The Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide has announced public hearings will begin in Melbourne on Monday 28 August.
The Royal Commission was established in mid-2021 to investigate the high rates of suicide and suicidality in Australia’s military community. Since 1997, 1600 serving and ex-serving ADF members have taken their own lives – about 20 times the number killed in active duty over roughly the same period.
Public hearings form an important component of the inquiry, helping the Royal Commission broaden its knowledge on matters including systemic issues risk factors, the availability of support services and more. The hearings are held across the country and allow the significant numbers of current and former Australian Defence personnel, including about 105,000 in Victoria, to share their knowledge and lived experiences directly with the Royal Commission
The Commission encourages written, audio and video submissions about all aspects of military life: recruitment, training, deployment, culture, injury management, transition into civilian life and the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) claims process.
The Royal Commission has so far received more than 3,350 submissions from serving and ex-serving ADF members, family and friends with lived experience, advocacy groups and experts.
Current and former members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) have until 13 October 2023 to make a submission to the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide.