News and Events
This Article Has Been Repeated By Popular Demand
In the Interests of a Broader Inclusive Membership.
Wars and conflicts, peacekeeping and peacemaking operations, hazardous services - none of these discriminate! They will involve anyone! And so in the aftermath we have a burgeoning group of Service people affected by their involvement in many ways.
If the serving person is affected then so are his or her (remember there's no discrimination!) partner/s, children, parents, brothers, sisters and the list goes on like a ripple in a pond - and a deep pond it is.
Are you one of those who have struggled on in bewilderment, coping for years with a partner who "served" in some way and has never been the same since? Then you know what it was like when, finally you found out the reasons why these problems were happening. "If only we'd known! We could have understood. We could have got some help then."
We can help others in this situation NOW! Let's not leave them for 5, 10 or 30 years like many of us. Through the network of The P.V.A. of Australia we can actively seek out and include a wider range of partners (and thus, their families), helping by providing - Support & Information & Education.
Each and everyone of us can help. It is as simple as having a cup of coffee or, a chat over the fence to let someone know about the help that is available.
Two World Wars, East Timor, Somalia, Afghanistan, Rwanda, Vietnam, The Gulf, Korea, Iraq, the Deseal-Reseal victims, Bougainville and the list unfortunately, will go on - Do you know someone who is the partner of a person who was/is involved in these? Remember Bryce Courtney's book which was made into a film - "The Power of One". Each of us is only one but think, if each one of us made contact with just "one" younger partner to let him or her know what support and information is available to them and their families. Multiply that "one" by our membership and see the power of that "one".
Think also, of how much their suffering might be reduced. How many of us have had a veteran parent, maybe even other serving family members? Are you the parent or relative or friend of someone in this situation? Maybe you have met a "partner" in the supermarket or bank queue - that is when you can let them know about The P.V.A's support.
In The P.V.A. information pamphlet, reference is made to members as "current and former wives, partners and widow/ers of veterans with qualifying service who are seeking emotional support and friendship of others in a similar situation".
What is - "a similar situation"?
I suppose we all realise, that if you are living with someone who has PTSD, chemical poisoning and the list goes on, then it makes no difference if you are 29 or 59 years old, whether you go out to paid employment or work at home caring for your family (or both), or whether the problem occurred in Somalia, World War II, East Timor or in the RAAF Deseal Reseal saga because the problems are there - the situation is "a similar situation"!
What can I do?
Remember your power of one. Let's make our own ripples in that pond. If I help one "partner" with support and information, then the ripples that spread out into that partner's family become more positive than negative. If that partner happens to be a younger person then the pond of ignorance and despair becomes much shallower and smaller and the ripples don't turn into tidal waves as the years pass.
What is Support?
Think back on how you have been supported by other P.V.A. members. Support comes in many guises - listening, understanding (Oh! The joy of not having to explain), having a good laugh together, bringing someone along to a support group, encouraging them to join and receive the quarterly "P.V.A. News" packed with information, guiding them to services available to help - and the list goes on, from little bits to big.
VVCS for Peacekeepers and Peacemakers and their families.
There are pamphlets available on this aspect of the service but here is a little that You can pass on:
"Counselling services have been developed for Peacekeepers and Peacemakers and their families in recognition of the changing needs of the Australian veteran community"
"Working links have been formed with the Department of Defence, which support the referral of personnel to the counselling service". So currently serving as well as ex personnel are eligible as are their partners and dependant children.
VVCS are approachable so, if in doubt just ring and put your case. There are Outreach Programs for areas with less access to VVCS offices.
The P.V.A.'s Plans.
Each State Executive has done an excellent job of taking The P.V.A. out into the regional areas, with more areas throughout each State being targeted when funding hopefully, starts to filter in from grant applications. What a great job they have done so far on less than a shoestring budget - some big "powers of one" there.
If you are a P.V.A. member, want to become one or simply would like to know more then contact any of the National Management Committee or use the contact facility on this website. If you know a younger person who is eligible to be a member talk to them and let them know who we are.
The P.V.A. needs and wants to be an association that includes a wide range of partners of all ages, all forces, all wars, conflicts and operations. We are The P.V.A.! If our voice is to be heard then we need to be heard with a united and strong voice so we need all partners included.
"UNITY IS STRENGTH!" Don't let them wait for 30 years. Let's act now. Start your own ripple!
The Partners of Veterans Association of Australia acknowledges P.V.A. Qld Branch for this article.