Cover Plus The Care: A Centenary History of the Defence Service Homes Insurance and Loan Schemes

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INTRODUCTION The Centenary of the Defence Service Homes Scheme (DSHS) in 2019 is an opportunity to look back over this unique organisation’s remarkable and surprisingly complex history. Established initially as the visionary War Service Homes Scheme, part of the vast repatriation efort that strived to provide support for returned service men and women afer the First World War, DSHS (as it later became) included from its foundation an important Insurance component, which has remained a distinguishing feature throughout the Scheme’s history. In the hundred years since 1919, the repatriation system has changed almost beyond recognition, although retaining its fundamental commitment to the welfare of Australia’s veterans. DSHS too has altered, navigating its way through numerous legislative and administrative changes over the years, including the historic sale of the Defence Service Homes Loans portfolio to Westpac in 1989. Signifcantly, it was planned initially to include the Insurance component (Defence Service Homes Insurance Scheme, or DSHIS) as part of the Westpac sale, but this aspect of the arrangement was soon dropped. Thus DSHIS remained a distinct but integral element of the Department of Veterans’ Afairs (of which it had become a part in 1976). This was partly because DSHIS was (and is) entirely self-funding and not a call on the public purse, and partly a result of its reputation for outstanding service to the veteran community, exemplifed in its moto ‘Cover plus the Care’.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCanberra
PublisherDepartment of Veteran Affairs
Number of pages60
ISBN (Print)9780648661122
Publication statusPublished - 23 Mar 2020

Bibliographical note

With the exception of the Coat of Arms and all photographs and graphics, this publication is licensed under a Creative Commons Atribution 3.0 Australia Licence. The Creative Commons Atribution 3.0 Australia Licence is a standard form licence agreement that allows you to copy, distribute, transmit and adapt this publication provided that you atribute the work. The full licence terms are available from


  • Australian Defence Force
  • Defence Service Homes
  • Insurance and loan schemes


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