The Alliance of Defence Service Organisations (ADSO) Introduction
ADSO was formally constituted in July of 2010. It was formed as result of the constituent organisations desire to work in a more cooperative and coordinated manner.
The Alliance today comprises The Defence Force Welfare Association (DFWA), Naval Association of Australia (NAA), RAAF Association (RAAFA), Royal Australian Regiment Corporation (RARC), Australian Special Air Service Association (ASASA),the Australian Federation of Totally and Permanently Incapacitated Ex-Service Men and Women, the Fleet Air Arm Association of Australia, Partners of Veterans Association of Australia, Royal Australian Armoured Corps Corporation (RAAC), the National Malaya & Borneo Veterans Association Australia (NMBVAA), the Defence Reserves Association (DRA), The Australian Gulf War Veterans Association, Military Police Association Australia (MPAA), Australian Army Apprentices Association, the Australian Commando Association and The War Widows Guild.
The Alliance represents a significant number (over three million) members of Australia’s Defence Family on national advocacy and representative matters to the Australian Federal Parliament and political parties.
The Alliance objective is to provide a stronger voice on issues impacting the conditions and wellbeing of currently serving and former members of the Australian Defence Force and their families to the Australian Government, Parliament and all Australians.
Its major functions are to:
1. Improve communication, cooperation and collaboration between member organisations;
2. Gain mutual advantage from the differing of expertise of each member organisation;
3. Ensure for each issue being pursued, the appropriate organisation is identified as the “lead organisation” for coordination of the actions undertaken by the Alliance; and
4. Help spread the workload and ensure the resources of the Alliance members are used to produce the most effective result.
ADSO is concerned that the community’s appreciation of the special and unique nature of Defence Service has been allowed to deteriorate. There is a grave concern at the progressive move to see service conditions for Australian Defence Force members benchmarked against community standards and veterans support as welfare. Service in the ADF comes with a cost not just to the individual service member but also their dependants. Government and Departments have a leadership role in ensuring that the community clearly appreciates that servicemen and women and their families deserve special recognition reflecting their contribution to the service of our Nation.
In a time where the Federal Parliament is moving to formally recognise the “First Peoples” and with the Centenary of ANZAC commemoration, it is fitting to appropriately recognise the Nation’s service men and women and the contribution they have made to our security and Australia’s commitment to freedom since federation in 1902; hence the proposal for a formal Australian Military Accord or Covenant.
ADF serving and former members expect that the conditions under which they enlist and serve will be honoured. Serving ADF members expect that there will be no reduction of benefits, and that Government’s clear obligation to servicemen and women will be met. There is a growing understanding that over time, successive Governments have fallen well short of meeting their responsibility to the individual members of the ADF and their dependants.
In formulating its policy objectives, ADSO has been mindful of the existing economic conditions and their consequent effect on the Commonwealth Government financial outlook over the next four years. However, it also notes the recent government spending programs and the absence of any initiative to address the long standing deficiencies in ADF service conditions that are the principal concern of the veterans and wider ex-service communities.
ADF members rely on the Government for fair and equitable treatment in their service conditions in a way that is unique within the Australian community. ADSO is firmly of the opinion that this expectation is not being matched by government policies and decisions. By their continued neglect of their responsibilities, successive governments have been placing an unfair burden on former ADF members to bear the consequences of their policy decisions in a way not imposed on other sections of the Australian community.
What is ADSO About?
ADSO uses the call “Stand To” as its military call to action to support its Fair Go Campaign. It is used to raise the alarm to alert people to prepare to defend against threats to them, their safety and welfare.
The ADSO web site is ADSO’s Fair Go Campaign’s voice to Australians. It is an essential element of its strategy to protect the interests of the Defence Family and to raise public awareness of those matters that adversely impact on them.
The “Fair Go!” Campaign is party apolitical: non partisan. ADSO does not support or oppose any political party. It does, however support or oppose policies that may help or hinder serving or former ADF members and their families.
ADSO engages directly with the Government and political parties to achieve its aims. By necessity it operates within the political arena to lobby on an issues basis.