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Private session requests close 28 April 2023

You can make a request for a private session until 11:59 pm AEST on 28 April 2023. The Royal Commission will continue to hold private sessions for those whose requests are granted into 2024.

Private session requests close 28 April 2023

You can make a request for a private session until 11:59 pm AEST on 28 April 2023. The Royal Commission will continue to hold private sessions for those whose requests are granted into 2024.

Video Transcript – Protections for people engaging with the Royal Commission

We've heard some current and ex-serving members and their families are unsure about sharing their very personal stories with the Royal Commission.

Whether it's about life in the ADF or their experience with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

We understand your concerns, but we want to assure you that there are very strong systems in place to protect people who want to provide information to us.

We Commissioners have recently signed an information sharing agreement with the Chief of Defence and the secretaries of the Departments of Defence and DVA.

It further strengthens the legal protections available to current and ex-serving members, as well as current and former Defence and DVA employees who wish to speak to us about their experience at work or while performing official duties.

The agreement ensures you can talk to us about these experiences, and as long as it's relevant to our terms of reference, you can't be penalised for doing so.

If you're worried about providing information to the Royal Commission, you can request a copy of this agreement from us so you and your lawyers can review the details.

There are other protections that are specifically related to giving evidence and responding to notices to provide information to the Commission.

It's a criminal offence to injure a person for giving information to or appearing before a Royal Commission. It's also illegal for your employer to fire or dismiss you for engaging with us.

If you are threatened in any way about speaking to the Royal Commission please let us know.

If you give evidence at a public or private hearing or private session nothing you say to the Royal Commission can be used against you in any civil or criminal court proceedings.

And remember, if you'd like to make a submission, you can remain anonymous.

The information you share in a private session is protected by statute, by law, and will be kept confidential unless you give consent for it to be shared.

If you have any questions or concerns about sharing information with the Royal Commission, we strongly encourage you to seek legal advice.

You may have your own lawyer or you can get in touch with the Defence and Veterans Legal Service, a free, independent national service for those wishing to engage with the Royal Commission.

We are aware that people need to feel safe to engage with the Royal Commission and we continue to work with the government to look at how we can protect people who may want to disclose information that might be considered operationally sensitive.

In most cases, it's not necessary for people to disclose operationally sensitive information when sharing their stories about suicide and suicidality.

We will continue to focus our efforts to make sure people that come forward to share with the Royal Commission are protected.

This is your chance to tell your story and help make a difference.

Royal Commission Research Program

Research is an important part of the Royal Commission’s activities. Our research program aims to inform our inquiry by providing critical knowledge and information about serving and ex-serving Defence members who have died by suicidal or have lived experience of suicidal behaviour. The findings of the research program will inform our final report and recommendations.

Find out more

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Interim Report and response

The Royal Commission's Interim Report was delivered to the Governor-General on 11 August 2022

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Published submissions

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On 8 July 2021, the Governor-General, His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd), issued Letters Patent, which established the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide. The Letters patent set out the Royal Commission’s terms of reference, which include inquiring into the systemic issues and risk factors relevant to suicide and suicide behaviours of serving and ex-serving Defence members.

Nick Kaldas APM, the Hon James Douglas KC, and Dr Peggy Brown AO have been appointed as Royal Commissioners. They delivered an interim report on 11 August 2022 and are required to produce a final report by 17 June 2024.

Find out more.