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Witnesses give evidence about the impact of unacceptable behaviour on military recruits

The eighth public hearing of the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide has finished in Wagga Wagga today, with witnesses giving important evidence about the impact of military training on recruits.

The last public hearing for 2022 has heard from senior representatives of some of Australia's military recruit schools, as well as lived experience witnesses.

In his closing address, Commissioner Chair Nick Kaldas said recommendations made by the inquiry would lead to a more positive environment for trainees, and help address issues to do with recruitment and retention.

"Without addressing and fixing the problems in recruitment, training, culture, service life, transition and discharge, and other risk factors that have been identified." Commissioner Kaldas said.

"And without engaging better around the issues experienced by families of ADF personnel, the Navy, Army and Air Force will not be able to attract and retain the personnel they so urgently need."

Commissioner Kaldas thanked those who shared their experiences with the Commission this year.
"We honour all of the lived experience witnesses who have shared their stories with us in this public forum."

"Their strength, courage and ability to recount often harrowing and distressing details has been profound and inspiring. Their testimony has proved invaluable to our understanding of the issues at the centre of our inquiry and we sincerely thank them all for speaking to us."

More than 230 witnesses have appeared at the Commission's public hearings, and more than 250 people have attended private sessions.

The next public hearing will be held in Perth from 15 May 2023.