Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel


May 18, 2021

Veterans and families have today called on the Morrison Government to ensure they are at the centre of the Royal Commission into veteran suicide.

Today’s roundtable was hosted by the West Croydon and Kilkenny RSL Sub Branch in Adelaide and attended by veteran suicide campaigner Julie-Ann Finney. 
Many of those in attendance said they supported the Royal Commission into veteran suicides, which Labor has been calling for since 2019. 
However, some participants had serious concerns with the draft themes that the Government has released for consultation and argued the investigation needs to be much broader in terms of its scope and powers. 
The strong consensus was that the Royal Commission needed to cover a wider range of issues, including:

  • The role of agencies such as Defence and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA), and ex-service organisations;
  • Key transition issues such as veteran employment and homelessness; and 
  • The role of, and impacts on, defence and veteran families.  

In addition, several advocates argued the Royal Commission needed to have powers to make findings of civil or criminal wrongdoing and to be able to refer these to the appropriate authorities. 
Labor has been consulting widely on the Terms of Reference. Feedback from today’s forum will further inform our submission to the Government.
We also encourage everyone in the defence and veteran communities to have their say on the Terms of Reference. 
Submissions are due by 5pm this Friday, 21 May 2021 and can be sent to [email protected] or via the Attorney-General’s Department website or by writing to DVA at GPO Box 9998, Brisbane QLD 4001.