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Veterans’ Advocacy and Support Services Scoping Study

Veterans' Advocacy Scopy Tudy

An independent study is investigating how veterans and their families are assisted to access entitlements and services. The Veterans' Advocacy and Support Services Scoping Study is being led by Mr Robert Cornall AO, former Chair of the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce. The advocacy study is expected to recommend a model to the Australian Government in December 2018.

Two parliamentary committees have recommended changes to the current advocacy system.

The aim of the advocacy study is to recommend the most suitable advocacy model for Australian veterans and their families so they have:

  • a sustainable, consistent and reliable advocacy service which is scalable based on demand
  • an efficient and effective service to assist them to access their entitlements so they can focus on more important things, such as rehabilitation and their civilian life
  • a level of service which, at a minimum, is comparable in quality and value with other cohorts accessing government entitlements
  • a service based on their needs, irrespective of age, and which adequately protects their interests, and
  • if their claim is not accepted, access to advice on why it was unsuccessful and options for appeal.

For more information read the Terms of Reference.

Study Update: 14 September 2018

I am pleased to provide this update on the scoping study’s progress.

The study’s public consultation period has now closed.  Since May 2018, the study has spoken to more than 300 hundred people in individual consultations which have taken place in every capital city and a regional centre in each state and the Northern Territory. In many cases, individuals shared their personal experiences with us. We also met with a large number of advocates and representatives from ex-service, government, health, legal and community organisations.

The study received over 220 submissions during the three-months to 31 August. Nearly 80 per cent of the submissions were from individual veterans, current serving members or members of their families. Open or name withheld submissions can be read on the study’s website:

The opportunity to make a submission or attend a consultation session was promoted widely through media releases, information provided to ex-service organisations, advertising in local newspapers and via social media.

We have collected a wide range of views, ideas and experiences from those consultations and submissions. They will greatly assist us in the preparation of the study’s report and recommendations.

Over the next two weeks the study will be undertaking further consultations in Canada and the United Kingdom.

The report is to be delivered to the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs in December and I expect it will be made public early next year.

If you would like to receive updates on the progress of the Veterans’ Advocacy and Support Services Scoping study, please send an email to

Kind regards

Signed: Rob Cornall AO, Study Lead

Rob Cornall AO
Study Lead

Public consultation

The veteran, ex-service and Defence communities are being widely consulted as part of the advocacy study, including younger veterans, female veterans and veterans' families. The study is also seeking the views of relevant policy and other stakeholders, including the Veterans' Review Board, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, and representatives from the legal, community, health and disability sectors. The study will also consider comparable overseas advocacy services for veterans.

Meetings occurred in all capital cities and in regional centres from June to September 2018.

Discussion paper and submissions

A discussion paper was published to generate discussion and to assist in the preparation of submissions:

Submissions were accepted until 31 August 2018.


If you have any questions about the advocacy study, the questionnaires or about making a submission, please send an email to

Read submissions

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