Royal Commission into Defence and Veterans Suicide
What is a Royal Commission?
A Royal Commission is an investigation, independent of government, into a matter of great importance. Royal Commissions have broad powers to hold public hearings, call witnesses under oath and compel evidence.
Royal Commissions make recommendations to government about what should change. Each Royal Commission has terms of reference, which define the issues it will look into.
What is the Royal Commission into Defence and Veterans Suicide investigating?
The Royal Commission into Defence and Veterans Suicide was set up on 8 July 2021 to investigate issues and themes relating to deaths by suicide, attempted or contemplated suicide, and poor mental health outcomes amongst current and ex-serving members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF).
Is the Royal Commission relevant to you?
The Royal Commission wants to hear about the impact that ADF service has had on a current or ex-serving member’s mental health and wellbeing. In particular, what they experienced during their service, the influence of ADF culture, the process of adjusting to civilian life post-transition, difficulties in obtaining veteran entitlements, and lived experience of suicide.
It is really important for people to tell the Royal Commission their story and to point out any systemic issues within the ADF or veteran support services so that there can be effective change.
Where can you get advice about sharing your experiences with the Royal Commission?
The Defence and Veterans Legal Service (DAVLS) provides free and independent legal advice and support to current and ex-serving members of the Australian Defence Force, as well as their families, carers and supporters, who want to share their experiences with the Royal Commission into Defence and Veterans Suicide.
It is an initiative set up by National Legal Aid, funded by the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department.
How can the Defence and Veterans Legal Service help you?
The Defence and Veterans Legal Service can:
- provide legal advice about your rights and protections when engaging with the Royal Commission
- support you to share your experiences safely (and anonymously if needed) through a submission or private session
- give you practical assistance in writing your submission to ensure that your story and message are communicated to the Royal Commission as effectively as possible, and
- connect you with other services, such as counselling, advocacy and other legal support for matters that are not related to the Royal Commission.
How can you contact the Defence and Veterans Legal Service in WA?
The DAVLS solicitor for Western Australia is Mitchell Caubo. He has an office located at Veteran Central on Level 2 of ANZAC House and is available for appointments face to face (subject to COVID-19 restrictions) or by telephone.
You can book an appointment by calling 1800 33 1800.
Reviewed: 12 April 2022