Defence Family Matters Spring/Summer 2008
In here and out there
As you might have noticed we combined our Spring and Summer editions into the one mag. This was so we could get moving information closer to when you move, and in your home well before Christmas – to assist those of you travelling far this year. As ever, we have been stuffed like a Christmas stocking facing complete hull failure - so much that many articles alas exist only on the dfm webpage instead of in the mag. A brief snapshot of our online presence is as follows; •News from Legacy on charity events and what the organisation can do for you; • In the downtime spotlight on the satellite powered fun of Geocaching; • How to improve your off road skills within Defence; • Jim Cosgrove‟s in memoriam piece on the five Duntroon cadets lost to Lake George in the 50‟s; • The results of the dfm 2008 Survey – find outwhat people think about what we do, and the manner in which it is done; • And much, much more To get to the Online Extras; 1. Click on www.defence.gov.au/dpe 2. Select Publications on the left hand menu 3. Select defence family matters.
The dfm webpage also has a handy list of articles by topic from the last four editions.
Message from the Chief of the Defence Force Message from Head People Capability Struth: It‟s Christmas Messages to the Troops Message from the Minister for Defence Science and Personnel,the Hon Warren Snowdon MP Defence Highway Rest Stop Program What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder? Changes to Housing Contributions and Related Allowances and Charges Moving and your family DHA celebrates 20 years of improving its services to you Kids‟ storybook aims to support DHA‟s youngest stakeholders ... Defence kids The who‟s who of your move, Meet the three major players in relocations DHA emergency maintenance services available 24-hours, seven-days a week Choose your most trusted ally Pay, Benefits and Conditions of Service for ADF Members Foreign income tax treatment may affect family assistance benefits 3 3 4 4 5 6 7 8 10 12 13 14 15 16 18 18
Defence Families – Building Opportunities Defence is working to ensure continued high quality child care services Child Support Agency introduces new Child Support Scheme Defence Families of Australia news Don‟t forget to have your say in the Families Survey Families are the most important part of the ADF‟s most important asset -its people Celebrate Defence Pets „N‟ Bubs Posting time and special needs Spotlight - Ipswich Kindergarten Spotlight - Williams Defence Community House Notification of Casualties Australian Defence Force Academy on display Changing your career – making a smart decision Back home to Navy Critical trades transfer opportunities ADF AFL at the MCG My War Memorial experience In the downtime: Volunteering with the State Emergency Service The Defence Attitude Survey Book review: Australian Women and War Cadet Info for families Defence Contact Details
19 21 22 23 26 26 27 28 29 29 30 31 32 34 35 36 39 39 40 42 43 44
Advertising in dfm: dfm does not take paid advertising, though we do provide space for not-for-profit organisations that directly provide for ADF members and their families. If you‟re looking to advertise your products or services direct to members then you can‟t go past the Service Newspapers for reaching that demographic. Please call Geoff Howard for more information on 02 6266 7605 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
the Chief of the Defence Force
As the Chief of the Defence Force there is nothing more important to me than the wellbeing of ADF men and women and their families. I recognise the important role played by Defence families in helping the ADF meet our commitment to Australia. Without the love, encouragement and support provided by you, our people would not be able to perform as well as they do. For that I am deeply grateful. Having been in the military for nearly 40 years, my wife Liz and I have experienced most aspects of the unique challenges that face Defence families. We‟ve all got stories - good and bad - about packing up and relocating every couple of years, the long periods of separation, but also of the wonderful, lasting friendships made in each location we have lived in and the opportunities this, at times, nomadic lifestyle brings. The focus and persistence of Defence Families of Australia plays a fundamental role in helping
families deal with these challenges by assisting the ADF to achieve and maintain a family-friendly environment. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Defence Families of Australia for all their hard work and dedication. They represent the diverse range of families in the ADF and have a strong passion and devotion to improving the lives of ADF families. I appreciate their assistance in developing family friendly Defence conditions and policies, and also advocating ways in which our people and their families might be better supported. As the year draws to a close, Liz and I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year. Our thoughts will be with you and all Defence men and women deployed on operations during the festive season. We look forward to their safe return. Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, AC, AFC
Head People Capability
As 2008 comes to a busy end I find myself in a new and challenging role as the Head of People Capability. It is a fairly common theme across the ADF as many of us take on new jobs, sometimes with moves and in many cases a promotion. For our families this can be both exciting and a little disturbing - the opportunity to meet new friends and experience new places balanced against the challenges of moving and leaving where we have been. One of my key objectives in this new job is to continue to build on the great work that has been done across our Department and the Services to work to ensure that the challenges of military life are balanced with the support and policies our people need to make Service life rewarding. For those who are moving, many families find settling in to new posting localities is made easier with the assistance of the Defence Community Organisation and unit support networks. I encourage you to consider making early contact with these groups in your new location as they can make a real and positive contribution to your family‟s move. A lot of work is going on in the background here in Canberra to better define the total employment package for ADF members and to overhaul our pay system. We are also looking at ways to enhance our family programs and will be able to tell you about the outcomes of this work in next year‟s editions of Defence Family Matters. I‟d like to take this opportunity to thank you, our families, for the steadfast support you give our servicemen and women and through them, to the wider Defence team. In particular our thoughts are with those who have family deployed on operations over the holiday period. May you all have a happy and safe Christmas and New Year. Major General Craig Orme, CSC
Struth: It’s Christmas
By Chaplain Christine Senini RAN Hello and thank you for your time. Have you ever spent hours working on something, carefully checking each detail, to have someone say „I don‟t like that‟ or „You should change this‟? Often it isn‟t because it is factually or grammatically incorrect, but because others see what you have done from their point of view. Their „reality‟ affects their interpretation of your work. It is said, „The greatest urge in life, is to edit another‟s work.‟ We all interpret what goes on around us, and we „edit‟ our experiences to form our reality. Sometimes we talk of „context‟, how our experiences influence what we understand. Sometimes we call it „spin‟, putting the „best‟ interpretation on a set of facts. Whether we know it or not, we are constantly reinterpreting and reframing things to fit with our understanding of the world. As Adam Savage of Mythbusters says, „I reject your reality and I substitute my own‟. Ultimately, truth is defined by what we believe. I believe that most people believe that Christmas is commercial. The advertising is unavoidable, decorations for sale in September, the count down of „shopping days‟, the pressure to buy things to show your family how much „you love them‟. It is relentless and confusing. Christmas today is a mixture of religion, traditions, advertising, folklore, and myth. More children believe in Santa Claus than Jesus. Yet Jesus is a real person with better historical antecedents than many figures of the ancient world. Our „modern‟ image of Santa Claus is an „invention‟ of Coca Cola, in essence a commercial. Santa‟s suit is Coke‟s corporate colours. I am currently on deployment in the Middle East Area of Operations. Not too many of us here care about the number of „shopping days‟ till Christmas, the junk mail, or the advertising. Like last year, my Christmas will be celebrated on the Flight Deck; my shipmates are my „family‟. We will exchange small gifts and have „Carols by Cyalume Stick‟, a Christmas Service, and a festive meal. Everyone will miss home, but we believe in the job we are doing, and we believe we will get the job done. Even though things are „busy‟, I believe each of us will have time to stop and think of what is important to us, what we believe in this Christmas, what is our „truth‟. I also hope that you have the chance to enjoy Christmas, not just survive it. I urge you to find out what you believe and why you celebrate Christmas. I hope your Christmas is more than a shopping „experience‟. I hope it has real meaning and is more than a reflex response to family pressure or advertising. What I believe is „Christmas‟ is written in the first two chapters of both „Matthew‟ and „Luke‟, in the Bible‟s New Testament. ADF Bibles are freely available from your Chaplain, I hope you get one this Christmas. Truth is defined by what we believe; I pray that this Christmas you will take the time to find out what that is for you.
Messages to the Troops
Australians are encouraged to send goodwill messages of a general nature to ADF soldiers, sailors, airmen and women who are on operations around the world. Messages can be sent via fax to (02) 6265 1099.
Or via email to : email@example.com
Alternatively postcards (not enveloped letters or parcels) can be addressed to: Messages to the
Troops R1-5-A056 Russell Offices Department of Defence.
the Minister for Defence Science and Personnel,
the Hon Warren Snowdon MP
The year has flown. Already new postings are being handed out, and families from Lavarack to Edinburgh, from Stirling to Darwin are preparing to pack up house and move, once again proving their resilience, spirit and dedication to the demands of the ADF.
It has been an absolute privilege and honour for me to take up the role as Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, and I know from my many visits to bases in every corner of the country and the world, the critical importance of Defence families to the defence of Australia. The spouses, the children, the parents of the men and women who serve, also serve. And when I say that the people of the Australian Defence Force are my absolute priority, I am also saying that ensuring they have the support of secure, happy families is an absolute priority to me, and this Government. I truly appreciate the fact that we are borrowing our ADF personnel from their families. While our soldiers, sailors, airmen and women serve in places like Afghanistan, Timor Leste and the Solomons, families are also making a sacrifice. It takes incredible strength and self-reliance, and I see it every time I meet with the spouses, the siblings, the children, the mothers and fathers of our ADF personnel. Thank you for the sacrifices that you make on a daily basis. As we all know, it is a busy time in the ADF, with our personnel often away on deployment and training and with that comes family stress. Posting cycles and locations are something the Government is looking at, and of course for some ADF personnel there is the new eight month deployment, which should slow things down, and ease the pressures on families. However I am already aware of concerns regarding cross posting and the potential for redeployment soon after a new posting. Rest assured I will be monitoring closely the new longer deployments and the effect
on personnel and their families. Something also to look forward to in the year ahead is the trial of the Free Basic Family Health Care in Singleton in NSW, Karratha in the Pilbara region in WA, East Sale in VIC, Cairns in QLD and Katherine in NT. In the second half of 2009, this trial will be expanded to include Townsville, Darwin and Puckapunyal. The initiative will provide free basic medical care to dependant families, with basic dental services capped at $300 per dependant per annum. And of course, be you with or without dependants, this year the Government passed legislation for the new Defence Home Ownership Assistance Scheme, which started on July 1. We have had a fantastic response to the scheme – so many in fact that it‟s taken a while to process all the applications. I understand that the initial rush has now been dealt with and that application processing time will soon be back to just a few working days. For more information call 1300 434 627, or see the DHOAS website, for details on how to apply and how much assistance you may receive to pay off your home loan. DHOAS: www.dhoas.gov.au And as well as new schemes, the Government is continually strengthening existing services, such as employment initiatives for spouses, assistance with housing, and with schooling and child care, all of which are all vital support for families dealing with the pressures of Defence life. But I also want to hear from you, about what you need. In the coming year I will be hosting family forums across Australia to discover first hand what you believe Defence should be doing better, and of course in this edition of Family Matters is the call to participate in the first ADF Families Survey. I encourage you to have your say about what life is really like for an ADF family. Just as Defence families support the men and women of the ADF; this Government is committed to supporting Defence families. I look forward to working with you and for you in the year ahead.
What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a serious mental disorder that can sometimes occur after exposure to a traumatic event. It is normal for most individuals to experience some form of distress after highly traumatic events. Most will return to normal functioning in a short period of time without intervention. However, for a small number of individuals a long term and incapacitating problem develops. The earlier that assistance is sought in these cases the better the rate of recovery.
What is a traumatic event?
What constitutes a „trauma‟ is different for everyone, however there are a number of generic
events that have the potential to cause significant distress. These include but are not limited to: • threat of death • serious injury • viewing or handling of dead bodies • death or serious injury of a close friend, colleague or family member • exposure to a potentially contagious disease or toxic agent • witnessing human degradation on a large scale • an action or inaction resulting in the serious injury or death of others.
What is a normal reaction?
Most people experience strong reactions after traumatic events. These may include: • re-experiencing the event (visual images awake or asleep) • intrusive thoughts about the event • a desire to avoid anything associated with the event • feelings of panic or being highly anxious • feeling sad, tearful, hopeless or depressed • feeling your personality has changed • drinking more alcohol, or misusing other substances • feelings of guilt or anger • trouble concentrating, disorientation, and memory problems • sleep disturbance, excessive alertness, or being easily startled • feeling unable to control your moods, especially when trying to control your anger • having difficulties with relationships.
When should I seek help?
If the symptoms outlined above persist for more than four weeks and / or are causing you considerable distress and impacting on your ability to work or function socially, you need to seek help.
Will seeking help damage my career?
You have an illness from which, with appropriate treatment, you are likely to recover. You have valuable skills. It is not Defence‟s policy to seek to discharge members if there is any chance of recovery. Unfortunately, recovery is not always achieved. Then, like anyone with any other chronic illness which is not compatible with ADF service, you may be discharged. Seek help early and the chances of this happening are vastly decreased.
Where can I get help?
If you are experiencing ongoing distress please seek help as soon as possible. Contact your local Medical Centre, Chaplain, Psychologist, Social Worker or the Duty Officer/Officer of the Day. You do not have to go through this alone and there is help available.
Mental Health Resources
ADF M • Mental Health Strategy All-hours Support Line (ASL): The ASL is a confidential telephone triage support service for ADF members and their families that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. (1800 628 036) (FREECALL within Australia) and
(+61 +2 9425 3878) (outside Australia). • Chaplains: There are Chaplains connected to all units in Australia who can provide support and appropriate referrals. • Defence Community Organisation (DCO): 24 hours a day, 7 days a week inc. public holidays. During business hours call the Duty Social Worker or Military Support Officer. Outside these hours and on Public Holidays, call the National Welfare Coordination Centre (NWCC) on 1800 801 026 (if overseas +61 +2 9359 4842). DCO: www.defence.gov.au/dco/ • Lifeline (131 114) If you, or a friend, need to talk to someone about a problem immediately, you can call Lifeline for the cost of a local call. • Local Medical Centres: Your local medical officer can provide immediate assistance and referrals as required. • Psychology Support Section: All Psychology Support Sections offer counselling services during normal business hours. • Veterans and Veteran’s Families Counselling Service (VVCS): This service is available to veterans of all deployments and their families. VETLINE – 24 hour emergency line (1800 011 046).
Changes to Housing Contributions
and Related Allowances and Charges
By the Personnel Policy and Employment Conditions Branch ADF Members and their families occupying Service residences may have noticed a change in members‟ Salary Variation Authorities on pay day 27 November. This change is a result of the annual review of housing contributions and related allowances and charges for 2008. The review determined changes to: Group Rent Scheme (GRS) for members in Service residences and on rent allowance; housing related allowances and charges; and the Home Purchase Assistance Scheme (HPAS). The date of effect for these changes was 13 November 2008. According to Director Housing and Removals Policy, Mr Robert McKellar, changes flowing from the annual review reflect national rising rent and living expenses.
„Changes to members‟ housing and accommodation contributions are a result of the strong rental market and the increases in the household expenditure sector currently being experienced across Australia. „On the home ownership front, however, I am pleased to say that payments made to members through the HPAS have increased. „With an increase in HPAS payments, coupled with the benefits offered to eligible members through the Defence Home Ownership Assistance Scheme, Defence remains committed to offering members and their families attractive home ownership options‟, Mr McKellar said. Changes to living-in accommodation contributions will be advised at a later date.
GRS for members in Service residences and on rent allowance
Following the introduction of the New Housing Classification Policy in 2007, GRS contributions for Service Residences and Rent Allowance are now calculated based on the average rent for each rent band. This rent band method offers a more transparent method for calculating GRS contribution increases based on actual rental increases rather than forecasts. GRS increases are higher than last year, reflecting the tightening rental market across Australia and the increased rent paid by Defence to DHA and members who rent privately. In line with the longstanding policy that national rental costs are shared equally between Defence and ADF members, the increase in member contributions represents half the dollar value of the increase in average rent for the corresponding rent band. For example, the average rent paid by Defence for housing in Rent Band 1/Amenity Group B1 has gone up by $29.34 per week. As a result, the GRS contribution for members entitled to this level of housing assistance has been increased by half that amount - $14.67. A summary table of the change in contributions for members with dependants is provided on the next page.
Timing of Future GRS Adjustments
Over the next two years, changes will be made to the timing of GRS contribution adjustments to better align with the increase in rents paid by Defence. Under current arrangements, the rents charged to Defence by Defence Housing Australia are reviewed, put up each January and Defence carries any additional cost for 10 – 11 months until the GRS update in October – November each year. In short, ADF members‟ rental contributions are currently almost a year behind the market. To address this issue, the Defence People Committee has agreed to move the annual GRS adjustment forward in the year. In 2009 the GRS adjustment will occur in July - August, while
from 2010 onwards the GRS adjustment will occur in March – April. Further information on this change will be published early in 2009.
GRS Subsidy level
Unexpectedly high market rent increases over the last few years have resulted in a blow out in the subsidy applied to ADF members‟ Service residences and rent allowance. Following the GRS adjustment on 13 November 2008, the subsidy is now 57.16% of the weighted average rent across all rank groups, with members paying 42.84%. The Defence People Committee has agreed to return the subsidy level to 50% over a ten year period through the addition of a subsidy correction amount to the annual GRS adjustment. The subsidy correction program will commence no earlier than 2010, in view of the change in the timing of the GRS adjustment in 2009 and 2010. Further information on the subsidy correction program will be published in 2009.
Rent allowance ceilings have been updated to reflect current market conditions in the various posting locations.
Housing related allowances and charges
Housing related allowances and charges such as those for meals and utilities were adjusted on the basis of the relevant component of the Consumer Price Index, which reflects the annual movement in household expenditure. The contribution for water by members in Service residences is based on the total average water consumption by members in Service residences is based on the total average water consumption by members in Service residences over the review period. This year the contribution has decreased from $4.20 per week to $3.95 per week.
Home Purchase Assistance Scheme
The rate for HPAS has increased from $15,462 to $16,235. Contracts entered into for the purchase or building of a home on or after 13 November 2008 will attract the higher rate of payment. This allowance is income taxable. Further information on housing and accommodation contribution changes is available from the Pay and Conditions website. DEFWEB: http://intranet.defence.gov.au/pac/ Internet: www.defence.gov.au/dpe/pac/
Group Rent Scheme Update
Band/ Amenity Group
Current Weekly Contribution
Weekly Contribution from 13 Nov08 $151.66 $179.13
Rise in Weekly Contribution1
RB1/A RB1/B1 Leading Seaman and below Sublieutenant, Midshipman, Petty Officer Lieutenant, Warrant Officer, Chief Petty Officer,
Corporal and below Lieutenant, 2nd Lieutenant, Staff Sergeant, Sergeant Captain, Warrant Officer Class 1, Warrant Officer Class 2 Lieutenant Colonel, Major
Corporal and below Flying Officer, Pilot Officer, Sergeant Flight Lieutenant, Warrant Officer, Flight Sergeant Wing Commander, Squadron Leader Air Commodore, Group Captain Air Vice Marshal and above $137.27 $164.46 $14.39 $14.67
Commander, Lieutenant Commander Commodore, Captain
Reader Admiral and above
Major General and above
Note 1: Consistent with the 50 percent subsidy policy, the rise in weekly contribution is equal to half the increase in average weekly rent paid by Defence to house members in each rank group.
Moving and your family
By Joan Gilbert, Defence Community Organisation
Ways to make a move easier on your family.
Moving is a major life change. It is an event filled with a variety of emotions. A move of choice may be viewed as a positive opportunity associated with feelings of excitement and anticipation. In contrast, a move without choice may be associated with feelings of fear, anxiety, and turmoil. Each family member may experience different emotions at different times. However, if relocation is approached with an optimistic attitude, it can promote family growth and involvement. The couple relationship forms the foundation for a healthy family. The strength of this foundation is the key to family stability. During times of relocation children benefit from the security of their parents‟ love and support. Suggestions for helping couples through the relocation process •Focus on yourself. If you take care of your physical and emotional needs, you will be better prepared to help your family. • Express and share your feelings, emotions, and expectations with your spouse.
• Recognise that your family may experience a sense of loss as a result of a move. It takes time to work through this loss. • After the move, become involved in familiar activities. • Maintain contacts with friends and relatives. • Schedule time alone as a couple. Suggestions for helping children through the relocation process • Talk about the posting – early and often. Give your child as much information as possible before the move, as far in advance as possible; more lead time means more time for the child to get used to the idea. • Encourage children to express their emotions. Accept their feelings and respond with understanding. By expressing your own feelings in healthy ways, children will recognise that they are not alone in their feelings. • Encourage children to create a scrapbook of their former community, school, home, and friends. Allow children to maintain contact with former friends as long as necessary (telephone, mail or email, postcards, photographs). • Be prepared for signs of stress from children of any age. Preschoolers may regress to thumb sucking, baby talk or other behaviour they had left behind. School-age children may intensify natural habits: a shy child may become shyer, an aggressive child more aggressive. • Involve children in some of the decision-making. Keep options within your range of acceptability while giving your child a sense of participation. Be prepared to honour their decisions • Read stories about moving to younger children. Use a toy truck or dolls to act out the packing and moving process. •While packing for the move, respect your child‟s need to keep some items before you throw them away. These items may represent security to your child. • Host a farewell party for the children. Plan the party with a theme in mind that connects with the new location (landmarks e.g. Sydney Harbour Bridge, state flower, sport team, etc.). Create activities that focus on moving, for instance, „Pin the House on the State.‟ Invent a new form of transportation, and/or draw and decorate the child‟s new bedroom. • Schedule time for family fun and exploration of the new community soon after you move. The local Family Liaison Officers will have some great ideas! • On moving day, keep some special items (favourite doll, toy, teddy, blanket, etc.) with you for ready access. • When arranging your new home, organise the children’s room first so they will have a safe place during all the chaos. Place household items in familiar places as much as possible. • Resume normal family routines as soon as possible (bedtime, chores, discipline, traditions). Children benefit from a sense of security, structure, and things that are predictable. • Encourage opportunities for making new friends through neighbourhood, school, church, and familiar extracurricular activities. • Don‟t expect children to go to a new school or childcare immediately after a move. They will need time to get used to their new surroundings, and some special attention from you, before facing the next big challenge. • When the child starts school go with him or her. Meet as many teachers as you can and ask to introduce your child to the principal.
• Contact the school after a few weeks to see how the child has settled in. • If teachers are concerned that the child is behind in schoolwork remember the Education Assistance Scheme that Defence offers. Contact the Regional Education Liaison Officer for any advice. • Children need time to adjust. Do not become over concerned about signs of regression to earlier developmental stages or to early reactions to moving. In general, it takes children at least six months to adjust to a move. However, be alert to signs of depression (mood swings, despair, changes in sleeping and eating). Contact your school counsellor and other mental health professionals for assistance.
Defence Relocations and Housing Managers
Adelaide (08) 8305 6551 Bandiana (02) 6055 2157 Brisbane (07) 3332 6992 Cairns (07) 4771 7922 Canberra (02) 6127 2898 Darwin (08) 8935 4346 Hobart (03) 6237 7277 Hunter (02) 4964 6964 Ipswich (07) 4631 4414 Liverpool (02) 8782 4100 Nowra (02) 4421 3855 Perth (08) 9553 1585 Richmond (02) 4587 2314 South Victoria(03) 9292 3667 Sydney (02) 9377 2146 Tindal (08) 8973 6594 Toowoomba (07) 4631 4414 Townsville (07) 4771 7922 Wagga Wagga (02) 6937 4220
Emergency contacts in transit
For assistance call your Relocation Consultant at your gaining location 1800 626 698 Emergency Relocations Hotline 24hr hotline (when in transit) 1800 819 167 - Removal of furniture, ect and vehicles. Notice for loss or damage (furniture and e ects) 13 11 57 Confirmation of travel 1800 020 031 - Family Information Network for Defence (FIND). Information on any matters of interest to Defence families
choice for deployed members
By the Personnel Policy and Employment Conditions Branch There has been a change in policy regarding accommodation arrangements for ADF members deployed overseas for six months or more. Previously, most members without dependants (MWOD) and members with dependants (unaccompanied) (MWD(U)) who proceeded on deployment for six months or more were
required to vacate their living-in accommodation or rent allowance accommodation and have their effects stored at Defence‟s expense. This situation caused concern for many members as tight rental markets made it difficult to find new accommodation on their return. Members are now able to elect to have their effects removed to store at Defence‟s expense or to remain in their living-in accommodation or private rental accommodation and receive rent allowance (RA) for the duration of their deployment. This policy change came into effect on 15 October 2008, and is not retrospective. Members who choose to keep their living-in accommodation or rent allowance will continue to pay their normal rent contribution. Defence will retain the discretion to waive member contributions where a member has received short notice to deploy. Members in living-in accommodation may still be directed to vacate their accommodation for operational reasons. Members who elect to retain their rental accommodation whilst deployed should check with their insurance company to ensure they have adequate contents cover during their absence. Members may arrange for a house-sitter to look after their rental accommodation while they are deployed without reduction in their RA, providing the member receives no payment for the accommodation and the house-sitter moves out on the members return. If a member chooses to sub-let their rental accommodation during their absence, their RA will be reduced by the value of the sub-lease. This policy change reflects Defence‟s commitment to support ADF members by minimising the disruption to a member‟s life during the work-up to, and return from, a deployment. More information on this policy change is available on the Pay and Conditions websites: DEFWEB: http://intranet.defence.gov.au/pac/ Internet: www.defence.gov.au/dpe/pac/
DHA celebrates 20 years of improving its services to you
In 2008 Defence Housing Australia (DHA) turns 20-years-old, and in that time we‟ve grown and flourished much like you. When DHA was established in 1988 we took responsibility for managing 23,000 houses across the nation as well as completing a $75 million capital works program. In 2008, 20 years later, this capital program has grown to $1.2 billion over three years and our housing stock has improved immensely.
This capital growth and expansion has meant that we have also expanded our standards of housing in line with the community standard, to benefit you and your family. In 1988, housing was quite often poorly maintained, small, and lacking in amenities, such as car accommodation and storage – oh and even carpet, at times! Today, DHA prides itself on providing not just housing for the Defence force, but „homes‟ for Defence families. DHA homes are of a community standard, and this means that families can expect the same standard of living that one would expect from their own home. In addition, a range of housing, including townhouses, apartments and houses, are now provided to better meet the changing needs and lifestyle choices of Defence families. Since 2001 we‟ve also tried to make moving easier for you and your family. We are continually working on finding better ways to serve you.
Kids‟ storybook aims to support DHA‟s youngest stakeholders ... Defence kids
„Lets get moving‟, by Rex D. Dog is an initiative of Defence Housing Australia (DHA) to reach its youngest stakeholders, the children of Australian Defence Force (ADF) members. The story follows the journey of the family pet, Rex D. Dog and his adventures as he moves around Australia when his ADF parents are posted to different locations. Rex follows the family‟s preparations to move to their new posting locality, and shares in the trials and tribulations that all kids go through, like finding new friends and starting a new school. “Having assisted so many Defence families with finding a new house, we recognise the enormous pressure on families, and particularly on Defence children, when moving frequently,” DHA Managing Director Michael Del Gigante said. “Producing a storybook for some of our most important and youngest stakeholders has been something we have longed to do for quite a while, and to be able to provide copies for our Defence families is a great achievement - and just one more way in which we may be able to help „smooth the move‟ for families.” The aim of the book is to provide additional support to Defence families during their move, and to provide parents with a resource to support and encourage discussion on the family moves, and to encourage children‟s active participation in the move. The book, which was launched recently, is intended for children aged four to eight years of age. It has been written using rhyming prose to ensure that the book has an element of fun to it. Bright colours and cartoon imagery appeal to our young readers. At the end of the story children are invited to write a letter or email Rex about the last time their family moved house.
“DHA views Defence family units as very important stakeholders in our business,” Mr Del Gigante said. “While families may cope well with moving to a new home, children in particular are susceptible to common doubts and anxieties during this time. Where will I live? Will I make new friends? Can Rex come with us? “In consultation with Defence Families Australia and members of the Defence community, DHA has produced this storybook, and accompanying activity book for our youngest stakeholders, the kids!” A form for ordering the book will be included in all DHA relocation packs and is also available at Housing Management Centres around the country. Books will also be made available at DCO and DFA offices
Hey kids, My name‟s Rex D. Dog and I'm part of a Defence Force family just like you. Since I was born my parents have been posted three times, and I‟ve lived in the most amazing places and made heaps of friends all over Australia. Sometimes moving house can be pretty scary. So I decided to write a book especially for kids like you and pets like me! My book is called „Let‟s get moving‟, and you can order my book the next time you recieve your relocation pack from DHA. But while you‟re waiting for your book to arrive you can send me an email, my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
The who‟s who of your move
Meet the three major players in relocations
Another cycle comes around and it‟s time for you to move to a new locality. Three major organisations are crucial in making your move successful and, more importantly, as pleasant as possible. The Department of Defence The Department set the policy governing relocations and removals including sending out posting orders, determining entitlements for different ranks, establishing how much rent you will pay and managing the other two major players: Defence Housing Australia (DHA) and Toll Transitions (Toll). The Department also positions DRHMS in each region to provide assistance to ADF members and their families. Defence Housing Australia (DHA) DHA facilitates around 24,500 relocations each year for ADF members and their families. Prior to your relocation, a DHA Consultant in your new posting location will assist you to select a DHA home using HomeFind, a unique housing allocations database. Your DHA Consultant, is also available to assist you with any questions about your new location and to provide you with appropriate contacts and resources to assist with your move.
When you arrive in your new location, a DHA Consultant will welcome you to your new home. They will provide you with a welcome kit and assist you to complete the necessary paperwork for moving into your home. DHA provides ongoing support to you during your tenancy, assists you with tenancy-related matters and provides a responsive maintenance service. DHA has offices located in the vicinity of major military establishments across Australia, which enables us to provide effective support to ADF families. For more information on DHA see our website (www.dha.gov.au). Toll Transitions Toll Transitions is proud to have been providing relocation support services to Defence Member and their families for over 50 years. Upon confirmation of your posting from DHA, Toll Transitions will assist you with the move of your household goods and personal effects to your new location, including: • Conduct a pre-location survey, where necessary • Provide for online lodgement of your inventory via the Toll Transitions website • Organise a removalist to park, uplift, deliver and unpack you goods • Organise the removal of your vehicle(s) • Organise storage and deliveries out of storage where required • Provide guidance and support through out your move Whilst the removalists observe the highest possible service standards in each removal, occasionally, loss or damage can occur. Toll Transitions also manages any Notice of loss and/or damage, which may result from your move. Toll Transitions has recently updated its‟ online inventory website in order to improve the online move experience for the Member and their families. Defence members and their families are now able to upload multiple inventories and emend past inventories from previous moves. For further information please refer to the Toll Transitions website: www.tolltransitions.com.au/defence So now that you‟ve met all the major players, next time you receive your posting orders you‟ll know exactly who does what, and who can help you with particular aspects of your move. Defence, DHA and Toll Transitions understand what a stressful time relocating can be, and we‟ll work together to try and make your life easier.
DHA emergency maintenance services available 24-hours, seven-days a week
DHA provides a single convenient contact number for maintenance services – 1300 366 615. During business hours (08:30 - 16:30) this number will connect you to your local Housing Management Centre (HMC) for all your maintenance requirements. After hours (16:30 - 08:30) this number will connect you to the 24-hour, seven-day emergency maintenance service. This service is for repairs that affect the immediate health, safety and security of you, your family or the Service Residence. Emergency maintenance will be responded within four hours of your call. Problems covered by this emergency service include: • wet light or power fittings (internal); • burst water pipes or no water; • heating or A/C; • oven or all hotplates; • hot water system; • sewer blockage; • complete loss of power or electrical faults; • gas leaks; • loss of all toilet facilities; • fire or storm damage; and • serious flooding. Contracted maintenance providers coordinate repairs on behalf of DHA for emergency and after hours assistance. All DHA contractors carry official DHA work orders, we recommend you ask to see this before allowing a contractor into your residence. If you are in any doubt about their identity, contact your local HMC. Contactors are required to discuss the problem with you and suggest possible timely remedies. In the event of a natural disaster, the State Emergency Service (SES) may respond. Under the terms of DHA‟s Tenancy Agreement, routine maintenance requests allow tenants to notify us of any damage, defect or deterioration to the property. DHA will look to complete routine maintenance requests within twenty-eight days. Early notification will ensure the residence remains in good condition. In some cases an assessment of the repair request will be required by DHA staff. If the residence is a newly constructed property it is subject to a builders defect liability period. To assist both you and DHA, a list of any defects that occur during this fixed period should be noted on the defects sheet provided to you by your DHA Property Consultant. Privately owned properties leased by DHA to meet operational needs are required to meet the same high standards and amenities as DHA-owned Service Residences. For this reason, emergency maintenance work is guaranteed to be undertaken with the same priority and to the same benchmarks. However, upgrades and non-essential maintenance may take longer due to the need for the property owner to agree with requests.
Choose your most trusted ally
By Tony D’Aloisio, Chairman of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission As a member of the ADF, you will often be under a lot of pressure whether you‟re deployed overseas, in training or working on base. Thinking about money isn‟t always foremost in your mind. Unfortunately, spending a lot of time away from home means that unless you plan carefully, your financial situation back home can get shaky. This will be intensified if you have shared expenses to cover, such as family obligations that need to be met. So when duty calls and you need to be away from home, a bit of planning about using joint accounts, online banking and direct debits will go a long way to keep your financial affairs in order. Five tips for joint accounts If you do set up a joint account for savings, mortgage, credit cards, mobile phones or other expenses, you should have „financial safety‟ in mind to protect both yourself and your family when setting it up and operating the joint account. Here are my five tips for safely using joint accounts: 1. Only open a joint account with someone you trust completely, such as your spouse or a parent. A joint account doesn‟t just mean you are handing over your money – it may also mean that if the other person racks up a big debt, you could be left to fit the bill. If you can‟t pay it off, you could also end up with a bad credit history, which will make it harder, and more expensive, for you to borrow money down the track. 2. If it‟s a joint account for everyday use, make sure that you and the other person share the same savings goals. Set up clear „rules of engagement‟ as to what the account is for, and what you both agree to deposit and withdraw. 3. Treat it as a warning if someone is bullying you into opening a joint account. It is a sad fact of life that personal problems (like gambling for example) can cause even close family and friends to steal money from their loved ones. 4. Consider the option of setting up automatic transfers (i.e. direct debits) instead of opening a joint account. 5. When you have a joint account with someone else, you need to communicate with each other about your spending. Otherwise, it can be hard to keep track of who is spending what.
When it can go wrong Private Smith’s story
Private Smith is young and when in Australia lives off base, away from his family. When organising some of his personal affairs before deployment, Smith decided it would be best to give over his online banking details and password to his girlfriend of three months. Smith asked his new partner to pay his rent and mobile phone bills in his absence.
When the Private was checking some emails during time-off overseas, he also checked his savings account balance to make sure his deployment allowance was there. Smith was shocked when the balance was close to zero. The rent and mobile phone bills weren’t usually that much. So, Smith immediately tried to contact his girlfriend to see what was happening - but there was no answer to any of his emails and calls. On returning to Australia at the end of his tour of duty, Smith found out that his girlfriend had been skimming money from his account, including his deployment allowance, and not even paying all the bills. Needless to say, the relationship was over and Smith was left out of pocket and regretting his decision. After that, Smith decided to set up direct debit payments for all his bills so he wouldn’t have to share his account details with anyone.
When it can go right Lieutenant Jones’ story
Lieutenant Jones has a young family and shares the responsibility of managing the family’s finances with his wife. They set up a joint bank account so it would be easy for them to pay the bills when he is deployed. However, they both agreed that their pay would first go into individual accounts, with a set amount of money going into the joint account each pay cycle. This money would be used for general living expenses. When overseas on deployment, Lieutenant Jones’ extra allowances sat in his individual account. Once back in Australia, he and his wife sat down and decided how to make use of the extra money. Investigate all the options first The key to opening a joint account is to trust the other person. Joint accounts can be very useful as long as you and the other account holder have clear ground rules and communicate often. Finally, like anything to do with your personal finances, investigate all the options, ask lots of questions and make sure you feel completely comfortable before agreeing to anything. Ask FIDO For more information visit ASIC‟s consumer website, call, or email ASIC with topics that interest you. FIDO: www.fido.gov.au Phone: 1300 300 630 Email: ADFcolumn@asic.gov.au
Want help with managing your money?
The ADF Financial Services Consumer Council provides independent financial education to ADF
members and their families, and protecting their consumer interests in relation to the financial services industry. The council provides a variety of resources which cover topics such as budgeting, financial management, buying vehicles and getting financial advice. The website features e-Learning modules which are an entertaining and informative way of learning more about those money topics. ADF units may also request seminars from the Council on a range of financial topics, provided that there will be at least 30 participants. Interested units should fill out the „Request a Seminar‟ form on the Council‟s website. Website: www.adfconsumer.gov.au
Pay, Benefits and Conditions of Service
for ADF Members
By the Personnel Policy and Employment Conditions Branch Pay, benefits and conditions of service are of significant importance to ADF members and their families. Defence continually strives to design people policies for our military workforce that are innovative, flexible and meet the needs of the modern ADF family. Much has been achieved in the people policy arena in Defence this year, with more to come in 2009. ADF members and their families make a valuable contribution in shaping our people policies and initiatives. Defence looks forward to continuing this partnership into 2009. Key pay, benefits and conditions of service achievements for 2008 and priorities for 2009 include: • Military pay • Retention and Completion Bonuses • Defence Home Ownership Assistance Scheme • ADF Conditions of Service Review • Accommodation options for deployed members • Changes to the Group Rent Scheme • ADF Housing and Accommodation Assistance Strategy 2009-2029 • Defence Instructions (General) PERS • ADF Labour Agreement • Defence Personnel Regulations Review • Review of the ADF Medical Employment Classification System • Deregulation A full length version of these achievements for 2008 and priorities for 2009 is available in the latest issue of Defence Magazine. Website: www.defence.gov.au/defencemagazine/
Did you know ...
the Pay and Conditions website is the authoritative source for ADF and APS pay, benefits and conditions of service policy and information? We received over four million hits on this website in 2008. So get online and bookmark the Defence ADF and APS pay, benefits and conditions of service website: DEFWEB: http://intranet.defence.gov.au/pac/ Internet: www.defence.gov.au/dpe/pac/
Foreign income tax treatment may affect
family assistance benefits
By the Personnel Policy and Employment Conditions Under changes that came into effect on 1 July 2008 tax exempt income earned by Australian citizens from an Australian source while stationed overseas will now be included as income and used to calculate family assistance payments. This includes Family Tax Benefit A and B. Personnel on warlike service (Operations CATALYST, SLIPPER and PALETTE II) will not be affected by this change due to the special nature of their service as recognised under section 23AD of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 (the Act). This change to family assistance may affect ADF families where personnel are deployed on nonwarlike operations and who are subject to an exemption under section 23AG of the Act. Income earned by ADF personnel deployed overseas on non-warlike service may be exempt from tax under section 23AG of the Act subject to certain conditions. This exemption recognises that in some countries the member may be required to pay local tax and therefore should not be required to pay Australian tax – that is to pay tax twice. Section 23AG exempt income is included on a member‟s payment summary. The reason for this is because it is recognised as income for other purposes This income, currently exempt under section 23AG, will now be included in the assessment of Family Tax Benefit. For non-warlike service, the effect of allowances on your Family Tax Benefit will depend on the type of allowance received. The primary allowance, Deployment Allowance, is exempt from taxation in its own right (a pure exemption) and will not be counted. Field Allowance if recieved, would be included. Changes to the child support payment formula that came into effect 1 July 2008 may also have an
impact on personnel deployed overseas. See the article on page 22 for Child Support Agency website details. For more information see the pay and conditions website or contact the Family Assistance Office. See page 18 for the addresses for the Pay and Conditions websites. Family Assistance Office Phone: 13 61 50 Web: www.familyassist.gov.au Important: The Income Tax Assessment Act (1936) is complex legislation. This article does not cover all possible taxation issued relating to foreign income tax treatment or circumstances of individual members. Members should obtain their own tax advice from a qualified tax adviser.
Defence Families –
The Chief of the Defence Force has said that without the ongoing and devoted support provided by families, ADF members would not be able to perform as well as they do. This makes the families of ADF members very special and a very valuable part of the ADF team. We know that the Defence lifestyle can bring a lot of challenges, but it also brings extraordinary opportunities that many other families may never experience. The Defence Community Organisation (DCO) is eager to work with families to build the capacity of the Defence community, to enhance those opportunities and to help families take advantage of the possibilities that come with being a part of the Defence team. This issue of the dfm DCO is highlighting the opportunities available to Defence families as part of the Defence Community. Some of these opportunities are there to help with the challenges placed upon you; others are part of the broader initiatives in place, such as the AFS scholarship. The main aim, though, is to make sure you take the time to make the most of these opportunities. National Curriculum Update The Government has established a National Curriculum Board, whose role in the first instance is to develop a national Kindergarten to Year 12 (K-12) curriculum in English, Mathematics, the sciences and history. It is expected that a new declaration on the national goals of schooling for Australia will be adopted later in 2008. DCO, through the Manager Education Policy and Special Needs and the Regional Education
Liaison Officers (REDLOs) have been engaged in discussions with the National Curriculum Board and will continue to be involved in the State / Territory consultative forums. The educational issues faced by families will continue to be raised at these forums. This is a rare opportunity for Defence to be involved from the outset in finding ways to enhance the educational experience for all children in Australia, not just Defence children. The experiences of Defence families in moving between school systems give an important perspective on the benefits that a National Curriculum can bring to the Education system. A profile paper is currently being prepared and will be submitted to the National Curriculum Board detailing the challenges that mobile Defence families face at the time of posting which will be considered by the National Curriculum Board as it develops the National Curriculum. Joan Gilbert, Manager of Education Policy and Special Needs, will provide further updates as the development of the National Curriculum continues. Moved recently? Moving soon? Seeking employment? Once again, the posting cycle has come around and it‟s time for ADF partners to look at that new location to see what employment choices they will have. To help you to get the best out of the options that are available to you, the Services Workforce Access Program for Partners (SWAPP SELECT) provides a range of employment enabling initiatives to assist Defence partners seeking work. SWAPP SELECT can assist you with: Professional Employment Assistance which covers the following services up to a maximum of $2,500: • Career transition assessment and advice; • Job search techniques and strategies; • Preparation and presentation for interview; • Application and selection criteria preparation; • Identifying training options; • Identifying job options. Personalised Resume Preparation. Funding assistance is available to a maximum of $500 for a partner to choose a professional agency to prepare their resume. Professional Resume Builder CD. A professional resume builder CD is available for loan from your local DCO office to help partners prepare their own resume. Training. Partners may be eligible for assistance with training costs up to $2,500 where the training is required to secure immediate employment. Childcare Assistance. Reimbursement of childcare costs up to a maximum of $250 per child is available while pursuing job search activities. Internet Assistance. Partners undertaking distance learning in very remote localities may be eligible for reimbursement of up to $30 per month to cover internet service provider expenses.
Professional Registration Expense Payments (PREP). If you post to a new locality and are required to re-register or undertake a short upgrade course of up to 12 months in duration to secure the same employment opportunities you had in the previous locality, this can be reimbursed under PREP. Congratulations to Defence/AFS Scholarship Winners! Being able to live and study overseas for a year may seem an unachievable dream to many young people, but thanks to the Defence/AFS Scholarship program, eight lucky Defence dependents will have the opportunity to do just that. Two dependants from each of the Single Services – Navy, Army and RAAF – and from the Australian Public Service have been selected to live and study in an overseas country for a year. Through this program, these scholarship winners will be involved in furthering AFS‟s aim; to build a „just and peaceful world through world-wide exchange programs‟. Many congratulations to the following students, who have been selected from a large number of applications to receive a Defence/AFS Scholarship for 2009. Rebecca Giffard – Argentina Canberra Girls Grammar – Canberra Hayden Ashley – Netherlands Marist College – Canberra Benjamin Moore – Denmark Medowie Christian School – NSW Lachlan Astfalck – Germany Wesley College – South Fremantle Tiarne Williams – Netherlands Trinity Christian School – Canberra Allison McClelland – Switzerland Holland Park High – QLD Kaytlin Hancock – Netherlands Hawker College – Canberra Amelia Hurley – Denmark Canberra Girls Grammar – Canberra This is a wonderful opportunity for these students. The journey that each of our winners is about to embark upon will present them with many challenges and unique adventures. There will be excitement and fun as they travel to different destinations around the world and share their life with a host family. I know that they will also bring to this new experience their energy, drive, desire to achieve and their wonderful Australian character. Congratulations! Community Houses and Facilities Project At DCO we are interested in looking at the ways that the changing needs of Defence families influence the way we need to deliver our services. But it can be hard to know what the needs of Defence families are 21 unless we get the information direct from families. So we would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who participated in the recent Community Houses and Facilities on-line survey, and to those who participated in our focus groups.
Our participants provided a valuable insight into the changing needs of the Defence family and the relationship that our families have with the broader community. We had a wonderful response with 393 surveys submitted and most Defence areas represented. Your thoughts and ideas will be invaluable in determining the way ahead for these facilities. Watch for more information in future editions of dfm. DCO would also like to thank Defence Families of Australia (DFA) for their invaluable assistance in this project and for their kind donation of $100 Woolworths shopping vouchers as prizes for five of our lucky survey participants. The DFA National Convenor, Nicole Quinn, randomly selected the winners and our congratulations go to Hayley and Colin in Queensland, Davina in New South Wales, Karen in Victoria and Lucinda in Albury-Wodonga. Happy shopping! Moving your family Moving on posting can be a great opportunity for your family to meet new friends, see a new part of the country and experience the wide variety of lifestyles that Australia has to offer. As one service spouse recently commented, moving on posting is like being a tourist for twelve months. To help your family make the most of this opportunity, DCO has put together some helpful hints and suggestions to make the move as smooth as possible and to help you to integrate your family into your new community. These tips and hints are in the article starting on page 10 of this issue of dfm. If you would like further information on any of the DCO initiatives mentioned in this article, visit the Defence Community Organisation (DCO) website: DCO: www.defence.gov.au/dco Or contact your local DCO office. We are there to help you to get the most out of being part of the Defence team.
Digital Student Portfolio
It is that time of the year when many families will be preparing for a move to a new location and may want to continue to use the Digital Student Portfolio to capture the achievements of their children at school over the past year. The software for DP Builder has been updated but you will need to download the update to re-activate the DP Builder software. This update will re-active the DP Builder subscription. It is important to install the software from the CD and enter the serial number before running the update. If you have already installed DP Builder, please make sure that the DP Builder is closed before running the update. You will need to use the link below to download the update. Please SAVE the update to your computer before running it: DP Website: www.dpbuilder.com.au/defence/software/updates/version/DPBUpdate210.exe If you have any further questions or problems with the DP Builder software, contact the support
staff for DP Builder directly at the following email address: DP Builder Email: email@example.com
Defence is working to ensure continued high quality child care services
The Receiver of ABC Learning Centres Ltd, McGrathNicol, has announced that the majority of the Group‟s child care centres will continue operating in 2009. On 26 November the Receiver wrote to ABC parents and staff in the 656 Centres that will continue to trade as normal after 31 December this year. The Receiver is confident that there was a sustainable business model for these 656 centres. With respect to the remaining 386 centres, the review process is ongoing; however this does not mean that these centres will close, only that they will need further examination. The Defence Child Care Program Centres currently fall into the category for further review. This is at the request of Defence to have the Defence owned centres grouped as a single entity and therefore a separate category. The Receiver has also placed the Defence expansion centres in this category to align with a consistent Defence approach. The purpose of this request is so that Defence can work in collaboration with the Receiver and DEEWR to ensure that Defence‟s centres continue in their entirety. DCO is working to ensure that all of our Defence owned centres are considered in an inclusive and comprehensive manner to enable all of them to continue operations. This is the key objective of the DCO Child Care Taskforce and Defence. If you are affected by this situation, you may with to receive further updates from DCCP directly to your personal e-mail account. If so, please email the following dedicated e-mail address within DCO: firstname.lastname@example.org Please include the following details: Name, Email Address, Child Care Centre used, Employment status (ADF / APS / Community) The information you provide will only be used for the express purpose of providing Child Care updates and your privacy will be respected at all times. DEEWR has a website and information hotline (180 2003) where concerned parents can seek information about the situation. There will also be periodic updates available on the DCO website for Defence families: DEEWR: www.mychild.gov.au DCO: www.defence.gov.au/dco
Child Support Agency introduces new Child Support Scheme
By the Personnel Policy and Employment Conditions Branch On 1 July 2008 the Child Support Agency‟s new Child Support Scheme (the Scheme) commenced. Changes in the new Scheme will affect every parent in the wider Australian community who pays or receives child support, including parents in the ADF The new Scheme aims to provide maximum support for children whilst being fairer for both parents. Scheme changes reflect the Government‟s move towards encouraging shared parenting arrangements over traditional custodial/non-custodial parenting. Specifically, the Scheme is designed to: better reflect community values a • round shared parenting; • better balance the interests of parents and children; • treat both parents‟ incomes and living costs in a similar way; and • treat children from first and second families in a similar way. Scheme changes The new Scheme changes the way child support payments are calculated. Specific changes include recognising that providing care and making child support payments are both ways to contribute to the cost of raising a child, eg: • parents who are not the primary carer but still provide care may find they pay less child support under the new Scheme, due to contributing to the child‟s accommodation, food and entertainment • less time spent providing care will result in an increased child support payment
How Scheme changes may affect ADF members on posting
Member A is posting to the same locality as their child from a previous relationship
Member A will soon be living in the same posting locality as their child from a previous relationship. Once there, Member A spends more time with that child, and makes a greater contributions to the child’s accommodation, food and entertainment. Under the new Scheme, Member A’s child support payments may be reduced to reflect the new level of care they provide their child.
Member B is posting away from their child’s locality Member B will soon be moving away
from the same posting locality as their child from a previous relationship. When this happens, Member B won’t see that child as often, and so reduces their contribution to the child’s accommodation, food and entertainment. Under the new Scheme, Member B’s child support
payments may be increased to reflect the reduced level of care they provide their child.
For more information on the new Scheme, including fact sheets and child support payment estimator, visit the Child Support Agency website. CSA: www.csa.gov.au
Specific policy for overseas deployment
You may not be aware that the Child Support Schemes, both old and new, contain policy specific to ADF personnel serving in war-like zones. For further information, refer to the CSA website online law and policy guide for the new Scheme, sub-clause 2.6.14.
Defence Families of Australia news
Defence Families of Australia (DFA) is a group formed to represent the views of Defence families. Its aim is to improve the quality of life for Defence families by providing a recognised forum for their views and by reporting, making recommendations and influencing policy that directly affects families. ADF families can contact DFA to represent them regarding an individual situation or to advocate an issue concerning many families.
Message from the National Convenor How quickly the end of the year comes around, along with the commencement of another moving cycle. When facing the prospect of relocating remember we have great info on posting locations on the DFA website and links to the formal Defence sites in each location. It‟s worth a quick look to ensure you have considered all your options. DFA welcomes home partners who have recently returned from operations and we send our thoughts to those families who will have loved ones away over the holiday period. DFA recently sent a special e-bulletin to our registered families about living in the tropics. This e-bulletin focused on cyclone season tips and we would love to hear from you and add to our tips of living in the North! For families living in other regions keep you eye out in your email box for your local e-bulletin coming soon. My thanks to all of you who have supported DFA in the past year and a special thank you to our National Delegates who continue to inspire me with their professionalism and commitment to DFA. Here‟s wishing all ADF families a happy and safe Christmas and New Year. Nicole Quinn, Convenor Integrated Transition Strategy DFA continues to be involved in the Integrated Transition Strategy with National Delegates attending Regional Stakeholder forums around the country. These forums present the opportunity for DFA to raise and discuss family related issues in each region and continue to highlight families‟ contribution within the ADF. DFA would like to thank Mr Bill Traynor and his team within the ITS for facilitating DFA‟s involvement in this important project. Without their open door policy DFA could not represent families as effectively. Family Survey The family survey is an important step towards formally representing your views within Defence. Like the Defence Census and Attitude Survey this is an excellent opportunity to inform Defence
leadership and policy makers of the real impact of the ADF lifestyle on families. We appreciate we get asked to do surveys all the time but this is significant as it is the first one on this scale and it asks spouses and partners directly for their views. If successful, it will be at the heart of representing families‟ views over the coming years. DFA ask that you take the time to complete the survey to ensure it can be used to be represent all of us in the future. DFA Website We have added a tremendous amount of content since the last edition of dfm, especially within the posting location part of the site. We have information on most locations within Australia. We hope that when the posting order comes home that our website can assist you and your family make more informed discussions about the options available for your family. THANK YOU to all the families who have registered to date and the overwhelming positive feedback that we are receiving. As a volunteer organisation it certainly helps when people say nice things! We are looking for more photos so if you have some shots you would like to share with other Defence families please email them to us. Thank you to the families that have sent in some amazing photos of posting locations, they really enhance the site. DFA Comms: email@example.com We also hope to include more content within the „tips‟ section of the site. We would really like your tips so please email us with the valuable lessons you have learnt while being part of the ADF family.
FAMILY TIP 1
Ensure you have considered the FBT implications of the fantastic new home loan scheme. The subsidy is reportable and can affect Family Assistance and Child support payments - check out the ADF Financial Services Consumer Council for further information. See the sidebar on page 17.
FAMILY TIP 2
Do you have your child attending government speech therapy sessions? On posting you could be eligible for Defence support to ensure therapy continues. Check out the Defence special needs program managed through DCO before you move! Also see the article on page 28.
FAMILY T IP 3
Get hold of the new DHA „Let‟s get Moving‟ storybook and start reading to your kids before you move - its free and specially written to explain a Defence move to four to eight year olds. See the article on page 13. www.rex.dha.gov.au
Need DFA’s Help? Call 1800 100 509
National Convenor Nicole Quinn CP2-1-11 Dept. of Defence Canberra ACT 2600
firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: (02) 6266 2768 (Office) Mob: 0410 626 103 National Comunications Cath Scott email@example.com Mob: 0438 545 133 Nth QLd Sandra Murdoch firstname.lastname@example.org Mob: 0458 287 691 Sth QLd Kym McKay email@example.com Mob: 0431 902 675 CENTRAL NSW Brie McNab firstname.lastname@example.org Mob: 0434 941 086 SA Rowena Jimmieson email@example.com Mob: 0433 405 774 NT Annaliese McCammon firstname.lastname@example.org Mob: 0422 158 785 WA Penny Davison email@example.com Mob: 0411 795 028 ACT / Sthn NSW Jo Aboud firstname.lastname@example.org Mob: 0429 326 060 Hunter / Nth NSW Sarah Hobden-Munro email@example.com Mob: 0421 819 528
Vic/Tas Trish Richards firstname.lastname@example.org
Mob: 0458 481 831
Above: Defence Families of Australia with ACM Angus Houston-Chief of Defence Force. Back row from left to right, Kym McKay, Penny Davison, Catherine Scott, Jo Aboud, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, Emma Ward, Sandra Murdoch. Front row from left to right Nicole Quinn (DFA National Convenor), Brie McNab, Rowena Jimmieson, Sarah Hobden Munro, Trish Richards, Annaliese McCammon
DFA National Conference This year‟s Annual National Conference was a great success. Held in Canberra during June, the theme for this year was Moving the Modern ADF Family. National Delegates, representing all regions around Australia, had the opportunity to raise and discuss many of the unique issues which Defence families face as a normal part of our lives. Housing, removals, education, childcare and remote localities are regular themes each year and DFA continues to advocate for improvement in these conditions. High on the agenda for families this year was the need for a national consistency to an education curriculum and the option to live in an area close to a preferred school. Families are also feeling the sustained absences from home due to the high operational tempo. Increasing numbers of families are requesting to live in a third location where they have support from family and friends. Families are also saying they would like more support in their community. During the week we had the opportunity to raise these and many other issues with senior Defence personnel and other service providers. DFA was also very fortunate be part of a special round table discussion with the Chief of Defence
Force, Angus Houston, the Secretary of Defence, Nick Warner and other senior ADF and Defence personnel. The discussion focused on exploring ways to ease some of the negative impacts of the ADF „lifestyle‟ on families. The three main issues discussed in this session were: consistent ways for families to access Defence establishments and facilities; the need to consider family impact statements in developing policies and program; and better communication about policies and entitlements from commanders. The discussion was very useful and we expect to see positive outcomes for families. DFA wishes to thank the conference speakers who clearly value the work of DFA and generously gave us some of their valuable time. Chief of Defence Force Air Chief Marshall Angus Houston, the Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, the Hon. Warren Snowdon, Head of Personnel Capability, Directors of Personnel, Head of DCO, Director of Entitlements, DHA and Toll senior executives, to list a few. Our recently appointed National Delegates (NDs) received their DFA ministerial appointments from Minister Snowden. Brie McNab is our ND for Central NSW (which includes the Sydney region), Kym McKay is our ND in South Queensland and Trish Richards represents the Victoria/Tasmania regions. We officially welcome each of them to DFA. How can you be involved in DFA? Are you interested in learning more about volunteering with DFA? Our nomadic lifestyle means we regularly need new volunteers - especially during the peak posting cycle. At the end of the year we will have positions vacant for National Delegates in Western Australia and South Queensland. We also need Senior Representatives across Australia If you are interested in volunteering for DFA in your area, please contact your local National Delegate or check out our website. Email: email@example.com DFA: www.dfa.org.au
Don‟t forget to have your say in the
For the first time, families nationally have the opportunity to provide feedback about their experiences of the ADF way of life with the launch of the first ADF Families Survey in November 2008. Many conditions of service and family-related policies are based on a dated picture of families. To date, what we know about the experiences, attitudes and needs of ADF family members has been based on either anecdotal evidence or ADF members‟ own perceptions of the impact of Service life on their families, as reported through the Defence Census and the Defence Attitude Surveys. This new survey is sponsored jointly by Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston and the Defence Community Organisation. It was developed by the Directorate of Strategic Personnel Policy Research (DSPPR) in consultation with a range of stakeholders, including Defence Families of Australia. The survey provides spouses and interdependent partners
of permanent full-time ADF members, permanent full-time ADF members who are single parents, and dual full-time permanent ADF couples an opportunity to give Defence a unique insight into their experiences, circumstances and attitudes.
Families are the most important part of the ADF‟s most important asset -its people
In the survey, you‟re asked to give your thoughts on how aspects of the ADF way of life (such as separation, workload and mobility) impact on you and your children. It also asks about Defence family support services you access, what you think about them, and also what other resources, policies and programs might help you to adapt to the military lifestyle. The information gained from ADF families will play a pivotal role in ensuring Defence support programs continue to focus on the right issues. It will be used to help improve ADF retention, operational capability and the quality of life for members and their families. Who should complete the survey? •Spouses and ADF recognised interdependent partners of permanent full-time ADF members (spouses or partners may be ADF Reserve members) • Permanent full-time ADF members who are single parents • Both members of dual ADF couples (where both are permanent full-time ADF members) The survey was mailed out in late October to the home addresses of all those currently on the dfm mailing list. Competed surveys will need to be returned via the reply paid envelope supplied with the survey by 23 January 2009. As an alternative to the paper survey, there is an option to complete the survey on-line. The online survey will be open from Thursday 30 October to Friday 23 January 2009, and is accessible via the DCO or Defence Families Australia (DFA) websites: DCO: www.defence.gov.au/dco/ DFA: www.dfa.org.au/ Extra copies of the survey can be requested from one of the Points of Contact. You can also request extra copies of the survey by sending an email with your name and return address to the below address. Please put „FAMILIES SURVEY‟ in the subject line. Contact: Ms Samantha Atkins or Ms Paula Sear Phone: (02) 6127 2159 or (02) 6127 2313 Email: Defence.Surveys@defence.gov.au
Celebrate Defence Pets N’Bubs
If you have a pic of your Defence family pet and/or baby and want the world to see then mail your pics to us. High resolution images preferred Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Posting time and special needs
By Margaret Fisk, Coordinator DSNSG
Posting time is upon us and for some families who have a dependant with special needs, this means getting organised so you and your family are properly supported in the new location. People often think that every time you move you need to get „re-recognised‟ as a special needs family. This is not the case and until you notify DCO that the dependant no longer has special needs, the „Recognition‟ stands.
This is where the confusion lies and I often hear or read about families with special needs complaining when they post, how they have to continually „prove‟ that the person still has a special need. Adding to that confusion, many members or spouses don‟t even read the Determination 2007/36 Support to Members with dependants with special needs, so they are not even aware of what supports the policy provides. Some families even undergo „Recognition of Special Needs‟ when there is nothing in the policy to assist them i.e. they don‟t need housing assistance, they don‟t need therapy assistance, they don‟t need respite assistance etc. When you move, a „Review of Assistance Measures‟ is all about what services or supports are currently being received – such as speech therapy, low level house, hand rails in bathroom and what services and supports will be required at the new location. It is not about the disability or special need diagnosis. The review is about helping to fund those services which will be disrupted due to a service posting. It can also identify what other help maybe required ie extra travelling time, specialized school placement or a Pre- Posting visit. If the person with special needs is currently receiving services or supports, for example speech therapy AND they will need those in the new location then it is in your interest to undergo a „Review of Assistance Measures‟. It also means that you are responsible for obtaining appropriate supporting „specialist‟ documentation to help with the Review. This documentation doesn‟t need to be by a medical specialist. For example if you are receiving speech therapy, then get a Speech Therapist‟s report. After all, if Defence is going to spend money on you and your family, then there needs to be clear justification. The policy is based on the principle of shared responsibility between the member and the Department and it is your responsibility to get organised – don‟t leave it to the last minute. Before you start the recoginition process, there are some things to consider: (a) the reason why you want to be „recognised‟ (b) have you read the policy and (c) is there something in the policy that can assist the person who has special needs. If there is nothing in the policy to assist the person with special needs, then don‟t get „Recognised‟. If you are already „Recognised‟ and are posted then consider what supports and services you
currently receive and whether you will still need those at your new location. If the answer is yes, then get organised, get your supporting specialist documentation and contact DCO for a „Review of Assistance Measures‟. The Defence Special Needs Support Group (DSNSG) is here to help any family who has special needs – whether you are formally „recognised‟ by Defence or not. Please contact us if you are posting so we can help you with a Posting Plan, or if you have someone with special needs and wish to chat about the „Recognition‟ process. Contact: Margaret Fisk OAM, National Coordinator, DSNSG Phone: 1800 037 674
By the Ipswich Kindergarten Association Ipswich Kindergarten – or Milford Street Kindy – is something of an icon in Ipswich. Established in 1937, Milford Street Kindy currently has eleven second generation family members attending! The Kindy is affiliated with the Creche and Kindergarten Association of Queensland, is licensed by the Department of Community Services and has operational funding from DECKAS. Milford Street Kindy is a non-profit community based organisation – all profits made by the Kindy go straight back into the Centre for the benefit of the children. Milford Street Kindy has a close alliance with the Ipswich Grammar Schools, the Ipswich City Council and the Defence Community of Ipswich. This year, our Centre has been nominated as a finalist in the Ipswich News Business Achiever Awards for Best Tuition and Training Service. Situated within the picturesque grounds of Queens Park, Milford Street Kindy sits on one full acre of natural bushland play space. Sand pits,,a cubby house, bush fort, rock gardens, trees to climb and natural grassed, open spaces encourage a healthy outdoor play experience for three to five year olds in kindergarten and pre-prep classes. At Ipswich Kindy our philosophy is that „Children learn best by doing‟. If you share our philosophy, call us or drop in for a visit. Vacancies are still available for 2009, but filling fast. Come and get to know our friendly and supportive Kindy. Contact details: Ipswich Kindergarten Association Address: Milford St Ipswich QLD 4305 Phone: 07 3281 1585
Williams Defence Community House
New and exciting events are now happening and we would welcome new and old faces to come and enjoy the house. We are now open Monday to Friday with our Coordinator available 9 am to 12 pm during the school term. We offer a wide range of activities including two weekly Playgroup Sessions, Craft, Scrapbooking, Bookclub and much more. Come along and join one or more of our many varied activities. Use the house for a cuppa and chat and share any interests you may have. A shaded play area with play equipment is available for children, plenty of space to read and all the information you will need to find out what is happening around the area. We would love to welcome you. Contact: Janet – Coordinator Address: 12 Sir Richard Williams Avenue, RAAF Williams, Laverton Vic 3027 Phone: 03 9369 1916 Email: email@example.com
Notification of Casualties
By Wing Commander Jim Lewis, Deputy Director Military Personnel Policy
When the media announces the serious injury or death of an Australian soldier, the tragedy is felt throughout the Defence community. But imagine if that tragedy belonged to your family, and that you were learning about your loved one‟s injury, or worse, from someone outside Defence.
If this scenario is beyond your imagination, consider the possibility of your loved one seriously injuring them self in their day-to-day role, or whilst training. How would you feel if they were in hospital and no one was able to let you know? While every effort is made to stop casualties in the ADF, they cannot always be avoided. When they do occur, one of the ADF‟s highest priorities is notifying the primary emergency contact (PEC) and next of kin (NOK) as quickly as possible. Defence has defined procedures to ensure casualty information is provided to the PEC and NOK in a timely fashion by trained notification teams. As part of Defence‟s commitment to continuously improve their support to members and their families, the policy for these procedures was recently updated to include lessons learnt from recent casualty notification cases. To ensure the accuracy and timeliness of casualty information, a number of changes have been made to DI(G) PERS 11-2 – Notification of Australian Defence Force and non-Australian Defence Force Casualties, including: •ADF members are now required to ensure that their PEC and NOK information on PMKeyS is current, both annually and prior to a deployment. • PECs may be now notified of a casualty without an ADF member‟s consent. When this type of notification is made, information will be limited to a member‟s casualty classification (e.g. very seriously ill).
• The initial notification signal has been simplified so that trained notification personnel can notify the PEC and NOK faster than before. In all casualty notifications, the most important elements are accuracy, speed and compassion. These updated procedures will ensure that PECs and NOK know the facts quickly and receive immediate support from the Defence organisation.
Members - update your PEC and NOK details now!
The best system in the world is only as good as the information it contains. With this in mind, now is a good time for ADF members to update their primary emergency contact (PEC) and next of kin (NOK) information on PMKeyS. As a member, it is your responsibility to: • check your PEC and NOK details in PMKeyS annually • update your PEC and NOK records when your circumstances change • check your PEC and NOK details prior to any deployment PMKeyS is the primary source of information used in all casualty notification situations, so the accuracy of that information is of the highest importance
Australian Defence Force Academy on display
The Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) held its 2008 Open Day earlier this year, putting on a fantastic show for Australian secondary school students and the Canberra community.
More than 9,000 people attended the Open Day, taking advantage of the opportunity to see a range of exciting military displays, explore the campus, and get first hand accounts of training and academics from the midshipmen and officer cadets who live and study at ADFA. Air Force Officer Cadet Alex Barbaro, the ADFA Sports Coordinator, organised more than a dozen fundraising stalls and displays by sporting and extra curricular groups on the day. He said, „Open Day is a great chance for people to come and see what ADFA is all about, have a look at the academic study opportunities available, and gain first hand information on the military and leadership training program. „Few universities can boast the diverse range of extra curricular activities that ADFA has to offer, and Open Day was a great chance for the clubs to show the community that there‟s more to life here than military training‟. Hundreds of midshipmen and officer cadets, and Defence and University staff welcomed visitors
to the Academy, leading tours and talking about military and leadership training, and the degree programs available through the University of New South Wales (UNSW) at ADFA. Defence Force Recruiting staff were also on hand to provide careers and course information and help with applications to join the Navy, Army and Air Force. Brigadier Wayne Goodman, Commandant ADFA, said „Open Day is a fantastic opportunity for students, parents and the local community to visit the ADFA campus, learn about life in the military, and talk with our midshipmen and officer cadets. „Our three year training program develops the professional abilities, qualities of character and leadership skills that young officers need to meet the many interesting and varied challenges of their military careers. „It is a challenging and diverse program, and the displays our current midshipmen and officer Cadets have produced have certainly demonstrated that today‟. While the Open Day was designed to showcase ADFA‟s midshipmen and officer cadets, facilities and training programs, it also offered a range of attractions for the whole community. Some of the activities on display included the above pool obstacle course, physical training demonstrations, weapons skills, abseiling and rock climbing, infantry tactics, military drill, military bands and military self defence. The ADFA Open Day is the only tri-Service open day in Australia. Navy, Army and Air Force members brought assets including helicopters, vehicles, weapons and a clearance diving tank to demonstrate the career opportunities available through the ADF, particularly to officers who attend ADFA. The Air Force also supplied a hot air balloon for the kids! ADFA midshipmen and officer cadets undertake a three year military and leadership training program while studying undergraduate degrees in Arts, Business, Science, Engineering or Technology through UNSW at ADFA. They are paid to study, have their tuition fees and textbooks paid for by the ADF, enjoy a fantastic lifestyle, and graduate with a guaranteed job in the, Navy, Army or Air Force. The next ADFA Open Day will be held in Canberra on in August 2009. For more information on attending ADFA see the recruiting website. Recruiting: www.defencejobs.gov.au
Want to help develop new ADF members?
The Australian Defence Force Academy Foster Family Scheme is designed to assist Midshipman and Officer Cadets who are in their first year at the Academy to make the transition from civilian to military and Academy life. The Scheme also allows members of the wider Defence community an opportunity to participate in the development of future ADF leaders. Each year the Academy seeks the support of current, retired or ex-Service Commissioned Officers, Warrant Officers and their families, as well as University of New South Wales at ADFA
staff and their families. The Scheme is voluntary, and where possible places Midshipmen and Officer Cadets with foster families whose background, experience and interests match their own. Most of these young adults have not been away from home before and benefit enormously from having access to a friendly family environment outside of the Academy and from being able to socialise with families who possess military knowledge and/or share similar interests. For Midshipmen and Officer Cadets who come from outside the Canberra region, participation in the Scheme also provides them with a family environment within the Canberra area - a„home away from home‟. To nominate as a foster family, please contact 02 6268 8530. Nominees must be current, retired or ex-Service Commissioned Officers or Warrant Officers who expect to reside in Canberra or the surrounding area for the duration of 2009.
Changing your career –
making a smart decision
By Ken Kipping AM and Group Captain Robert Brown
Would you buy a house without an objective examination of the pros and cons?
Changing your career deserves the same careful examination. Any such decision based on quick impressions, or worse still, on the opinions of others, may prove to be costly both to your career and to the financial health and happiness of your family. In fact, a poor career move is likely to prove more costly than a poor property investment. So, if you‟re thinking about changing your career, consider the following five key points:
1) Remuneration Package
Write down a comprehensive list of the salary and fringe benefits (the package) offered in the new position, compared to your current one in the ADF. Try not to leave out things that you might currently take for granted, such as medical and dental benefits.
2) Job Security
Make an assessment of the job security offered in the new position, especially given the prospects for uncertain economic times over the next few years. Assess how you will accumulate savings to provide for the lean days that „go with the territory‟ in the private sector, and consider the termination arrangements in your new contract or employment conditions.
3) Job Satisfaction
Consider whether you will actually like and be satisfied with the work in the new position. Don‟t change careers for the money alone. If you don‟t like what you‟re doing in six months, all the money in the world will mean very little. You‟ll feel pressured and demotivated and that will impact upon your personal and family relationships.
4) Impact on your family
Consider the impact of your new position on your family. Many people take on a new career
because they believe that family relationships and opportunities will be improved. That‟s a fine motive, so long as the conclusion is a valid one. There‟s not a lot of point in making a fundamental change if you make an incorrect assessment and the new position actually requires you to work longer hours, under pressure, and away from home even more than you are at present. What does your new employer expect of you? For example, do you have to meet a sales or production target, and how do feel about being under considerable pressure to do so? Remember that the private sector is not sentimental about these things and failure to meet Key Performance Indicators, no matter how unreasonable, can lead to poor treatment in the short term.
5) Retirement, Death and related benefits
Write down the retirement, death, disablement, personal insurance and injury compensation benefits available through the new position. Compare these with what you get in the ADF. This comparison might not mean much to you now, but when you‟re not healthy or are thinking about retirement, you and your family will need to know about these benefits in considerable detail. Most employers provide the statutory minimum. The ADF offers considerably more. There are many factors to consider in changing careers. They are both quantitative (money) and qualitative (lifestyle). Every person will measure and assess the relative merits of these factors in different ways, but before you make an illinformed or ill-considered career decision, do yourself a favour. Objectively and honestly consider the key points in this article. By so doing you might avoid making a decision you‟ll regret.
Editor’s Note: Ken Kipping is the former Chairman of the ADF Financial Services Consumer Council. Group Captain Robert Brown is the current Chairman. For more information on the council and the assistance they can provide, see sidebar on page 18.
Back home to Navy
By Annie Casey, Public Affairs Officer, Navy Personnel and Training
Work Life balance are terms we hear about on a frequent basis and sometimes these are factors which come into the equation as to why permanent Navy members leave and come back to Navy. I spoke with a variety of re-enlistees and here’s an insight into reasons behind those significant personal life and career choices. A 27 Year old Leading Seaman (LS) with a 19 month old child, decided to leave the Navy after serving five and a half years. She chose not to re-enlist because of her pregnancy and as she was due for Sea-service. She decided she wanted a different kind of life and chose to remain ashore to enjoy her new baby and family life. After maternity and recreation leave she discharged, and then served for only nine days in the Reserve pool prior to taking up her current Continuous Full Time Service Contract (CFTS) of one ear and she has just signed on for a further two years. ‘The option to return immediately after discharge from Permanent Navy into the Reserve stream of the Navy is not commonly known, however I was fortunate as I had friends in the Reserve cell that made me aware of the opportunity for me and my family.’ She added ‘My dad had also done something similar when I was younger and he returned to the Permanent Navy at a later date.’
Her decision to come back was made easier due to her husband being able to look after their baby prior to placement in childcare. The more flexible working arrangements are what the LS found most attractive about returning to Navy work as a reservist. She felt more in control about the hours she chose to work and when she could finish. Her husband has recently joined her in returning to the Navy as a Reservist, also coming back under CFTS. They are also likely to fulfill Sea-going Service obligations down the track and can volunteer if they wish to. A major advantage to their new family life is the dual income and the other benefits their work in Navy provides. To find out more about Navy’s flexible employment options, contact your Divisional Officer, local Career Management Centre or the DSCM/DNOP Reserve Cell. A more experienced Navy member Petty Officer Mick Hindmarsh served for 11 years and worked ‘outside’ for 11 years and then decided to return four years ago. His reasons for leaving were various, but included feeling he ‘needed a break’ after being in the Gulf for two trips, he was a bit worn out, and he wanted to start a family. He’s now 44 years old, but back in 1992 he ‘didn’t feel right or ready’ to re-enlist, and thought he needed to have a look at civilian life. Mick initially worked for a telecommunications company, and then, with a considerable financial incentive being offered, he worked for a private contractor in Saudi Arabia, for three and a half years. However, interestingly he remarked ‘always in the back of my mind there was a slight regret at getting out’ he was aware that previously he had enjoyed the work and his job satisfaction was quite high. Another factor looking back was ‘knowing where I may have been promoted to now, if I’d stayed.’ One of the features he grew to miss about Navy life was the work environment, namely the culture – he noted that it was a really different culture in civilian life and he missed the teamwork aspects of the Navy world. I put it to Mick that the civilian world can be ‘dog eat dog’ or ‘every man for himself’ and he agreed -whereas he had been used to Navy people looking after and looking out for each other. In time he headed back to the Navy deciding to take a pay cut to revisit the kind of job satisfaction that he remembered while working in the Navy - he re-enlisted in May 2004. Warrant Officer (WO) Michael Burrows had served in the Navy for 21 years, discharged in 1997 and worked for seven years outside. He re-enlisted in April 2003 and was promoted to WO in minimum time on his return to Navy. Initially he returned to Patrol Boats as the chief engineer only six weeks after re-enlisting on HMAS DUBBO and he is due to join HMAS PERTH as ship’s WO in December. Currently he is heading up a new program for the Navy, Advanced Skills and Outplacement manager, WO Burrows left the Navy for ‘family reasons’ and a bit of the old adage ‘get out before you’re forty ‘(to be more employable in the civilian world) also played a part. Once out, he discovered age was not really a factor as his managerial skills were highly sought after
and he had no problems finding work. He worked as an operational manager for an equipment hire firm in Cairns. But a source of dissatisfaction in that work environment/ culture was the lack of recognition of seniority, including the acknowledgement of training, experience, skills and judgement which comes with rank. He saw that ‘for the other civvies it was just a job.’ When WO Burrows personal circumstances changed he headed back to Navy and he said ‘I realized Navy is what I enjoyed doing most, I missed the camaraderie and the respect that rank and qualifications commands from co-workers.’ Editor’s Note: While this article was written from a Navy perspective, Army and Air Force have similar provisions. Contact your service career management area for more information.
Critical trades transfer
By Leila Daniels There are many opportunities for soldiers who want the chance to train in a technical trade, learn new skills, transfer to another Corps or simply just try something different. The Chief of Army, Lieutenant General Ken Gillespie, openly encourages all soldiers to serve longer, whether it is in their present corps or trade or in a different part of Army. „People are the priority for Army, and it is important for the future growth of Army that soldiers are employed in a manner that gives them job satisfaction and a desire to remain serving with us, „ he said. There are a number of options available to soldiers who want to try something different. For some members a transfer from a non-technical to a technical trade may be an attractive option. A number of technical trades are experiencing shortages of personnel necessary to sustain operational capability, and are therefore considered a critical employment category. An employment category can become critical for a number of reasons and may be a result of a combination of factors such as: poor recruiting outcomes, complex training schedules, poor trade structures and high separation rates. Director General Personnel-Army, Brigadier Gerard Fogarty, said that „the health of all Army‟s employment categories is assessed regularly so that emerging workforce pressures can be identified and specific action taken to relieve these pressures.‟ He went on to say that „focussed recruiting campaigns, trade rationalisations, redesigned training regimes and targeted retention bonuses or transfer bonuses are some examples of the type of initiatives implemented by Army to reduce pressure within the workforce.‟ Warrant Officer Steve Ward, Regimental Sergeant Major - Army, encourages soldiers who are
looking to discharge to think about transferring to a technical trade instead. He said „soldiers have always had a choice of jobs and the ability to change employment streams. A change in Corps or job stream can often reinvigorate a soldier‟s career progression and it may improve job satisfaction. There is one career in Army, Stay Army, but many jobs ‟ A team of senior Warrant Officers has been raised to assist soldiers who want to know more about alternative job options available to them. Since starting in March 2007 the team has assisted a large number of soldiers to transfer to technical trades. Those soldiers who have transferred and gained a specialist skill or trade have directly assisted the Army in achieving its growth. By gaining a skill as a qualified tradesman, not only is the soldier adding to capability for the future, but he or she has also gained a trade or skill that is transferable to the civilian workplace. Warrant Officer One (WO1) Steve Griffiths, Head Trade Transfer Team, said that there are many different jobs that a soldier can do in the Army. He said that „if soldiers want to try a different job, come and talk to one of my team, we can sit down and work out what the best options may be for you to transfer to another area of Army.‟ Given the current operational tempo, soldiers are required to be away more often than they have previously experienced. This in turn puts a lot of pressure on families with soldiers thinking that separating from Army and finding work elsewhere is the only option available to them so that they can spend more time at home. For further information on trade transfer opportunities contact the following people: TRADE TRANSFER TEAM WOs Head Trade Transfer Team WO1 Steve Griffiths (02) 626 67795 South Queensland (Enoggera) WO1 Garry Alterator (07) 333 25165 North Queensland (Lavarack) WO1 Ian Kilgour (07) 477 17819 Northern Territory (Robertson) WO1 Stafford Kelly (08) 893 52980 Want to know more? See the STAYARMY website. STAYARMY: www.defence.gov.au/army/STAYARMY/ What types of jobs can I transfer to? Linguist Intelligence Specialist Duties Aircrewman Articifer Avionics Dental Assistant Metalsmith Operator Petroleum Operator Plant Operator Electronic Warfare Operator Specialist Vehicle (RACT) Operator Specialist Vehicle (RAE) Supervisor Civil Technician Dental Technician Electrical Technician Electronic
What a member thinks One member who has decided to trade transfer for increased career opportunities and job satisfaction is Trooper Daniel Henne. I asked him about what made him decide to take the plunge and trade transfer: What made you decide to Trade Transfer? I was originally working in the Incident Response Regiment as an Army Emergency Responder or Fire Fighter at Oakey. I was working on flight paths and watching aircraft take off every day and I thought I would really like to be up there doing that, something different with more of a challenge. You trade transferred to become an Aircrewman. What do you love about the job? I would recommend this job to anyone at all who is looking for a job that is exciting and varied. I am a crew member on Army helicopters and I am mainly responsible for operating the rescue hoist, carrying external loads and the loading up of passengers and cargo. I reckon I have the best job in the Army that a digger can do! Where will you be posted next year? I am really looking forward to my posting up at Five Aviation Regiment in Townsville. I will be moving up with my wife, son and daughter.
ADF AFL at the MCG
By Laird Darren Gallagher Ladies and Gentleman, Young ladies and rapscallious masters - let me regale you with a sporting adventure so big that it rivals the day I made a 100 (runs) in the backyard at Aunt Sophie‟s place. for those of you that love AFL, well, AFL has finally come to grace the pages of dfm! August 9, marked (pun intended) a great day for these young members of the National ADF AFL women‟s team as they stepped on to the hallowed ground that is the Melbourne Cricket Ground, or as it is lovingly referred to „The G‟. And wasn‟t it cold? I now know just how Walt Disney and John Wayne feel as I slipped ever closer to freezing point. I even went to the super expensive AFL store to buy a beanie only to discover that I don‟t have a „beanie friendly‟ shaped head - but I didn‟t let that deter me and bought that sucker anyway. Playing at your local field with a crowd of 50 really doesn‟t stack up to a crowd of 50,000 and that‟s just how many people washed into the „G‟ that night to catch a look at our girls going head to head with the Victorian development team. The event was the pre-match game to AFL premiership season round 19 match between St Kilda Saints and Collingwood Magpies which was on later that day. While the crowd was primarily there for the big match, certainly many of them became spellbound by some of the big hits and intense game play coming out of this match. One of the players that I interviewed just days prior to the game was Flying Officer Trinette Bagnall. ‘When we found out that we were going to play at the MCG it felt absolutely surreal. I was bursting with excitement, yet was inclined to remain very calm on the possibility that the game didn’t go ahead. I am lucky to have a Commanding Officer who is a keen AFL fan, and
understands the significance of the MCG (not so lucky for her that she is an Essendon Bombers supporter!). I told my family and my local AFL teammates… everyone was in disbelief. This was the biggest news to hit women’s AFL in its history!’ Can you feel the love readers? Trinette was figuratively bursting at the seams with excitement and so I made a point of catching up with her and fellow player Debbie „Akusmi‟ Herberz after the match to sound out if this experience stood up to their expectations. Now sadly our 21 guns, coached by Warrant Officer Class 2 John Saunders, didn‟t finish triumphant over their competitors with the final score line laid down as VIC 8.9.57 to ADF 1.13.37. However it must be remembered that with the high operational tempo of the ADF at present, it is really hard to pull a team like this together for any significant period of time, let alone allow them to bond as a team and understand each other‟s game play. As a spectator, while the ADF team didn‟t win on the scoreboard, they certainly won in smiles as indicated by the team photo which was taken just after their defeat - this is what these glamour girls of AFL had to say: Well, running on to the ground with the team for the first time...how was it? Trinette: Wow! Getting off the bus, looking over to the MCG knowing I was about to enter the ground as a player was an incredible feeling that I suspect will never be matched. We were assigned Change Room three, which is the Richmond Tigers’ room. It was massive, and had everything you would dream of having in a change room. It certainly was different to having to change behind the car door when playing in my local league. Everyone was so keen to get out onto the field to warm up. I was the first player to run out onto the field for the warm up. I rushed to kick practice goals, and that in itself was a dream come true. The hallowed turf was everything [and much more] I had dreamt about. I’ve been at the MCG on AFL Grand Final day, and I could see the packed crowd in the empty stadium. It was beautiful. I don’t think my smile faded from my face the entire match. Even when I scored a behind and not a goal… the smile remained. Debbie: Words can not encapsulate the feeling! I have yet to experience anything better, I mean, the Eifel tower is spectacular and the Arch de triumph is amazing. Even the Vatican is breathtaking not to mention the Sistine Chapel, the ruins of Rome and ancient cities of Greece and Egypt, as well as the beauty of the Swiss Alps, the London Bridge or the magnificence of Machu Pichu or the Coliseum compare. But … this is the MCG we’re talking about here, and for your average country Greek Aussie mad bomber supporter chick - to run out onto the arena of arena’s, and onto the most sacred piece of grass, on the holiest of holy grounds, there are simply no words to describe it. It was nothing short of a miracle, walking on the turf at the ‘G’. Well, what can I say? Sinead O’Connor summed it up beautifully. How were the training camps in the lead up? It must be hard trying to bring together a team from all over the country? Trinette: Coming together for two and a half days prior to the match was essential. More time would have been desirable, but the time we had ensured that we bonded as a team. The girls were just an absolute delight to play with. We’re all likeminded people,strong individuals who came together for a common goal, and we were prepared to do anything to ensure we had the experience of a life time.The intensity of the training sessions was that high that many players
were concerned that we would be ‘broken’ prior to the match. As players at that level, I guess I expected that as we would arrive at training camp with the fitness and skills required, that thetraining camp would be more about playing positions, team tactics and familiarisation. So while the training camps were not in the format I would have hoped for, as all athletes are aware, with each coach comes a different set of rules and conditions. Debbie: Training camp was great, I do believe if we had of had an opportunity to have a longer training camp, the girls would’ve been able to get to know each other more and work together as a team. But as it is hard to get players released from work in the ADF,we really did perform well together given the short time we had. I actually saw you up there on the big screen, did you have a sense of the crowd or is it all about the game once you get out there? Trinette: For me, it was all about the game. I had glimpses of the big screen, but mainly at the quarter time breaks, when I wasn’t focused on the ball. It was then I was trying to work out exactly where the cameras were. The big screen was just sensational, and it really had an impact when the big play highlights were replayed. I got pinned at one point for holding the ball in, which I thought was the wrong call. I got up, handed the ball to the umpire, and then looked at the replay on the big screen. I clearly pulled the ball in after having prior opportunity. I had a little chuckle to myself – thinking of all the times I’ve fired up at the umpires over the past eight years, and out of that, the percentage of times I actually may have been in the wrong!
Wow! Getting off the bus, looking over to the MCG knowing I was about to enter the ground as a player was an incredible feeling that I suspect will never be matched. By the time we had finished the fourth quarter, there was thousands of spectators there which was a buzz.
The big screen was also helpful of course to see the action down the other end of the field. Debbie: Oh no I definitely had a sense of the crowd, there is sooo much to think about, the game, your hair, how you look on the big screen, who is watching you - it must be a girl thing - it hits you all at once. But once the siren went and the ball bounced, it was just about the game, although I can’t deny, the sound of the crowd was awesome, and when your friends and family are cheering you on, you can’t help but to stop and wave - only during the breaks, of course. Did you hear me cheering for the team? As a spectator there, it’s hard to know just how far your voice can travel. Trinette: (Laughs) Actually I did hear you cheering in the first quarter! After that, when the crowd increased in numbers, the cheers were mainly blurred roars, and largely - as expected - for the Victorian side. I was amazed at how I was able to really focus on the game, and not get caught up in the crowds. My dad travelled down from Sydney for the atch, and I found myself
consciously looking for him – to thank him for teaching me to kick nearly three decades ago. By the time we had finished the fourth quarter, there was thousands of spectators there which was a buzz. Any final thoughts on the whole experience? Debbie: That’s one more dream fulfilled that I can now tick off my bucket list. P.S I wish my mum was there (laughs). Trinette: You know, the only disappointment of the whole experience was that we had to return our playing jerseys to ASAFA. It is a pity to think we don’t have the funding to keep our playing strip on such an historic occasion - or even the opportunity to purchase them from our own pocket. If I was able to keep my number nine playing jersey, I know my dad would have it framed and hanging in the pool room by now (smiles). It’s nice to know that in two days or two years after the big match, I’ll still have this smile stuck to my face. To be part of a tri-service team, to play with fellow service women from around the country is a privilege in itself. To be play in the very first women’s AFL match at the home of Aussie Rules is just truly amazing. To purchase the AFL Record and see my name printed with other Round 19 contenders was a very proud moment too. I’ll be keeping a copy of the Record sitting on my desk at work just as a reality check – that it is fact – not fiction – that I got the opportunity to play on God’s turf*. I can say I played and scored at the MCG. And believe me, I will be saying it… over and over again for all my years to come. No need for any wrap up after that folks, just blow the full time siren. AFLairdly Yours Darren.
*Interviewers Note: Conclusive research has indicated that while the MCG was built in 1853 by the then 15-year old Melbourne Cricket Club, there was no mention of ‘God’ having slipped on the boots over the last 150 years of the games history to jog onto the field. With standard ‘B-Grade’ movie script protocols dictating that possession is 9/10ths of the law, our reporter’s investigation indicates that on 09AUG08, the MCG was more likely to have belonged to Trinette Bagnall, Deb Herberz and the other members of the ADF AFL Women’s Team, than God.
My War Memorial Experience
by Gabrielle Kelly With commitment to and deep respect, I placed my poppy on the wall of Remembrance at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. Once again I was struck by how the identified human experiences of chance, thrill, hope, loneliness, joy, passion, separation, devotion, mystery and fear fitted into the life of this soldier. They were as relevant in his life as they were in the life of Mary MacKillop, another great Australian of the early 20th century.
As I climbed the ladder I was so saddened to think of such a waste of life on that fateful day - 11th April 1917 - during the 1st Battle of Bullecourt. I trembled, heart beating quickly and I felt such gratitude for what my soldier, Charles Rutter 6083, did. I was so proud that this one Australian man would finally be remembered. I was the privileged one – Gabrielle Amelia Kelly - born 80 years after Charles‟ death. I was there for all those who loved him who were never able to pay their respect. I was there for his comrades. I was there for myself, maybe a 21 year old backpacker on the Somme for the 100th anniversary of his death. Before our Canberra trip, my class each received the number of an Australian soldier who died in the First World War. I received my number with much anticipation. I wondered what my research would uncover - who my soldier would be, where he lived, what work he did, when he enlisted, how he died, who would be his next of kin. I discovered more than facts. I discovered the story of a family where the father had died and two sons went to war. Sarah Jane Rutter, Charles‟ mother lost so much in life. I became emotionally involved in the life of a man I never knew but whose decision to go to war has changed MY life. Learning about the war was more than learning facts. It was learning about war on the personal level. How did Charles deal with foot rot, rats, enemy fire, trench life, seeing mates die, moving to the front line, going „over the top‟ ? The War Memorial is a sacred and solemn place – a place dedicated to remembering the soldiers who fought in many battles, who went on peace-keeping missions. I found the Remembrance Wall so moving. All those names belonged to someone who lived and breathed, who loved and was loved, who felt the same emotions I do. Climbing that ladder to put my poppy by Charles Rutter‟s name was a lonely moment, a proud moment, a private moment, a memorable moment. It was as though I‟d climbed the final part of my journey into a time in history I hope is never repeated. My class was also privileged to have a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It was moving - the Ode was stirring - and I recalled that Mary MacKillop lived in the time my soldier did. She would have been maybe Charles‟ mother‟s age. She was a mother to the sisters. The body of my soldier Charles Rutter 6083 was never found and now lies in a grave marked „A Soldier of the Great War Known only to God‟ However, Charles DOES have a resting place - at the War Memorial. „Lest we forget.‟
The Defence Attitude Survey
By Samantha Atkins and Belinda Mitchell
Defence is well aware of the vital role that Defence families play in support of the Defence community, as well as the sometimes significant demands that military life can place on families. This is why it is so important to understand the relationships between ADF members, their Service conditions and their families. Conducted annually, the Defence Attitude Survey (DAS) provides an opportunity for members to comment on what they really think about their Service and what it means for their family life. In November and December last year, 6,309 ADF personnel and 4,370 Australian Public Service Defence members participated in the 2007 DAS. In the past, the results of the DAS have been used to inform the development of initiatives aimed at improving support provided to Defence members and their families. The recent Strategic Review of the Defence Community Organisation is a notable example, as is the on-going evaluation of ADF conditions of service. The focus of this article is to provide an insight into the opinions of ADF members on a range of issues that are relevant not only to their role as Service people, but also as members of a family. While the DAS helps us to gain a picture of families from the Defence members‟ perspective, we are conscious of the fact that this picture is not complete without the views of family members themselves. As such, the attitudes and experiences of ADF family members will be the exclusive focus of a new survey – the 2008 ADF Families Survey. An article outlining the details of this survey is on page 26.
Balancing service and family needs is still highly important to Defence, its members and their families
Perceived family support for Service careers Trends in the DAS results since 1999 continue to demonstrate that the decision to serve in the ADF is a complex one that often takes into consideration opinions of friends and family. This is supported by the finding that approximately two-thirds of all military respondents (Navy 61.9%, Army 66.2%, and Air Force 66.9%) indicated that family attitudes influence their decision to stay in the Service. It is therefore encouraging to observe that family support for ADF members‟ careers remains strong, with high proportions of respondents agreeing that their family strongly supports their career (Navy 70.8%, Army 77.2%, Air Force 79.7%).
My family's attitudes influence my decision to stay in the Service
79.1% 79.0% 77.2% 78.5% 77.2% 78.9% 75.7% 76.3% 75.1% 75.2% 75.7% 79.7%
My family strongly supports my Service career
Ai r For c e
0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Agr ee Un cer t ai n Di agr ee s
Army 1999 2001 2002 2003 2004
Air Force 2005 2006 2007
A key message from these particular results is that Defence recognises that family support for the ADF way of life plays a role in fostering such positive attitudes among members. It is hoped that the information gained from further surveys, including the ADF Families Survey will enable us to develop a deeper understanding of the relationship between aspects of life in the ADF, their impact on families and the attitudes and intentions of ADF members. Further details on the DAS are contained in the 2007 Summary of Results. The Summary of Results can be found on the Defence website. Defence: www.defence.gov.au Balancing the Service way of life with families Achieving a balance between work and family commitments is often challenging for ADF families who are affected by unique Service conditions such as frequent moving and long periods of absence due to deployment and other duties. The 2007 DAS results indicate that slightly more than half of all Navy respondents (56.4%) and almost two-thirds of all Army and Air Force respondents (65.8% and 64.9% respectively) believed postings were having a negative impact on their spouses‟ employment: a result which as remained relatively stable over time. In comparison, relatively smaller proportions of military respondents believed postings had a negative impact on their children‟s education (Navy 43.0%, Army 58.3%, and Air Force 53.5%). Other DAS results show that such issues are relevant to retention. For example, the DAS results reveal that about half of all respondents believe that childcare and spouse employment are very or extremely important considerations in terms of Service intentions.
Importance of spouse employment assistance in influencing your decision to stay in the Service
% Very/extremely important
Nav y 1999
Army 2001 2002 2003 2004
Air For ce 2005 2006 2007
Importance of Defence sponsored childcare in influencing your decision to stay in the Service
% Very/extremely important
Army 2001 2002 2003 2004
Air For ce 2005 2006 2007
Perceptions of quality of life Overall quality of life is important to ADF personnel and their families. When members were asked to think of their life as a whole, the majority of ADF respondents reported being satisfied (Navy 62.0%; Army 69.3%, and Air Force 70.0%). The majority were also satisfied with their standard of living (Navy 64.0%, Army 73.3%, Air Force 74.2%). These results are consistent with those from 2006, yet perceptions of standards of living remain less positive than those reported between 2002 and 2004.
How satisfied are you with your standard of living?
Army 2001 2002 2003 2004
Air Force 2005 2006 2007
Service commitment and satisfaction The level of satisfaction with life in the ADF not only reflects attitudes towards work conditions, but also conditions of Service that affect families, such as pay, housing and deployments. The 2007 DAS revealed that the majority of respondents reported being satisfied with the military way of life (between 53.1% and 64.6%) and enjoyed life in their Service (between 56.9% and 73.5%). These views were the strongest amongst Army and Air Force respondents. Similarly, the majority of respondents spoke highly of their Service to friends (between 68.6% and 78.9%) and proportionately more were proud to tell others they were a member of their Service (between 72.0% and 85.4%).
Also heartening is the high and increased proportion of respondents indicating they are willing to put in effort beyond that normally expected in order to help the Service be successful (between 79.0% and 89.9%). Such results are important given the likely “crossover” between member and family satisfaction with the ADF way of life.
I am willing to put in effort beyond that normally expected in order to help the Service be successful
0.0% Navy 1999 Army 2001 2002 2003 2004 Air Force 2005 2006 2007 Civilian
Book review: Australian Women and War
Author: Melanie Oppenheimer Publisher: Department of Veterans’ Affairs ISBN 9781877007286 Reviewed by: Squadron Leader Jo Hanson As a woman serving in the RAAF in 2008, my role varies little from that of my male peers. The salary we earn is the same and we enjoy the same benefits. Minus a few exceptions, the opportunities for us to serve our country are almost identical and our contribution is recognized and rewarded in the same way. Travel back 100 years, however, and it is a very different picture. At the turn of last century, our Servicemen were supporting the Boer War in South Africa. Women‟s contribution was important, but was mainly limited to the home front. Those who followed the men to South Africa worked in traditionally female roles as nurses or teachers, driven by a sense of adventure and self discovery, a sense of duty, a desire to be challenged – the same things that attracted me to the military. Australian Women and War by Melanie Oppenheimer takes us back over the last 100 years of our nation‟s history, tracking the experiences of Australian women in wartime efforts, from the beginnings of Federation to the present day. Along the way, it examines Australia‟s own journey in creating a military identity and the changing attitude toward the women who helped shape this.
The book acknowledges, through personal accounts and biographies, the contributions of over a hundred women who served in traditional and non-traditional roles, including pioneers such as Mrs Florence Violet McKenzie („Mrs Mac‟), founder of the Women‟s Emergency Signalling Corps and the first fully qualified female electrical engineer in Australia (there are a lot of „firsts‟ in this book). Also documented, are the origins of the numerous organisations to which these women belonged, including the history of the three women‟s Services (WRAANS, WRAAC and WRAAF) and their „integration‟ into the mainstream Services. A storyboard of imagery separates, and links, each significant era in our military history. Each photograph, painting, advertising campaign, cartoon, captures something about the mood of Australia at the time and each offers its own unique snapshot of Australian women‟s, and the nation‟s, wartime experiences over the past century. While Australian Women and War recognises the contributions and the sacrifices of so many women, it is important to remember that these stories also symbolize the separate battle women have fought to gain the respect of a nation and the freedom to serve their country without discrimination, rather than in spite of. Perhaps most symbolic, however, is that this book takesits own place in Australia‟s history as one of the most comprehensive accounts to date of Australian women and war. I highly recommend it.
Editor’s Note: We have a copy of Australian Women and War to give away to one lucky reader. Email dfm by mid January 2009 to express your interest to go into the draw. See back page for contact details.
Cadet Info for families
The Australian Defence Force Cadets is a community based youth development organisation of 22,000 cadets and approximately 2300 cadet staff in 454 units and squadrons across Australia. Cadets provides skills and attributes that set young people up for life. For more information please see the Cadets website. Cadets: www.cadetnet.gov.au
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