DVA e-news for September 2018

September 2018 Welcome to the September issue of DVA e-news, featuring information on the upcoming Diggers' Requiem, the Veterans' Advocacy Study as well as the following stories: Hellfire Pass commemorative service Honouring Women United by Defence Remembrance Day kits sent to schools Good nutrition for mind and body Anzac Day Schools' Awards 2018 Diggers' Requiem set for Australian premiere The Diggers’ Requiem, an Australian classical music tribute to the centenary of the end of the First World War, received five standing ovations at its world premiere in Amiens, France in April. The symphonic work will make its Australian debut in Canberra’s Llewellyn Hall at 7:30pm on 6 October 2018. Two free shorter programs, Diggers’ Requiem Brass concerts, will take the spirit of the Diggers’ Requiem to Melbourne and Sydney. The first of these free concerts will be held at St Paul’s Cathedral, Flinders Lane, Melbourne at 7pm on Wednesday 26 September and the second in the Pitt St Uniting Church, Sydney at 7pm on Thursday 27 September. Jointly commissioned by DVA and the Australian War Memorial, the Requiem is produced and directed by Christopher Latham (musical artist-in-residence at the Memorial). Seven contemporary Australian composers – Nigel Westlake, Elena Kats-Chernin, Richard Mills, Graeme Koehne, Ross Edwards, Andrew Schultz and Mr Latham – contributed to the Requiem. It also features the final work of Australian composer Frederick Septimus Kelly, who was killed in the Battle of the Somme. The Australian War Memorial Orchestra and Choir and members of the Band of the Royal Military College Duntroon will perform the Requiem. It tells the story of engagements in which Australians fought, including Fromelles, Pozières, Bapaume, Bullecourt, the Palestine Campaign, Third Battle of Ypres, Villers-Bretonneux, Amiens, Péronne, Bellenglise and Montbrehain. Sixty-two thousand bells representing Australians who died in the First World War are incorporated into the last movement. Tickets for the Diggers Requiem are available through Ticketek. More information and a link to the audio recording of the full Amiens performance is available at theflowersofwar.org website. An interview with Chris Latham is also available on ABC RN's The Music Show website. Hellfire Pass commemorative service A national service of commemoration on 16 October 2018 will mark the 75th anniversary of Australian work on Hellfire Pass and the completion of the Thai–Burma Railway. The service will take place at the Australian Ex-Prisoners of War Memorial in Ballarat from 11:00 am. In late April 1943, almost 400 Australians began working on the railway’s most notorious section – Konyu Cutting, a pair of passes cut through rock. One was about 460 metres long and almost eight metres deep, the other was more than 70 metres long and 24 metres deep. At night, recalled one prisoner, ‘it looked like a scene out of Dante’s Inferno’. Thus did the Konyu Cutting come to be known as ‘Hellfire Pass’. ‘Dante’, recalled one prisoner, ‘knew less about infernos than we knew. We could have given him lessons’. More than 12,000 Allied prisoners lost their lives on the railway, about 2,700 of whom were Australian. Between 70,000 and 100,000 Asian labourers, or rǒmusha, also died, though the true figure remains unknown. Some 700 Allied prisoners died at Hellfire Pass. Survivors believe that up to 70 were beaten to death by their guards. For more information about the National Service of Commemoration, please visit the Hellfire Pass commemorative service page of DVA’s website. Good nutrition for mind and body Veterans and their families all around the country are participating in events focused on nutrition as part of Veterans’ Health Week 2018. To find out about some of the events held between 22 and 30 September and to see photos, visit DVA’s Facebook page. There is no time like the present to consider whether you are consuming the right amounts and kinds of foods to stay healthy. The Australian Dietary Guidelines provide up-to-date advice about eating recommended amounts from the five food groups. This ensures your diet is varied and you are getting enough nutrients and limiting the foods that are high in saturated fat, added sugars and added salt. The benefits to your wellbeing include reducing your risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and some cancers. You may also feel better, look better, enjoy life more and live longer! The amount of food you require from the five food groups to ensure you are meeting your required nutrient intake is dependent on your age, gender, height, weight and physical activity levels, and also whether you are pregnant or breastfeeding. For more information about dietary guidelines and to access ‘Eat for Health Calculators’ to work out your own daily nutrient requirements, go to the eat for health website. Share your story Where has life taken you since you left the Navy, Army or Air Force? We're keen to share your stories about post-service life with the readers of DVA e-news, Vetaffairs and through DVA social media channels. Email us at vetaffairs@dva.gov.au Hundreds contribute to Veterans' Advocacy Study The Veterans’ Advocacy and Support Services Scoping Study has finished its travels around Australia, having held more than 300 individual consultations over 16 weeks on a wide range of veterans’ issues. The study team has gathered information from many organisations including the Department of Defence, state and territory governments, ex-service organisations and legal, health and community bodies. More importantly, the team has spoken to as many veterans and their partners, children and parents as possible. Each person has generously shared their experiences and ideas, all of which have been listened to and documented. These stories, along with every submission received, will be carefully considered before the report of the study is written. As well as consultations, 222 submissions were made online or sent in by email and post. Fifty of the submissions are from organisations and 172 from individuals. The longest submission was 126 pages in two parts and the shortest was a 57-word email. Some submissions are publicly available and can be read on the Advocacy Study page of DVA’s website. The study is due to report to the Government by the end of the year, and the findings are expected to be publicly available early next year. The image above shows Robert Cornall AO, who is leading the study, and colleague Kerrie-Anne Luscombe (both at right) meeting with Adelaide couple Simon and Julie. Honouring Women United by Defence Hundreds of women gathered at the Honouring Women United by Defence Service Last Post Ceremony and sold-out dinner in Canberra on 11 September. Timed to coincide with the events was DVA’s third Female Veterans and Veterans’ Families Policy Forum. The Forum was highly participative and solutions-focused. It gave those taking part an opportunity to inform current DVA projects and to develop potential solutions to challenges affecting the veteran community. The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Darren Chester, was among the attendees at all three events. He was joined at the Last Post Ceremony by the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison. The ceremony at the Australian War Memorial was focused on the story of Norma Violet Mowbray, a First World War Army nurse who served in Heliopolis, Egypt, where she died of pneumonia in 1916, aged just 32. At the dinner at the Hotel Realm, the 2018 Prime Minister’s Veteran Employee of the Year, Rachel Ranton (pictured), used her keynote address to share the stories of a mother, a wife, a worker, a widow and a veteran, noting that the women present had a unique opportunity to move forward together as a community. Honouring Women United by Defence Service is supported by the War Widows’ Guild of Australia NSW, Women Veterans Network Australia, RSL NSW, the RSL Youth Choir, Legacy, TPI Federation of Australia, the ADF and DVA. A video entitled ‘Honouring Women United by Defence Service is available on Vimeo. The image at the top of this issue shows some of the attendees at the Last Post Ceremony. Remembrance Day kits sent to schools Schools across Australia recently received educational kits developed by DVA to encourage younger generations to learn about Australia’s wartime history and the significance of Remembrance Day. Containing four Remembrance Day commemorative posters, the 2019 DVA calendar, an educational resource and flyers, the kit will build students’ understanding of Australia’s involvement in past wars and conflicts. To mark the centenary of the Armistice, the 2018 Remembrance Day posters feature four portraits of women and men who served during the Gallipoli campaign. These portraits have been created by combining 100 photos of women and men who served in the three armed services over the past century. A key part of this year’s kit is the eighth instalment in the Century of Service series. Candour: Stories in the words of those who served 1914–18 contains diary extracts and letters from service women and men to their loved ones. Great Debates: The Anzac Legend is the latest instalment in the Great Debates series, an inquiry-based learning activity that aligns with the Year 9 Australian Curriculum: History. The posters and education resources are now available for free download on the Education page of the DVA Anzac Portal. Anzac Day Schools' Awards 2018 Congratulations to the winners, runners-up and special category winners of the 2018 Anzac Day Schools’ Awards! We received many creative and interesting entries. Thank you to all schools and teachers who took part. Overall, the judges were impressed with the commitment from schools to commemorate Anzac Day, and with the level of student participation. The involvement of ex-serving and current serving members of the ADF, and the broader community, was also commendable. The list of winning schools is now available online via the Anzac Portal. Copyright © 2018 Australian Government Department of Veterans' Affairs, All rights reserved.