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Welcome to the last edition of DVA e-news for the year. This issue includes articles on the department's services during the holiday season, and the various group programs run by Open Arms. You may also be interested in the following stories:More →
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Special edition – Veterans' Covenant update
Welcome to this special edition of DVA e-news which looks specifically at the Australian Defence Veterans' Covenant.
The Covenant encourages better recognition of the unique nature of military service and helps veterans and their families connect with the broader Australian community.
The Veteran Card business benefits initiative, which forms part of the Covenant, was launched by Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel Darren Chester at Pushys cycling store in Canberra on 3 November (pictured).
Legislation enabling the Covenant passed Parliament on 22 October. Distribution of Covenant packs – which include a Lapel Pin and Oath – to those who have applied is well under way with almost 10,000 veterans and reservists having received theirs to date.
For more information on how to apply for and support the Covenant – including details on eligibility and frequently asked questions – see recognition.dva.gov.au.
Veteran Card business benefits in full swing
Australian Defence Force veterans now have free access to more than 10,000 offers from around 500 businesses through the business benefits component of the Veteran Card.
The Australian Government is working with Australian Partners of Defence (APOD) – an Australian-owned organisation founded by veteran families, for veteran families – to make it easy for businesses and organisations to recognise and acknowledge the unique nature of military service and the contribution of veterans and their families.
DVA Veteran Card and Health Card holders have free access to this service and can sign up directly now at the APOD website (apod.com.au) using their card details.
Working with APOD enables the Australian Government to leverage the organisation’s expertise and use its business model to scale up the Veteran Card program. APOD provides a closed membership site where Veteran Card holders can search by location, category or keyword.
If early interest is any indication, the catalogue of businesses offers may grow considerably in coming weeks and months.
In the first week following the launch, 175 new businesses asked how they could join the program in addition to a further 60 that were at various stages of the signing-up process with APOD.
Which businesses are participating
There is a wide range of businesses already participating, from retailers with hundreds of outlets Australia-wide through to veteran-owned and operated small businesses.
You can browse participating businesses on the APOD website. Full details of participating businesses and their offers are available once you have registered and logged in as a member.
They include retailers, travel and tourism operators, accommodation and car hire, entertainment, hospitality, restaurants, as well as service and trade industries such as gyms to automotive mechanics. Offers are generally discounts on goods, and range from 2.5 per cent to 40 per cent off.
The participation of individual businesses is voluntary and it is entirely a matter for each individual business to decide how much of a discount they will offer; and to revise the offers as they see fit.
How to get business benefits
DVA card holders should register with APOD at apod.com.au using their card details. Once registered, they can gain access to offers from businesses by searching its platform online, including by geographical location, and following the instructions on how to redeem the offer.
Registering with APOD makes it easier to access offers and see which businesses are participating. If card-holders don’t have access to the internet and need assistance with locating offers in their area, they can contact DVA on 1800VETERAN.
New Veteran Card applicants will have the option to be registered automatically when applying for the Covenant through MyService.
Existing Veteran Card and DVA Health Card holders are able to register with APOD by using their Veteran Card number. This will give them access to businesses that support veterans.
Each business operates differently so it is important to understand how to access their offer:
some accept the card in-store
some are online-only
most require you to use a unique code to validate an offer. This is the method required by the majority of larger businesses who need a link into their own computer systems.
It is important to register with APOD – both to see which businesses are participating and how to access the offers.
The Veteran Card continues to provide access to health services and benefits for card holders – these entitlements are unchanged.
How APOD redemption works
Business offers can be redeemed in a variety of ways, depending on how the business has made the offer available. It is important to remember that offers are only available when you are logged in as the APOD website is an exclusive secure website for the Defence community.
In addition to the digital APOD card, DVA card-holders will have access to a digital Veteran Card through the APOD website. Wherever you see the APOD and Veteran Card emblem in participating businesses, you will be able to show the digital card in the APOD ‘wallet’.
Online offers can be redeemed via the APOD website by clicking on the participating business’s offer page and following the instructions to open the business’s website and apply the promotional code, if applicable.
In-store offers can be redeemed via the APOD website by clicking on the participating business’s offer page to show the voucher and business-specific code on a mobile device. Otherwise, print it out using your computer to show at point of sale.
Digital store cards (or gift cards)
Gift cards can be purchased on the APOD website. Simply click the offer page, select the store card amount, enter credit card details (credit card processing fee applies), make the payment and then access the store card in the APOD digital wallet.
Other types of offers
Other types of offers may require members to validate their APOD membership over the phone or via email by providing their member number or a code as specified on the participating business’s offer page on the APOD website.