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The Hon Dan Tehan MP
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
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8 December 2016

DVA information sessions to be held in Townsville

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Dan Tehan said information sessions in Townsville next week would address the services and support available to current and former members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) concerned about mefloquine.

Mr Tehan said six information sessions would be held in Townsville over three days from 13 to 15 December. The sessions are open to current and former ADF members and their support networks.

“The information sessions deliver another Turnbull Government election commitment,” Mr Tehan said.

“The information sessions have been developed by the DVA–Defence Links Steering Committee in consultation with other Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) forums, including the Ex-Service Organisation Round Table and the Younger Veterans – Contemporary Needs Forum.

“Staff from DVA, the Repatriation Medical Authority (RMA) and Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) will run the sessions, which will comprise formal presentations and Q&As.

“The Townsville outreach program will cover a range of topics, including how to lodge a claim with DVA, the role of the RMA, the Statements of Principles regime, comprehensive GP health assessments, mental health treatment, At Ease resources, and support available through VVCS.

“Multiple sessions will be held over the three days so that as many people as possible who are interested in attending can come at a time that suits them. Staff from these agencies will also be available to provide one-on-one assistance with claims enquiries and to arrange mental health support for anyone who may need it.

“All material provided to attendees of the outreach program will be available online, supplementing current information on both DVA and Defence websites. A review of the information sessions will inform DVA’s ongoing consultation with the community.”

The information sessions will be held at the Townsville VAN Office – 1st Floor, 520 Flinders Street, Townsville on the following dates and times:

Tuesday, 13 December:

  • 10.00 am–12.00 pm
  • 5.30 pm–7.30 pm

Wednesday, 14 December:

  • 12.00 pm–2.00 pm
  • 5.30 pm–7.30 pm

Thursday, 15 December:

  • 10.00 am–12.00 pm
  • 12.00 pm–2.00 pm

Attendees are asked to register by emailing their name and the session they wish to attend to mefloquine.outreach@dva.gov.au or telephone (07) 4722 3347. For more information, visit www.dva.gov.au/mefloquine.

Media enquiries:

Minister Tehan’s Office: 02 6277 7820
Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203

Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for crisis support and free confidential counselling. Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 8 8241 4546). VVCS is a service founded by Vietnam veterans.