The Association was formed in 1959 as the Regular Defence Force Welfare Association (RDFWA) for the purpose of promoting and protecting the interests of serving and former members of the Australian Defence Force (ie in those days the Permanent Forces of the Commonwealth) and their families.
It was formed by service and ex-service personnel to fight the government and the bureaucracy, on behalf of all service personnel, over the transition from the DFRB Pension Scheme to DFRDB. It successfully protected their interests during protracted discussions and negotiations with The Joint Select Parliamentary DFRB Committee formed to review the DFRB legislation and which oversaw the introduction of the DFRDB. RDFWA drew the following comment from the Chairman of that Committee, Mr. John Jess CBE MP:
“It is important that every serviceman join and stay with the RDFWA and have a strong voice.”
In 2007 the name of the RDFWA was changed to the Defence Force Welfare Association (DFWA) to recognise that we now extend this purpose to both full time and reserve members.
A detailed history - HOW IT ALL BEGAN - was first compiled by the NSW Branch of the then RDFWA and published in the November 1979, issue of "CAMARADERIE" . It has been adjusted to reflect recent history.
The (previous) Minister for Defence endorses the Association and encourages membership.
The Chief of the Defence Force supports the work of the DFWA, as did the previous CDF.