On 23 January, CONTACT published a story – Veterans’ Covenant and card coming soon – which gained a lot of traction and raised some questions (many hinting at conspiracy theories).
Based on the reaction of our audience, I distilled some key questions and posed them to DVA on 31 January.
- “I’m not a DVA client and have no need of their services. Why should I become a DVA client just to get the lapel pin I’m entitled to?”
- “I am a proud Australian veteran but I have no notion of getting involved with DVA. How do I get this pin?”
- “What about the thousands of still-serving war veterans who’ve been through Iraq, Afghanistan or both, are still serving and are perfectly healthy. Where will our pin come from and when?”
- “This is nothing more than a cheap political stunt – AND, an underhanded, disguised attempt to gather names and data from blokes who do not want to be ‘known to the system’. Am I right or am I wrong?”
“Given that this appears to have excellent community support, why are the government dividing us by introducing Regular and Reserve versions of the Pin and Cards? “
- “Could you explain the difference between the Veteran and Reservists Lapel Pin please. Personally I feel there shouldn’t be any difference. Can a member wear both, if eligible.”
We received the following response today…
The Australian Defence Veterans’ Covenant encourages all Australians to recognise and acknowledge the unique nature of military service and support veterans and their families.
The Veteran Recognition Package is designed to acknowledge the service of all veterans, including reservists.
The Veteran Lapel Pin and Reservist Lapel Pin provide a way for the public to recognise and connect with veterans and acknowledge their service to the nation. The pins will help identify veterans when they aren’t wearing their uniform or medals.
The introduction of two pins is to give due recognition to both our veterans and reservists. The introduction of the Reservist lapel pin is to acknowledge the valuable work that reservists do in serving their country including their support to disaster relief, humanitarian efforts and border protection.
If you are eligible for both pins — you have had full-time service and you have been a reservist — you will receive one pin, a Veteran pin.
Under the Veteran Recognition program an eligible veteran is someone who has completed at least one day of continuous full-time service.
Veterans who are not yet clients of DVA can apply for the new Veteran Card through the online portal MyService.
MyService makes it easier for Veterans to access DVA services online. It has streamlined the claims process, and is easy to use and access.
When a Veteran signs up to the MyService portal, all data collected is in line with the Privacy Act 1988 and the Australian Privacy Principles.
Not happy that this response answered the specific questions, I added some notes and sent it back to DVA for another look.
Stay tuned for an update (but don’t hold your breath while waiting).