Royal Commission into Defence & Veteran Suicide

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The Royal Commission into Defence & Veteran Suicide will consult with veteran support organisations on the draft Terms of Reference. 

The Morrison Government recently announced it would request the Governor-General to establish a Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide.  

The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister for Defence Personnel, Darren Chester made it clear that it was vital the Australian community, especially those involved in the Defence and the veteran support system had input to the Royal Commission.  The themes for consultation are described at https://www.dva.gov.au/royal-commission-defence-and-veteran-suicide-themes-consultation.

Input to the Terms of Reference for the Royal Commission will be collated by Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA).  Minister Chester will lead the public consultation process on the draft Terms of Reference. The Prime Minister will write to First Ministers inviting their contributions to the draft Terms of Reference with the view of a joint Commonwealth-State Royal Commission. It is important to note that DVA does not own the Terms of Reference and is compelled to provide comments received to the Attorney-General. 

The Government intends that the Royal Commission and the National Commissioner for Defence and Veteran Suicide Prevention will be established together and operate in a complementary way to achieve long-term change. 

The Royal Commission will look at past deaths by suicide (including suspected suicides and lived experience of suicide risks) from a systemic point of view, while the National Commissioner will have a forward-looking role, including overseeing the implementation of the Royal Commission’s recommendations.  The Government envisages that three Commissioners will be needed to lead the Inquiry. Consultation is underway to appoint these candidates. 

The Air Force Association supports the Government’s decision to hold a Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide and is committed to the process.  The Association will provide input to the draft Terms of Reference. 

Those who wish to provide written feedback can now do so either directly to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs website or alternatively, through the Attorney General’s website. 

  1. The direct link to the Attorney-General’s website page to provide feedback is: Defence and Veteran Suicide Royal Commission – Public Consultation | Attorney-General’s Department (ag.gov.au)
  2. The link to the DVA website: www.dva.gov.au/public-consultation-inform-terms-reference-royal-commission-defence-and-veteran-suicide
  3. Members may prefer to provide their comments direct to DVA by emailing royalcommission@dva.gov.au or to their State/Territory AFA Division for consideration towards the Association’s submission. 

Divisional inputs are to reach natpres@raafa.org,au by no later than 14th May, 2021.  Please note, submissions are to reach DVA by 21st May, 2021.  Response dates are set by the Attorney-General. 


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