Minister for Defence and Minister for Veterans’ Affairs & Defence Personnel

Department of Veterans' Affairs

Release of the Royal Commission Into defence and veteran suicide lived experience report

Today the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide has delivered a report outlining the experiences of Defence personnel, veterans and families.

The Royal Commission has collated submissions from individuals detailing experiences spanning decade of experiences over a number of decades until now.

We thank all of those who have shared and had to re-live their often distressing experiences with the Royal Commission – this took great courage and the outcomes for the Defence and veteran community will be better for it.

The Royal Commission was overwhelmed with people wishing to share their lived experience.

To ensure this could occur and recommendations could be both delivered and actioned in a timely fashion, the Albanese Government passed new laws in September 2023 to support the Royal Commission complete some 900 private hearings with the support of Assistant Commissioners.

These private sessions enabled individuals to share their personal experiences face-to-face, in a trauma informed and less formal setting.

The Albanese Government will receive the Royal Commission’s final report and recommendations, understanding that they are informed by these stories.

The Government is committed to implementing recommendations which strengthening the support for the mental health and wellbeing of our serving and ex-serving personnel and their families.

Ensuring that those who pursue a career in the Australian Defence Force have a safe and inclusive workplace and are supported from the time they join, through transition, and after service, is a priority for the Government.

We look forward to receiving the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide’s final report by 9 September 2024.

All serving and ex-serving ADF personnel and their families should know that if they need support they can contact Open Arms for free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, on 1800 011 046.

THURSDAY, 20 JUNE 2024

/Public Release.