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Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide to hear from DVA boss and Comcare at Canberra hearing

The head of the Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) is among senior Commonwealth officials who will appear during the second week of public hearings at the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide in Canberra.

DVA Secretary Liz Cosson will be questioned about significant delays to claims processing. This matter will also be discussed by an expert panel including representatives from Defence, DVA and the Commonwealth Superannuation Commission.

The inquiry will also hear from the Chief Executive of the work, health and safety regulator, Comcare, about its monitoring of Defence efforts to address risk factors that may contribute to service-related suicide. Commission Chair Nick Kaldas said the hearing would also address cultural change in the ADF and transition to civilian life. "There will be evidence from experts and lived experience witnesses who have felt the impact of suicide in the Defence Community," Commissioner Kaldas said. "This hearing will be crucial as the Commissioners prepare for the release of the interim report in August."

Last week, the inquiry heard about the impact of military life on families. Witnesses described inadequate support for people who have lost a loved one to suicide. The Canberra hearing is open to the public. Anyone who would like to attend is required to register and provide proof of vaccination.

A livestream is available on the homepage. Anyone affected by Defence and veteran suicide is encouraged to make a submission.

The Royal Commission will release an interim report by 11 August, which will focus on issues requiring urgent or immediate action.