DVA Deputy Commissioner’s Consultative Forum (NSW)

RSL NSW participates in the Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA) Deputy Commissioner’s Consultative Forum, with several other NSW-based ESOs. The Deputy Commissioner’s Consultative Forum provides a mechanism for:

  • Regular consultation and discussion between the Deputy Commissioner and Ex-Service Organisations (ESOs) on systemic issues that concern the veteran and defence communities arising from the range of DVA operations
  • Assisting in identifying issues that may require referral to a national-led forum
  • Providing a mechanism to disseminate information about the Department of Veterans’ Affairs initiatives and the Department of Defence and broader Commonwealth activities
  • Enhancing the ex-service community’s understanding of DVA’s service delivery performance in New South Wales through
  • Providing a forum which facilitates an effective working relationship between ESOs, the Deputy Commissioner and DVA staff in New South Wales

The forum is chaired by DVA’s Deputy Commissioner for NSW and ACT, Victoria Benz, with between two or three meetings each calendar year. RSL NSW President, Mr Ray James OAM JP GAIC, is the RSL NSW representative.


Activities of the Previous Meeting
At the past meeting on 8 February 2023, the Deputy Commissioner’s Forum discussed several substantive and important issues. These included:

  • Discussion of transition and services offered by Government for transition at all levels, including though Defence, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA), and the NSW Office for Veterans’ Affairs – this included a presentation from Director General of the Joint Transition Authority (JTA) AIRCDRE Kaarin Kooij CSC
  • An update on claims processing, including measures to reduce the current backlog of claims


RSL NSW impact the Deputy Commissioner’s Consultative Forum
RSL NSW has used, and will continue to use, the Deputy Commissioner’s Consultative Forum as a channel for holding DVA accountable for the support they provide to veterans and their families. This has included raising papers including:

  • Calling for an extension to timelines for DVA consultation with ESOs, to ensure these organisations can better capture the views of their wider membership
  • Calling for improvements to training processes for veterans’ Compensation and Wellbeing advocates
  • Suggested improvements to the DVA Claims Processing procedure, to try to reduce the current backlog of claims

RSL NSW will continue to work with other ESOs at the Deputy Commissioner’s Consultative to promote issues of importance to members and veterans.