DVA Human Research Ethics Committee (DVA HREC)

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Background

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.

Role of the Committee

The primary role of the DVA Ethics Committee 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

The DVA HREC Administrative Guidelines and Guidelines for Researchers (see below) provide valuable information about when and how to make a submission to the Ethics Committee and the responsibilities of researchers.

The DVA Ethics Committee normally meets on the second 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 (see meeting submission dates below).

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  e-mail to: research@dva.gov.au and including in the subject heading ‘for attention Serum Management Secretariat’.

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) will replace the National Privacy Principles and Information Privacy Principles and will apply to organisations, and Australian Government (and Norfolk Island Government) agencies.

This privacy fact sheet above 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.

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Meeting Dates 2014

Number of meetings: 4

  • Meeting 28 February - Submissions due 12 February
  • Meeting 16 May - Submissions due 30 April
  • Meeting 22 August - Submissions due 6 August
  • Meeting 21 November - Submissions due 5 November


Membership

  • Dr Graeme Peel – Chairman
  • Ms Kaye Hogan AM – Laywoman
  • Mr David Clinch OBE – Layman
  • Mr David Prior – Pastoral Care Role
  • Vacant – Lawyer
  • Dr Graeme Killer AO – Practicing Medical Professional
  • Dr Dirk Van Rooy – Relevant Expert (Research)
  • Dr Michael Alp - Relevant Expert (Research)
  • Ms Sandy Bell – Ex officio
  • Ms Kyleigh Heggie - Ex officio
  • DVA HREC Secretariat - Ms Megan MacDonald

Contact the DVA HREC

HREC Secretariat
Department of Veterans' Affairs
GPO Box 9998
CANBERRA ACT 2601

Telephone: (02) 6225 4659
Email: ethics.committee@dva.gov.au

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