Magic Mushrooms Spiritual Healing Ceremonies

Stuart McCarthy made this Freedom of Information request to Department of Veterans' Affairs

Currently waiting for a response from Department of Veterans' Affairs, they must respond promptly and normally no later than (details).

From: Stuart McCarthy

Delivered

Dear Department of Veterans' Affairs,

On 27 February 2020, the Ex-Service Organisations Round Table (ESORT) received a briefing on magic mushrooms spiritual healing ceremonies from opera singer Tania de Jong. The presentation was approved by DVA Secretary Liz Cosson.[1]

Tania de Jong is a Director of Mind Medicine Australia (MMA), which describes itself as "a charity that enables the development of regulatory-approved and research-backed psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy for the treatment of mental ill-health in Australia." Other MMA directors include investment banker Peter Hunt, and Open Arms National Advisory Committee (NAC) chair Jane Burns.[2]

On 12 December 2019 and in late January 2020, Jane Burns met with the Federal Treasurer, the Prime Minister and the Minister for Health, to lobby for veterans mental health-related project funding, in return for opposing the Royal Commission into Veteran Suicides.

In accordance with the FOI Act, I hereby request to be provided with the following documents:

1) The MMA presentation to ESORT on or around 27 February 2020.

2) All correspondence between MMA representatives (including directors Peter Hunt, Tania de Jong and Jane Burns) and DVA officials (including but not limited to Liz Cosson and Stephanie Hodson) relating to the use of psychedelic substances for the "treatment" of mental health conditions, from 1 July 2019 to 1 March 2020.

Yours faithfully,

Stuart McCarthy

References:

1. Defence Force Welfare Association, National E-news, March 2020, https://www.vision6.com.au/em/message/em...

2. Mind Medicine Australia website https://mindmedicineaustralia.org/board/

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From: INFORMATION.LAW
Department of Veterans' Affairs


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Dear Mr McCarthy

 

Freedom of Information Request: FOI 34806

 

I refer to your request for access to documents held by the Department of
Veterans’ Affairs (Department) under the Freedom of Information Act 1982
(FOI Act). Your request was received by the Department on 10 March 2020
and was made in the following terms:

 

“On 27 February 2020, the Ex-Service Organisations Round Table (ESORT)
received a briefing on magic mushrooms spiritual healing ceremonies from
opera singer Tania de Jong. The presentation was approved by DVA Secretary
Liz Cosson.[1]

 

Tania de Jong is a Director of Mind Medicine Australia (MMA), which
describes itself as "a charity that enables the development of
regulatory-approved and research-backed psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy
for the treatment of mental ill-health in Australia." Other MMA directors
include investment banker Peter Hunt, and Open Arms National Advisory
Committee (NAC) chair Jane Burns.[2]

 

On 12 December 2019 and in late January 2020, Jane Burns met with the
Federal Treasurer, the Prime Minister and the Minister for Health, to
lobby for veterans mental health-related project funding, in return for
opposing the Royal Commission into Veteran Suicides.

 

In accordance with the FOI Act, I hereby request to be provided with the
following documents:

 

1) The MMA presentation to ESORT on or around 27 February 2020.

 

2) All correspondence between MMA representatives (including directors
Peter Hunt, Tania de Jong and Jane Burns) and DVA officials (including but
not limited to Liz Cosson and Stephanie Hodson) relating to the use of
psychedelic substances for the "treatment" of mental health conditions,
from 1 July 2019 to 1 March 2020.”

 

In accordance with section 15(5)(b) of the FOI Act, the due date for a
decision on your request is 9 April 2020.

 

When the processing period may be extended or suspended

 

The current due date may be extended by up to 30 days if agreed by you
(section 15AA of the FOI Act). Also, the due date may be extended by an
additional 30 days in each instance, if your request is considered
voluminous or complex (section 15AB of the FOI Act) or if the Department
is required to undertake a third party consultation (sections 26A, 27 or
27A of the FOI Act). If any of these extensions apply, the Department will
notify you.

 

Additionally, there are occasions where the time to process your request
may be suspended. This will usually take place if a practical refusal
consultation process takes place (section 24AB of the FOI Act) or if a
charges notice is issued to process your request (section 29 of the FOI
Act). If the Department decides that either of these apply to your
request, the Department will notify you.

 

We will write again when the Department has more information. Further
information on FOI processing can be found at the website of the Office of
the Australian Information Commissioner at [1]https://www.oaic.gov.au/.

 

Publication of documents

Please note that information released under the FOI Act may later be
published online on our disclosure log at
[2]https://www.dva.gov.au/about-us/overview...
subject to certain exceptions, such as if the documents relate to your own
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If you have any questions, please contact me using the following details:

 

Post:                      Information Law Section, Legal Services & Audit
Branch

GPO Box 9998 CANBERRA ACT 2601

Facsimile:            (02) 6289 6337

Email:                   [3][email address]

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Molly (Position Number 62213164)

Legal Officer

Information Law Section

Legal Services and Audit Branch

Department of Veterans’ Affairs

T: 1800 555 254 | E: [4][email address] | W: [5]www.dva.gov.au

 

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