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DVA Human Research Ethics Committee

Establishment of a joint HREC

Following a Government decision to merge the Department of Veterans’ Affairs Human Research Ethics Committee and the Australian Defence Human Research Ethics Committee, a new joint human research ethics committee will be established from 1 July 2017.

Membership will require approximately eight hours per month, subject to ebbs and flows, to review applications, attend committee meetings in Canberra and review any out of session applications.  For further information about the DDVAHREC, go to The Departments of Defence and Veterans’ Affairs Human Research Ethics Committee (DDVA HREC) page or contact DVA HREC Secretariat at or A/Director Defence Health Research – 02 6266 3807 or .

Expressions of interest for membership to the DDVAHREC are now closed. Interviews will be held over the coming weeks and details of membership for the new committee will be made publicly available once finalised.


In accordance with National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) guidelines, the Department of Veterans' Affairs Human Research Ethics Committee (DVA HREC) was established in September 1993 by the Repatriation Commission.

The Committee complies with the NHMRC’s National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Research Involving Humans 2007 (National Statement).

Members of the Ethics Committee are appointed by the Repatriation Commission and the Committee reports back to the Commission on its activities.


The primary role of the DVA HREC is to protect the welfare and rights of members of the veteran community who are participants in human research. Broadly defined, human research is conducted with or about people, their data or tissue.

In ensuring compliance with the National Statement, the Committee views research protocols from an ethical, moral and social perspective, irrespective of whether or not DVA is funding, or is likely to be responsible for, the research. The Committee also considers a participants right to privacy as protected by the Privacy Act 1988.

When and how to make a submission

For information about when and how to make a submission to the DVA HREC and the responsibilities of researchers refer to:

The committee normally meets on the third Friday every three months (February, May, August and November). Submissions to the DVA HREC Secretariat are required at least two weeks prior to each meeting.

Where a submission is in respect to accessing data or blood samples or contacting participants from the Study of Health Outcomes in Aircraft Maintenance Personnel (SHOAMP) or the Gulf War Veterans' Health Study then, in the first instance, the research proposal is to be submitted to the SHOAMP/Gulf War Serum Management Committee (SMC) for in-principle endorsement.

The SHOAMP/Gulf War SMC Secretariat can be contacted by email to Include in the subject heading ‘For attention Serum Management Secretariat’.

VVCS is happy to consider requests to support research with veterans and their families that build the evidence-base for effective treatment approaches.

It is a requirement that VVCS provides its approval of the research prior to seeking approval from the DVA Ethics Committee.  Approval for the research covers only the promotion of participation to VVCS clients through VVCS channels i.e. centre artwork and Facebook, but does not allow direct access to clients including via direct mail or any other means.  VVCS will not actively screen or refer subjects to a study unless it is a study that VVCS is undertaking or is a joint research partner, or is sponsored by the Department.

Meeting Dates 2017

  • Meeting 17 February - Submissions due 1 February
  • Meeting 19 May - Submissions due 3 May


Notes on documentation

The above Study Protocol form is in Microsoft Word format. This is the acceptable method for submitting applications. You can download the form to your system where you can complete the questions by entering responses in the table cells, as you would in any Word table. The proforma also contains an agreement to be signed by the Principal Researcher. You will need to print a hard copy of the completed protocol in order to sign the agreement at Part D, the original of which can be scanned and emailed to the Secretariat.

From 12 March 2014, the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) replaced the National Privacy Principles and Information Privacy Principles and apply to organisations and Australian Government (and Norfolk Island Government) agencies.

This privacy fact sheet provides the text of the 13 APPs from Schedule 1 of the Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012, which amends the Privacy Act 1988.  For the latest versions of these Acts visit the ComLaw website.


The members of the DVA HREC are:

  • Dr Graeme Peel AM CSC – Chairman
  • Ms Kaye Hogan AM – Laywoman
  • Mr Bronson Horan – Layman
  • Mr David Prior – Pastoral Care Role
  • Ms Rachel Vance – Lawyer
  • Dr Graeme Killer AO – Practicing Medical Professional
  • Dr Dirk Van Rooy – Relevant Expert (Research)
  • Dr Michael Alp – Relevant Expert (Research)
  • Mr Christian Callisen – Ex officio
  • Ms Veronica Hancock Ex-officio
  • DVA HREC Secretariat – Melissa Preston


HREC Secretariat
Department of Veterans' Affairs
GPO Box 9998


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