Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide update

The Royal Commission continues to conduct its important inquiry into Defence and veteran suicide, including conducting public hearings, holding private sessions, receiving submissions, issuing notices to obtain documents and information, and holding community engagement activities.

The timeframe for the Royal Commission to provide its final report has been extended by 12 months, to 17 June 2024. This was at the request of the Royal Commission, which considers the extension vital to enabling it sufficient time to thoroughly inquire into the complex factors that contribute to deaths by suicide.

Following the extension of the Royal Commission, submissions are now open until 13 October 2023, according to the Royal Commission website.

This is your chance to share your thoughts, and to contribute to the important work of the Royal Commission. Your submission can be made anonymously and you do not need to provide your contact details. You can make a submission online via the ‘Make a submission’ link on the home page of the Royal Commission’s website, or by calling 1800 329 095 to request a mailed submission form.

The department understands this may be a difficult time for many sharing their stories and it is important for all veterans and families to know that if they need support they can contact Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling for free support and counselling (available 24/7 on 1800 011 046). Those who wish to remain anonymous, can contact Safe Zone Support on 1800 142 072.

There continues to be widespread media coverage of the Royal Commission, particularly throughout the hearings. Please reach out for help if you or someone you know is feeling distressed.

Counselling support is also available to assist people when they call or engage with the Royal Commission. This support is provided by Royal Commission staff – including before, during and after a person participates in a hearing or private session.

A free national information and legal advice service has been established for people who want to engage with the Royal Commission. It provides independent support to Defence personnel and veterans, as well as families, carers and supporters, to share their experiences with the Royal Commission.

Individuals and entities may be able to access financial assistance to meet the costs of their legal representation.

For more information on these services, visit the Royal Commission support page.

DVA’s role during the Royal Commission

DVA is completely independent from the Royal Commission. The Royal Commission operates independently from Government.

The department strongly supports the important work of the Royal Commission and is closely following its progress. We have implemented processes to ensure we respond in a timely and transparent manner to all requests from the Royal Commission.