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RSL Employment Program helps Veteran Set Sail in Dream Job

For ex-Navy veteran Mark, landing his dream job was an achievement he was not confident he’d ever see after being administratively discharged in 2017.

Mark decided to reach out to RSLWA Employment Officer, Sherry Baxter, where he received help to develop his resume and some career development opportunities which lead to some referrals to various short-term positions.

The last was a short-term contract role at the State Health Incident Control Centre (SHICC), which greatly boosted his confidence before Sherry helped Mark land his dream job in September last year in a search and rescue role at Cobham Aviation.

Sherry was so excited to receive Mark’s message about his successful interview.

“I just wanted to let you know that I have been offered the Search and Rescue role with Cobham Aviation,” Mark wrote.

“It was a long drawn out process due to my police check, but for the first time ever a company asked questions about it, asked for my story and to put it all in context for them to make a more informed decision.

“It seems the RSL, and you in particular, are my little guardian angel. Without you I wouldn’t have got this role with the Health Department and now this one with Cobham.

“Thank you so much for all your help and persisting with me, even though I am sure I ignored a bunch of emails from you back in the beginning.”

Sherry said Mark had struggled with the potential negative implications his discharge may have had on finding suitable employment.

“It is just so wonderful to get news like Mark’s. It is so rewarding to help people like Mark overcome barriers and transition from defence back into the workforce,” she said.

Veterans seeking employment can read about the RSL Veterans’ Employment Program at the RSLWA website, or contact the RSLWA Employment Officer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone 9287 3724.

Paying Tribute to Our 'Nashos'

Monday 14th February marks National Servicemen’s Day when we honour the hundreds of thousands of young Australian men who served our nation through compulsory military service after the Second World War.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel Andrew Gee said it was important to recognise those who stood up when called upon to defend our country.

“Australia’s ‘Nashos’, as they are affectionately nicknamed, made a significant contribution to our nation’s defence forces and rightfully wear the title with pride,” Minister Gee said.

“I encourage all Australians to take time to reflect on the service and sacrifice of these men and ensure they continue to be appropriately remembered.

“The idea of compulsory military service would seem foreign to many Australians, particularly younger generations, but between 1951 and 1959, and again between 1964 and 1972, it was a reality for many young Aussie men.

“Around 227,000 men completed the compulsory six months’ recruit training during 1951-1959, but it was in the second period from 1964 when ‘Nashos’ were deployed in significant numbers.

“More than 804,000 men registered between 1964 and 1972, with more than 63,000 called up to serve.

“Of these, nearly 19,500 served in Borneo and Vietnam and the remainder in support units in Malaysia, Papua New Guinea and Australia.

“More than 15,000 served in the Vietnam War, where some 200 died and over 1,200 were wounded.

“It is a little-known fact that from 1966 Australian infantry battalions in Vietnam were typically comprised of an equal mix of regular soldiers and National Servicemen.

“At the time, most 20-year-old Australian men were required to register and were then selected for National Service through the infamous ‘birthday ballot’, in which they were randomly selected by their date of birth.

“My uncle Geoff was a Nasho, who served his country at Nui Dat in 1967. My family and I are incredibly proud of his service, as all Australians should be very proud of our ‘Nashos’ who answered the call to serve their nation. They personify our Australian value of service above self.”

Learn more about the National Service Scheme of the Vietnam War era by visiting the Department of Veterans’ Affairs Anzac Portal here https://anzacportal.dva.gov.au/wars-and-missions/vietnam-war-1962-1975/events/conscription/birthday-ballot 

RSLWA Acknowledges Outstanding Efforts With Awards Night

The Returned & Services League of Australia WA State Branch (RSLWA) awarded eight Australia Day Council Achievement Medallions at it its annual Australia day Awards event at ANZAC House last night.

RSLWA hosts the awards ceremony to recognise the efforts of RSLWA members who have excelled in their dedication and commitment to the organisation.

The 2022 Australia Day Council Medallions recipients were:

  • Mark Weldon – City of Rockingham RSL Sub-Branch for his tireless efforts with the local Commemorative Services and rebuilding memorial walls.
  • Paul McGuinness – North Beach for his continued efforts to improve the Sub-Branches social and Commemorative events.
  • Clarence Cole – City of Cockburn RSL Sub-branch for ongoing support and dedicated work.
  • David Thomas – City of Claremont for building the Sub-Branch to a more viable entity
  • Mr Ron Gwynne (Posthumous) – City of Belmont for developing the Belmont RSL bowling green through which lasting relationships were fostered with the Belmont City Council.
  • North Beach RSL Sub-Branch for the continued support of community-based organisations and their members.
  • City Of Belmont RSL Sub-Branch – Belmont Keep Fit Group for promoting wellness and fitness for veterans and the community.
  • Mt Hawthorn Primary School for ongoing support and engagement with Mount Hawthorn RSL Sub-Branch.

The event included the Annual Cadet of the Year Awards 2021 recognising the commitment and excellence of our Australian Defence Force Cadets in Western Australia.

RSLWA CEO John McCourt said it was important to recognise the efforts of our Cadets, their mentors and their families in shaping the adults, and leaders of tomorrow.

“The ADF Cadets is a community-based youth development organisation focused on Defence customs, traditions and values, through which our young people learn leadership, team building and survival skills that will set them up for life,” he said.

The RSLWA Cadet Unit Efficiency Shield 2021 was awarded to:

  • Australian Navy Cadets – TS MORROW from Geraldton
  • Australian Army Cadets – 58 ACU Carine
  • Australian Air Force Cadets – 711 SQN from Geraldton
  • Cadets WA – Ellenbrook Police Rangers

The RSLWA Trustees Award for Cadet Individual Proficiency went to:

  • Australian Navy Cadets – Cadet Leading Seaman April GOMM of TS Marmion
  • Australian Army Cadets – CUO Dominic Adriano 50ACU Midland
  • Australian Air Force Cadets – CDT CPL Grace Harding of 701 SQN
  • Cadets WA – CDT Benjamin Fuller from Subiaco Police Rangers

The RSLWA “Spirit of ANZAC” Cadet of the Year Award winners were:

  • Australian Navy Cadets – CDT PO Edward Kammermann of TS Canning
  • Australian Army Cadets – CUO Jaxon Broad of HQ WA AAC BDE
  • Australian Air Force Cadets – CDT CPL Bethany Doyle of 710 SQN
  • Cadets Western Australia – CDT Thomas Offer of Christ Church Grammar School Surf Lifesaving.

“I congratulate all of tonight’s award recipients and thank them once again for the tremendous work they do within their Sub-Branches, Units and the broader community,” Mr McCourt said.

Changes to Defence Force Income Support Allowance (DFISA)

New legislation which came into effect on 1 January 2022 will provide an increase in social security payments for some veterans.

The changes made the Disability Compensation Payment (formerly known as Disability Pension) exempt from the income test under the Social Security Act 1991

Centrelink payments, such as the Age Pension, will increase as a result and removes the need for DFISA. In addition, Rent Assistance became available, or increased, for some veterans.

These changes were announced by email from the DVA Secretary in early December 2021, however, some letters were delayed which meant some veterans did not know why their DFISA payment had been reduced prior to 13 January.

Those who had previously received DFISA found that on the first payday of 2022, part of the DFISA payment was reduced. 

On payday 27 January, there will be no DFISA paid, however, social security payments from Centrelink will increase accordingly. 

The part payment on 13 January was made because the effective date of 1 January fell in the middle of the pay period. As Centrelink paydays differ for each person, payments did not align with DVA veteran paydays.

Veterans and their partners do not need to do anything, as the payments will be made automatically.  

Further information can be found on the DFISA page of the Department of Veterans Affairs website www.dva.gov.au under “What’s New”: https://www.dva.gov.au/financial-support/income-support/allowances/defence-force-income-support-allowance-dfisa 

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