News at the RARA SA – 19 July 2024

The latest newsletter: RARA-SA – News – Week Ending Friday 19th July 2024

Also, for those who wish to renew their subs, see Membership Renewal Forms 

If you have any queries about your membership, please send us an email at the address below.

Please note RARA email address, especially for financial and membership matters is

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Army News Edition Latest Issue

In this edition of Army News  

18 July, 2024

Welcome to the latest edition of Army News.

Click HERE to read this edition.

CHANGING OF THE GUARD: A big month for handovers – Pages 2-3

RUNNING THE GAUNTLET: Officers tested in barrage of live fire – Pages 12-13

LIFE-SAVER: Remembering a four-pawed hero – Page 14

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

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Virtual War Memorial

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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RSLSA/NT: An Update From The CEO

Good afternoon Sub-Branches,

As my first month in the CEO seat has almost passed,  I thought it timely to provide an overview on what we have been working on here at State Branch.  (I also intend to provide you an update of this type each month.)

News From the Board

  • We were lucky enough to host Minister Thistlethwaite and Steve Georganas MP here this week.  This was the perfect opportunity for our President, Dave Petersen, to highlight RSLs response to the 2024 Harmonisation and Simplification of Legislation Bill.  It was also a great opportunity for our Veteran Community Reps to have their concerns heard.
  • We are thrilled to announce Meredith Burgess has again been elected to fulfil the Vice President Role.  Dave Petersen is on leave from today, returning 20th June 2024, so Meredith will take the President role until Dave returns.  If needed, Meredith’s direct email is
  • The Board have also confirmed its members of the Ethics Committee.  These members are currently deliberating over their first disciplinary issue. I will provide further information on this in due course (along with detail).
  • The Board is seeking a Chair for the Awards Committee.  If you are interested in joining this very important committee, please let me know. 

News From State Branch

  • Monthly catchups: We are looking to introduce informal monthly catchups with as many of you as possible.  In fact, an invite will be coming your way to join us on the 26th June here at Torrens Parade Ground for some afternoon chit chat.  This is a perfect opportunity for you all to get to know your staff at State Branch, and your 2024 Board Members.  We can also use this to provide a deeper overview of the work we have all been doing for our Veterans and their families.
  • Employment Program: I’m sure you’ve seen the marketing collateral surrounding the Employment Program.  Our Manager, Grace, has been extremely busy these past few weeks, meeting with Veterans, meeting with employment partners….getting this great program front of mind!   The number of Veterans brought into the program this month alone has equalled the amount brought in this year so far.  Incredible result!
  • Reach Out Program: Whilst still not officially launched, this program is set to be a game changer for the RSL.  With 45 participants already, a vast range of supports in place and service providers partnering with us, we are gearing up to become the Wellbeing experts in our field!  Our program Manager Dave O and his team, Jo and L’Cascia, have worked some magic, that’s for sure!  We couldn’t do this without our Volunteer Wellbeing Support Officers, so a huge thank you to all of you (we are always searching for more if you are interested!)!  Watch this space for the Official Launch date.
  • Advocacy: Work has started in this area to tighten up some processes at State Branch level and better embrace our Advocates.  Our Advocates work tirelessly for the Veteran Community and we must do what we can to support them…our Veterans rely on it!  More to come here.
  • Membership: No doubt you would have heard of Simone by now, our newest edition to the team.  Simone has hit the ground running, ensuring your membership data is accurate and returns entered.  We are also looking to tighten processes here between Sub-Branch and State Branch as we recognise the process of membership renewals itself is extremely manual.  We will be calling several workshops over the next few months; this topic will be covered then.
  • ANZAC Day Fundraising:  We know of the hard work you do to raise the funds you send into the Appeal, so it’s time we show you where these funds go in real time.  This topic will be covered in my monthly updates to you.

Sub-Branch Acknowledgements

In the past few weeks, I have welcomed the many discussions I have had with RSL Sub-Branch Reps/Members related to the support services, or ideas they have, to make their own Sub-Branches sustainable and relevant.  Apart from providing whatever guidance I can, the intention here will be to include these items in a “Sub-Branch” newsletter that we share amongst our community.   These discussions are powerful and contribute to our collective strength!  I learnt only yesterday of a program that has been operating between one RSL Sub-Branch and Open Arms, funded by that RSL (I’m sure this is one of many!)

Please reach out and tell me about the great things your Sub-Branch is doing for Veterans! 

To close, I know we have had some bad publicity in recent weeks, but I am so humbled to hear that the consensus is we are here to do a job, so let’s get on with it!   The above is simply just the beginning.

On behalf of the Board, the team and I here at State Branch, we cannot thank you enough for your support!

As always, door open and coffee jar full ????.

Speak soon,

Tara Belton
Chief Executive Officer

RSL SA Branch
Ph: 8100 7312 (Direct Line)

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DVA Client Insights Survey


The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) is running the 2024 Client Insights Survey(formerly Client Satisfaction Survey), which will close on Monday, 8 July 2024.

We are reaching out to advise you of this survey, and we would welcome your assistance to promote this opportunity to provide feedback to your networks in the veteran community.

The survey is now open and can be accessed and distributed via the following link:

Department of Veterans Affairs (

We encourage all veterans of the Australian Defence Force to share their views about interacting with DVA through this survey. We would be grateful if you would consider sharing this opportunity widely through your networks.

The Client Insights Survey seeks to understand clients’ perceptions of interactions with DVA, their overall experiences, and ideas for improvement. This feedback is critical to DVA’s ongoing efforts to improve the way we provide services and supports to veterans and their families.

ORIMA Research, an independent market research company, is conducting the survey on DVA’s behalf, and will ensure the collection of statistically robust and objective data.

Recent survey results indicate that more clients are willing to interact with the Department online. As a result, DVA is piloting an online version of the survey. Whereas the previous Client Satisfaction Survey only went to a small selection of clients, the online survey provides allDVA clients the opportunity to provide feedback. More clients will have the opportunity to have their say, can complete the survey in their own time and at their own pace.

Information about the survey, including previous years’ results can be found on DVA’s website

Thank you for your support

Yours sincerely

Alison McLaren | Deputy Secretary

Veteran, Family and Stakeholder Experience

6 June 2024

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ADSO Papers

20240512 ADSO DISCUSSION PAPER 1-2024 Policy Objectives 2022-2025 (003)


ADSO members,

The attached two Discussion Papers are the first of other ADSO Papers on relevant subjects that from time to time will be sent to you for your consideration to help in the formulation of ADSO’s Decisions, Policies and Operational Plans.

Comments on all our Discussion Papers are invited.

In both Papers I’ve colour coded those policies/issues still alive but not acted upon by Government and others where Government action is afoot. Both Papers will assist your preparation for the After-AGM Discussion Forum on 31 May 2024.

Attachment 1. Current ADSO Policy Objectives

In preparation for the next Federal Election (possible in the time range of November 2024-May 2025) we need to review our current Policy Objectives 2022-2025 and to recognise that both the present Labor Government and Coalition Opposition failed to respond to our

request (April 2022) for their consideration and response before, nor since the 2022 Election.

Note that the Status Table is an example from a previous Election.

Attachment 2. ADSO’S Current Defence Family Concerns

This Paper identifies current Defence Family Concerns. There may be others specific to you own organisation: if so please tell me with a summary for addition to our List.

Note that this document will form the core part of our forthcoming ADSO Update.



Acting ADSO Secretary

If I do not answer your call please send a text message to return your call

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ESORT Briefing Papers

ESO Portal Discovery Project – Co-design Insights Summary Report

DRAFT ESORT Communique – 14 May 2024 – FINAL

Budget 2024-25 Presentation ESORT

Article for NCF

Older item below:

ESORT briefing Taskforce presentation 11 July 2023

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RSL 2023 Annual Report


If you wish to read it:



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ESO Portal Discovery Project – Co-design Insights Summary Report [SEC=OFFICIAL]

ESO Portal Discovery Project – Co-design Insights Summary Report

Dear ESO (Ex-service Organisation)/Advocate

I’m writing to provide you with an update on the ESO Portal Discovery Project.

As part of the Modernisation Program, DVA gathered evidence and insights to identify improvement opportunities for the advocate community to transact with DVA. You may recall last year you assisted us in inviting advocates to complete a survey to improve the way in which they transact with DVA online.  The survey was part of a co-design approach to gain a deep understanding of the ESO Portal system: the people, processes and technology that enable the service. ​DVA received a total of 375 responses to the survey, with 209 respondents registering their interest in further advocate co-design activities. ​

Interviews were also conducted with 10 advocates who were representative of diverse roles and significant experience. ​All the advocates interviewed were generous with their time and provided invaluable insights to their experience. The project team is very grateful for their input to this research. ​

Commentary provided by interviewees largely aligned with survey findings, but the interviews permitted a deeper dive into common themes as well as the opportunity to focus on technology pain points. Insights derived from these co-design activities have been summarised in the attached report which I am pleased to provide to you now for your reference. You may like to pass it on to other advocates in your organisation. ​​These insights will guide and inform the future of the ESO Portal or alternative.​

Co-design is an ongoing process. DVA will plan further co-design activities suitable for the next phases in a potential advocate portal project should the proposed solution receive funding.

Thank you for your efforts to promote the MyService Experience Survey. It remains open until 16 May 2024. We would be grateful if you could encourage further uptake of the survey. Here is a link to the survey. Further information is available in a news item on the DVA website.

Kind regards

 Janice Silby

Assistant Secretary

Income Support Branch

Deputy Commissioner SA

Department of Veterans’ Affairs

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Book Launch 19 April 2024 @ RARA SA

Below are a selection of photos from the highly successful book launch of Andrew Faulkner’s Guts, Glory and Blunder: Noreuil 1917 – The Forgotten Fight.


Book Launch Andrew & MelanieBook Launch President Mike von BergBook Launch Patron Steve LarkinBook Launch Colin & GregBook Launch Bar ServiceBook Launch Group early tooBook Launch Steven Marshall and Maria

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Signed Essendon Player Jumper Presentation By Kevin Sheedy

On Friday 5 April the RARA was presented with a Essendon guernsey by Kevin Sheedy

Essendon 1

L to R: Honourable Federal Minister for Trade and Tourism, Special Minister of State, Hon. Senator Don Farrell /RARA-SA Vice President (and RARA-SA (Burnside) RSL President) Rod Graham at rear / Burnside Mayor Anne Monceaux /Local member for the State seat of Bragg, Jack Batty MP / AFL Legend and former Nasho (21 Construction Squadron RAE 1969/1971) Kevin Sheedy AO / Local Member for the Federal seat of Sturt, James Stevens

Essendon 2

L to R:  Local Member for the Federal seat of Sturt, James Stevens / Honourable Federal Minister for Trade and Tourism, Special Minister of State, Hon. Senator Don Farrell / Squadron Leader Ash Wright 453 Squadron RAAF / AFL Legend and Former Nasho (21 Construction Squadron RAE 1969/1971) Kevin Sheedy AO / WO2 Scott Cawsey LWC – rear / Local member for the State seat of Bragg,  Jack Batty MP / WO2 Jack Marshall AUR / 10/27 RSAR RSM WO1 Scott Hannan

Essendon 3


Kevin Sheedy at Rose Park



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Harmonization of Acts – VEA,MRCA,SIRCA

Please note, potential changes to the Acts

Veterans Entitlements

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Latest RARA SA Infantryman

Click on the link to you copy of the August edition of The INFANTRYMAN

The link is Virus and Malware free and safe to open.


For April 2023

Infantryman December 2022

For  August 2022 Infantryman August 2022 – Copy

April 2022  Infantryman 8 April 2022

and, for December 2021


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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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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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National Servicemen in Combat

An interesting read    National-Servicemen-in-Combat

Courtesy Dave Wilkins OAM and 5RAR Website

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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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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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