ADF Health issues is a growing area of interest and concern to the DFWA.  Current matters include:

AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT VOLUNTARY BLOOD TESTING PROGRAM FOR PFAS.  From 30 November 2016, the Australian Government will provide a free blood test for PFAS for people who live or work, or who have lived or worked, in the Williamtown, NSW and Oakey, QLD, Investigation Areas and who have potentially been exposed to PFAS.

For more information about the voluntary blood testing program please refer to the attached Department of Health – Factsheet: Voluntary Blood Testing Program. Where individual consent is given, the PFAS blood test results may be used as part of an epidemiological study to improve the understanding of the potential health effects relating to PFAS exposure.

For more information about the epidemiological study please refer to the attached Department of Health – Factsheet: Per- and Poly-fluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS): an epidemiological study.

Further information about PFAS, including Health initiatives to address PFAS contamination and information for GPs, is available on the Health website.

The Australian Government is aware that some non-government organisations are promoting blood testing for PFAS to the communities surrounding PFAS contaminated sites, such as Williamtown, NSW and Oakey, QLD. Any blood testing that is conducted outside of the parameters of the Voluntary Blood Testing Program arrangements will not be funded by the Australian Government.

Department of Defence interim blood testing arrangements

While the Voluntary Blood Testing Program was being developed, the Department of Defence established interim arrangements to reimburse individuals in the Williamtown, NSW and Oakey QLD investigations areas who have already obtained blood tests. These interim arrangements will cease now that the Voluntary Blood Testing Program has commenced.

If you are seeking either reimbursement or payment of blood testing conducted on, or before 30 November 2016, please follow Defence’s guidance regarding its interim arrangements in the attached Department of Defence - PFAS Blood Testing Fact Sheet - October 2016. If required, the Reimbursement of PFAS Blood Test form is attached for your convenience

Additional assistance. For enquiries about the Voluntary Blood Testing Program please contact Health at  For enquiries about the AACO Environmental Investigation, please contact the project information hotline on 1800 136 129 or email

Defence Oakey Project Team:  P: 1800 136 129 E: W:



SENATE INQUIRY - ADF SUICIDE:   Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee inquiry into suicide by veterans and ex-service personnel.  Submissions were due by 7 October and the Senate Committee will report back by 30 March 2017.  DFWA in conjunction with the RAAC Corp and RAAF Association guided the  development of ADSO’s submission and a supplementary submission. We will update this site as the matter progresses.  All submissions made to the Inquiry are available on the above link.

- Our Qld Branch also made a submission as well as a supplementary submission.

- Peter Thornton's submission titled "The Plight of ADF Personnel & Veterans - A History of ‘Yes Minister’ Reviews and Policies driven by “Dollars but no Sense" - is well worth a read.

- on 18 Nov 2016 the DFWA National President appeared before the Senate Committee.  Read more here and read his opening statement.  The full transcript of the Hearing is on the APH website.

PTSD:  DFWA has made a number of our submissions on this matter

HEARING AIDS:  DFWA made a statement about this matter here.

RAAF F111 Deseal -Re-seal program:  DFWA has had a long standing involvement with the health problems experienced by RAAF F111 aircraft maintainers and was one of the advocates for the health study of those members. We continue to maintain a watching brief on further aspects of this health problem particularly to research findings that may have applicability to other ADF members. DFWA is a member of the Consultative Forum for the research presently being conducted for Defence by the Mater Medical Institute.  Read our 2008 submission on this matter.

ADF Firefighters and Health:  A study commissioned by the Australasian Fire and Emergency Services Authorities Council was a cohort study of cancer mortality and other possible health outcomes in Australian and New Zealand fire-fighters and Defence has supported this study so that former and currently serving ADF fire fighting categories can be included. DFWA is maintaining a watching brief on this study.

Agent Orange and prostate cancer:  Nearly 10% of the former South Vietnam was sprayed with the 'Agent Orange' between 1962 and 1971. A recent US study involving 13,000 US Vietnam veterans has showed that veterans exposed to Agent Orange have greatly increased risks of prostate cancer and even greater risks of getting the most aggressive form of the disease as compared to those who were not exposed. The findings, published in the September 15 issue of the international journal CANCER, are the first to link the herbicide with this disease.  Vietnam veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange are encouraged to discuss these findings with their general practitioner and consider the need for prostate screening tests. DFWA has written to DVA requesting a response to this new evidence.

Links to some Health related matters prior to 2009 are below:


Mike Kelly 10 September 2009
Government Civilian & Military Superannuation Schemes
10 May 2012
23 March 2011
ESO Issues Paper 2010-11 Rev 2
18 August 2010
Media 3 February 2009
Travel to Headquarters, Joint Operations Command, Bungendore
Media 14 January 2009
Gulf War Illness Review Welcomed
Media 29 October 2008
A Win for Single ADF Personnel - ADF Rental Accommodation Change
Media 23 September 2008
Review Into Defence Mental Health Care Services
Media 14 May 2008
2008-2009 Budget Response - Sort of OK as far as it goes for Service personnel.
Media 23 August 2007
Vietnam Veteran Family Study