Recently a Blueprint was endorsed proposing an Advocacy, Training and Development Programme (ATDP) featuring:
- Improved DVA and ESO partnership arrangements;
- A Capability Management Framework which is the centrepiece of the learning and development programme. This includes clear training & development pathways and the application of accreditation and adult learning principles across the whole spectrum of the programme;
- A significant role for contracted expert assistance from a Registered Training Organisation; and
- A three-tiered governance structure representing the ESO community, Defence and DVA.
The vision of the ATDP is to train and develop selected practitioners to provide high quality advocacy services to current and former ADF members, and their dependants, covering rehabilitation, compensation, appeals and welfare.
A Working Party, made up of members from the ESO community (with nominees provided by the ESORT), TIP, Defence and DVA, including Brig. Rolfe, held its initial meeting in March 2015 and from their deliberations the Blueprint for the ATDP was developed.
The Review of Military Compensation Arrangements was a Government commitment to examine the current military rehabilitation and compensation system completed in February 2011. In 2012 the then Government accepted 96 of the 108 recommendations made and committed $17.4 million over four years to implement the package of changes.
Legislation covering 19 of the recommendations was passed by Parliament and received Royal Assent on 28 June 2013. Most of the changes took effect on 1 July 2013.
The Clarke Review, headed by Mr Justice Clarke, reviewed Veterans' Entitlements at the request of the Government and announced its response to the report (known as the Clarke Report) in March 2004. A revisitation of the Clarke Review recommendations was completed on 14 May 2010.
As a result, four new policy measures formed part of the 2010/2011 Budget for the Veterans’ Affairs Portfolio. These measures included providing access under Part IV of the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA) for ex-defence force British Nuclear Test participants, which provided access to disability, war widow/er pension and health care treatment under the more generous ‘reasonable hypothesis’ standard of proof and additional allowances and benefits.
The Review of DVA-funded Ex-Service Organisations (ESOs) Advocacy and Welfare Services recommended important changes to help standardise ESO advocacy and welfare services and improve transparency and accountability in the way funds are distributed to the ESOs that support Australia's veteran and defence communities.
The Review, completed in February 2011, covered the Building Excellence in Support and Training (BEST) programme, Training Information Program (TIP), and the Veteran and Community Grants (V&C) programme.
On 27 June 2013, the then Government requested that the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission examine options for the introduction of statutory timeframes under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 and provide a report to Parliament by 1 July 2014.
The report was tabled in Parliament on 26 June 2014.