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Who Meets the Criteria for Continuous Full-time Service





Persons who meet the criteria




Most regular members of the Defence Force (Army, Navy and Air Force) are appointed on a continuous full-time basis and thus meet the criteria. Some persons who are deemed by Ministerial Instrument to be members of the Defence Force are also deemed to have served on a continuous full-time basis.

Persons who do not meet the criteria

The following groups do not meet the requirement for continuous full-time service.

  • Members of the citizens forces during World War 2 where service in such forces is not deemed to be continuous full-time service by ministerial instrument; and
  • persons who serve part-time, (such as members of the Reserve Forces) where such service is not deemed to be continuous full-time service by ministerial instrument.
Ministerial determinations

The Minister may make a determination under s5R of the VEA that the VEA or specific parts of the VEA, are to apply to a person or a specific group as if they had served on a continuous full-time basis. For a listing of these Determinations see Legislation library Ministerial Determinations. .

Such determinations are usually made in respect of members of the Reserve Forces who performed full-time duty in an operational area. For example, such determinations have been made in respect of members of the Reserve Forces who served in South Vietnam and the Gulf War.

Such determinations have also been made in respect of members of various philanthropic organisations. In these cases, the persons involved are both deemed to be members of the Defence Force and deemed to have served on a continuous full-time basis.

Ministerial Determination for Certain Defence Force Personnel During WW2




Persons who served with the forces listed below generally served on a part-time basis.  However, such service has been deemed to be continuous full-time service by Ministerial Instrument.  Thus a person is to be treated as a full-time member of the defence force during WW2 if they:

  • served with the Citizens Military Force; or
  • served with the Volunteer Defence Corp; or
  • were appointment to the Royal Australian Air Force Reserve and were:
  • members of a civil airline required to make flights involving risk of enemy action or risk greater than normal airline operations, or
  • members of civil ground staff required for flights described above for servicing, maintaining or
  • operating the aircraft involved, or
  • employees of the Department of Civil Aviation stationed at a place where they were provided
  • with arms and were partly or wholly responsible for local defence, or
  • civil ground staff, employed by a civil airline or Department of Civil Aviation, stationed in a war
  • zone outside the mainland of Australia, or
  • were employed by Amalgamated Wireless (Australasia) Limited during the period of any appointment as Telegraphist Officers or while attested as Telegraphist Ratings in the Royal Australian Naval Volunteer Reserve (Immobilised).

Part-time reservists on extended periods of training or training camps

While training activities and training camps for reserve members may be “full time” (ie 9am-5pm or greater) for the period over which they run, they are not generally considered to be ‘continuous full time service’. 

Such service is only considered to meet this definition if a formal ‘continuous full time service’ agreement has been entered into with ADF by a reserve member prior to the service being rendered, or a ministerial determination has been made deeming a certain type of service to be continuous full time service. Where this type of agreement or determination exists, attendance at any kind of formal training is regarded as continuous full time service. 

Members during the First and Second World War who attended full time training camps and then undertook continuous full time operational service immediately after without a break in service have their training period covered as CFTS under the VEA.

For NLHC mental health purposes, the 1950s National Service scheme required members to undertake a period of fulltime service prior to a Citizen Military Force obligation.  This initial period is considered to be continuous fulltime service for purposes of NLHC mental health eligibility (but does not give rise to other coverage under the VEA).

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Service in Philanthropic Organisations

Members of the following philanthropic organisations, who provided welfare services to the Australian defence force on or after 7 December 1972, are deemed to be members of the defence force, rendering defence service.

  • the Australian Red Cross
  • the Campaigners for Christ-Everyman's Welfare Society
  • the Salvation Army
  • the Young Women's Christian Association of Australia
  • the Young Men's Christian Association of Australia
  • the Australian Forces Overseas Fund



The Australian Defence Force includes:

  • Australian Army
  • Royal Australian Navy (RAN)
  • Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF)