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Army August 18, 2011
Socomd Duncan Lewis is
to take up the post as the
next Defence Secretary in
Prime Minster Julia
Gillard announced Mr
Lewis' appointment on
August 4 as one of the
changes in the secretary-
level positions in the
Australian Public Service.
Secretary Ian Watt will
take up the position as Secretary of
the Department of Prime Minister and
Cabinet with the retirement of incum-
bent Terry Moran from the position.
Dr Watt said he would leave Defence
"with considerable regret".
"I have enjoyed my time here and I
will miss the people that
I have worked with over
the last two years" Dr
"The people of
Defence, military and
civilian, achieve many
marvellous things for
the country. It has been a
privilege to have been a
small part of that team."
Mr Lewis served as an
officer in the Army for
more than 30 years before
leaving the ADF in 2005 as commander
of special forces.
Mr Lewis was appointed National
Security Advisor in 2008 and will leave
the position to take over the Defence
DEFENCE Science and Personnel
Minister Warren Snowdon has pledged
that the care of wounded, injured and
ill personnel is his highest priority.
Mr Snowdon said in his dual roles
with Defence and as the Veterans' Affairs
Minister he was in a unique position
to "knit together support arrangements
He said the government was commit-
ted to the highest quality medical sup-
port for personnel -- whether they were
on deployment, at home, or beyond their
Current services for personnel sep-
arating for medical reasons would be
expanded as early as October.
Department of Veterans' Affairs staff
will be accommodated on 25 Defence
bases to provide information and assis-
tance to current serving members.
"We have created the Support
to Wounded, Injured or Ill Program
(SWIIP) as a specialised, all-encom-
passing program and the vehicle for
realising a fundamental cultural shift
within Defence and DVA for transi-
tioning members," Mr Snowdon said.
"Discharge from the ADF on health
grounds is a last resort and only consid-
ered after it is determined the member
has a permanent condition which renders
them unfit for continued service."
Mr Snowdon made his comments in
an open letter posted on the Defence
website in response to some media criti-
cism of ADF health-care initiatives.
He said it was clear that some ADF
people had "fallen through the cracks"
but new initiatives were designed to pre-
vent this happening in the future.
He said the Government intent was
to ensure a comprehensive approach to
tailored recovery programs and access to
advanced rehabilitation programs.
"The current arrangements for ADF
members result in a high return-to-work
rate for rehabilitated members and pro-
vide good support for veterans, but as a
government we are taking steps to make
a good support system even better."
Mr Snowdon's complete statement is at http://
top of list:
Health check: Cpl David Cantwell cleans the eyes of a
patient wounded by an IED in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
Defence Science and Personnel Minister Warren Snowdon
said supporting wounded, injured and ill personnel was his
Photo by Sgt Neil Ruskin
Changes at the top
Leaving: Dr Ian Watt.
Augmented health-care programs include:
Support to Wounded, Injured or Ill
Program (SWIIP). SWIIP makes the
recipient the central focus of support and
ensures Defence and Veterans' Affairs are
focused on outcomes, not process. It will
reduce the complexity involved in access-
ing support and ensure better integration.
ADF Paralympics Sports Program. In
partnership with the Australian Paralympic
Committee, ADF personnel with an
acquired disability can access sports med-
icine and science specialists to enable
them to compete at the highest levels.
Health Precincts. Access to front-line
health care for the ADF is being improved
by the creation of "health precincts" and
the major refurbishment of health facilities
around the country -- including Leeuwin
Barracks where mental-health practition-
ers are being integrated.
Mental Health Workforce. Significant
changes have been made to improve the
provision of mental health care across
the ADF. A $92-million investment into
Defence and DVA by Government aims
to improve health care and increase the
ADF Centre for Mental Health. A
research program seeking best practice
mental-health intervention programs and
to support and train ADF health providers
in mental-health care.
BattleSMART. The BattleSMART (self
management and resilience training)
program is a comprehensive program of
research, resilience training and pre- and
post-deployment screening that seeks to
destigmatise mental-health issues.
Dents in the Soul DVD. The DVD was
launched in late 2010 and features sol-
diers telling their own stories about devel-
oping post traumatic stress disorder and
being successfully treated.
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