Advocacy

CARING FOR OUR DEFENCE FAMILY

Are you in the process of being medically discharged? Have you sustained illness or injury as a result of your service?

If you answered yes to either of the above questions we strongly encourage to book an appointment with one of our experience specialist today.

The Cairns RSL Sub-Branch have a number of volunteers who are highly trained and know the ins-and-outs of the DVA claims process.  They know how to gather the required documentation to assist you in lodging a successful claim.  All our Advocates are former servicemen and women, who not only understand the unique circumstances of military life, but are able to apply their own experiences to ensure that you get the compensation and benefits to which you are entitled.

Advocates

Senior Advocate – Phil Watson

Phil is a former RAEME (Army Aviation) Warrant Officer Class One with twenty-two years’ service, including two tours of Vietnam with 161 Reece Squadron.  He was seconded to the RAAF for three years and after leaving the Army worked for three years at HMAS Cairns, thus giving him exposure to all three services.

Phil has been a Cairns RSL Sub-Branch Senior Compensation Officer since 2008 and was awarded FNQ Volunteer of the Year in 2017.  Phil is a level four Advocate as well as the Far North Queensland District RSL representative on the Queensland Veterans Services Advisory Committee (QVSAC).

Advocate – Gerry Tooth

Gerry joined the Royal Australian Air Force in 1966 at the age of sixteen and was posted to Wagga Wagga in NSW to complete an Engine Fitter Apprenticeship.  Throughout his twenty year career in the RAAF, Gerry spent most of his time posted to the northern regions of Townsville, Darwin and Amberley, with his final posting to Edinburgh in South Australia where he retired as a Sergeant in 1986.

In 2012 after requiring assistance with a DVA claim and realising the need for more volunteers he joined up as an Advocate. Gerry has been volunteering for over six years and is a qualified Level Three Advocate.

Advocate – Ian Richards

Ian is a former Royal Australian Air Force Officer, with thirty years’ service, including two years on deployment in Malaysia.  He was the Senior NCO in charge of several general engineering workshops and was one of only a few people to serve in all three major aircraft depots, namely Laverton, Richmond and Amberley.  Before his retirement in 2000 he was for several years the Facilities Officer and Wing Warrant Officer for 501 Wing, the largest unit at the time in the Air Force.

Advocate – Kristen Rice

Kristen enlisted in the Royal Australian Navy as a Commissioned Officer as a Midshipman in 1997, serving for just under 20 years as a Marine Engineering Officer. Kristen saw several operational deployments to the Middle East, peacekeeping in the Solomon Islands as well as deployment on several missions to Northern Australian Area of Operations for suspect illegal entry vessels, including the Southern Ocean.

As a younger veteran and compensation advocate at the Cairns RSL Sub Branch Kristen prides herself on keeping up to date with the latest issues facing veterans when transitioning out of the Australian Defence Force.

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