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Fighter Squadrons Branch :: Veterans' Affairs

ADVOCACY FOR EX SERVICE AND VETERANS
Of The Royal Australian Air Force Association NSW Division

Leaving the Service and Need Some Assistance with Entitlements?
 

WHO CAN HELP YOU?

Many Service men and women approaching that point in their lives where they are considering leaving the Service have scant knowledge of the services and support available to them after they separate.  Some think it is just a matter of approaching the Department of Veterans’ Affairs with any legacies from their time in the Service and all will be taken care of.

While there are DVA representatives on many bases who should be able to give you good advice, the range and complexity of veterans’ needs post-separation are increasing, and in parallel with these are increases in the range and complexity of legislation and policy relating to veterans’ entitlements.  For those reasons, ex-Service organisations like the RAAF Association have ‘Advocates’ who are prepared to make the time available to help other ex-Service people, and have been trained and certified to provide the best possible support and assistance during what, for many, can be a very stressful time.  Advice from an independent Advocate is always considered a wise move.

WHO ARE THE ADVOCATES?

A list of Advocates across the states and regions of the nation is maintained separately.

SO WHAT DO I DO?

If you are leaving or have left the RAAF and believe you are entitled to make a claim, and feel you may need ongoing support, contact one of the advocates on the list or, better still, contact a senior advocate so that you can be referred to the most appropriate person to provide free assistance from someone who knows the system.

INCREASING DEMAND FOR ADVOCACY SERVICES

The increase in overseas active service is expected to generate more people needing help.  To meet the consequent increasing demand for trained, certified and skilled pension and welfare officers and advocates, and to provide the best quality of service possible, a new training pathway for practitioners, through the Advocacy Training and Development Program, will commence on 1st July 2016.

This progran will enable suitably skilled advocates to be developed using formal training, examination of case studies and mentoring over a period of time and four levels of competency.  The practitioners of all ex-Service organisations will be trained and certified to common standards.  To the Service people stepping into civilian life that means there will be suitably qualified practitioners available to assist and guide them through the complexities of dealing with the veterans affairs bureaucracy.

CAN YOU HELP?

The RAAF Association is also endeavouring to increase the amount of support it can provide in this area, and suitably motivated ex-RAAF people are highly sought after to fill these roles.  It can be time consuming, but very rewarding.

If you feel you might be suited to assisting others in this way, and have some spare time on your hands, please contact one of our senior advocates and discuss the role and training involved.

Experience has demonstrated that ex-RAAF people are generally more comfortable and satisfied when dealing with ex-RAAF advocates who have a better understanding of the nature of their former employment.  It’s all about mates helping mates.