignation. Ray Martin, our Townsville Vice President has resigned from his role in DFWA. DFWA as a whole and DFWAQ are  sorry to see Ray leave but are glad the Veteran community will continue to be served by him. Read further in Camaraderie, Qld Branch Section.  

Census. There will be a “veteran” question in the 10 August 2021 Australian Census. DFWA has been lobbying for this for several years and was a recommendation made by DFWA in our submission to the Productivity Commission into Compensation and Rehabilitation for Veterans. Strangely, the PC did not make a recommendation on the issue.

COVID and DVA. 80% of DVA staff have been working from home.

WW2 Commemoration. This is to be officially commemorated on 02 Sep 2020. There are still approximately 10,000 WW2 veteran on DVA books and a larger number of widows who are to be acknowledged in the commemoration.