Coat of arms

Senator for South Australia

Media Release
22 April 2021

Consultation Open for Royal Commission

Veterans and their families, ex-service organisations and other interested stakeholders from Adelaide’s north-eastern suburbs are being encouraged to provide their input for the Terms of Reference for the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide announced this week.

Senator the Hon David Fawcett, Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, said it was vital that residents of Adelaide’s north-eastern suburbs involved in Defence and veteran support had their say through the Royal Commission.

“Over the coming weeks a public consultation process is being undertaken to ensure the Royal Commission is focused and based on the experiences and perspectives of those who have been impacted by Defence and veteran suicide,” Senator Fawcett said.

“The Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide and the the proposed National Commissioner for Defence and Suicide Prevention are to be established together and operate in a complementary way to achieve long-term change.

“The Royal Commission is to systemically investigate past deaths by suicide (including suspected suicides and lived experience of suicide risks), while the National Commissioner is to have a forward-looking role, including overseeing the implementation of the Royal Commission’s recommendations and providing a voice to Government on this issue.

“The subsequent findings and recommendations of the Royal Commission will be vital in informimg the proposed National Commissioner’s ongoing work including the implementation of recommendations, so I encourage any member of the community or any organisation with something to say on this matter to put forward their view.

“The consultation process is now open and I encourage anyone with thoughts, ideas or experiences to share, to have their say so we can work together towards a better understanding of suicide in the serving and ex-serving community.”

Following consultation, all feedback will be provided to the Attorney-General’s Department which will lead the drafting of the Terms of Reference. Interested individuals, groups, peak bodies, ex-service organisations and community members are able to review the broad themes for consultation on the DVA website – available here – and can contribute to the consultation process by emailing [email protected] or via post to Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide, GPO Box 9998, Brisbane QLD 4001.

For anyone who may find this process difficult, help is available. Current serving members can access support through their local Garrison Health Centre or by contacting the All Hours Support Line available 24/7 on 1800 628 036.

Open Arms — Veterans & Families Counselling provides support and counselling to current ADF members, veterans and their families and can be contacted 24/7 on 1800 011 046.

For those who wish to remain anonymous can also contact Safe Zone Support on 1800 142 072. This is a free and anonymous counselling line established for veterans and their families who may have concerns about anonymity.