About the ISPA
The ISPA is a not for profit ex-service organisation (ESO) formed to assist, advise and support serving and ex-serving men and women and their famalies dealing with the various rehabilitation and compensation schemes applicable to their military service.
For many, many years the men and women of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) who have become incapacitated during peacetime service, such as humanitarian work, military exercises, Mission Rehearsal Exercises, protecting our coastlines, and those performing their normal duties in Australia, have not been given the appropriate 'after military service' support that they are entitled to.
The Military Compensation System that currently exists for this sector of the ADF is complicated, confusing and inappropriate for service personnel.
The ISPA considers that the government treats peacetime ADF members as Commonwealth civilian public servants giving the impression that veterans and peacetime servicemen and women are valued differently.
To address this issue a meeting was held in January 1996 to which the media was invited. Present were many serving and ex-serving Defence personnel who had been medically discharged and/or were affected medically by their military service. The media coverage resulting brought a phenomenal response from many of these with service in the ADF who found the Government support for their medical issues was inadequate. The amount of people who were injured and had no-one to turn to for help far exceeded what was thought. It was decided that ISPA's main focus would be in assisting ex and currently serving men and women who have only had peacetime service. Most Ex Service Organisations tend to focus only on veterans.
ISPA has assisted many servicemen/women since 1996 and is now asking the many thousands of ex and currently serving members of the ADF to support ISPA's efforts to ensure that the current Government fulfills its commitment to support all sectors of the service community and not just veterans with war service.
The most asked question a person has about ex-service organisations whether it's the RSL or a Unit/Squadron/Ship association is, 'why should I join' and/or 'what's in it for me'. This is especially the case when fees for joining are high.
The ISPA formed back in 1995 because no other organisation catered for non war veterans. Those with peacetime service had no-one to turn to for support, advice or representation. Today, due to constant lobbying and awareness raising by the ISPA most ESO's have pension officers trained in the SRCA & MRCA and an understanding of non veteran needs. The Training and Information Program (TIP) which used to teach the VEA and welfare aspect introduced training for the SRCA and its impact with the VEA and other benefits.
This was due in part to the ISPA continually raising the issue. Although most ESO's such as the RSL, VVFA, VVAA, TPI Association may assist with claims and assistance, they do not lobby the issues of the peacetime serviceman or woman with the same vigour of the ISPA.
Unfortunately the ISPA has had to cease lobbying and representation with low membership numbers reducing its financial abilities associated with advocacy work.
We are now concentrating on the construction of a memorial dedicated to those killed and injured in peacetime service.