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About the Commission

The Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide was established on 8 July 2021. Under the Letters Patent, the Royal Commissioners are required to produce an interim report by 11 August 2022 and a final report by 15 June 2023. The Letters Patent set out the Royal Commissioners’ terms of reference.

Royal Commissioners

Mr Nick Kaldas APM (Chair)

Nick Kaldas held two of the most senior roles in the New South Wales Police Force executive (Sydney, NSW), serving as Deputy Commissioner for almost a decade, and prior to that, Assistant Commissioner (Counter Terrorism and Special Tactics). He relieved as Commissioner of Police extensively. His career as a NSW Police Officer spanned almost 35 years, primarily in major and organised crime investigations, and counter-terrorism, with over a decade in Homicide investigations. He also served in a number of senior roles within the United Nations system, and led the UN investigations into the assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri and into the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian conflict.  He was a member of numerous Government committees, at State and national levels. He is Egyptian-born, and fluent in Arabic and partially in French.

He is a member of the Advisory Board of Multicultural NSW.  He holds a Masters’ Degree in Public Policy and Administration and is a graduate of the FBI’s Hostage Negotiation Program, their Leadership in Counter Terrorism Program, and the FBI National Executive Institute, the peak program for law enforcement executives. He has received numerous awards, including the Australian Police Medal, the National Medal, the Overseas Humanitarian Service Medal, and numerous commendations for outstanding performance of duty in Australia and overseas.

He holds Adjunct Professorships with Western Sydney University (WSU) and Charles Sturt University in Australia, and has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate by WSU. He has lectured intermittently on the National Security College of the Australian National University. He was a member of the Australian National Counter Terrorism Committee for 8 years, the peak policy body dealing with Counter Terrorism in Australia. He is a Senior Fellow with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, the largest think tank in Australia.

Mr Nick Kaldas APM (Chair)

The Hon James Douglas QC

James Douglas was a Judge of the Supreme Court of Queensland from 27 November 2003 until his retirement on 9 February 2020.  He holds degrees in Arts and Law from the University of Queensland and a postgraduate Bachelor of Laws (1976) from Cambridge University.  In 1972 he served as associate to his father, the Honourable Justice James Douglas, and later to the Right Honourable Sir Harry Gibbs GCMG KBE AC (1973–74).

He was admitted as a barrister of the Supreme Court of Queensland in 1973 and, after completing his studies at Cambridge in 1976, commenced practice at the bar in 1977.  He was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1989.  He served as president (1999–2001) of the Bar Association of Queensland.  As a member of the Supreme Court he chaired the Rules Committee and the Streamlining Criminal Justice Committee. 

Outside the law he has been Chairman of the Queensland Theatre Company (1990–1996); Chairman of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra Advisory Board (1989–1996); president of the Alliance Française de Brisbane Inc (2005–2010); a member of the Senate of the Australian Catholic University (2013 to date); and president of the Order of Malta Australia (2019 to date).  He is married with two adult children.

The Hon James Douglas QC

Dr Peggy Brown AO

Peggy Brown is a psychiatrist who has formerly held roles including Senior Clinical Advisor at the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care; Chief Executive Officer of the National Mental Health Commission; Director-General, ACT Health; Chief Psychiatrist/Director of Mental Health in Queensland, the Australian Capital Territory, and the Northern Territory; and an NHS International Fellow in the United Kingdom.

She has also served as a Member of the Agency Management Committee of the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, a Member of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee, Co-Chair of the Council of Clinical Leads for the International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership, Chair of the Research Advisory Council for Clear Thinking Queensland, Board Member of Health Workforce Australia, Board Member of the National eHealth Transition Authority, Advisory Board Member of Healthscope, and Patron of the Australian BPD Foundation.

In January 2018, she was admitted as an Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to medical administration in the area of mental health through leadership roles at the state and national level, to the discipline of psychiatry, to education and to health care standards.

Dr Peggy Brown AO

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