Events to mark Vietnam battles

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					6 — Vetaffairs November/December 2007




Welfare payment reforms                                                                      Events to mark
  in place from 2008
   DVA disability pensions will        income-managed.
                                                                                             Vietnam battles
not be affected by the package                                                 Commemorative events to             war and Australia’s first all arms   2008 with unit and sub-unit activ-
                                           The school initiative begins
of welfare payment reforms                                                  mark the 40th anniversary of           brigade-sized operation since        ities in Canberra and Townsville
                                       in the Northern Territory in         the Vietnam War battles around         World War II.
underway in Cape York and the          2008 and will require parents                                                                                    as well.
Northern Territory. However                                                 Fire Support Bases Coral and              About 300 of the enemy were
                                       on income support to ensure that                                                                                      For more information contact:
DVA income support pensions                                                 Balmoral in May and June               killed in the numerous, almost
                                       their children are enrolled in and   1968 have been supported with                                               •	   Armour—Gerry	 McCormack	
may be affected by two related                                                                                     daily attacks on the bases, while
                                       regularly attending school.          a $100,000 grant under DVA’s                                                     (gandgmcc@bigpond.net.au),
measures.                                                                                                          25 of 1ATF died and 100 were
                                           Where they are not, parents      Saluting Their Service commem-         wounded.                             •	   Artillery—Rob	Costello	(0409	
   The four-part package aims to       will have an opportunity to                                                                                           432 346 or cossie0102@big-
                                                                            orations program.
ensure the wellbeing of children                                                                                      The National 40th Coral
                                       address their child’s non-enrol-        The battles were some of                                                      pond.com),
by using income management                                                                                         and Balmoral Anniversary
to encourage parents to behave
                                       ment or unexplained absences         the fiercest and most protracted       Committee, made up of repre-         •	   1	 RAR	 Battalion	 Group—
in socially responsible ways and
                                       before income management is          actions fought by Australians in       sentatives of the units involved          Garry prendergast (02 6242
comprises the Northern Territory
                                       imposed.                             the Vietnam War.                       in the battles, has organised com-        4818 or pepev@internode.
Emergency Response, the Cape               The initiative affects parents      Coral and Balmoral straddled        memorative events in Canberra             on.net),
York trial, school enrolment and       in the rest of Australia on DVA      a route used by the enemy to           and Townsville.                      •	   3	RAR	Battalion	Group—John	
attendance, and child protection.      income support or Centrelink         approach and attack Saigon.               The commemorations will                robbins (02 6290 1948 or
   Income management may
                                       payments with primary school            They came under heavy attack        include a government reception            jrmercadier@icanberra.com.
affect parents receiving DVA
                                       children from 2009.                  as the 1st Australian Task Force       in Canberra on 12 May 2008                au),
income support or Centrelink               The measure will include fam-    disrupted enemy activity in the        and a remembrance service at         •	   Other	Units—Laurie	Bird	(02	
payments in cases where a state        ilies with secondary school chil-    area as part of Operation Toan         the Australian Vietnam Forces             49548248 or birds_12@optus-
or territory child welfare authori-    dren in 2010.                        Thang, the 1ATF’s largest of the       National Memorial on 13 May               net.com.au).
ty notifies Centrelink that income

                                                                            Gardens of Remembrance extended
                                           The child protection initia-
management should be enforced.         tive will commence nationally
   The Northern Territory              from 1 July 2008 and will allow
Emergency Response and the             state and territory governments
Cape York trial will not affect        to direct Centrelink to income          The commemorative walls at
any DVA payments.                      manage welfare payments where        the New South Wales and Hobart
                                       children are deemed at risk.         Gardens of Remembrance have
   Veterans living in an affected
community, however, and receiv-            For more information read the    been extended.
ing a Centrelink payment such          DVA fact sheet Welfare Payment          The construction of 41 new
as the family tax benefit may          Reforms, contact DVA on 133          brick walls in the NSW garden
have their Centrelink payments         254 or visit www.dva.gov.au.         during June and September has
                                                                            provided space for 10,000 com-

      Get the facts on
                                                                            memorative plaques.
                                                                               In Tasmania, 11 new brick

    fraud investigation
                                                                            walls were added to the Hobart
                                                                            garden in September, making
                                                                            room for an extra 2000 plaques.
   DVA has released a series of        treat people under investigation        Gardens of Remembrance
fact sheets to explain its fraud       professionally, considerately and    officially commemorate eligible
investigation policies and to          respectfully in accordance with      veterans who have been privately
help veterans and their families       the DVA Service Charter and the      buried or cremated.
understand their rights and obli-      Privacy Act and ensure that they        Where official commemoration
gations.                               are fully advised of their rights,   cannot be provided at the grave
   The four-part series explains       obligations and the investiga-       site or crematorium, eligible war
DVA’s obligation to investigate        tion’s course.                       veterans are commemorated in
suspected breaches of the law
                                          Interviews form an impor-         perpetuity on individual bronze
and protect the integrity of the
                                       tant part of an investigation, but   plaques mounted on walls within        Some of the new walls established recently at the Hobart Garden
repatriation system. DVA under-
stands, however, that most people      unless advised otherwise, veter-     the Garden of Remembrance.             of Remembrance
want to do the right thing. In fact,   ans are not obliged to participate
the most common forms of over-
payments occur not through dis-
                                       and DVA will draw no adverse
                                       conclusions if veterans exercise       Schools’ awards keep Anzac spirit alive
honesty, but through confusion         that right.                             School students across the          laying a wreath at the Menin Gate       School, Glenfield, New South
or oversight and are normally             In addition, veterans may have    country have won awards for            at Ieper (Ypres) in Belgium.            Wales;
resolved without the need for          a family member, a friend, an ex-    their efforts to keep the Anzac           Local World War II veterans       •	 Best	innovative	activity	under-
investigation.                         service organisation representa-     spirit alive and to honour the serv-   visited Mount Pleasant Primary          taken by students—yarrilee
   There are times, however,           tive, or a legal representative      ice and sacrifice of Australia’s       School to recount their experi-         state school, hervey bay,
when DVA may ask veterans or           present at an interview.             veterans.                              ences of the war. The students          Queensland; and
their families to participate in a        Occasionally DVA will refer          Mount Pleasant Primary              compiled a book, Our Anzacs—         •	 Best	 local	 history	 research	
formal investigation, often as the                                          School, Western Australia, and         In Appreciation, to record their        undertaken by students—
                                       an investigation for prosecution,
result of allegations or new infor-                                         McAuley Catholic College, New          reflections and what the Anzac          st Joseph’s primary school,
                                       but only where there is evidence
mation that suggest that benefits                                           South Wales, are the national win-     spirit meant to them.                   bombala, New south wales.
                                       of a deliberate and serious act of
are being claimed improperly.                                               ners of the Anzac Day Schools’            Four special category prizes
                                       dishonesty.                                                                                                         The Anzac Day Schools’
   Veterans concerned about the                                             Awards for 2007, chosen from           were also awarded this year:
identity of DVA investigators             The department has strict         primary and secondary school                                                Awards are funded under the
                                       guidelines to prevent prosecution                                           •	 Best	 veteran	 and	 communi-      Australian        Government’s
contacting them on the telephone                                            winners in each state and terri-           ty involvement organised by
should call them back through          of honest mistakes.                  tory.                                      students—Greenhills primary      Saluting Their Service com-
the DVA switchboard (133                  The fraud fact sheets are            McAuley College history stu-            school,      Greensborough,      memorations program. For more
254 or from regional Australia         available from any DVA office        dents travelled to the Western             Victoria;                        information visit the Department
1800 555 254).                         or from the DVA website at           Front, visiting the Somme and          •	 Best use of technology by         of Veterans’ Affairs website at
   In all circumstances, DVA will      www.dva.gov.au/factsheets.           Flanders Fields in Belgium and             students—Glenwood Public         www.dva.gov.au.

				
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Description: Events to mark Vietnam battles