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Latest News 8 Jul 2021

Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide

Today the Federal Government formally established a Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide and provided details on who will lead the inquiry and the terms of reference.

The inquiry will be led by Mr Nick Kaldas APM, former Deputy Commissioner of the New South Wales Police Force. Mr Kaldas will be supported by The Hon James Douglas QC, a former Judge of the Supreme Court, and Dr Peggy Brown AO, a consultant psychiatrist and national leader in mental health policy.

The Royal Commission will inquire into systemic issues and common themes related to Defence and veteran death by suicide, including the possible contribution of pre-service, service, transition, separation and post-service issues, and other matters believed by the Royal Commission to be relevant to its inquiry.

The Returned & Services League (RSL) has welcomed the appointment of the Royal Commissioners to investigate the incidence of veteran and Defence personnel suicide. You can read RSL Australia President Greg Melick’s media release here.

The RSL provided national input to the development of the Royal Commission’s terms of reference and the organisation and its members will continue to provide support to find solutions that deal with the scourge of veterans’ suicide which impacts severely on the entire veteran community.

The Royal Commission will submit an interim report by 11 August 2022, and its final report by 15 June 2023. The final report will include any findings or recommendations made by the Royal Commission.

Click here to read the Prime Minister’s media release.

Click here to go to the website for the Royal Commission.

If you, or someone you know, need support, you can contact:

  • Lifeline Australia – 13 11 14
  • Suicide Call Back Service – 1300 659 467
  • Open Arms (current and ex-serving ADF personnel and their families are able to seek this free and confidential support) – 1800 011 046
  • ADF Mental Health All-hours Support Line (for current serving ADF personnel and their families) – 1800 628 036.
  • Safe Zone Support (for current and ex-serving ADF personnel and their families) – 1800 142 072. When you call Safe Zone Support, you do not need to identify yourself if you do not want to.
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