One year after taking over the 21 Defence Child Care Centres, new child are player B4Kidscredits its dedicated staff with the success of the entres.
Leanne Beasant heads up the B4Kids team and credits those loyal and hardworking staff for much of the success in transitioning the centres to the B4Kids family.
‘We celebrated the B4Kids’ first birthday with a great big cake and a party at our Williamtown centre and said thanks for the support our families and staff have given us,’ said Ms Beasant.
Celebrations at each of the B4Kids centres around the country coincided with Defence’s National Families Week. B4Kids celebrated by providing balloons, games and play dough for the children.
‘As an organisation we are very happy with the first year. It’s great being part of the proud Defence tradition,’ said Ms Beasant.
‘We realise how important these centres are to Defence families, and caring for the children of our armed services feels like we are supporting them serve Australia.’
Contact: Leanne Beasant
Phone: 07 3326 5600
Families’ help sought to improve health services
Families are often more sensitive and concerned about the health of serving ADF members than the members themselves. One way this concern can be turned into action is for families to encourage serving and ex-serving ADF members to participate in the Military Health Outcomes Program (MilHOP).
The MilHOP is a large-scale research program which aims to better inform Defence on the health challenges faced by personnel across the Services. Looking at a range of physical and mental health aspects, the surveys went live on 23 April this year and will continue into 2012.
By participating in MilHOP and encouraging your partner or family member to participate, you can directly contribute to the development of health services for serving and ex-serving Defence personnel in the future. These surveys need to be representative of all members so we can reach accurate conclusions about emerging health needs, so it is crucial that as many ADF members as possible complete them.
All information will be treated in the strictest confidence. The MilHOP is an independent study undertaken by the Centre for Military and Veterans’ Health, a consortium of the University of Queensland, the University of Adelaide and Charles Darwin University. No identifiable information will be reported to the Department of Defence. Participation in the MilHOP will not impact on your family member’s employment with the Defence Force or threaten any benefits they may be entitled to in the future.
If someone in your family is a currently serving ADF member and has not received an invitation to participate in the MilHOP, please encourage them to contact the study team.
MilHOP contact details
If you would like more information about MilHOP, log onto the CMVH website and follow the MilHOP link.
www.cmvh.org.au > MilHOP
Phone: 1800 886 567
ADF Family Health Trial update
The Government’s trial of the introduction of free basic healthcare to ADF families is well underway with approximately 3700 dependants now registered to access the medical and dental benefits associated with the trial.
Over 700 ADF members and dependants recently participated in an online survey. The data collected from the survey is essential in evaluating the progress and success of the trial and is assisting Defence and the Government to ascertain the health service needs of Defence families.
To find out more about the trial, visit the ADF Family Health website, or contact the ADF Family Health Directorate.
www.defence.gov.au/health > ADF Family Healthcare
Your family’s health and wellbeing during deploymentBy the Centre for Military and Veterans’ Health
Military service, particularly deployment, has a profound effect not only on those who serve but also on their families.
The first ever Australian survey designed to investigate the effects of recent deployments on the health and wellbeing of ADF families is set to be launched by The Centre for Military and Veterans’ Health (CMVH).
The Department of Veterans’ Affairs, as part of their Family Study Program, is funding the Timor-Leste Family Study to determine the impacts of deployment on military families.
Chief Investigator Dr Annabel McGuire, herself a Defence partner, is in a unique position to contribute as an academic, but also as someone who has ‘walked the walk’.
‘When you partner goes away on operations life changes,’ she said.
‘I’ve been through this a few times, which is why I am excited to be heading up this Australian first study.
‘I know that every time they go away it is different, and how old your kids are affects things too.
‘My job is to put some facts and figures behind what is happening to families, so that we can better understand who copes, how and why.
‘Our aim for the study is to provide information to help develop better policies and services for defence families.’
Focus groups and interviews with partners of ADF personnel in the past few months indicated that families appreciate the opportunity to tell their stories.
The partners CMVH talked to were keen to offer advice to other families undergoing similar experiences, particularly those experiencing a deployment for the first time.
Following on from these informative discussions, CMVH is now recruiting participants to complete a survey that will provide the solid statistics needed to determine the impacts of deployment.
The research team is calling for participation from families with an ADF member who deployed to Timor-Leste or who was eligible to deploy but did not.
The study team is also keen to survey families who are no longer together because it is important to understand how deployment affects all families.
You can contribute to the success of this important research by telling your family and friends about this study and by participating yourself.
If you would like to participate, or if you would like more information about the study, please contact the research team.
CMVH contact details
Phone: 1800 708 335
Protect yourself from identity theft
By Tony D’Aloisio, Chairman Australian Securities and Investments Commission Do you keep your letterbox locked? Do you change your computer passwords and bank account personal index numbers (PINs) often? If not, you may fall victim to identity theft.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reported that in 2007 there were over 620,000 victims of identity fraud and identity theft in Australia (ABS statistics 4528.0, Personal fraud Australia, 2007).
Identity theft occurs when someone wrongfully obtains and uses another person’s personal data in a way that involves fraud or deception. Typically, it’s when a criminal steals or comes into possession of your personal information such as your name, passwords, credit/debit card details, address, date of birth, bank account, or drivers’ licence and assumes your identity to commit fraud.
There are a number of different ways scammers can steal your identity, including:
• stealing from your wallet or purse,
• rummaging through your rubbish or recycling,
• stealing your mail,
• ‘phishing’, and
• using ‘spyware’ on your computer.
‘Phishing’ is when scammers send emails pretending to be from your financial institution asking for your account details and passwords. ‘Spyware’ is a type of software that is secretly installed on computers and collects little bits of private information without users’ knowledge. For these reasons, it’s really important that you adequately protect your computer with anti-virus software.