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Submissions close at 11:59 pm AEDT on Friday 13 October 2023. Share your story by making a submission.

Due to the high volume of submissions and enquiries it is currently taking longer than usual for Royal Commission staff to follow up on submissions or respond to enquiries. Anyone requiring urgent support is encouraged to contact a 24/7 crisis service.

Hearings

 

 

The Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide is conducting hearings in capital cities and some towns across Australia.

At public hearings, the Commissioners hear evidence for the purposes of their inquiry.

The following upcoming hearings have been announced:

Please note these are indicative dates and may be subject to change. Venue locations for each of the hearings will be provided closer to the date.

Further information will be provided about other hearing locations and dates when they become available. You can subscribe to our mailing list to receive email updates from the Royal Commission, including details about public hearings.

Watch the livestream of previous hearings

These hearings are open to the public and will also be livestreamed on our homepage.

A registration link to attend our public hearings will be available on this page, and the individual hearing page, in the lead up to each hearing. It is not compulsory to register but it does help us to ensure the event is COVIDSafe and that there are enough support staff available.

Hearing room

The hearing room

Please be aware that Royal Commission hearings may contain material or images that are distressing for some people. The public nature of the hearings also means that there may be people in military uniform, as well as military service providers in attendance. You can get support or speak to a member of our Counselling team if you find the themes being discussed at the hearings are upsetting.

You can subscribe to our mailing list to receive email updates from the Royal Commission, including details about public hearings.

Anyone wishing to make a submission to the Royal Commission can do so.

The Royal Commission will continue to accept submissions until 13 October 2023. Sharing your experiences will help the Royal Commission understand, among other issues:

  • systemic issues among serving and ex-serving Defence member deaths by suicide
  • risk factors and suicide behaviour
  • the availability of support services

The Royal Commission cannot decide or resolve individual cases or award compensation.

There is compensation paid to witnesses who are summoned to appear at a hearing. If you are appearing at the Royal Commission as a witness, you will receive a Summons to Appear before your appearance date and you will be provided the details of the expenses you can claim for travelling and maintenance while away from home.  

There is also financial assistance available under the Legal Financial Assistance Scheme to individuals and entities, to help meet the costs of legal representation and disbursements associated with engaging with the Royal Commission.

Find out more about counselling and other supports available to individuals who are witness at a hearing.

Please note these are indicative dates and may be subject to change. Venue locations for each of the hearings will be provided closer to the date.

Further information will be provided about other hearing locations and dates when they become available.

A person or organisation may seek Leave to Appear at a public hearing of the Royal Commission if they wish to actively participate in the public hearing in a capacity other than as a witness, or have a legal representative participate on their behalf. For example, someone with Leave to Appear at a hearing might instruct their legal representative to ask witnesses questions or make submissions on how the Commissioners should interpret the law and/or evidence.

Leave to Appear applications are typically made by people or organisations who are the subject of evidence before the Royal Commission. This may include individuals as well as service providers and government agencies.

Leave to Appear is different to other forms of engagement with the Royal Commission and will only be only granted in limited circumstances where the person or organisation has a direct and substantial interest in the subject matter of the hearing (see Practice Guideline 2). Importantly, it is not necessary to seek Leave to Appear to share your experience with the Royal Commission. That can be done in a number of other ways, including by making a submission.

Prior to each hearing, the Royal Commission will invite people and organisations who may have a direct and substantial interest in a particular hearing to make an application for Leave to Appear.

Everyone who makes an application for Leave to Appear will be notified of the outcome of their application.

For more information about Leave to Appear, please download our Leave to Appear Guidance Note.

Apply for Leave to Appear

Hearing Block 2, Sydney

The Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide conducted its 2nd hearing block at the Pullman Sydney Hyde Park Hotel from Monday 14 February – Friday 18 February 2022.

Hearing Block 1, Brisbane

The Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide commenced its 1st hearing block at the Brisbane Convention Centre on Monday 29 November 2021.

Ceremonial Hearing, Brisbane

The Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide commenced its proceedings with a Ceremonial Hearing at the Brisbane Convention Centre on Friday 26 November 2021.

Directions Hearings

Directions hearings may be held in circumstances where the Commissioners need to determine, or make directions with respect to, procedural issues affecting the conduct of the Commission’s inquiry or the interests of a party with leave to appear.