Veterans and their families, local ex-service organisations and other stakeholders are being encouraged to provide their input for the Terms of Reference for the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide, recently announced by the Australian Government.
Federal Member for Wright, Scott Buchholz said it was important that local Defence personnel, veterans, their families and the returned services support system had a say through the Royal Commission process.
“Over the coming weeks a public consultation process is being undertaken to ensure the Royal Commission is focused and based on the lived experiences and perspectives of those who have been impacted by Defence and veteran suicide,” Mr Buchholz said.
“I encourage anyone in our community, that has a view, thoughts, ideas or insight to have their say, to share that experience so that we can work together and ensure the Royal Commission is focused on those impacted, to achieve change.
“This entire process is about a better understanding of suicide in the serving and ex-serving community and making sure we get better support and achieve real improvements in this area, it is so important,” Mr Buchholz said.
Following consultation, all feedback will be provided to the Attorney-General’s Department which will lead the drafting of the Terms of Reference.
Interested individuals, groups, peak bodies, ex-service organisations and community members are able to review the broad themes for consultation on the Department of Veterans Affairs website and can contribute to the consultation process by emailing
firstname.lastname@example.org or via post to Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide, GPO Box 9998, Brisbane QLD 4001.
For anyone who may find this process difficult, help is available and can make a difference. Current serving members can access support through their local Garrison Health Centre or by contacting the All Hours Support Line available 24/7 on 1800 628 036.
Open Arms — Veterans & Families Counselling provides support and counselling to current ADF members, veterans and their families and can be contacted 24/7 on 1800 011 046.
For those who wish to remain anonymous can also contact Safe Zone Support on 1800 142 072. This is a free and anonymous counselling line established for veterans and their families who may have concerns about anonymity.