Air Force Association Community Aids in Successful War Widow Claim



In a notable achievement for the Hervey Bay RSL Sub-Branch, a complex War Widow Claim has been successfully resolved with assistance from the Air Force Association community.

The claim, advocated by Mr Michael (Tiny) Andersen, JP (Qual), cantered on a veteran who died from lung cancer, potentially linked to creosote exposure. Creosote, a chemical preservative, was believed to have been extensively used around RAAF antenna farms from 1979 to 1994.

The case initially faced challenges at both the primary claim level and the Veterans Review Board. Facing the Administrative Appeals Tribunal next, the prospects were not looking favourable. Mr Andersen, seeking to strengthen the claim, reached out to the Air Force Association members for assistance, specifically targeting those who had worked as or with RAAF Signals Riggers during the mentioned period.

The response from the community was significant, with several members providing crucial witness statements and personal accounts related to creosote exposure at RAAF sites. This collective effort enabled Mr Andersen to compile a strong argument for the tribunal.

The Department advised prior to the tribunal hearing that they accepted the veteran’s lung cancer, marking a significant victory for the widow’s claim.

“This success highlights the importance of community and shared knowledge in advocating for veterans’ rights and benefits,” said Air Force Association Director of Communications Deanna Nott.

“The Air Force Association’s support played a pivotal role in achieving this outcome, demonstrating the strength and effectiveness of collective action in addressing veterans’ issues.”

Mr Andersen has expressed his gratitude to all members who contributed to this effort. This case not only highlights the community’s ability to come together to support a cause but also sets a precedent for future advocacy within the veterans’ community.

The Hervey Bay RSL Sub-Branch and the Air Force Association continue to stand ready to support their members and advocate for their rights and benefits, reflecting their ongoing commitment to the welfare of veterans and their families.






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