Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Inquiry into transition from the Australian Defence Force

Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Inquiry into transition from the Australian Defence Force

Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Inquiry into transition from the Australian Defence Force

Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Inquiry into transition from the Australian Defence Force Joint Submission Department of Defence Department of Veterans’ Affairs July 2018 Inquiry into transition from the Australian Defence Force (ADF) Submission 33

TABLE OF CONTENTS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ___ 1
INTRODUCTION ___ 8
Defence Transition Transformation Program - Improvements in the ADF Transition Process ___ 9
DVA’s Transformation ___ 11
Joint Defence/ DVA Transition Taskforce ___ 12
The future of transition ___ 12
TERM OF REFERENCE 1 - The barriers that prevent ESOs from effectively engaging with ADF members, the Department of Defence and Department of Veterans’ Affairs to provide more effective support to ADF personnel as they transition out of Service ___ 14
Defence engagement with ESOs ___ 14
DVA engagement with ESOs ___ 16
Ex-Service Organisation Round Table (ESORT ___ 18
Recommendations of the Senate Standing Committee Report - Mental Health of Australian Defence Force members and veterans and current programs within the ADF ___ 19
Prime Minister’s Veterans’ Employment Program (PMVEP ___ 20
Ex-Service Organisation Initiatives ___ 20
Conclusion ___ 20
TERM OF REFERENCE 2 – The model of mental health care while in ADF Service and through the transition period to the DVA ___ 21
Mental Health Reform in Defence ___ 21
Defence’s approach to mental health and wellbeing – Fit to Fight, Fit to work and Fit for Life21 Mental Health Services in Defence ___ 22
Data and Evidence of Success ___ 25
Health Aspects of Transition ___ 26
What is Defence Doing to Improve Mental Health Care and Transition Health Support to Serving ADF Members ___ 28
Ongoing Research ___ 29
DVA support for transitioning members with a mental health conditions ___ 30
DVA activities supporting prevention, early intervention and self-management ___ 31
Social health and community connectedness ___ 31
Inquiry into transition from the Australian Defence Force (ADF) Submission 33

ii July 2018 DVA funded clinical services ___ 32
DVA acute mental health services and PTSD programs ___ 32
DVA rehabilitation services ___ 32
Strengthening suicide prevention efforts ___ 32
Improving access to services ___ 33
Breaking down barriers and building pathways to care ___ 35
Innovation and emerging treatments ___ 35
Continuing to support research ___ 35
Strengthening Workforce Capacity ___ 36
Veterans and Veterans’ Families Counselling Service (VVCS ___ 36
Support for families and carers ___ 37
Other mental health awareness training and support ___ 38
Post-transition follow-up contact with ADF members ___ 39
Transition for Employment (T4E) program ___ 39
Additional information for the Committee’s consideration ___ 40
TERM OF REFERENCE 3 – The efficacy of whole-of-government support to facilitate the effective transition to employment in civilian life of men and women who have served in the ADF ___ 42
Transition Preparation Phase ___ 42
Transition Phase ___ 46
Financial support ___ 53
Compensation payments ___ 53
Income support ___ 53
Post-Transition Phase ___ 53
External education and training opportunities ___ 55
Employment initiatives ___ 55
TERM OF REFERENCE 4 – Any related matters ___ 58
Women in the ADF ___ 58
Reserves ___ 58
Inquiry into transition from the Australian Defence Force (ADF) Submission 33

iii July 2018 Eligibility for transition support ___ 58
ADF Transition Partnership ___ 59
Resourcing in ADF Transition Centres ___ 59
DVA/Defence joint initiatives to deliver integrated approaches to transition services ___ 59
DVA transition support ___ 60
Coordinated Client Support program ___ 61
Productivity Commission Issues paper - Compensation and Rehabilitation for Veterans – May 2018 ___ 61
ADF Transition – Success stories beyond a military career ___ 62
LIST OF ATTACHMENTS ___ 64
Inquiry into transition from the Australian Defence Force (ADF) Submission 33

1 July 2018 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1. The Department of Defence (Defence) and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) (the Departments) welcome the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Parliamentary Inquiry into transition from the Australian Defence Force (ADF). 2. The key focus for Defence is on training and retaining ADF members to deliver Defence capability on behalf of Government. Defence has a well-regarded training continuum that seeks to retain individuals with the key skills and attributes to fight and win. However, Defence also recognises that transition is inevitable and that between 5,500 and 6,000 members leave the ADF annually.

Of those, the vast majority do so voluntarily, with approximately 20 per cent transitioning for medical reasons.

3. The Departments recognise that leaving the military is a significant life changing event for many ADF members and their families and that both agencies need to provide sufficient support and management before, during and post transition to ensure our veterans and their families transition successfully into civilian life. 4. Defence retains a duty of care for its members and has a commensurate support role for their family, up to and including the date of transition, and on occasion for a period post transition. A member joining the ADF becomes a DVA client on enlistment or appointment and after one days full time service can access DVA services such as Non Liability Health Care for mental health conditions.

Defence and DVA recognise the need to engage and encourage the broader Australian community to recognise the service and sacrifice ADF members and their families make, and to facilitate better reintegration into civilian life. 5. Within Defence, all Commanding Officers must consider the welfare of ADF members under their command. Transition is a shared responsibility of Command and the ADF member. Participation in the transition process is mandatory for all ADF members regardless of the reason for leaving. ADF members and their families, and by extension Commanders, are supported through a comprehensive transition process and access to transition support.

6. Throughout the 100-years of DVA (including its predecessor, the Department of Repatriation) and the Repatriation Commission, the broad notion of ‘repatriation’ – returning servicemen and women to civilian society and honouring their sacrifice – has informed all of DVA’s primary roles.

7. A fundamental role of DVA has been providing a substantial part of the “offer” made by the Nation to each service member. This offer recognises the willingness of the enlistee to commit to service, be subjected to military discipline, and to be placed in harm’s way for Australia. Veterans and their families enrich our communities, and the Australian Government will look after them during and after service. 8. The experience of transition varies. Noting ADF members receive unique and valuable training throughout their career with Defence, and the skills they have learned during their service are transferable and in demand, many members transition successfully and quickly re-establish civilian lives.

9. For some though, transitioning from the ADF is not as easy or positive as it could be, and these individuals and their families may face complex social, financial, employment and wellbeing challenges. This is particularly the case if they enlisted at a young age with little experience of adult civilian life or employment. 10. Barriers to successful transition can include a member’s level of control over the decision to leave military service, their awareness of, and access to, transition-related information and services, and unpreparedness to manage the differences between the military environment and civilian life, include loss of identity.

Inquiry into transition from the Australian Defence Force (ADF) Submission 33

2 July 2018 11. The Australian Government, through Defence and DVA, is focussed on improving the way veterans’ transition into civilian life. Significant investment has been made to promote and provide further transition support and veterans’ employment services. 12. The departments recognise however, that further work is needed to ensure all transitioning ADF members can access appropriate support when they need it, support services are streamlined and seamless across agencies, and that there are multiple opportunities throughout the transition process for transitioning members to engage with support services.

13. Defence and DVA invite the Chair and members of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade to visit the Canberra ADF Transition Centre at the Defence Community Organisation (DCO) Headquarters in Deakin, ACT. Defence would be pleased to provide a detailed briefing on the current and planned future state of the ADF transition process. DVA will also provide a briefing on the DVA support provided during and post transition. Background - where we have come from 14. Historically, the Departments have not always operated as collaboratively as could have been the case. For some time there was a marked differential where Defence was responsible for members until they left the ADF, and DVA provided services and support to those who reached out for it post leaving the ADF.

This approach by the Departments resulted in a lack of information sharing and collaboration with each agency focusing on their own processes and systems, rather than ensuring the member’s needs were considered more holistically. It was also borne out in a lack of focus on the families.

15. From 2011, greater collaboration commenced with the establishment of the On Base Advisory Service (OBAS). DVA staff are located at ADF bases to provide advice and information about DVA services to members. Since then, the breadth and tempo of the collaboration between Defence, DVA and others to provide a more collaborative approach to transition support has increased. Current - what we are doing 16. More recently, the Departments have invested in significant transformation programs to improve the interactions of ADF members and their families with each Department. 17. Defence and DVA are:
  • working together to implement the Government’s 2016 election policy to Support Veteran’s and their Families - Creating a Better Veteran’s Transition Process;
  • collaborating through a joint Transition Taskforce to identify opportunities to improve the transition process and experience
  • piloting new initiatives to deliver integrated approaches to transition services, including the Transition Health Assessment, the Special Operations Forces and Case Management pilots
  • sharing information, increasing the opportunity for DVA to engage with transitioning members to proactively offer support; for example: o under the Early Engagement Model, members who joined the ADF from 1 January 2016, and those who transitioned after 27 July 2016, are now automatically registered with DVA o the information provided under this Model is enabling DVA White Cards to be issued automatically to members transitioning from permanent service, facilitating easier access to mental health support o since 2014, all transitioned members receive a letter from the Secretary of DVA about the services and support available through DVA Inquiry into transition from the Australian Defence Force (ADF) Submission 33
  • 3 July 2018
  • better supporting medically transitioning members through a more connected rehabilitation system
  • working together to improve the mental health and wellbeing support provided to members and their families during and after military service, and
  • conducting joint research to develop our understanding of veterans’ needs, particularly in relation to mental health. 18. Recently, Defence has made the following significant enhancements to the support available to transitioning ADF members and their families:
  • reinforced the mandatory engagement by ADF members with the ADF Transition process when leaving Defence
  • refresh of the nationally delivered Transition Seminars to encourage family participation
  • targeted family involvement through all aspects of transition
  • coaching and mentoring support delivered by qualified career development practitioners
  • one-on-one support provided during transition and for up to twelve months after leaving Defence for ADF members and their families including: o advice and guidance to members in completing Transition Clearance requirements o development of a tailored Transition Plan o transition and career coaching o support to engage with relevant internal and external agencies o referral to Ex-Service Organisations (ESOs), as appropriate.
  • support for transitioning ADF members to have access to the following documentation: o an individual transition plan o record of Professional Military Education and Training o Unit posting and employment history o final payment and leave entitlement summaries o copies of medical and dental records o ADF Will (if applicable).
  • comprehensive and plain language ADF Member and Family Transition Guide – A Practical Manual to Transitioning (ref Attachment 2 – ADF Member and Family Transition Guide)
  • future employment support under the Career Transition Assistance Scheme (CTAS): o Job Search Preparation workshops (for members with less than 18 years’ service). o CV Coaching o Career Transition Management Coaching o Career Transition Training o financial counselling o Approved Absence (up to 23 days).
  • post-transition follow up for 12 months after transition through: o 30-day follow up phone calls Inquiry into transition from the Australian Defence Force (ADF) Submission 33
  • 4 July 2018 o quarterly electronic surveys.
  • consolidated reporting of transitioned ADF members to internal and external agencies to support early engagement
  • collaboration with Transition Stakeholders specifically external Government, ESOs, and not for profit organisations
  • access to the Transition for Employment (T4E) program for ADF members with complex medical conditions 19. An essential component of a successful transition for an ADF member and their family is receiving appropriate recognition for their service to the Nation and for the sacrifices they have made. This recognition should be delivered by the military and, to this end, Defence is strengthening its existing practice by integrating Military Transition Support Officers into the transition coaching model. The intent is that these military members will provide the military element of transition and achieve a more positive experience for transitioning ADF members and their families through: providing regular and consistent Unit briefings to Commanding Officers and ADF members, supporting the delivery of transition support services and importantly, facilitating recognition of the transitioning ADF.

20. DVA’s transformation to meet the current and future needs of all veterans and their families is of relevance to the inquiry. In the 2017-18 Budget, the Australian Government provided $166.6 million over four years for transformation. An additional $111.9 million has been provided in the 2018-19 Budget. In its first year, transformation has improved the ease and speed with which current and former serving members can submit claims and have liability for conditions assessed. The future – what we intend to do 21. Both Departments are exploring new methods to facilitate better outcomes for ADF members and their families who transition in the future.

22. Defence and DVA are reviewing the current support services provided to ADF members and their families both pre and post transition with a view to streamlining and enhancing support where practical, with a specific focus on improving family engagement and employment outcomes. The Departments will consider international military transition programs to leverage insights and innovative practices. 23. The Departments see significant value in a greater level of partnership with organisations that can offer opportunities to transitioning and transitioned veterans and their families. 24. Under the auspices of the Prime Minister’s Veterans’ Employment Program, business may also play a greater role in the transition process.

Most ADF members will transition with valuable leadership, management and individual attributes that Australian industry should recognise as adding value to their organisation.

  • 25. The Departments are investigating opportunities to better prepare ADF members and their families for transition. For example, having conversations early on in a member’s career about their personal goals. This would provide a platform to have meaningful and goal based conversations about personal and professional development. 26. The Departments recognise that families are a fundamental source of support for the ADF member and they too are impacted by ADF service and transition.
  • Defence now invites the partners of ADF members to participate in transition coaching sessions. In addition, Defence encourages Defence partners and family members to attend ADF Transition Seminars.

Inquiry into transition from the Australian Defence Force (ADF) Submission 33

  • 5 July 2018
  • Defence is currently revising the format of ADF Transition Seminars to make them more family friendly. In addition, Defence is placing transition seminar content online to make the transition information more accessible for family members.
  • the Government’s Family Support Package provides extended childcare assistance and counselling for veterans’ immediate family members.
  • the Veterans’ Families Policy Forum provides an opportunity for veterans’ families to engage with Government and DVA about their needs and experiences. Learnings from forums such as this are informing future DVA policy direction and support arrangements. 27. Defence and DVA aim to provide an optimal transition experience which ensures tailored assistance and easy to access support services, meaningful interactions, simplified processes and person-centric services. The Departments are committed to achieving the best possible outcomes and will continue their reform efforts to address barriers to an effective transition, and provide certainty in what is an uncertain time.

Terms of Reference 28. Term of Reference 1 considers engagement with Ex-Service Organisations. The Departments recognise the importance of the services and support provided by Ex-Service Organisations (ESOs) to ADF members and their families, during service, transition and in civilian life. 29. The 2016 Aspen Foundation report, Ex-Service Organisation Mapping project – Final Report, mapped the services provided by ESOs and ESO-like organisations. This report highlights the complexity of the ESO landscape, identifying approximately 2,780 ESO locations around Australia. The number, location, differing level of skill and differing services is potentially a barrier to effective and efficient engagement with the ESO community as a homogenous group.

30. The Departments continue to work with ESOs using several different methods of engagement to address perceived barriers between ESOs and the Departments, and ADF members while they serve, and as they transition.

31. Some current ADF units and individual ADF members, are members of ESOs, or support ESOs through formal fund-raising and other support activities. Likewise, many ESOs are able to provide support to military units, ADF members and their families while they are still serving, during their transition, and post transition in civilian life. 32. Term of Reference 2 considers the model of mental health care while in ADF service and through the transition period. Defence is an active leader in Australia in the area of workplace mental health reform. The Departments work closely to support transitioning members and their families who require support during and post their transition.

33. Defence invests approximately $53 million each year to provide a range of mental health education awareness, evidence-based treatment and rehabilitation programs, for all ADF members, no matter the cause of their mental health problems. ADF members are provided with health services, including mental health, treatment and rehabilitation support prior to, during and post-deployment designed to enhance their ability to cope with the challenges of deployment and to improve their capacity for effective transition back into work and family life. 34. DVA funds mental health treatment services through the broader Australian health care system.

Annual spending on supporting the mental health needs of eligible veterans is in the vicinity of $200 million. Funding for mental health treatment is uncapped, meaning there is funding available to meet demand, and there are no restrictions on an individual veteran’s access to services.

35. The 2017-18 Budget delivered an additional $58 million in mental health support, including a further expansion of non-liability mental health care to anyone who has served at least Inquiry into transition from the Australian Defence Force (ADF) Submission 33

6 July 2018 one day of continuous full-time service in the ADF. Families of those eligible for non-liability mental health care now also have access to the range of counselling and support services offered through the Veterans and Veterans’ Families Counselling Service (VVCS). 36. Defence, through Joint Health Command (JHC), delivers comprehensive health care to meet all the health needs of its members, ensuring ADF members have access to high quality, evidence-based health care wherever they serve.

37. Defence continues to improve and evolve its approach to mental health and wellbeing in the ADF. The Defence Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2018-23 (the Strategy), consolidates and builds on Defence experience and delivers on its commitment to develop a whole-of-organisation approach to improving the mental health and wellbeing of all Defence personnel. The Strategy reflects the findings of recent reviews and inquiries into issues of mental health and suicide prevention amongst current and former members of the ADF. Importantly it also aligns with the Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan (2017-2022) and incorporates the latest mental health research.

38. Through Joint Health Command, Defence will maintain a focus on continual improvement of mental health programs and the Defence mental health care model to ensure they remain responsive to the emerging needs of ADF members and support the capability requirements for Defence. 39. The Departments continue to monitor emergent evidence-based practice and use results from its research to improve its programs for current and former ADF members. Defence is working closely with DVA to develop mental health awareness initiatives, research, and improved transition processes that are based on the evidence gathered through these studies.

40. The Departments will also continue to collaborate on research, programs and initiatives to strengthen mental health resilience, increase awareness and early recognition of mental health problems, improve access to care and strengthen continuity of health care arrangements where these are required. This particularly applies to the crucial period during which ADF member’s transition from military service into civilian life. Defence is committed to providing flexible health support to transitioning military members, including those who need to transition at short notice for medical or compassionate reasons.

41. Term of Reference 3 considers whole-of-government support to facilitate effective transition to employment. There have been substantial improvements recently by the Departments focussed on increasing employment opportunities for ADF members as they transition. The introduction of the Prime Minister’s Veterans’ Employment Program, Defence’s Job Search Preparation workshops and the ADF transition coaching service delivery is helping to increase the probability of ADF members securing civilian employment after military service where appropriate.

42. In 2017, Defence commenced a series of surveys post transition to better understand transition outcomes for ADF members.

The survey results are assisting to introduce business improvements and focus on those members who require greater support. Through the new transition service delivery model, 4,608 planning sessions and 4,295 individual coaching sessions have been conducted with ADF members and their families. This includes 50 coaching sessions provided to members after they left Defence. 43. As at 2 May 18, approximately 160 former ADF members have been connected with further support as a result of post-transition contact by Defence. 44. Through these surveys there is now evidence available which demonstrates that the majority of transitioned ADF members are meaningfully engaged with 11 per cent advising that they are ‘looking for work’ four months after they leave Defence.

A few responses have been collected at the 10 and 13 month post-transition point; however they are small in volume. The Inquiry into transition from the Australian Defence Force (ADF) Submission 33

7 July 2018 trends reflected at these points in time indicate that in the first 10 months post transition the ‘looking for work’ rate is about 8 per cent. 45. These statistics align with the findings of the 2017 Transition and Wellbeing Research Programme which indicate that approximately 84 per cent of the transitioned Defence members who participated in the study were either working or engaged in purposeful activity, and a further 5.5 per cent were retired. 46. Term of Reference 4 considers any related matters. The Departments have provided additional matters for the Committee’s consideration, including commentary regarding the transition of women from the ADF, Reservists, and the eligibility for transition support.

Inquiry into transition from the Australian Defence Force (ADF) Submission 33

8 July 2018 INTRODUCTION 1. Within Defence, all Commanding Officers must consider the welfare of ADF members under their command. Transition from the ADF is an inevitable part of every member’s career and is a shared responsibility of Command and the member. Participation in the process of transition is mandatory for all ADF members, regardless of the reason for leaving Defence. 2. ADF members and their families, and by extension Command, are supported through the transition process by Defence (Defence Community Organisation and Joint Health Command) and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA).

3. Defence provides comprehensive health and welfare support through transition to all ADF members. The ADF Transition support services are available to all members and their families regardless of their reason for leaving. The goal of Defence’s transition support is to ensure that the ADF member and their family are well prepared for civilian life, such as having civilian health care in place, having considered the financial implications of transition, are connected to relevant community groups (including Ex-Service Organisations (ESOs)) and, where appropriate, are able to secure civilian employment.

4. Throughout the 100-years of DVA (including its predecessor, the Department of Repatriation) and the Repatriation Commission, the broad notion of ‘repatriation’ – returning servicemen and women to civilian society and honouring their sacrifice – has informed all of DVA’s primary roles. 5. A fundamental role of DVA has been providing a substantial part of the “offer” made by the Nation to each service member. This offer recognises the willingness of the enlistee to commit to service, be subjected to military discipline, and to be placed in harm’s way for Australia. Veterans and their families enrich our communities, and the Australian Government will look after them during and after service.

6. DVA supports ADF members through their career, transition and after military service by delivering key programs for veterans and their families to:
  • maintain and enhance the financial wellbeing and self-sufficiency of eligible persons and their dependants through access to income support, compensation, and other support services including advice and information on entitlements
  • maintain and enhance the physical wellbeing and quality of life of eligible persons and their dependants through health and other care services that promote early intervention, prevention and treatment, including advice and information about health service entitlements 7. In financial year 2016-17 a total of 5,904 members left the ADF. This included:
  • 3,045 who left voluntarily (52 per cent)
  • 1,192 who left for medical reasons (20 per cent)
  • 839 who completed a continuous full time service contract (14 per cent)
  • 693 who left for involuntary reasons (12 per cent - includes failure to complete training and disciplinary reasons)
  • 72 who left through management initiated actions (1 per cent - including redundancy, managed early retirement and command initiated transfer to Reserves), and
  • 63 who reached compulsory retirement age (1 per cent). Inquiry into transition from the Australian Defence Force (ADF) Submission 33

9 July 2018 Defence Transition Transformation Program - Improvements in the ADF Transition Process 8. Since 2008, Defence has provided a transition support service for all ADF members and their families leaving the military. This includes members leaving for medical reasons, Reserve members on Continuous Full Time Service and ADF Gap Year members. 9. Since 2012, transition support services have been delivered through Defence People Group, managed by DCO, under the banner of ADF Transition. This service ensures that ADF members and their families are well informed regarding transition, and are encouraged to access educational, financial, rehabilitation, compensation and other government services to facilitate sound transition planning.

10. In June 2016, the Coalition published the Coalition’s Policy to Support Veterans and Their Families. The policy was a catalyst for change within Defence and across Government and improved interagency collaboration. The Transition Transformation Program is part of Defence’s response to the Coalition policy. 11. The Transition Transformation Program is ensuring that the level of support provided to ADF members and their families targets its effort towards those most in need, based on criteria such as finding employment, continuity of healthcare and social connectedness. This personalised service helps ADF members better prepare for and integrate into civilian life.

12. The Transition Transformation Program identified a range of business improvement projects for ADF Transition. Each project initiative is designed to improve the transition experience for ADF members and their families (ref Attachment 1 – Transition Transformation Placemat).

13. Improvements to the transition process continue and the following will be implemented by Defence in 2018:
  • redesign of the ADF Transition Seminar including changing the format to increase participation, changing content to meet contemporary needs and making parallel online content available for ADF members and their families who cannot attend a Seminar in person
  • development of online transition support tools and interactive content which: o targets families to better inform them of the transition process and support available o provides information and useful lessons on career coaching o promotes and identifies benefits available under the Career Transition Assistance Scheme (CTAS), which is a suite of services to facilitate transition to civilian employment through training and financial support.
  • implementation of the Transition National Support team in order to simplify administrative processes, and release Defence’s qualified Transition Coaches to concentrate on the career development and coaching of transitioning members and their families.
  • continued efforts to improve access to qualifications and training records as well as medical records
  • delivery of additional resources for transitioning ADF members to assist them in translating and explaining their skills and experience in plain language for civilian employers Inquiry into transition from the Australian Defence Force (ADF) Submission 33
  • 10 July 2018
  • review of the Career Transition Assistance Scheme with a view to ensuring that provides contemporary support and is flexible, equitable and accessible by all ADF members and their families regardless of their length of service or reason for leaving, and
  • pilot of the Transition for Employment (T4E) program. This program will support transitioning ADF members, with complex medical conditions, in the employment element of their transition by building resilience and an enduring capability to secure and maintain employment post transition.
  • 14. The following table demonstrates the significant enhancement in recent years regarding the support available to transitioning ADF members and their families: Transition Support as at 2012 Transition Support as at 2018
  • Two-day Transition Seminars delivered nationally for ADF members and their families.
  • One-on-one transition support to meet Defence’s mandatory administrative transition requirements including: o Advice and guidance to members in completing Transition Clearance requirements; o Provide final pay and leave checks o Individual confirmation of separation to Career Management Agency via signals.
  • Future employment support under the CTAS including: o CV Coaching Career Transition Management Coaching o Career Transition Training o Financial Counselling o Approved Absence (up to 23 days).
  • Linkages to internal Defence and external agencies, including Ex-Service Organisations (ESOs).
  • Transition information through the ADF Transition Guide
  • On base presence of DVA through the On-Base Advisory Service (OBAS).
  • Transitioning members receive a form allowing them to opt-in to receiving contact from DVA or VVCS.
  • Mandatory engagement by ADF members with ADF Transition when leaving Defence.
  • Two-day Transition Seminars delivered nationally for ADF members and their families.
  • Targeted family involvement through all aspects of transition.
  • Coaching and mentoring support delivered by qualified career development practitioners.
  • One-on-one support provided during transition and for up to twelve months after leaving Defence for ADF members and their families including: o advice and guidance to members in completing Transition Clearance requirements o development of a tailored Transition Plan o transition and career coaching o support to engage with relevant internal and external agencies o referral to ESOs, as appropriate.
  • Support for ADF members to have access to the following documentation: o an individual transition plan o record of Professional Military Education and Training o Unit posting and employment history o final payment and leave entitlement summaries o copies of medical and dental records o ADF Will (if applicable).
  • Comprehensive and plain language ADF Member and Family Transition Guide – A Practical Manual to Transitioning (ref Attachment 2 – ADF Member and Family Transition Guide), which also details the services available through DVA.
  • Future employment support under CTAS: Inquiry into transition from the Australian Defence Force (ADF) Submission 33
  • 11 July 2018 Transition Support as at 2012 Transition Support as at 2018 o Job Search Preparation workshops for members with less than 18 years’ service. o CV Coaching o Career Transition Management Coaching o Career Transition Training o Financial Counselling o Approved Absence (up to 23 days).
  • Post transition follow up for 12 months after transition through: o 30-day follow up phone calls o quarterly electronic surveys.
  • Consolidated reporting of transitioned ADF members to internal and external agencies to support early engagement.
  • Collaboration with Transition Stakeholders specifically external Government, ESOs, and not-for-profit organisations.
  • Access to the Transition for Employment program for ADF members with complex medical conditions.
  • Pilot of the ‘Transition Health Assessment’.
  • Continued on base presence of DVA through OBAS across more than 40 bases nationally.
  • All transitioning members are registered with DVA through the Early Engagement Model and automatically provided with a White Card.
  • Transitioned members receive a letter from the Secretary of DVA and a brochure about the services available through DVA.
  • DVA participates in individual Welfare Boards to better coordinate support for medically transitioning members.

DVA’s Transformation 15. DVA’s transformation to meet the current and future needs of all veterans and their families is of relevance to the inquiry. In the 2017-18 Federal Budget, the Australian Government provided $166.6 million over four years for transformation. An additional $111.9 million has been provided in the 2018–19 Budget. In its first year, transformation has improved the ease and speed with which current and former serving members can submit claims and have liability for conditions assessed: 16. MyService - provides DVA clients with a simple and convenient way to lodge an initial liability compensation claim online, and it also provides free mental health treatment claims, free needs assessments, and an electronic health card which specifies the conditions it covers.

17. Straight-Through Processing (STP)- training and service data and information provided by Defence are used to immediately satisfy DVA’s specified Statements of Principles factors for certain medical conditions. Where STP applies, claimants do not need to provide information Inquiry into transition from the Australian Defence Force (ADF) Submission 33

12 July 2018 about their specific service activities, reducing the time taken by DVA to assess liability. There are currently 40 conditions that are automatically assessed using STP and streamlining rules. 18. A key priority for DVA’s transformation is engaging with Defence and a broad range of veterans to co-design and implement new services and programs. 19. DVA utilises a variety of engagement methodologies to better understand the experience of current and potential clients, such as focus groups, one to one interviews and other collaborative design engagements.

20. Over the past year, DVA has consulted with over 1,700 veterans about the changes needed.

New engagement fora, such as the Female Veterans and Veterans Families Policy Forum have been created so that issues can be raised and the Government and DVA can gain a deeper appreciation of them. Joint Defence/ DVA Transition Taskforce 21. The Departments are working together to implement the Government’s 2016 election commitment Creating a Better Veteran’s Transition Process to Support Veterans’ and their Families. This commitment included establishing a joint Transition Taskforce to identify barriers to successful transition and develop recommendations to address those barriers. 22. The Taskforce is made up of current and former serving ADF members and representatives from key areas within Defence, DVA and the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation (CSC), and representatives from the ex-service community.

23. The Taskforce engaged with approximately 600 transitioning and recently transitioned veterans and their families to better understand the transition experience. The Taskforce also sought the views of ex-service organisations, government stakeholders, and other relevant professional organisations.

24. Barriers to successful transition can include a member’s level of control over the decision to leave military service, their awareness of, and access to, transition-related information and services, and unpreparedness to manage the differences between the military environment and civilian life, include loss of identity. 25. A key barrier identified to a positive transition experience is the importance of a formalised military farewell and recognition of a member’s service as part of their transition. Consequently, Defence is strengthening its existing practice by providing a Military Transition Support Officer (MTSO) to be located in each Transition Centre to appropriately farewell an ADF member and recognise their involvement within the ADF.

Defence’s intent is that in 2018 all ADF Transition Centres will have access to an MTSO to support and deliver this approach. The future of transition 47. Defence and DVA are reviewing the current support services provided to ADF members and their families both pre and post transition, with a specific focus on family engagement and civilian employment. The Departments will consider international military transition programs to leverage insights and innovative practices.

48. The Departments see significant value in a greater level of partnership with organisations that can offer opportunities to transitioning and transitioned veterans and their families. 49. The Departments are investigating opportunities to better prepare ADF members and their families for transition. For example, having conversations early on in a member’s career about their personal goals. This would provide a platform to have meaningful and goal based conversations about personal and professional development.

50. The Departments recognise that families are a fundamental source of support for the ADF member and they too are impacted by ADF service and transition.

Inquiry into transition from the Australian Defence Force (ADF) Submission 33

13 July 2018 51. Defence and DVA aim to provide an optimal transition experience which ensures tailored assistance and easy to access support services, meaningful interactions, simplified processes and person-centric services. The Departments are committed to achieving the best possible outcomes and will continue their reform efforts to address barriers to an effective transition, and provide certainty in what is an uncertain time. Inquiry into transition from the Australian Defence Force (ADF) Submission 33

14 July 2018 TERM OF REFERENCE 1 - The barriers that prevent ESOs from effectively engaging with ADF members, the Department of Defence and Department of Veterans’ Affairs to provide more effective support to ADF personnel as they transition out of Service 1.

Defence and DVA recognise the importance of the services and support provided by Ex-Service Organisations (ESOs) to ADF members and their families, during service, transition and in civilian life. Engagement with ESOs is facilitated through a number of individual, collective and Departmental activities across Defence and DVA.

2. The Departments work with ESOs using several methods of engagement to provide effective support to ADF members as they transition. 3. Some current ADF units and individual ADF members belong to or support ESOs through formal fund-raising and other support activities. Likewise, many ESOs provide support to units and ADF members and their families whilst they are still serving. 4. The 2016 Aspen Foundation report, Ex-Service Organisation Mapping project – Final Report, mapped the services provided by ESOs and ESO-like organisations. The report highlights the complexity of the ESO landscape, identifying approximately 2,780 ESO locations around Australia.

The number, location, differing level of skill and services is potentially a barrier to effective and efficient engagement with the ESO community as a homogenous group. Defence engagement with ESOs 5. Defence works hard to build and enhance relationships with ESOs to assist ADF members and their families throughout their military careers, and help facilitate the transition of ADF members back into the community.

6. ADF members and their families are made aware of the services and support available through ESOs throughout their ADF career via various mechanisms such as regional Welcome Events, base open days, unit family days, structured briefings and regional level partnerships. 7. Following are instances where the Departments actively engage with and promote ESOs, including but not limited to providing information on ESO contact details, programs offered and the benefits of engaging with ESO advocates. Engage website – Supporting Those Who Serve 8. The Engage website (https://engage.forcenet.gov.au/) built and hosted by Defence, was launched in August 2017 by the Minister for Defence Personnel.

Through Engage, current and former ADF members, their families and/or those involved in their support are able to navigate a broad range of websites in search of information, support and services from Government agencies, not-for-profit service providers, ESOs and charities that choose to participate. 9. Engage simplifies the process of accessing support by providing a common entry point or ‘one-stop shop’ that is electronically accessible from a range of platforms. 10. Defence encourages ESOs to advertise their employment services for ex-ADF members on the Engage website by registering as a service provider.

ESO service providers are responsible for maintaining accurate and up-to-date data on the site 11. As at 19 June 2018, 36 ESOs have registered as a service provider on the Engage website. ADF Transition Centres 12. The 13 ADF Transition Centres which are located nationally promote, without prejudice, ESOs and the services and benefits they provide.

Inquiry into transition from the Australian Defence Force (ADF) Submission 33

15 July 2018 13. Details of ESOs and their services are provided to transitioning ADF members and their families during individual transition coaching sessions and pre and post transition, where there is an identified need for support services. 14. ESOs are also encouraged to provide copies of their promotional material to their local ADF Transition Centre for display and distribution to members. 15. Many ADF members and their families relocate during or after they transition and ADF Transition Coaches share information through an internal online library about the different ESOs and their support services.

This ensures that, regardless of where the member and their family will live after they have left Defence, they have access to information about local ESOs and services. ADF Transition Seminars 16. ESO services and support for ADF members are featured at every ADF Transition Seminars and ESOs are welcome to set up as a stall holder at the trade expo component of the seminar.

17. As part of transition support, Defence offers all members the opportunity to undertake an ADF Transition Seminar at any time in their career and promotes ESO services and support for ADF members through these seminars and ADF Transition Centres. 18. Each year Defence conducts 23 two-day Transition Seminars nationally. Attendance at a Transition Seminar is recommended every five years and in the twelve months prior to leaving Defence. 19. Any ADF member, their family or support person, is able to attend a transition seminar regardless of whether they are transitioning or not. Preference for attendance is given to those who are leaving for medical reasons and those with an upcoming transition date.

ADF members, families and support persons can attend as many transitions seminars as they feel are necessary throughout their military career.

20. Presenters at the transition seminars include representatives from: the ADF Financial Service Consumer Centre, DVA; Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Services (VVCS); CSC; ADF Financial Services Consumer Centre; Joint Health Command; ADF Rehabilitation Program; and Navy, Army and Air Force Reserve Services (ref Attachment 3 – ADF Transition Seminar Program). 21. At each seminar, a video overview of ESOs and the general services they provide is presented. The video presentation provides details of ESOs, including the RSL and Legacy, which are able to support the member during and after their transition.

This video was produced by Defence to provide consistent messaging of the benefits of ESOs.

22. To support the seminars, Defence invites ESO and other not-for-profit organisations, including ESOs that support veterans, as well as organisations contracted to support the ADF, to participate in the trade expo component of the Transition Seminar for attendees to discuss their needs and the services available in more depth. 23. Organisations that regularly participate include ESOs, such as RSL, Soldier On, Legacy, Women’s Veterans’ Network Australia, Bravery Trust and Mates4Mates. In addition, other organisations which are important for transitioning ADF members and their families are invited as exhibitors.

These organisations include DVA, VVCS, the CSC, the Department of Human Services, Defence Housing Australia (DHA), Defence Housing Relocations Directorate, TOLL Transitions, Defence Community Organisation, Defence Health, and Navy Health. Career Services consultants who have a formal procurement arrangement with Defence are also able to participate. State and Territory Governments and their educational institutions (for example, TAFE) are also able to attend.

24. Transition Seminars are advertised through ADF Transition Centres; DCO’s Transitions website at www.defence.gov.au/dco/transition/; the Defence Restricted Network (DRN) Inquiry into transition from the Australian Defence Force (ADF) Submission 33

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