AFA National President Update - June 2021
I am pleased the Association has achieved several milestones since my February 2021 Report and that several veteran support initiatives are well underway.
2021 is likely to be a significant year in the Association’s history.
Air Force Association Foundation
On 22nd June I signed the Air Force Association Foundation Trust Deed. Last May, the AFA Ltd Board unanimously agreed the Foundation is to be established to provide personal and financial relief to members of the Australian Defence Forces and their spouses, dependants and next of kin in needy personal and financial circumstances especially those who are veterans who have completed their service, together with their spouses, dependants and next of kin.
AFA Ltd is the Foundation’s Trustee. The National Board of Directors, that includes representatives from each Division, will establish a separate Board of five members to be known as the Board of Management that will be tasked to administer the Foundation. Air Force will be represented on this Board. The Air Force Association has been registered as a Business Name with ASIC and given an ABN. Also, application has been made to obtain deductable gift recipient status (DGR) as a registered Charity and Not-for Profit entity.
The AFA Ltd Board of Directors authorised me to sign a contract with Dalton Garland Blanchard, a professional fundraising company specialising in the not-for-profit sector, to undertake a fundraising feasibility study. The Board agreed that one of the Foundation’s initial tasks would be to support a veteran and family homelessness recovery project commencing with the AFA Western Australia Division’s veteran homeless venture. Other Divisions may also opt in on this initiative.
The Foundation’s Objects will provide its Board of Management with the necessary authority to approve proposals that will address whole of life well-being of veterans, regardless of their Service origin, and/or their dependants.
In February, I mentioned the Association was looking forward to the outcome of its negotiations with the Government and DVA on recognition of injuries from contamination exposure suffered by ADF Firefighters who were trained and employed at RAAF Point Cook during the late fifties through to the end of 1986.
I am pleased to advise the Federal Budget 2021-22 contained a financial and health support package for ADF Firefighters who served at the base between 1st January, 1957 and 31st December, 1986. The ADF Firefighter Scheme, as it is to be known, is in recognition of the potential for health effects from being exposed to a wide range of hazardous substances during historical fire training, when Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) was not of the same standard available today. Thirty-one cancerous and non-cancerous conditions have been acknowledged.
Approximately 300 former ADF firefighters are likely to benefit. DVA recently advised about 120 firefighter veterans have registered their intention to claim when processing begins in September this year. Interest in the Scheme should be sent to ADF.FIREFIGHTER.SCHEME@DVA.GOV.AU with service details and any existing claims details (if you have them).
Recognition for these firefighters is a significant achievement for the Association. We should be proud to be a member of an organisation that is ready to stand beside our fellow veterans and their families and advocate on their behalf.
Read more here: https://raafa.org.au/adf-firefighter-scheme/
Statue of Sir Richard Williams at Moonta, SA
The Board agreed to seek donations from each Division towards the cost of a bronze statue of Sir Richard Williams that will be situated in Moonta, SA. AFA Ltd matched Divisions’ contributions. Last month, the Association donated $20,000 towards the project. READ MORE about this project here: https://raafa.org.au/williams-sculpture/
Air Force/Air Force Association Alumni Group
CAF has supported the idea of an Air Force/Air Force Association Alumni Group. It will provide an opportunity to better connect former serving and serving members. A working group to be chaired by Pete Ring, AM AFC is about to be formed to progress this initiative.
Air Force 2021 and Avalon 2021
Air Force intends to further commemorate its 100th Anniversary at Point Cook later this year to coincide with Avalon 2021. I will be conversing with AF2021 Branch early next month to discuss how the Association may assist in publicising the various events. Advice will be provided to Divisions.
Memorandum of Understanding – Wings sharing arrangement
Air Force has agreed to a sharing arrangement with the Association’s Wings magazine. Wings was initially an RAAF quarterly magazine during the Second World War. Following war’s end, the magazine was passed to the Air Force Association that has arranged for its publication since. The arrangement will benefit Air Force and the Association.
AFA Ltd Board of Director recent appointments
- Carl Schiller, OAM CSM – National President and Chair of AFA Ltd Board of Directors re-elected from May 11th, 2021 for a further three-year term.
- Peter McDermott, AM CSC – National Vice-President.
- Sharon Bown – Official Ambassador Air Force Association.
- Peter Ring, AM AFC – AFA Ltd Director representing NSW Division.
Meeting with CAF
My next meeting with CAF is scheduled for July 28th, 2021.
Carl Schiller, OAM, CSM, National President
NEWS HEADLINES Every year on the first Wednesday of September, we commemorate the Battle for Australia. We reflect on the bravery of those who served on Australia's home front, and the islands, the seas and in the skies to the north. In this year of the Air Force...
NEWS HEADLINESA nationwide operation has been launched aiming to bolster the supply of local workers with retired ADF servicemen and women to help deliver this year’s bumper grains harvest and relieve pressure on farming communities. Organised by former ADF volunteers...
NEWS HEADLINES The Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld, AO, DSC recently delivered the Chief of Air Force Oration at the Order of Australia Association’s 2021 Australian Defence Force Oration in Canberra. The Chief of Air Force Oration reflected on...
NEWS HEADLINES Ex-Service Organisations met with Australian Government representatives on Wednesday 18 August, to add their support to efforts underway to assist veterans and families impacted by the situation in Afghanistan. The Air Force Association was one of many...
NEWS HEADLINES The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) is in the process of developing its first Veteran Family Strategy and has invited comment from a number of ESO’s, including the Air Force Association. Background In the 2021-22 Budget, the Government...
NEWS HEADLINES The Department of Veterans Affairs has advised that it has been working with Services Australia to provide services and support to veterans and their families via a Standardised Service Offer that delivers a more equitable and connected face-to-face...
NEWS HEADLINES LTCOL Vivian Bullwinkel life's work in nursing is a relevant and inspirational story that continues to encourage nurses in providing exceptional health care. The Australian College of Nursing (ACN) Foundation is fundraising for the...
NEWS HEADLINES A bronze sculpture commemorating RAAF Founding Father, Air Marshal Sir Richard Williams nears completion at Moonta, SA. The Air Force Association is proud to be supporting the establishment of a life size sculpture of Air Marshal Sir Richard Williams,...
NEWS HEADLINES ‘A Gathering of Eagles’ The 81st Anniversary of the Battle of BritainandCentenary Year of the Royal Australian Air Force A National Commemoration of Air Power and Air Forces Hobart, Tasmania 10 - 12 September 2021 A ‘Gathering of Eagles’...
NEWS HEADLINES The Air Force Association has submitted its input to the Terms of Reference for the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide. You can read the full submission (please click the image below): You can also view this and other veterans'...