News at the RARA SA

This week’s news RARA-SA – News – Week Ending Friday 2nd June 2023


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Army News Edition Issue 1535

In this edition of Army News  

May 25, 2023

Welcome to the latest edition of Army News.

Click HERE to read this edition.

DEFENCE STRATEGIC REVIEW: Blueprint for the future – Page 2

EX VIPER STRIKE: Diggers relish combat drills – Page 3

EX BROLGA RUN: Passing the insurgency stress test – Pages 10-11

To read the latest editions of Navy News and Air Force News click HERE



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DVA Budget Information [SEC=OFFICIAL]

DVA Budget 2023-24 presentation

Budget 2023-24 Factsheet – Supporting Veterans – Volunteer Training in Suicide Recognition and Intervention

2023-24 Federal Budget – Sec ESORT message

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Military super phase 2 remediation

Affected by the Douglas decision? The ATO may send you a letter

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is sending letters to some veterans who are affected by the Douglas Full Federal Court decision for the 2010-11 to 2019-20 income years. This covers invalidity pensions paid to veterans under the MSBS (Military Super Benefit Scheme) or DFRDBS (Defence Force Retirement and Death Benefits Scheme) that commenced on or after 20 September 2007.

The ATO says that over 2,500 veterans have asked to have their prior year assessments amended since this Court decision. Most of these veterans have received tax refunds.

The ATO is sending letters to veterans who have not yet requested a review for prior years. If you have not yet had your amendments done, your letter will be issued in the coming months. The ATO urges veterans to be patient as there are many people to contact.

The letters will include a brief form to complete and a reply-paid envelope. Veterans should consider their personal circumstances and if they want to participate in the ATO’s review process.

If you use a tax agent, the ATO will let them know they are sending you a letter. This will make it easier if you need to call your agent about the letter.

The ATO says it is committed to finalising reviews as quickly as possible, but each person’s circumstances are different. It may take a while to determine any refund owing to you, but they will keep you informed along the way.

You can get the latest information about the Douglas decision and the simplified review process on the ATO’s website at

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Government announcement on legislation reform consultation

Legislation Reform booklet

I am reaching out to let you know that the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel, The Hon Matt Keogh MP, has today announced that the Government will be undertaking consultation with the veteran community and other stakeholders about a proposed pathway to simplify the veterans’ legislative framework: Veterans’ Legislation Reform Consultation Pathway takes shape | Minister for Veterans’ Affairs (  .

As you know, the Interim Report of the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide found that the complexity of the veterans’ system is adversely affecting the mental health of veterans.  The proposal being put forward for consultation by the Government is for a future model where all claims would be considered under the existing Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004, rather than the three legislative schemes as is currently the case.  This proposal would effectively implement many of the reforms recommended by the Productivity Commission in its 2019 report A Better Way to Support Veterans, with simpler outcomes.

Attached is a booklet that outlines the need for reform and further details about the proposal.

Information about the consultation process can be found at

The Minister and the Department will be undertaking direct consultation with key ex-service organisations around the country.  While details of these consultations are still being finalised, there will be an opportunity for you and your members to participate in these processes.

The Department will also be consulting ex-service organisations through the National Consultative Framework and other key forums.  In addition, consultation with veterans and their families, ADF members and other key stakeholders will be undertaken through webinars.

Written submissions from any interested parties, have also been invited, by 12 May 2023.  These can be made through the consultation webpage at or by emailing  Faxed and posted submissions will also be accepted – see the website page for relevant details.

I encourage you to put forward the views of your organisation about the proposal, and you are also welcome to provide your personal views through one of the channels above.

We will continue to update you how consultation is proceeding at our future meetings.


Alison Frame


Department of Veterans’ Affairs

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Latest RARA SA Infantryman

Infantryman December 2022

For  August 2022 Infantryman August 2022 – Copy

April 2022  Infantryman 8 April 2022

and, for December 2021


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Latest media releases from Veteran Affairs


ABS Census slides – July 2022

Financial Assistance  Helping Veterans to Stay at Home

Additional mental health support for white card holders


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Film posted by John Neervoort

I have posted a number of videos on Youtube of film that I took on 6RAR’s second tour in 1969-70. Each video is about 5 minutes long.  There is no commentary, just appropriate sounds of aircraft/guns/armour and background music. I originally did these for the National Vietnam Veterans Museum so they could be used on a free standing TV operated by the viewer alongside the museum item on display (eg, film of guns firing next to a 105mm howitzer).

One special film is when I went on a flight with Jade 8 (between operations) and witnessed an airstrike by Canberra bombers from the air. Years later after contacting Chris in Texas, he said he had taped the cockpit conversations between the Forward Air Controller (himself) and a flight of Canberra bombers on a similar airstrike. I have included that to add to the authenticity. I believe the film of the bombs dropping from the Canberra is unique in that can only be done from the perspective of a Forward Air Controller.

Vietnam War Aussie Armour

Vietnam War Aussie Artillery

Vietnam War Aussie Airstrike

Vietnam War Aussie Infantry

Vietnam War Aussie Hueys

Vietnam War Aussie Navy

Vietnam War Aussie R&C Vung Tau

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The Casualty List

The Casualty List has been off line for some time, here it is revived.

Note by clicking on the sub-headings, unit or coy/pl for example, you can then filter your searches.

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National Servicemen in Combat

An interesting read    National-Servicemen-in-Combat

Courtesy Dave Wilkins OAM and 5RAR Website

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RSL Virtual War Memorial – Updated site

If you have not visited this site yet, it is very interesting and has some current members of the RARA SA on it, including the President, Mike von Berg MC OAM and Robert “Dogs”Kearney.

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DFRDB Matters


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Two Items Worth Revisiting

Click on the image for improved viewing, 1967 I think.


Join Army

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RCB Update

Please view the latest news on the RCB campaign here RCB Update

There is an extensive history to this campaign under the Advocacy tab (above).

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Pocket Book for National Servicemen

Courtesy of the 5RAR website, here is some historical information which may help revive a number of fading memories

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‘He should have died’: the Vietnam veteran who never really returned

Please take the time to read this article which is primarily about Michael McKernan’s book, “When This Thing Happened”. The title defers to Michael Stawyskyj’s constant reference to the moment in Vietnam in 1969 – “When this thing happened”.  Michael Stawyskyj is the father of Joe Stawyskyj. a 5RAR digger serously wounded in 1969.

Here is the link

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