Inspector-General ADF Afghanistan Inquiry

Welfare support services

the Inspector-General Australian Defence Force (IGADF) Afghanistan Inquiry Welfare Support logo

The Departments of Defence and Veterans’ Affairs care about the welfare of all personnel involved in the Inspector-General Australian Defence Force (IGADF) Afghanistan Inquiry.  We are committed to ensuring there is the right support available for individuals and their families.

Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel who are currently serving and are involved in, or affected by the Inquiry continue to be supported by their chain-of-command and also have access to assistance including mental health, medical, legal, pastoral and social work services.

Please ask for help if you need it.

Veterans and their families

Veterans and their families have access to support from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) and the Department of Defence. This includes support for mental health, medical, compensation and income support, transition to civilian life, and, in some cases, legal support. Ex-Service Organisations (ESO) also provide a critical role in supporting our people and their families.

  • Open Arms – Veterans and Families Counselling Service (1800 011 046) or online at www.openarms.gov.au. Open Arms provides counselling and support programs to ADF personnel and their families and operates a free-call all-hours crisis telephone service as well as providing face-to-face support. Open Arms is not part of the Department of Defence and is entirely confidential.
     
  • Safe Zone Support (1800 142 072) is a free and anonymous counselling line for current serving ADF personnel, veterans and their families.This service is available 24/7 and provides access to specialised counsellors with an understanding of military culture and experience. The service offers support without the need for individuals to identify themselves or be concerned that their call will be recorded. 
     
  • Lifeline Australia (13 11 14) is available 24/7 or online at www.lifeline.org.au. Lifeline is a national charity providing all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.
     
  • DVA (1800 555 254) is available for current and former serving ADF personnel and their families who may wish to access advice, claims and support services provided by DVA.
     
  • The ADF Health and Wellbeing portal www.defence.gov.au/health/healthportal provides information on a wide range of Defence websites containing information on ADF Health and Mental Health services and supports, as well as links to many useful external resources.
     
  • A range of ESO’s also provide support to ADF veterans and their families. Details of ESO’s can be found here.

Other key contacts

  • 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732) or online at www.1800respect.org.au is the national sexual assault domestic family violence counselling service, providing confidential online and telephone counselling, information and referral 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Current serving ADF personnel

ADF personnel involved in, or affected by, the IGADF Afghanistan Inquiry continue to be supported by their chain-of-command and also have access to a range of other assistance including mental health, medical, legal, pastoral and social work services.

For current serving ADF personnel welfare support is available through your chain of command; local Defence health facility, unit, base or ship on call chaplain, or your support officer or legal representative. You are also able to access any of the services below.

  • In the event of injury or illness, ADF personnel should call the medical advice triage referral service 1800IMSICK. This service provides nursing level triage and advice regarding appropriate access to health care.
     
  • Open Arms – Veterans and Families Counselling Service (1800 011 046) or online at www.openarms.gov.auOpen Arms provides counselling and support programs to ADF personnel and their families and operates a free-call all-hours crisis telephone service as well as providing face-to-face support. ADF personnel can sometimes feel more comfortable reaching out to Open Arms in the first instance as Open Arms is not part of Defence.
     
  • Lifeline Australia (13 11 14) available 24/7 or online at www.lifeline.org.auLifeline is a national charity providing all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.
     
  • Safe Zone Support (1800 142 072) is a free and anonymous counselling line for current serving ADF personnel, veterans and their families. This service is available 24/7 and provides access to specialised counsellors with an understanding of military culture and experience. The service offers support without the need for individuals to identify themselves or be concerned that their call will be recorded.
     
  • The ADF Health and Wellbeing portal www.defence.gov.au/health/healthportal provides information on a wide range of Defence websites containing information on ADF Health and Mental Health services and supports, as well as links to many useful external resources.
     
  • DVA (1800 555 254) is available for current and former serving ADF personnel and their families who wish to access advice, claims and support services provided by DVA.

Families of serving ADF personnel

  • All-hours Support Line (1800 628 036), available 24/7. This is a confidential telephone service that provides access to mental health advice and referral for ADF personnel and their families.
     
  • Defence Family Helpline (1800 624 608), available 24/7 or online at www.defence.gov.au/DCO/Defence-Helpline.asp. The Helpline is staffed by qualified human services professionals including social workers and psychologists.
     
  • Open Arms – Veterans and Families Counselling Service (1800 011 046) or online at www.openarms.gov.au. Open Arms provides counselling and support programs to ADF personnel and their families and operates a free-call all-hours crisis telephone service as well as providing face-to-face support. Open Arms is not part of the Department of Defence and is entirely confidential.
     
  • Safe Zone Support (1800 142 072) is a free and anonymous counselling line for current serving ADF personnel, veterans and their families. This service is available 24/7 and provides access to specialised counsellors with an understanding of military culture and experience. The service offers support without the need for individuals to identify themselves or be concerned that their call will be recorded. 
     
  • Employee Assistance Program (1300 687 327), available 24/7 free. EAP is a confidential and professional counselling service available to Defence APS employees, Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) employees, ADF reservists and cadets, officers and instructors of ADF cadets and their immediate families, and their supervisors/managers.
     
  • Family and dependants of Defence personnel have access to chaplaincy services to receive pastoral care, support or advice. Service chaplains maintain a 24/7 on-call service and have support networks across Australia. To get in touch, Defence personnel or family members can call their unit, base or ship chaplain; or ring the Defence switchboard and ask to speak to the on-call chaplain in their area. For parents of serving ADF personnel, Defence Community Organisation (DCO) has a page for parents at: www.defence.gov.au/DCO/Family/parents-carers.asp.
     
  • Lifeline Australia (13 11 14) is available 24/7 or online at www.lifeline.org.au. Lifeline is a national charity providing all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.
     
  • The ADF Health and Wellbeing portal www.defence.gov.au/health/healthportal provides information on a wide range of Defence websites containing information on ADF Health and Mental Health services and supports, as well as links to many useful external resources.
     
  • DCO provides a range of services to the families of current serving personnel.

Other key contacts

  • 1800RESPECT is the national sexual assault domestic family violence counselling service, providing confidential online and telephone counselling, information and referral 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call 1800 737 732 or online at: www.1800respect.org.au.
     
  • Defence’s Sexual Misconduct and Prevention and Response Office (SeMPRO) provides advice, guidance and support to persons affected by sexual misconduct, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and can be contacted on 1800 736 776 (1800SeMPRO) or via SeMPRO[at]defence.gov.au.

Legal support for current and former ADF members from Department of Defence

Current and former ADF members may be eligible for legal assistance, or financial assistance to obtain legal assistance from the Department of Defence for matters related to their military service.

Civil and Criminal Proceedings

Current and former ADF members may be eligible for Commonwealth financial assistance for civil or criminal legal proceedings in which they are involved, if the proceedings arise out of an incident related to their military service, and they have acted reasonably and responsibly.

Provision of financial assistance is discretionary. Approval is given on a case by case basis by a delegate within Defence Legal in the Department of Defence. This assistance does not include sourcing a legal representative.

The basis of financial assistance is the prospect of there being benefit to the Commonwealth by:

  • protecting the Commonwealth’s financial interests; or
  • being in the Commonwealth general interests, including to support current and former members who have acted reasonably and responsibly in circumstances where the Commonwealth may not be vicariously liable for their actions.

Other Legal Matters

Assistance may be provided to members who are involved in inquiries and investigations, or who are required to respond to notices to produce documents or subpoenas, and it is related to an incident that occurred during their service.

Making a Request for Legal Assistance

Legal assistance is being centrally coordinated through Defence Counsel Services in the Department of Defence.

All requests for legal assistance are to be forwarded to Defence Counsel Services to the attention of Ms Bianca Joyce on email: bianca.joyce[at]defence.gov.au.

Defence Counsel Services will acknowledge the receipt of all legal assistance requests and will:

  1. provide to current or former ADF members, information about the process for obtaining the requested legal assistance, including any forms required to be completed, and who the forms need to be sent to; and
  2. provide details of the request for legal assistance to the relevant area with Defence (for example, Defence Legal or Defence Counsel Services) which will be responsible for following up with the current or former ADF member.