Check your credit report at least once a year. This way you can make sure no-one is using your name to borrow money or run up debts. You can get a free copy of your credit report from Veda Advantage and Dun and Bradstreet.
www.dnb.com.au Check your bank statements. Thoroughly check your account statements and make sure you receive all expected mail—a missing statement could indicate that a thief stole the letter from your letterbox or changed your billing address. Follow up any unfamiliar transactions with your bank.
Destroy personal information. Don’t just throw it out—shred or cut up old bills, account statements and credit cards.
Lock your letterbox. Check the letterbox regularly and remove mail shortly after it has been delivered. If you are going away ask a neighbour you can trust to collect your mail for you or ask the post office to keep it for you until you get back.
Secure your passwords. Make your passwords for online activities, such as banking, hard to guess. Use combinations of letters, numbers and punctuation for your passwords and change them frequently.
Hold your secret information close. Never put financial information—account numbers, credit card numbers, PINs or passwords—in an email. Email is not secure.
Never do internet banking on public computers. Public computers may have less security than your own and the details of your activities may be stored.
Log out properly. When you use a secure website on your computer, such as your bank website or your email, make sure you always log out fully.
Disable pop-ups. Most internet browsers let you block pop-ups by selecting ‘Turn on pop-up blocker’ or a variation of this term under the ‘Tools’ or ‘Settings’ menu.
If you think your identity has been stolen
If you think your identity has been compromised you should contact the following organisations:
• Your financial institution,
• Your local, state or territory police,
• Your local post office to see if your mail has been diverted to another address, and
• A credit reporting agency to let them know your credit report may have been compromised.
For more information about identity theft and other types of scams visit the FIDO or Protect Financial Aid websites.
Email ASIC with topics that interest you via the above email address.
Case study: Private Tim Jones’ email
One day Private Jones received an email that seemed to be from his bank asking him to reconfirm his personal details and reset his password. Private Jones had never received a request like this before but thought it was a good idea and the email looked real after all.
After clicking on the link in the email he was taken to a plain-looking website where he was supposed to enter his details. Alarm bells rang and he decided to phone his bank to see if the request was legitimate. They informed him that it was a scam where criminals collect your personal details and passwords so they can access your money in your account.
The bank also confirmed that they would never ask someone to provide personal details through an email.
The Special Needs Program application process has been streamlined
The Member with Dependant with Special Needs Program (MWDSN) application process has been streamlined to make it simpler and faster for families to access support.
The streamlining does not change the purpose of the program, which is to provide help to families with dependants with special needs to reduce the impact of mobility and separation. Nor does it affect the services available through the program, such as pre-posting visits, assistance with therapy, respite, equipment or appropriate housing.
The main change families will see is the removal of the automatic requirement for a DCO social work assessment. Whether applying for special needs recognition, assessment on posting or program services, families will send their applications and supporting documentation directly to DCO Headquarters in Canberra for processing.
The new process brings only the administrative side of the program into DCO HQ. Professional social work support will still be available to special needs families if required and a social work assessment may still be necessary in some instances.
An information kit detailing the new processes has been developed for families and contains:
• An information flyer providing broad information on the Program.
• Application forms that present a clear, step-by-step process.
• A completion checklist that contains a handy list of all the documents families need to submit with their application.
• A copy of the Member with Dependants With Special Needs determination that provides families with important details regarding the program including eligibility criteria, the roles and responsibilities of DCO staff, and definitions.
The information kit is available for download from the following DCO website or from your local DCO office.
www.defence.gov.au/dco > Dependants with Special Needs (DWSN)
DCO Brisbane’s Operation HOMECOMING
DCO Brisbane has devised a program of reunion and reintegration activities for partners and families entitled Operation HOMECOMING. Over the coming months, DCO Brisbane will convene regular workshops and forums and disseminate a comprehensive package of information to families.
The program will begin with informative articles in the June edition of the DCO Brisbane Bulletin, followed by a stakeholders’ forum called ‘Working with Defence families’ designed to engage with community groups that support military families, especially following deployment.
The workshops for partners will consist of a suite of relationship and reunion sessions, beginning before most troops return home and finishing during the months after their return. Topics covered will include hopes and fears when partners return, communication, and children and parenting.
The second program is a shorter workshop which provides psycho-education for partners, assisting them to understand the military psyche and how this links to adjustment back into civilian life.
An additional set of workshops is planned to assist families with the readjustment to home-life period and will relate to critical reconnection issues such as renegotiating roles; parenting; and re-establishing communication.
Operation HOMECOMING activities will be advertised in the DCO Brisbane Bulletin and other venues in and around Gallipoli Barracks. Units with deployed members will also be provided with flyers and information.
Families are welcome to contact DCO Brisbane to directly collect their information pack if they don’t receive one in the mail by the end of August.
Phone: 07 3354 0500
Take a PEEP at your future
If you are a recognised partner of an ADF member, DCO’s Partner Education and Employment Program, or PEEP, may be able to help you manage your career development.
PEEP provides an education and employment allowance of $12 000 for a ten year period to assist recognised ADF partners to better position themselves for employment thorough a range of initiatives when posted with the ADF member.
The program has been developed in response to feedback received from the Defence Family Survey and an evaluation of the former Services Workforce Access Program for Partners (SWAPP) SELECT. Effective from 1 July 2010, PEEP will replace SWAPP SELECT.
Support available to partners includes assistance with: superannuation setup; professional employment assistance; childcare; education and training ; personalised resume preparation; and professional registration expense payments
The funding is capped at $6000 per posting for the agreed initiatives. Existing funding caps have been removed, apart from child care which remains capped at $250 per child per posting. The requirement for training to be completed within 12 months has been eliminated to allow partners to undertake tertiary education to develop longer term career options.
Tertiary studies assistance under PEEP
Partners are encouraged to undertake tertiary studies through Open Universities Australia (OUA). This allows partners to continue their education wherever they maybe posted whether in Australia or overseas. OUA offers the following benefits to Defence partners:
• access to an online enrolment facility and unique client code,
• access to a priority corporate support team through a dedicated email contact point,
• a dedicated 1300 number supported by a team to assist partners in making the right choice about higher education and government loan options,
• a flexible and international higher education study offer for clients no matter what their location,
• financial support to each student who enrols using the code for the purchase of text books for the first five units, and
• extended on-line tutorial support.
Looking for a job? Try Jobsearch
ADF partners when seeking employment are encouraged to use Jobsearch—Australia’s largest free online jobs website.
www.jobsearch.com.au Want a peep at PEEP?
For more information on PEEP initiatives including eligibility criteria and an application form, please visit the DCO website.
www.defence.gov.au/dco > PEEP
Spotlight on Navy deployment
By Lieutenant Commander Antony Underwood
Spouses and partners look out from Australia towards where their loved ones are deployed, and those on whom they depend look towards home. While it’s said that some relationships benefit from the separation that comes through deployments, it’s fairly clear that serving members miss their home and their loved ones very much.This article tells the stories of Royal Australian Navy (RAN) people working on a six-month deployment in the Middle East area of operations. HMAS TOOWOOMBA is an Anzac class frigate, the first Australian ship to deploy for anti piracy and anti terrorism duties in the shipping lanes off Somalia. I approached members of TOOWOOMBA and asked them about what it’s like to be deployed.
It was an eventful tour. 18 craft suspected of piratical activities were boarded, weapons were seized, merchant ships were escorted through the shipping channels, and there were port visits. Four members of ship’s company became the proud fathers, three of them with their wives or partners many thousands of miles away in Australia.
It was probably the padre on board, Chaplain Steve ‘Pards’ Gunther, who had the broadest view of the welfare of 193 people on board TOOWOOMBA.
‘My department is the whole of TOOWOOMBA,’ Pards said after the frigate had finished her tour off the coast of Somalia and turned for home.
‘The weapons electrical engineering department looks after the weapons and the command and control systems and the marine engineering focuses on the platform, propulsion, high power and other such systems.
‘My special focus is on the human systems, the people—their physical, emotional and spiritual welfare. I keep an eye on individuals from the captain down, but also on the ship as a whole. I am concerned with the morale of the ship—how healthy it is in a holistic sense.’
Married with ‘three beautiful children’, Pards says the warship living arrangements make for a unique culture.
‘Add to that the stresses of being away from home and loved ones for six months straight and it is not hard to imagine some of the issues,’ he said. ‘A Navy warship is not really the place to be for someone who lacks tolerance.
‘Routines are what keep the ship and the people running smoothly. A ship with good, sound routines is one that functions well.
‘People need to learn to live according the rhythm of these routines—when people wake up, when they eat, when they do their washing, when they have breaks and so on.
‘These are all promulgated routines and carefully planned so that the machine, which is the ship—including its people—can run around the clock 24/7. The ship has a life and the people are what keep it alive.’
Some people’s personalities made this easier than for others.
‘In any ship different people will have quite different routines according to their specific roles in the ship,’ Pards said.
‘For instance there are watch keepers and there are day hands. When one group starts focussing in on another group’s routines instead of concentrating on their own, there will be conflict.’
The fact of a large number of people living in a confined community is extremely challenging, Pards said.
‘There will always be personality clashes… but life in a warship is about accepting that and getting on, despite the differences. Most of the time people do work and live well together—and that, I think, is an absolutely amazing achievement and one that our people should be proud of.
Pards also noted that the significant pastoral issues during the deployment included family relationships and crises, the emotional cycle of the deployment, workplace relationships, postings and career issues, boredom and low mood.
Like many on board, a highlight of the tour for Pards was the visit to Aqaba, Jordan.
It was the first visit to Jordan by an Australian warship in more than 15 years and Pards took the opportunity to baptise five members of ship’s company in the river.
‘To be part of five young men standing up boldly for their faith in front of their shipmates and in the place where Jesus was baptised in the River Jordan was a privilege and also very humbling,’ he said.
Embarked helicopters provide the eyes and ears of modern warships and, embarked with TOOWOOMBA’s Seahawk detachment of 16—six aircrew and 10 maintainers—was Petty Officer Aircrewman Nathan Minett.
He returned from a six-month deployment in 2008 to Hawaii and South East Asia to join TOOWOOMBA’s aviation detachment.
The Seahawk searched vast areas of ocean for suspected pirate vessels as well as providing ‘hearts and minds’ support for merchant ships, providing a visual and radio presence while they transited the area. There were also stores and personnel transfers between coalition ships and ship to shore.
‘I enjoy the opportunity to travel and visit different places around Australia and the world,’ he said. ‘Although all deployments by RAN ships have a purpose, this deployment to me has been more satisfying based purely on the fact that we are deployed on an operation and were actively participating in support of the operation for the greater good.’
In terms of dealing with the tension of the operation, Nathan said a comprehensive training package before leaving Australia ensured everyone on board TOOWOOMBA was as prepared as possible for both counter-terrorism and counter-piracy work.
‘All of TOOWOOMBA’s crew has worked hard to ensure that we achieved our mission with a high degree of professionalism,’ he said.
‘While there has been a lot of time spent at sea and many hours worked by all, most have retained their sense of humour. More importantly, everyone has maintained their drive to ensure we return to Australia safe and sound, knowing that we have maintained the good reputation of TOOWOOMBA and the Royal Australian Navy.’
Like many of TOOWOOMBA’s crew, Nathan found the visits to foreign ports stimulating.
‘During this deployment we have been fortunate to see many different cities during our logistical and respite visits including Bahrain, Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, Muscat and Salalah in Oman, Karachi in Pakistan, Djibouti and Aqaba in Jordan, Mumbai in India, and Singapore.
‘Most of these visits were for the purpose of logistics, and some to provide the crew with some rest and relaxation time after what has been a very demanding year on not only the crew but our families back home.
‘When given time off, I quite often choose to get away—I book into a hotel to enjoy some respite from the demands of work. I also enjoy the sights of the places we visit.’
Despite this, Nathan said that he missed the normal things in life.
‘This could be anything from sitting down in the lounge with a cold beer watching the football on a Sunday afternoon to missing my nephew’s birthdays and friends’ weddings.’
Seaman officer Lieutenant Leesa Young was the senior officer of the watch on board TOOWOOMBA. Her job was to ensure safe navigation and conduct of the ship.
A graduate of the Australian Defence Force Academy, Leesa’s other duties included work as a boarding officer, boarding party training officer, demolitions officer, bosun’s mate divisional officer and personnel security officer.
Leesa completed boarding party training and conduct after capture training with other boarding party members before deploying to the Middle East Area of Operations (MEAO).
‘I have also assisted the boarding officers in training their teams and have trained junior warfare officers on the bridge,’ she said. ‘In this job, you never stop training because you’ll never know it all.’
She enjoys the diversity and challenge implicit in the fact that ‘no day is ever the same’.
‘That’s not to say that at times it doesn’t get boring; however there is always something new going on,’ she said. ‘I enjoy the hands on approach and keeping physically fit.’
From Leesa’s perspective, the best experience on her deployment in TOOWOOMBA was operating with foreign navies—including those of Pakistan in Coalition Task Force (CTF) 150 or Germany in CTF 151.
‘The cooperation, overcoming language barriers and the network of coalition and naval forces in the MEAO is quite phenomenal,’ she said.
Leesa is single but misses ‘the little things in life’ at home in Australia, she said, ‘Like going to the local market on a weekend, cooking your own meal, going out with friends or that family wedding.
‘It is by no means anything major, however you do miss the independence of having the ability to do what you want, whenever you want.’
Leesa’s main motivation for remaining in TOOWOOMBA for Operation Slipper—Australia’s military contribution to international campaigns against terrorism, countering piracy in the Gulf of Aden, and maritime security—was to gain experience.
‘As a person I have grown and learned so much,’ she said.
Cooks on board HMAS TOOWOOMBA prepare about 600 meals a day and there are four meal sessions in each 24 hour period: breakfast, lunch, dinner and midnighters.
One of the cooks on board, 23-year-old Able Seaman Thomas Hood, joined the Navy from Sheidow Park in Adelaide just over three years ago.
‘Hoody’, as he’s affectionately known, is one of a team of eight cooks headed up by a petty officer who work 12 to 13-hour days to feed ship’s company.
They work to a six-week cyclic menu and, while the ship leaves home well stocked with Australian foodstuffs, the limited life of perishable ingredients means that more exotic fare is likely to find its way onto the menu with successive replenishments, either at sea or from alongside a foreign port.
‘The most popular meals are steaks, schnitzels and roasts,’ Hoody said, ‘but our side dish of chips is also really popular.
‘We have the opportunity to cook exotic ingredients from time to time. One of these is taro, a root vegetable that’s somewhere between a parsnip and a potato.’
Hoody is also part of the ship’s medical emergency team, and is a line handler on the forecastle during berthing or casting off when the ship’s getting underway.
He enjoys saving money while he’s in a sea posting but misses his fiancée.
Reservist medical officer Lieutenant Chris Cole took time off from his normal work with the Canberra Hospital to deploy on six months continuous full-time service.
He said TOOWOOMBA’s medical section saw an average of around 50 patients a week.
‘So far I haven’t had to break out any truly exciting gear or do anything very ER esque to save anyone’s life,’ he said, ‘but there’s still a little time before we head home, so I haven’t lost hope yet.’
Complaints dealt with included minor skin infections, lacerations and sports injuries.
Combat injuries had not been an issue because TOOWOOMBA’s boarding parties had not met any resistance while carrying out their duties.
‘There have, however, been myriad relatively minor injuries resulting from boarding operations in rough seas,’ Chris said.
‘We did have some fun with an outbreak of diarrhoeal illness, a case of appendicitis, someone with septic arthritis, an episode of anaurosis fugax (temporary visual loss) and some issues with chronic conditions like high blood pressure and degenerative spinal disease.
‘We also spend a fair bit of time attending to routine medicals, vaccinations and so on.
‘We’ve gone through a rather hefty amount of anti-diarrhoea and anti-cramping medication, and tinea treatment has also been a popular choice.’
Chris said he had enjoyed the challenge of the change of pace and different focus from his usual civilian job.
‘But getting the hang of shipboard routines, learning more about engineering and military workings of the ship itself, and looking after a generally well-motivated and friendly population of sailors has proven an interesting and worthwhile pursuit,’ he said.
‘Getting to just head out on deck and watch spectacularly beautiful sunsets across a seemingly endless horizon doesn’t hurt either…’
Like many, Chris nominated his fiancée, Denise, as ‘what I miss most’ while deployed for six months.
‘I also miss cooking,’ he said. ‘As good as the food is on board, I am definitely looking forward to just pottering about my own kitchen with a bottle of wine and some good music while I make a hell of a mess slapping together something vaguely edible.
‘Days off will also be a novelty once I’m home, and the freedom to eat meals whenever I’m hungry, rather than on a fixed schedule.’
Perhaps the final word on deployment from ship’s company’s point-of-view should rest with ‘Pards’ Gunther:
‘Together with the busy pre-deployment work-up period, it has also been a long time away from home and loved ones,’ he said. ‘A lengthy deployment too for those keeping the home fires burning. Separation is never an easy thing but is a fact of life in Navy service.
‘Being away from the ones we love certainly has its stresses, however it is not without its rewards, often serving to focus one in on what is truly important in life, not taking those things, or should I say people, for granted.
‘Absence does tend to make the heart grow fonder. For all of us in TOOWOOMBA the deployment has also definitely served to remind us that Australia is the best country in the world to live in.
‘It is an exciting time as we look forward to reuniting with the ones we love. No doubt there will some degree of nervousness as well, but all of this is natural in the circumstances.
‘After the initial euphoria, it might take a little bit of time for some of us to get to know one another again, to get used to each other’s particular ways. This too is only natural. The old take a deep breath and count to 10 is always a good idea!’
Editor’s Note: A massive thanks to Lieutenant Commander Underwood and the crew of HMAS TOOWOOMBA for sharing with us their experiences of a long at sea deployment. Please see the online copy of the dfm Winter 2010 edition for additional interviews with TOOWOOMBA’s crew: with Lieutenant Jace Hutchison about boarding operations, Electronic technician Able Seaman Samantha Whitfield about her role on the TOOWOOMBA, and Chief Petty Officer (Platform) Andrew ‘Bo’ Bowering’s success in using the deployment to improve his fitness. www.defence.gov.au/dco/dfm.htm
Being over there
Since the East Timor intervention at the turn of the millennium the Australian Defence Force has been at a high tempo. As of July 2010 over 3300 ADF personnel are deployed on operations overseas.
A deployment can not only include warlike service, but disaster relief, assisting neighbouring states, and helping evacuate Australian nations when needed.
Corporal Deidre ‘Dee‘ Irwin, an Air Force Clerk, was deployed as part of Operation SLIPPER in 2009. Operation SLIPPER not only involves combat operations but also training of local forces and assistance in improving local infrastructure.
Dee, what’s it like over there?
Being deployed to the Middle East was a fantastic once in a lifetime experience that I am so grateful to have had. We are constantly working in a high tempo environment and while we were putting in long hours, under sometimes very difficult circumstances with limited resources in some cases, it was very rewarding. I actually felt like I was contributing to the bigger picture and making a difference. I feel really proud of what Australian troops and coalition countries are doing over there.
One sombre experience was when I attended my first ramp ceremony for two Canadian troops killed in action. Attending the ramp ceremony and saluting their service to their country and the war or terrorism really hit home why we are there and how dangerous it can be and it also highlighted how important our job is and what we are contributing.
What sort of training do you get before you go?
I completed a week of Force Preparation Training which covered all sorts of topics including daily routines, in-country briefs, cultural awareness, and health threats. The training was great and I think it prepared us in some way for the challenge that awaited us.
Do female members face additional challenges on a deployment?
I don’t believe that females face any different challenges than males do on deployment. Every individual faces their own challenges.
How easy was it to talk to people back home?
I was able to stay in touch with my family and contacted them at least once a week. We had very good facilities provided for us (welfare telephones, wireless internet) where we could communicate with our loved ones. We’re encouraged to contact families and friends back home as often as required as it not only helps those back home, but it helps the deployed members to feel more settled. Many members ‘Skyped’ their families and friends too.
On a deployment like Operation SLIPPER are you able to interact with the local community?
Interacting with the host nation is important and encouraged, although we still must respect their local laws, including dress and beliefs. We were able to leave base about two times a month where we could get some relief and relaxation. I was in Afghanistan during Ramadan during which Muslims fast between sunrise and sunset and we were not allowed to eat or drink in public during day light hours. We found this difficult but still respected this.
What did you miss most of all about being away from home?
I missed my daughter Lili the most when I was deployed. However we Skyped at least once a week, so that helped us to keep in touch.
What was it like adjusting to being back home?
I really enjoyed returning home and reconnecting with Lili. She did a lot of growing over the four months that I was away and I guess I changed in some ways too. It didn’t take too long to readjust in my situation. I took some leave so we could hang out and then we posted so our time was kept fairly busy with new and exciting changes. When I returned, I did feel a little homesick for the Middle East as it was my way of life for so long. Plus being deployed, you have no ‘home’ responsibilities which is nice for a change—you only have to worry about yourself.
Dee, thanks for talking with dfm.
Spotlight on Operation SLIPPER
Operation SLIPPER is Australia’s military contribution to the international campaigns against terrorism, countering piracy in the Gulf of Aden, and maritime security in the Middle East Area of Operations.
Under Operation SLIPPER, Australian forces contribute to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) -led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan.
ISAF seeks to bring security, stability and prosperity to Afghanistan and aims at preventing the country from again becoming a safe haven for international terrorists.
As of June 2010, 1550 ADF personnel are based within Afghanistan as part of Operation SLIPPER, while about 800 personnel are deployed across the broader Middle East Area of Operations.
Australia’s military contribution to Afghanistan is part of the Government’s comprehensive approach to supporting international efforts to prevent Afghanistan from being used as a safe-haven for terrorism.
What is Skype?
Skype is a piece of software that allows users to make video telephone calls over the internet. You should set up your Skype account before you depart Australia as it can prove more difficult to set it up when in country.
Remember that Skype is not a secure means of communication and operational and security matters cannot be discussed when using it. Due to possible local technological or geographical constraints, Skype is not always accessible by members.
Changes to removal and relocation contract
In December last year Defence signed a contract with Toll Transitions for the provision of removal and relocation administration services.
The new contract took effect on 1 July 2010.
Members will notice a number of benefits from the new arrangements, some of which are outlined as follows:
Call Centre available between 0800 and 2100 AEST on working days
Toll Transitions will provide both a Call Centre and Case Manager Service. The Call Centres will respond to general enquiries and after hours emergency situations from members and their dependants in relation to a relocation, until they are allocated a Case Manager.
A dedicated Case Manager to answer all relocation administration and removal questions
When a removal entitlement is determined by Toll Transitions, a Case Manager and alternate Case Manager, located in a Toll Transitions Region near the member’s losing unit, will be assigned.
The Case Manager will be responsible for:
• booking accommodation, airline tickets and any other travel documents,
• calculation and payment of allowances,
organising the removal and storage company,
• organising the transport of vehicles or other transportable items,
• payment of approved reimbursable costs,
• responding to any removal or relocation questions from members, and
• resolving any removal or relocation concerns as they arise.
Case Managers’ working hours will be between 0800 and 1800, on working days, in the Case Manager’s location. Where the Case Manager is unavailable, the alternate Case Manager will respond. Where both Case Managers are unavailable enquiries will be directed to removal and relocations staff located in the call centre. They will record the details of the enquiry and ensure that the Case Manager or alternate Case Manager responds as soon as possible. Where a response is required to an emergency situation—for example, non-arrival at destination—call centre staff will be able to take appropriate action to resolve the situation.
An increase in the number of Case Management locations
Case Managers will be located in the following areas.
02 6216 0563
02 6055 9117
02 8907 8900
02 8907 8990
02 8907 8900
02 6216 0563
02 8907 8900
08 8947 2566
08 8947 2566
07 3026 0200
07 4054 9550
07 3026 0200
07 3026 0200
07 4779 2274
08 8359 0172
03 6221 3891
02 6055 9117
03 8696 6000
08 9210 9900
Status updates on your items in store
Defence is committed to ensuring that members are kept informed of their consignments in store. Each time a removal entitlement is approved a check will be made by Toll Transitions to determine whether goods are held in store. When it is determined that goods are in store, Toll Transitions will inform the member of their entitlement. Where a storage entitlement has lapsed, arrangements will be made to deliver the goods to the member’s new address.
At times, members are required to place goods in store prior to and upon discharge. As storage costs post discharge are a member’s responsibility, Toll Transitions will invoice the member for the storage costs one month in advance and thereafter invoice the member monthly in advance. The first payment will need to be made prior to the goods going into store. Members will be required to pay the invoice prior to the due date.
One-stop-shop website for removal and relocation information
Toll Transitions will provide one website which covers both relocation and removal information. Members will be able to:
• access relevant removal and relocation publications and forms,
• lodge their inventory online,
• lodge their pre-application for relocation online,
• lodge their application for relocation online,
• check the status of various elements of their relocation, and
• obtain an electronic version of the information pack.
Your Defence Relocation Pack
The information pack will contain a range of documentation relevant to the member’s relocation and removal.
There will be improved monitoring of services at uplift and delivery— including the ability to provide direct feedback on removals by members.
This contract will introduce a new monitoring scheme called the Carrier Inspection. The Carrier Inspection requires Toll Transitions to visit most removals in each location to ensure appropriate service standards are being met by sub-contractors.
During the Carrier Inspections members will have the opportunity to provide direct feedback on their removal. They will also be able to sign the inspection report. All reports will be forwarded to Defence.
Toll Transitions will continue to provide a member-paid valet unpacking service, including;
• cleaning of cupboards and shelves prior to unpacking,
• cleaning of benches before and after unpacking,
• arranging of furniture and putting away effects in accordance with the requirements of the relevant member, and
• emptying and collapsing of cartons ready for pickup.
The cost of this service will be included in the relocations pack.
Frequently asked questions
How will DHA know that I am moving from my rental accommodation?
The allocation and tenancy management of service residences and approval of Rent Allowance will still be undertaken by DHA through its Housing Management Centres. The information submitted in the Application for Removal (AFR) to Toll Transitions will be shared with DHA to allow it to begin its processes for vacation and allocation of service residences and the finalisation of Rent Allowance payments. Members in receipt of Rent Allowance will still be required to submit a final rent receipt.
When will the changes take effect?
Changes took effect on 1 July 2010. However, there will be a period when DHA is finalising ongoing removals and Toll Transitions commences taking over responsibility. The responsible organisation for administering the relocation will be determined by the date the member decides to commence the removal. The following table identifies the key dates and contact details.
Key dates and contact details
Organisation administration responsibility
Submission of application for relocation
Date of removal uplift
Defence Housing Australia
Before 1 July 2010
Before 31 Aug 2010
139 342 (139 DHA)
* Toll Transitions
Between 1 March and 30 June 2010
After 1 Sept 2010
1800 819 167
After 1 July 2010
After 1 July 2010
1800 819 167
Why were the old process changed?
The current contract arrangements were due to expire on 30 June 2010 and Defence was required to tender for both relocation and removal services. Toll Transitions was the successful tenderer.
The changed contract arrangements allow Defence to better align relocation and removal responsibility. Removal and Relocation Administration functions will now reside under one contract with Toll Transitions. Separately, Defence has established new contract arrangements with DHA for the allocation and management of service residences and Rent Allowance.
Where can ADF members go to find further information?
Removal and relocation administration information can be obtained from either DHA or Toll Transitions. The appropriate organisation to address queries can be determined from the above table.
Do you know that you need to update your enrolment details every time you move?
The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) is urging all eligible voters to check that their enrolment details are up to date.
If your details are out of date you may be removed from the electoral roll and miss out on your right to vote.
Updating your address details is easy:
1. Go to www.aec.gov.au/enrol
2. Complete the online form, print it out and sign it.
3. Send the completed and signed enrolment form back to the AEC.
Enrolment forms are also available at all AEC offices and Australia Post outlets.
By completing the one form, you are enrolled to vote in federal, state/territory and local government elections.
Don’t wait until an election to update your enrolment as the electoral roll closes shortly after an election has been called. At that time if you’re not on it, you can’t vote.
For more information visit the AEC website or call 13 23 26.
Defence Relocations and Housing Managers are there to assist you during your relocation
By Denice Woods, Assistant Director Operations Relocations and Housing Defence Support Group (DSG) has a dedicated Defence Relocations and Housing Manager based in each region. At the local level the Defence Relocations and Housing Manager (DRHM) is the primary Defence representative with Defence Housing Australia (DHA) and Toll Transitions. DRHMs are employed to assist Defence personnel and their families by liaising with DHA, Toll Transitions and the Defence Community Organisation (DCO) in each region to make their relocation easier for them and their families. The DRHMs have considerable experience in all aspects of relocations and housing.
The ultimate aim of the DRHM is to ensure that you and your family experience high quality customer service as you undergo a removal or change to your housing situation.
The DRHM network seeks feedback from members on the complete relocation service. This feedback is used to provide management in Defence and the service providers with information on how members feel about their removal experience but more importantly, the feedback is used to ensure that all removals and future removals are as stress-free as possible. A DHRM may visit you during an uplift or delivery to discuss and assess the standard of service being provided. In some instances the DRHM will contact you after a relocation to discuss whether the relocation met your expectations. In the past, these discussions have revealed region-wide trends or issues which have been addressed with contractors.
If you have an inquiry regarding your housing maintenance/allocation or relocation services, do not hesitate to contact your local DRHM. If you are dissatisfied with the service provided or decision made by DHA or Toll Transitions your local DRHM will assist you to address and resolve your concerns.
DRHM Contact Details
08 8305 6551
0407 211 389
08 8305 6553
0418 801 981
02 6055 2187
0439 452 291
07 3332 6975
0402 824 035
07 3332 6992
07 4411 7922
0408 457 468
07 4411 7831
0409 587 028
02 6127 2898
0404 823 766
02 6127 2847
0404 823 765
08 8935 4346
0438 924 351
08 8935 4583
0428 285 038
03 6237 7277
0418 651 744
02 4034 6964
0413 728 512
02 4034 9565
0429 127 082
02 8782 4100
0409 125 687
02 4421 3855
0428 441 808
08 9311 2376
0408 970 557
02 4587 2314
0408 481 880
03 9282 3667
0407 462 437
03 9282 3628
02 9377 2146
0420 308 387
02 9377 2148
0408 972 933
08 8973 6594
0429 780 211
Toowoomba / Ipswich
07 4631 4414
0419 103 415
07 4411 7922
0408 457 468
07 4411 7831
0409 587 028
02 6937 4220
0428 238 046
DRHM key services to members are:
The provision of Relocation and Housing advice to members and their families.
The maintenance of customer/provider relationships by participating in regular meetings and discussions with DHA and Toll Transitions managers to resolve issues and identify trends and improvement opportunities.
The resolution of issues/complaints in relation to the provision of housing, maintenance, allocation, itinerary management and removals.
The provision of advocacy on behalf of members and their families to resolve disputes with DHA or Toll Transitions arising from the provision of relocation, removal and housing services.
Defence Community Organisation contact details ACT
Ground Floor 21 Napier Close
DEAKIN ACT 2600
PH: 02 6265 8777
NEW SOUTH WALES
Level 3, Defence Plaza
270 Pitt Street
SYDNEY NSW 2000
PH: 02 9377 3314
email@example.com LIVERPOOL OFFICE
Liverpool Military Area
LIVERPOOL NSW 2174
PH: 02 8782 4864
firstname.lastname@example.org RICHMOND OFFICE
Building 14 Delarue Street
RAAF BASE RICHMOND NSW 2755
PH: 02 4587 1130
email@example.com NOWRA OFFICE
Level 2, Suite 2, Bridgeton House 55-57 Berry Street
NOWRA NSW 2541
PH: 02 4421 3855
firstname.lastname@example.org HUNTER OFFICE
Williamtown & Singleton
WILLIAMTOWN NSW 2314
PH: 02 4034 6973
WAGGA WAGGA OFFICE
First Floor, Suite 104
76 Morgan Street
WAGGA WAGGA NSW 2650
PH: 02 6931 0011
email@example.com NORTHERN TERRITORY
3 Tybell St
WINNELLIE NT 0820
PH: 08 8935 7900
firstname.lastname@example.org TINDAL OFFICE
Tindal Community Centre Easton Parade
TINDAL NT 0853
PH: 08 8973 7134
71 Osborne Road
MITCHELTON QLD 4053 PH: 07 3354 0500
email@example.com AMBERLEY OFFICE
AMBERLEY QLD 4306
PH: 07 5361 1678
firstname.lastname@example.org DARLING DOWNS OFFICE 25/49 RQR O’Quinn Street