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News & Articles of Interest

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30 May 2015 Japan-US-Australia Defense Ministers Meeting
Japanese Defense Minister Gen Nakatani, U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, and Australian Minister for Defence Kevin Andrews held trilateral defense ministerial talks in Singapore on May 30, 2015, on the margins of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Shangri-La Dialogue.  This was the fifth meeting of its kind among the three nations’ top defense officials.  More.....
30 May 2015 Innovative program for wounded, injured and ill takes off in Canberra
Assistant Minister for Defence, Stuart Robert reviewed a presentation by a group of Australian Defence Force men and women as part of the Arts for Recovery, Resilience, Teamwork and Skills (ARRTS) program.  The ground breaking program, delivered in partnership with the University of Canberra, has been designed for service personnel experiencing service related health and well-being issues in their rehabilitation and recovery.  More.....
29 May 2015 Remains of First World War Soldiers Recovered in Bullecourt
The remains of two soldiers, likely to be Australians who fought in the First World War, were located at Bullecourt in France on Saturday, 23 May 2015.  The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson, said the remains had been discovered by a French fossicker in an area known to locals as the ‘Australian line’ and then recovered by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC).   More.....
28 May 2015 Inquiry report released into the death of a Navy member involved in a cycling accident
The Department of Defence today released an inquiry report into the death of Chief Petty Officer (CPO) Kane Vandenberg who died on 11 October 2013 following a cycling accident at Mt Stromlo Forest Park.  CPO Vandenberg was participating in the Super D event at the Australian Defence Cycling Club 2013 Carnival when he lost control of his mountain bike and collided with a large rock.  More.....
28 May 2015 Navy Band 102nd Birthday Concert
Good Morning All,
It is with much pleasure that I extend an invitation for you and your respective others to attend the RAN Bands 102nd Birthday Concert to be held at HMAS Cerberus on Wed June 24 commencing at 1900. Doors will open from 1800 with pre concert drinks available for purchase.
The concert will also feature a special performance from David Helfgott (please see flyer), the renowned Australian Pianist. On completion of the concert canapés will be served and David will mingle with the audience.
Cost for the evening is $50.
If you would like to attend please let me know as this is a ticketed event.

Kind regards
Brendan Woodsell, OAM
Ships Warrant Officer
HMAS Cerberus
Tel: (03) 5931 5245
Mob: 0414301038
View flyer.....
27 May 2015 The icons of Anzac
While participating at Centenary of Anzac commemorations at Gallipoli and in the Sea of Marmara recently, several symbolic links to helped to reinforce the original ANZAC story to the crew of HMAS Anzac.  During a four day period, Anzac hosted a commemorative service for the submarine, HMAS AE2, participated in sailpasts for Turkish forces and later British and Irish forces, before taking pride of place in the sailpast for the Anzac Day dawn service, in company with 10 other ships.  More.....
26 May 2015 HMAS Tobruk Decommissioning Official Reception
1. HMAS Tobruk will decommission on 31Jul15
2. The CO and ships company will host an official reception on the evening of 31Jul15 to celebrate Torbruks 34 years of service.  The reception will be held at FBE5 from 1830-2130 approx.  More.....
26 May 2015  Anzac Centenary Local Grants Support Community Commemoration
A further $2.1 million has been awarded to 160 new projects and 32 existing projects under the Anzac Centenary Local Grants Program (ACLGP).  The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC, Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson, announced the new funding allocations today, which concludes the ACLGP.  More.....
26 May 2015 Veterans Return To WW2 Battlefields 70 Years On
Eight veterans will return to Borneo next month to mark the 70th anniversary of an important campaign of the Second World War.  Liberating the people of Borneo from Japanese occupation involved more than 75,000 Australians supporting the Oboe landings on Borneo from May to July 1945 – including the largest Australian amphibious landing of the Second World War.  The eight veterans represented all service arms and major aspects of the landings.  More.....
25 May 2015 NVN's May 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 May 2015 HMAS Canberra Alongside in Hobart
HMAS Canberra visited Hobart for Anzac Day 2015, and during their stay the ship was open to visitors.  We've been lucky enough to get some great photos from inside the ship and have uploaded them to our Gallery page.  View.....
25 May 2015 Offer To Bring Our Vietnam Fallen Home
The Commonwealth Government will offer the families of Australian servicemen killed during the Vietnam War and buried overseas the opportunity to repatriate their remains.  The offer follows extensive consultation with the RSL, the Vietnam Veterans’ Association of Australia, the Vietnam Veterans’ Federation of Australia, as well as veterans’ families.  More.....
23 May 2015 Launch of the first Air Warfare Destroyer
In an important milestone for the Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) program, the first of three destroyers, Hobart, was launched alongside the Port River wharf in Adelaide today.  This is a key achievement for the program and a big step towards the delivery of three highly capable warships to the Royal Australian Navy.  More.....
Q & A......
23 May 2015

Navy League of Australia (Vic Div)
May newsletter......
22 May 2015 Frankston Cemetery Desecration
After a thorough examination at the Frankston Cemetery Complex of all 158 Official Commemorations of Australian Solders interred there I can confirm that seven sites have been damaged as part of an outrageous act of theft and vandalism.  More.....
22 May 2015 Australian Navy frigate visits Portsmouth
The Royal Australian Navy’s helicopter frigate HMAS Anzac has arrived in Portsmouth, England, as part of her NORTHERN TRIDENT 2015 deployment.  Anzac departed Sydney in March 2015, and has transited the Southern Ocean, Indian Ocean, the Red Sea, Suez Canal, the Mediterranean Sea and most recently the North Atlantic en route to Portsmouth.  More.....
22 May 2015 Minister for Defence – Australian Member Committee of the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (Aus-CSCAP), Sofitel, 25 Collins Streeet, Melbourne
*   It’s a pleasure to be asked to speak at today’s Australian Member Committee of the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific meeting. The topic for today’s discussions, ‘Agreeing a rules-based order in the Asia Pacific’, speaks to the changes we are experiencing in regional security.  More.....
Questions & Answers.....
22 May 2015 Air Warfare Destroyer program still fixing serious legacy issues
The Government has finalised a forensic audit to quantify the level of cost and schedule overruns in the Air Warfare Destroyer Project.  The most reliable estimates now suggest that the project will require an additional $1.2 billion to be completed, which will have to be funded at the expense of other Defence acquisitions.  Delivery of the three Air Warfare Destroyers has also been significantly delayed:
Ship 1: Original delivery: December 2014 Revised estimate: June 2017.  More.....
20 May 2015 HMAS Perth and HMAS Rankin show Navy capability in key regional exercise
HMA Ships Perth and Rankin demonstrated the effectiveness of Australian Defence Force maritime operations during the Five Power Defence Arrangements exercise BERSAMA SHIELD 15.  Perth and Rankin deployed together with Royal Australian Air Force P3 Orion and a KA350 King Air aircraft for the 10-day exercise in the South China Sea from 8 May.  More.....
19 May 2015 Lone Pine honours local service
Victoria's HMAS Cerberus supported the local Crib Point Cemetery with a ceremonial planting of a symbolic Lone Pine Tree to honour the Anzac Centenary on 16 May.  The cemetery is just at the boundary of the base and is managed by volunteers of the Crib Point Cemetery Trust, relying on community volunteers to care for the grounds.  More.....
19 May 2015 Development honours centenary of the Silent Anzac
Assistant Minister for Defence, Stuart Robert, was joined today by the Federal Member for Bennelong, Mr John Alexander, in opening Defence’s newest housing precinct for military personnel and their families.  The new community, which has been created by Defence Housing Australia (DHA), is located on the Parramatta River at Ermington and will be home to more than 200 Defence members – most of whom have already moved in.  More.....
18 May 2015 Navy engages in Malta
At the entrance to the Grand Harbour of Valletta, Malta, the Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Anzac was joined by STS Young Endeavour for a formation entry into one of the most spectacular harbours in the world, kicking off a few days of engagement between the Australian Navy and the people of the Republic of Malta.  More.....
18 May 2015 International participation in Exercise TALISMAN SABRE 2015
Australia and the United States are preparing for Exercise TALISMAN SABRE 2015, the largest combined military exercise undertaken by the Australian Defence Force (ADF).  The exercise, scheduled to take place early to mid July 2015, is the principal Australia and United States (US) bilateral training activity focussed on the planning and conduct of mid-intensity ‘high-end’ warfighting.  Defence forces from New Zealand and Japan will join the exercise this year.  More.....
15 May 2015 Photos added to the D.E.M.S. gallery
15 May 2015 ANZAC memorial dedicated in NZ
Opposite the New Zealand National War Memorial Carillon stand towering pillars of red Australian sandstone interwoven with grey basalt representing Australia's and New Zealand's vast landscapes.  Adorned with inscriptions of the various theatres our nations have operated together, and artworks by the indigenous persons of our lands.
A central pillar inscribed simply with the letters 'ANZAC' stands alone.  More.....
14 May 2015 Century of Service Honours WW2, Vietnam
The Government’s commitment to honour Australia’s century of service was outlined in the Senate yesterday, with the release of the Government’s third Ministerial Statement on the Centenary of Anzac.  Reporting on the activities which marked Anzac Day 2015 in Australia and around the world, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC, Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson, said he was focussed on commemorative events marking other key anniversaries in coming years.  More.....
14 May 2015 Cerberus play for pink
HMAS Cerberus Australian Rules Football Club hosted its second annual 'Pink Round' on 9 May raising funds and awareness for the Breast Cancer Network of Australia.  In support of the Southern Football and Netball League and the Australian Football League initiatives, the round aims to ensure Australians affected by breast cancer receive the very best support, information, treatment and care.  More.....
13 May 2015 Budget 2015: Defence Budget Overview
The 2015 Budget is part of the Commonwealth Government’s plan to build a strong, safe and prosperous future for all Australians.  The first responsibility of Government is to keep our people safe in an uncertain world.  In the 2015 Budget, the Government will continue to make a significant investment in the safety and security of all Australians.  More.....
13 May 2015 Budget 2015-2016

Portfolio Budget Statements
Complete DVA PBS

Complete DVA Portfolio Budget Statements 2015-16 (PDF 2.6 MB)

2015-16 DVA Budget Factsheet

2015-16 DVA Budget Factsheet (PDF 92 KB)

Department of Social Services (DSS) initiatives affecting DVA clients:

*  Aged care – increasing short term restorative care places
*  Aged care – alignment of aged care means testing arrangements
*  Aged care – Home Care Program – increasing consumer choice
*  Social security assets test – rebalance asset test thresholds and taper rate
*  Social security assets test – improve Integrity of Social Security Income Test Arrangements

Additional information on these initiatives is located on the Social Services page on the Budget website.

Department of Health initiatives affecting DVA clients:

*  Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) Increase in safety net thresholds on 1 January 2019
*  Junior Medical Officer Programme – interagency transfer from DVA
*  Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) – changes to GP rebates – reversal
*  My Health record – a new direction for electronic health records in Australia
*  MBS and PBS new and amended listings and PBS price amendments

Additional information on these initiatives is located on the Health page on the Budget website.
13 May 2015 Rehabilitation and Reducing Claim Times Target of 2015-16 DVA Budget
The 2015 Budget for veterans continues to deliver on the Government’s commitment to recognise the unique nature of service and is part of the Government’s plan to build a strong, safe and prosperous future for all Australians.  A greater focus on complex case coordination, rehabilitation, reducing claim processing times and improving long-term health impacts through early intervention are key initiatives of the Budget for the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.  More.....
11 May 2015 We Remember Perth
Late into the evening in the calm waters of the Sunda Strait, HMAS Perth sailors stood proudly on the flight deck reflecting on the valiant fight their namesake ship had undertaken seventy-three years ago.  On passage to a port visit to Singapore, via the wreck sites of HMAS Perth I and USS Houston II, Perth III conducted a solemn memorial and wreath laying service to honour and remember the sacrifice made by the sailors of the Second World War.  More.....
11 May 2015 HMAS Newcastle commences Middle East patrols
HMAS Newcastle has arrived in the Middle East Region and has commenced her first patrol as part of Operation MANITOU after officially joining the operation on 1 May 2015.  Newcastle departed for her first patrol as part of a six-month rotation that will see her cover approximately 2.5 million square miles of international waters to conduct maritime security operations in the region.  More.....
11 May 2015 Membership of the First Principles Review Oversight Board
I am pleased to announce the establishment and confirm the membership of an Oversight Board to monitor the progress of implementation of the First Principles Review recommendations. The First Principles Review was released on 1 April 2015. The Government has agreed – or agreed in-principle – to 75 of the 76 recommendations.  More.....
09 May 2015 Two Lost Ships Project
Skandi Protector has returned to Fremantle with the Two Lost Ships project team on board after what can only be described as an extremely successful four full days over the wrecks and debris fields of both Sydney and Kormoran.
In the latest video you can see:
German Raider HSK Kormoran wreck
Australian Modified Leander Class Light Cruiser HMAS Sydney (II) wreck
Team surveying live footage/results
Equipment coming to surface
View the video on YouTube:
08 May 2015 ADSO Media Statement
Welcome News: Government Abandons Unfair Pension Indexation Proposal
The Alliance of Defence Service Organisations (ADSO) welcomes the Government’s announcement that the present pension indexation method will not be changed.  More.....
08 May 2015 Two Lost Ships Project
The early survey of Sydney (II) and Kormoran has produced new photographic evidence which appears to confirm why Sydney was so quickly disabled, leading to catastrophic damage and the devastating loss of everyone on board.
The first high resolution images taken by Curtin University on board DOF Subsea's vessel Skandi Protector clearly show, for the first time, a 15cm shell-hole through the bridge at the compass platform.
This is a remarkable early discovery for the expedition, and provided support for the German captain Theodor Detmers' account that within the first 30 seconds of the battle Sydney's bridge was destroyed, her command structure lost, and her ability to effectively fight back severely disabled. It would appear we now have photographic evidence to support that, thanks to Curtin University's technology.
When the wrecks were found in 2008 the shell-hole was not obvious, presenting as a shadow in the photographs taken at the time. The new imaging technology developed by Curtin University is throwing new light on the historic site.

View the video on YouTube:

Updates also on Facebook:
08 May 2015 Solemn service over the wreck of HMAS Sydney II
At dusk on 1 May, amidst the rolling waves of the Indian Ocean, the crew of HMAS Perth gathered on the flight deck for the sombre honour of scattering the ashes of two people over the wreck of HMAS Sydney II.  One of Australia’s finest warships, Sydney II was lost in battle to the German raider Kormoran on 19 November 1941.  Both Mr Thomas Chesire and Mrs Patricia Ingham had an abiding connection to the ship and requested their ashes be scattered where she lay.  More.....
08 May 2015 Australian Navy frigate visits Brindisi, Italy
The Royal Australian Navy’s helicopter frigate HMAS Anzac has arrived in Brindisi, Italy, as part of her NORTHERN TRIDENT 2015 deployment.  While in Brindisi, members of ship’s company will commemorate military service alongside colleagues from the Marina Militare (Italian Navy) at the Bari War Cemetery and at the Monument for Italian Sailors.  More.....
07 May 2015 Army introduces Remembrance Pin
The Australian Army has today introduced the Army Remembrance Pin to commemorate the valued service of members who have died while in the Army; during both times of peace and war, since 3 September 1945.  Speaking at the Australian War Memorial, Lieutenant General David Morrison, AO, highlighted the need to remember their contribution.  “In appreciation of the men and women who have died while in the service of our nation, we have introduced the Army Remembrance Pin to acknowledge and commemorate their contribution to our Army,” Lieutenant General Morrison said.  More.....
07 May 2015 Veterans' Pension Indexation To Remain Unchanged
The Government has decided not to proceed with changes to pension indexation announced in the 2014–15 Budget.  Consistent with the Government’s pre-election commitment to give DFRB and DFRDB military superannuants aged 55 and over access to the best indexation arrangement from three indices (Consumer Price Index (CPI), Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index (PBLCI), and Male Total Average Weekly Earnings (MTAWE)) the Government will continue to index service pensions, war widows pensions, income support supplement, veteran disability pensions (including the Special Rate or TPI pension), wholly dependent partner payment and special rate disability pension against these three benchmarks.  More.....
06 May 2015 Ballarat To Host National Second World War Commemorative Events
Ballarat will host two major commemorative events as part of the Australian Government’s Centenary of Anzac Program with Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of Anzac, Senator the Hon Michael Ronaldson, today revealing that Ballarat would share in $8.8 million allocated to support domestic events.  Major Australian commemorations marking the 75th anniversaries of the Fall of Singapore and the completion of the Thai-Burma Railway would be held at the Australian Ex-Prisoner of War Memorial in Ballarat.  More.....
04 May 2015 Resilience App now available
A new smartphone app to help serving and former Australian Defence Force members manage immediate responses to stress, and help build resilience, has been developed by the Department of Veterans' Affairs in partnership with Defence.  Director of Strategic and Operational Mental Health at Campbell Park, Colonel Nicole Sadler, said the increased popularity of online and mobile mental health tools had led to the development of tools specifically for current and former Australian Defence Force personnel.  More.....
04 May 2015 Semaphore 3:  March 2015
"We know that in peace as in war the armed forces of Australia and New Zealand will work together and that the imperishable traditions of Anzac will ever endure."
In this year of ANZAC commemoration, it is fitting to recognise more than 100 years of cooperation between the RAN and our contemporaries across the ‘ditch’.  Australia and New Zealand have always enjoyed a special camaraderie, and rivalry, exemplified by the ANZAC spirit and strengthened by the uniquely close relationship between our two navies.  More.....
04 May 2015 Semaphore 2:  February 2015
Ships Named Anzac

With a focus on commemorating the 100th anniversary of Australia’s involvement in the Gallipoli landings this year, it seems fitting to highlight the service of those Royal Australian Navy (RAN) ships that have proudly carried the name Anzac as a mark of reverence to the brave deeds of the men of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC).  More.....
03 May 2015 Navy completes largest synthetic training exercise
The largest tactical synthetic exercise in Royal Australian Navy history has been conducted with the United States Navy recently.  Ships and simulators world-wide were linked for the virtual training exercise, known as Fleet Synthetic Training – Joint 15-72.  More.....
03 May 2015 Honouring a Centenary of Service During the Centenary of Anzac
An additional $35.5 million will be allocated for the Australian Government’s Centenary of Anzac Programme in the upcoming 2015–16 Budget as planning for commemorative events marking the 100th anniversary of major battles on the Western Front gets underway.  More.....
01 May 2015 Vietnam Veterans' Children Receive Education Funding
Fifty-six students from across Australia have been selected to receive funding under the Long Tan Bursary scheme to help meet the cost of their tertiary education.  Each student will receive financial assistance worth up to $9,000 over three years.  Applications for each academic year open on Vietnam Veterans’ Day, 18 August, and close on 31 October.  More.....
01 May 2015 Papua New Guinea joins Pacific Maritime Security Program
Papua New Guinea today advised it would join the Pacific Maritime Security Program.  Papua New Guinea is now the twelfth regional partner to join the Pacific Maritime Security Program.  This Program provides a regional solution to regional security issues. Papua New Guinea’s participation further strengthens the benefits of the cooperative program, expanding the region’s capacity to secure maritime resources and provide humanitarian assistance.  More.....
29 Apr 2015 Vice Admiral David Johnston, Chief of Joint Operations, provides an update on operations
Today I will focus on an update on operations in Iraq for you, but I’ll also provide an overview of some of the recent humanitarian assistance operations that we’ve conducted, particularly in Vanuatu, and our efforts with working with DFAT around Nepal and what we may provide there.  More.....
28 Apr 2015 Commemorating the Centenary of Anzac
The Royal Australian Navy helicopter frigate HMAS Anzac represented Australia at the Centenary of Anzac commemorative events at Anzac Cove, Gallipoli.  The Australian Navy was ‘first in and last out’ of the Australian forces, with the first success of the Allied campaign being the penetration of the Dardanelles by HMAS AE2 in the early hours of 25 April 1915, and the last to evacuate being the members of the Bridging Train on 28 December 1915 – eight days after the evacuation of Anzac Cove.  More.....
27 Apr 2015 Media Release:  Mission to document our worst naval tragedy
An expedition begins tomorrow to survey the historic World War II shipwrecks of HMAS Sydney (II) and her nemesis HSK Kormoran using the latest high-resolution imaging technology.  The project to investigate, manage and interpret the wreck site is being led by the WA Museum with key partners Curtin University providing the 3D imaging technology and DOF Subsea providing the vessel and ROV capability to reach the shipwrecks that lie 2,500 metres beneath the ocean’s surface.  More.....
27 Apr 2015 First Anzac Day for HMAS Canberra crew
As the sun rose over the Hobart Cenotaph, members of HMAS Canberra’s ship’s company joined the community to commemorate one hundred years since the first ANZACs landed at Gallipoli.  Later that morning, around 400 personnel marched up Macquarie Street, saluting the Governor of Tasmania, Her Excellency Professor the Honourable Kate Warner, as they passed Town Hall, led by Commanding Officer, Captain Jonathan Sadleir.  More.....



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.....