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31 Aug 2015 HMAS Canberra Initial Operational Capability
The Royal Australian Navy’s Amphibious Ship, HMAS Canberra, has completed a graduated operational test and trials program to achieve a key milestone towards Initial Operating Capability.  The program included integration of landing craft as well as trials for both the crew, ship and aviation systems.  The Navy’s S70B Seahawk, Army’s S70A Blackhawk and the joint MRH-90 Taipan helicopters have now all been evaluated for operations from the Canberra class ships.  More.....
31 Aug 2015 Shipyard visit by Tonga’s Chief of Defence Staff
Today Head Maritime Systems Rear Admiral Mark Purcell hosted Chief of Defence Staff, His Majesty’s Armed Forces, Tonga Brigadier Lord Fielakepa, at the Forgacs Shipyards in Newcastle, to view a just completed landing craft that will join the Tongan Naval Component next month.  The Australian Government is gifting the new Landing Craft Medium, worth approximately $5 million, to the Kingdom of Tonga as part of our Defence Cooperation Program.  More.....
28 Aug 2015 Resilience and stress management tools for veterans and ADF members now online
The High Res website, which helps veterans and serving members of the Australian Defence Force manage the unique mental stresses of military service was launched today by Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson and Assistant Minister for Defence, the Hon. Stuart Robert MP.  “The High Res website will help our serving members, veterans and their families manage stress and build psychological resilience,” Senator Ronaldson said.  More.....
26 Aug 2015 One-stop Navy application now available
The centuries old naval personnel management, or Divisional, system is getting a fresh new look with the creation of a mobile application to augment the information flow to Navy personnel.  The 'Navy People' app is now available for download on Apple or Android devices from the App Store or GooglePlay.   More.....
26 Aug 2015 NVN's August newsletter
NOTE from Webmaster: If you are a member and haven't been receiving your monthly newsletters by email, the email address you supplied on joining is incorrect or out of date. To correct this, contact the webmaster at: and he will copy and amend your address.
25 Aug 2015 Notification of Investigations under Section 196G of the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986
The Repatriation Medical Authority (RMA) wishes to advise that 5 notices of investigation under section 196G of the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 are expected to appear in the Government Notices Gazette of 1 September 2015. A link to each notice is below.
Persons and organisations wishing to make a submission should refer to the RMA Submission Guidelines, a copy of which is available on its website ( or by telephoning the RMA Secretariat on (07) 3815 9404. All submissions must be in writing and received by the RMA at the address, and by the due date, contained in the notice. The Investigation Notices also advise the date the RMA will hold its first meeting for the purpose of these investigations.
If you have any queries, I may be contacted on telephone (07) 3815 9407.
Tracey Enders
Deputy Registrar
Repatriation Medical Authority

Notifications of Investigations
Dieldrin as a factor in malignant neoplasm of the prostate
Barrett's oesophagus.
Malignant neoplasm of the brain.
Antiphospholipid syndrome.
The definition "being exposed to benzene" in the following SOPs.
24 Aug 2015 Giving is a great reward
For more than 90 years Legatees have been supporting the widows and dependents of Australia’s deceased veterans.  Legatees were originally returned servicemen, though today Legacy welcomes membership enquiries from people from all walks of life.  There are about 6,000 Legatees throughout Australia, with some having served Legacy for more than 50 years.  More.....
24 Aug 2015 Support to Former Navy Members Continues
As a result of recommendations from the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce, members who have been found to have suffered abuse during their service are being given the opportunity to share their stories to senior Defence personnel.  The Restorative Engagement Program provides members with an opportunity to tell Defence their personal account of abuse and relay its impact on their lives.  More.....
24 Aug 2015 BAE PR release: HMAS Castlemaine in Dry Dock
On the weekend of the 15 August, a committed team of Williamstown volunteers spent their spare time last weekend docking HMAS Castlemaine.

Any employee who has visited our Williamstown shipyard will have seen the ship berthed at Gem Pier, just off Nelson Place.

As the last of 60 Australian-built Bathurst class corvettes to serve in the second World War, her current 'role' is to provide a focal point for the community's historic maritime activities in the precinct.

When the opportunity came up to assist with the docking, there were 35 employees who volunteered.

While at the yard, our team including (the team from Eptec) will clean and paint the hull.

General Manager of Williamstown Operations Peter Leahy said: "Even though our current environment is challenging, the team felt it was a great opportunity to give the ship a new lease on life so that she might continue her community service."
24 Aug 2015 Inaccurate reporting in The Australian | On the Record
I believe it is important to go on the record following the allegations made in Paul Cleary’s article ‘ADF ‘was unethical’ in drug trial on troops’ (The Australian, 24 August 2015).  Despite a comprehensive response provided to the journalist last week, the article contains a number of errors of fact, unsubstantiated claims and makes a number of allegations about the ethics of a trial conducted by Defence in 2001-2 into the use of the anti-malarial drug ‘Mefloquine’.  The article quotes Major Stuart McCarthy and an un-named “top” US expert as having accused the ADF of breaching medical ethics.  More.....
23 Aug 2015 RAN Making a Difference in the World's Newest Nation
More than 200 international naval personnel are working to make a difference in the world’s newest nation in landlocked South Sudan.  Among them are three Australian Navy maritime logistics officers serving with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan in support, admin and logistics roles.  More.....
21 Aug 2015 Incident involving Royal Australian Navy Helicopter at Sydney Motorsport Park
An incident occurred at Sydney Motorsport Park today while a Royal Australian Navy helicopter was conducting an authorised and routine display as part of the V8 Supercars series.  A driver was injured when he was struck by a piece of debris.  Emergency response actions were initiated immediately and the driver was attended to by medical staff at the scene before being transferred to a local hospital.  Navy and V8 Supercars have commenced investigations into the incident.
21 Aug 2015 Opinion Editorial – Adelaide Advertiser
The Defence Teaming Centre (DTC) comments this week undermines the certainty that defence industry in South Australia is looking for.  I have been advised by Defence that the figures used by DTC are speculative and uninformed and that it is premature to speculate about the cost breakdown per state before the results of the CEP processes for future frigates, submarines and offshore patrol vessels are completed.  More.....
20 Aug 2015 Opinion Editorial – Reply to Hugh White, The Age
Hugh White claims that the Government’s plan to invest in appropriately capable maritime forces is a mistake and part of a cynical vote buying exercise.  This couldn’t be further from the truth. As the Chief of Navy said on 4 August 2015, “This (continuous shipbuilding plan) provides certainty for not just the naval shipbuilding side of things but it also provides certainty for planning, not just within Navy, but within the Australian Defence Force”.  More.....
20 Aug 2015 Landmark reforms to ADF conditions of service
Today the Senate passed legislation that will establish a new superannuation scheme for members of the Australian Defence Force.  The new military superannuation scheme, to be known as ADF Super, fixes one of the longest running grievances of the veteran and ex-service community, namely the lack of flexibility and portability of a member’s superannuation benefit when they leave the ADF.  More.....
19 Aug 2015 Press conference with Vice Admiral David Johnston – Update on Australian Defence Force operations
Welcome to all of you. What I will do again, is spend about 15 minutes giving you an update on some of the key issues since I last briefed you.  That’s been a little longer than I’d have preferred but in between times, Exercise Talisman Sabre has kept me pretty busy and I’ll talk a little bit about that but I’ll give you an update across the Middle East region and then as we’ve done in the past I am happy to take your questions.  I do have a hard stop towards the end so I will need to leave on time for another commitment.  More.....
19 Aug 2015 Critical infrastructure upgrades for HMAS Stirling
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence, Darren Chester, today announced that the $367 million HMAS Stirling Redevelopment Stage 3A Project had been referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works.  “HMAS Stirling was constructed as a forward operating base in the 1970s, but has since evolved into the Royal Australian Navy’s major operational fleet base on the west coast of Australia, and the home port for approximately half of the Navy’s major war vessels,” Mr Chester said.  More.....
18 Aug 2015 Vietnam War Commemorative Grants
Fifty years on from the deployment of 1RAR to South Vietnam and the beginning of Australia’s combat role in the Vietnam War, the Australian Government is proud to launch a dedicated one-off grants sub-programme to help the community recognise the contribution of Australian servicemen and women who served our country during the Vietnam conflict.  More.....
18 Aug 2015 Honouring Australian Vietnam Veterans Secondary School Competition
The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson, today announced a one-off school competition to honour Australia’s Vietnam veterans.  The Honouring Australian Vietnam Veterans secondary school competition encourages students in years 9 and 10 to explore the service of Australia’s Vietnam veterans, and to reflect on the importance of remembering their involvement in the conflict.  More.....
18 Aug 2015 Australian amphibious force ready to launch in the north
Australia’s newest military capability, the Amphibious Ready Element, is preparing to demonstrate its capacity in waters off the North Queensland coast.  Townsville-based 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment with MRH-90 helicopters from the 16th Aviation Brigade will combine with the Royal Australian Navy’s HMAS Canberra and Air Force assets to conduct a series of amphibious training activities from August through to October.  More.....
17 Aug 2015 Monument to Sailors gathers momentum
Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Tim Barrett has been updated on a plan to build a $2 million sculpture to acknowledge the contribution of sailors to Australia's history, during his recent visit to HMAS Stirling in Western Australia.  The imposing public sculpture on North Mole at Rous Head, in Fremantle Harbour, is a national project to mark the role of sailors in the discovery, settlement, development and defence of Australia and, in particular, Fremantle.  More.....
17 Aug 2015 Special Train to ANZAC Naval Commemorative Ball.
Public Transport Victoria (PTV) has agreed to provide a metro train service from Flinders Street Railway Station to Flemington Race Course on Saturday, 17th October 2015 in support of the Commemorative Ball.

Only one(1) train will depart Flinders Street Railway Station Platform 8 at 1800 and run express to Flemington Racecourse Station arriving at approximately 1815.

Only one(1) train will depart Flemington Racecourse Station at 2359 and run express to Flinders Street Station arriving at Platform 8 at approximately 0015, Sunday 18th October 2015.

Ticketing will be by way of a normal Myki.

Hopefully many of those attending will take advantage of this generous contribution by the PTV.
17 Aug 2015

- Navy Week Victoria Seminar, 0930-1500 in the Theatrette, Shrine of Remembrance.  Download the flyer.....
17 Aug 2015
Navy League of Australia (Vic Div)
August newsletter is now available to download.....
17 Aug 2015 Taking Command of mental health
After seven months in Kabul witnessing some of the worst of humanity, Executive Officer - Undergraduates at the Australian Defence Force Academy, Commander Doug Griffiths, returned to Australia mentally tired, somewhat jaded and a bit disenchanted.  More.....
16 Aug 2015 Japanese wartime widow finds peace in Darwin
A Japanese woman has laid her mother's ashes to rest in Darwin waters, in the same ocean where her father - shot down in 1943 in combat off the Northern Territory coast - lies with his Second World War Dinah aircraft.  More.....
14 Aug 2015 Winners of Anzac Day Schools' Awards Announced
Schools from the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and Queensland are the national winners in this year’s Anzac Day Schools’ Awards, the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC, Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson, announced today.  More.....
14 Aug 2015 Defence Families of Australia Conference opens in Canberra
The annual Defence Families of Australia (DFA) conference kicked off in Canberra this week with delegates discussing all matter of issues central to the welfare of Defence families.  Attending the annual conference last night the Assistant Minister for Defence, Stuart Robert, addressed delegates and emphasised the perpetual value of DFA to Defence and the Government.  More.....
13 Aug 2015 116 Local Projects Honour Australians' Service
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson, today announced 116 community projects honouring Australian servicemen and women will receive more than $285,000 in funding under the Australian Government’s Saluting Their Service grants programme.  More.....
13 Aug 2015 Seaworthiness strategy launched
Navy's path to a mature Seaworthiness system was launched by Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Stuart Mayer, during the HMAS Success & Sirius Seaworthiness Board on 29 July.  “The Fleet Seaworthiness Strategy provides assurance that Navy's required capability is being delivered in a safe and effective way, it describes how the Seaworthiness system will operate across the Fleet,” Rear Admiral Mayer said.  More.....
12 Aug 2015 Community Grants Enhance Veteran' Lives
The Government has awarded almost $600,000 to ex-service organisations around Australia to support grass roots projects that will enhance the lives of many in the veteran community.  Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson said he was pleased to support 28 grants that would directly benefit veterans and their families.  More.....
12 Aug 2015 BAE Williamstown
Yesterday evening I was advised by the Chief Executive of BAE Systems Australia, Mr Glynn Phillips, that BAE intends to announce further reductions of their Williamstown workforce.  The Government is disappointed by this decision taken by BAE but has no control over the commercial decisions of companies such as BAE.  More.....
10 Aug 2015 Letter to HMAS Sydney & VLSVA Secretary David Dwyer from ex-HMAS Sydney II sailor Fred House.  Fred was a member of the commissioning crew of Sydney II in 1935.
Dear David

Bringing to your attention to an episode, which took place recently at the Glenorchy RSL, which I thought you might like to hear about and print in the Grey Funnel Line Newsletter.

I was presented with a long service certificate for 75 years in the RSL, by the President of the State Branch, Robert Dick on behalf of the Federal and State branches, for continuous service in the RSL.

I spent the first five years with the Hobart RSL Sub Branch then 70 years with the Glenorchy RSL Sub branch.

A friend of mine Allen Debman (SYDNEY 3), heard about it and wrote to the Glenorchy Sub Branch Committee where it progressed from there to Canberra, through the State Branch.

I am already in receipt of the 50 year service award.

At 98 years old, I understand I am the only member of the RSL in Australia to have this unique award.

In passing, I am still active, as the following shows.
Monday: Bowls practice.
Tuesday Morning & Afternoon: Garden and workshop
Tuesday Evening: Billiard Comp (I am the oldest member in Australia still playing comp Billiards)
Wednesday Morning & Afternoon: Southern Tasmania Bowls Comp
Wednesday Evening: 8 ball Comp
Thursday, Friday Saturday & Sunday: Fishing (weather permitting), or travel around in my Campervan.

I am asked how I keep going
My reply: When you retire you stop working for a boss and then start working for yourself.

I often wonder how I found the time to work for a boss.

You must keep active

Fred House
10 Aug 2015 Shades of grey gain attention
The Royal Australian Navy's ships are progressively getting a facelift - sporting a new paint scheme that is turning heads. On 29 July, hydrographic vessels, HMA Ships Benalla and Shepparton made the slow descent off the Tropical Reef Shipyard in Cairns slipway and back into the water gleaming in the haze grey shipside paint.
A fisherman motored past and yelled out, "That’s not pussers' shipside grey! I did 23 years I know pussers' grey, what are you?"  More.....
10 Aug 2015 Soundings Papers #6: July 2015
Philippines Naval Reserve support to Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief
As one of the countries most vulnerable to the effects of climate change, The Philippines faces numerous natural hazards which carry implications to national peace and security.  As The Philippines will continue to encounter stronger typhoons, coupled with rising sea levels and heavy precipitation, there is a need to strengthen efforts to mitigate and/or respond to crises caused by these natural hazards.  Download.....
10 Aug 2015 Soundings Papers #5: July 2015
Pathway to Indonesia's maritime future: the role of maritime policy, doctrine and strategy
Indonesia realises that a substantial, strategic transformation is taking place in the 21st century.  The centre-of-gravity of the geo-economic and geo-political world is shifting towards Asia.  In this dynamic, seaborne trading has become ever more vital to support economic development.  Download.....
10 Aug 2015 Semaphore: July 2015 - Ships named Adelaide
With the second of the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) new amphibious ships (LHD) nearing completion and due to commission as HMAS Adelaide (III) in 2016, it seems timely to review the history of the two previous RAN warships to have proudly carried the name of South Australia’s capital city. Download.....
09 Aug 2015 Eighth Middle East deployment for HMAS Melbourne
Today I was joined by Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Stuart Mayer, CSC, and Bar, RAN, to farewell the 230 officers and sailors of HMAS Melbourne as she departed for the Middle East region.  Melbourne will deploy for seven months to conduct counter terrorism, counter piracy and narcotics interdiction operations as part of multi-national Combined Maritime Forces as part of Operation MANITOU, the Australian Defence Force’s contribution to the region.  More.....
09 Aug 2015 Battle of Lone Pine Victoria Cross recipients honoured on centenary
Seven Australians were awarded the highest military honour, the Victoria Cross, for their bravery at the Battle of Lone Pine.  In commemorating the centenary of this battle, those seven men are recognised again at the new Defence Housing Australia community development, Crimson Hill.  Each of Crimson Hill’s five precincts, the nature trail and the community cottage has been named in honour of a Lone Pine Victoria Cross recipient.  More.....
06 Aug 2015 Minister for Defence – Opinion Editorial – The Government’s Historic Commitment for Naval Shipbuilding, The West Australian Newspaper
Over the next few decades, the biggest regeneration of the Royal Australian Navy since the Second World War will take place.  That regeneration will be the centrepiece of the Abbott Government’s fully funded and cost assured Defence White Paper that will be released later this year.  This White Paper will set out the Government’s plan for the Australian Defence Force as it forges a pathway to meet current and future strategic challenges.  More.....
04 Aug 2015 Prime Minister and Minister for Defence
The Government’s plan for a strong and sustainable naval shipbuilding industry

The Commonwealth Government is delivering a long-term plan for a strong and sustainable naval shipbuilding industry.  Over the next 20 years the Government will invest over $89 billion in ships and submarines for the Navy.  This critical investment will generate significant economic growth and sustain several thousand Australian jobs over decades.  It is a key part of our commitment to a safe and secure Australia.  More.....

Joint press conference transcript.....
03 Aug 2015 World first for West Head Gunnery Range
Residents, avid surfers, keen golfers and mariners in Flinders, Victoria, were recently treated to a world- first, witnessing firing of a 76mm medium calibre gun integrated with a SAAB Mk3e Combat Management System and CEA CEAFAR phased array radar from West Head Gunnery Range.  The range has been used by the Royal Australian Navy since 1959 as Navy's live fire gunnery training facility for close range and medium calibre gunnery.  More.....
02 Aug 2015 NAA - Heidelberg Sub-Section - April/May 2015 Newsletter.  Download.....
31 Jul 2015 A fond farewell to HMAS Tobruk
The Governor-General, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove, AK, MC (Retd), together with the Assistant Minister for Defence Stuart Robert, MP, and Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, AO, CSC, RAN, today attended the decommissioning of HMAS Tobruk to bid the ship a fond farewell in Sydney.  More.....
27 Jul 2015 Vietnam Veterans' Lunch
RACV members and guests are invited to the annual Vietnam Veterans Luncheon with special guest Major Mike Wells ED (Retd).  Major Wells served with 1 Commando Company from 1956 through to 1971.
Venue: Club Pavilion, RACV City Club
Time: Friday 14 August, 12:30pm to 3pm
Price: $74.00 two-course lunch and limited beverages
Additional beverages available for purchase at bar prices
For full details download the flyer.....
25 Jul 2015 Navy Week "Geoffrey Evans" Trophy Race
The Navy League of Australia -VIC-TAS Division will, with the support of the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria, be holding its annual Navy Week "Geoffrey Evans" trophy race on Saturday 24 October at 1400. The race is open to yachties in Port Phillip.  Full details in the "Navy Week Victoria" page.



Information of Interest

Request for Committal of Ashes to the Sea.  Download form.....

Current Repatriation Benefits for Gold Card Veterans -
As of 01 January 2018
This is a list of products that are available on a Doctor's prescription for Gold Card Repatriation Patients.  Download the list.....

DVA Mobile Apps

The new Operation Life mobile application is designed to help those at risk deal with suicidal thoughts and is recommended to be used with the support of a clinician.

The High Res (High Resilience) app helps you manage stress, build resilience and optimise performance on the go.

The PTSD Coach Australia app can help you learn about and manage symptoms that commonly occur after trauma.

ON TRACK with the Right Mix mobile app from the Department of Veterans Affairs helps you to keep track of the number and types of drinks you consume; the amount of money it's costing you and lets you know about the impact the alcohol has on your wellbeing and fitness levels.

Guide to the assessment of rates of veterans’ pensions
Guide to the assessment of rates of veterans’ pensions (GARP) is used to assess the extent of incapacity from war caused or defence caused injury or disease for the purposes of determining the rate of pension.  Download.....

Planning ahead kit

Overview: Planning Ahead is a publication designed to help veterans and their families prepare for bereavement.  There is also a checklist that can be used to record the contact details of important people, businesses and organisations that may need to be notified in case of your death.  Download.....

DVA Concessions Fact Sheets
Factsheet CON01 - Concessions in NSW
Factsheet CON02 - Concessions in Vic
Factsheet CON03 - Concessions in QLD
Factsheet CON04 - Concessions in SA
Factsheet CON05 - Concessions in WA
Factsheet CON06 - Concessions in Tas
Factsheet CON07 - Concessions in NT
Factsheet CON08 - Concessions in ACT

War Service

Check your ship's eligibility for war service.....