Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide timeline

RSL NSW member and RSL Ambassador Pete Rudland shares his reflections on the progress of the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide, alongside a timeline of key milestones.

This article discusses veteran suicide and other issues that may impact veterans. If any of this raises issues for you, don’t go through it alone:

  • Open Arms 24/7 Support Line (1800 011 046)
  • Suicide Call Back Service (1300 659 467)
  • Lifeline 24/7 Crisis Support (13 11 14)
  • Beyond Blue Support Service (1300 224 636)

At a glance:

  • Army veteran, RSL NSW member and RSL Ambassador Pete Rudland has attended almost all hearing sessions of the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide on behalf of the RSL.
  • Nine hearing sessions have so far taken place, with at least two more scheduled prior to the release of the final report in June 2024.
  • Pete, who is also appointed to the Royal Commission’s Stakeholder Reference Group, says actionable recommendations are needed as the Commission enters the final 12 months.
  • He says the wider veteran community needs to embrace those recommendations rather than stay divided.

The Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide is ongoing, with RSL NSW member and RSL Australia ambassador Pete Rudland attending almost every hearing session.

Nine hearing sessions have so far taken place, with at least two more scheduled to follow in late 2023.

To help support the veteran community during this time, RSL NSW has established a Royal Commission Office at ANZAC House, which provides support to all veterans in engagement with the Royal Commission. The RSL continues to work with the Commissioners, other ESOs and stakeholders to address the urgent needs of the Defence community.

An Interim Report was released on 11 August 2022. RSL NSW, our charity partner RSL LifeCare Veteran Services, RSL Australia and other partner organisations are committed to supporting the Interim Report’s 13 recommendations.

The RSL organised the second National ESO Forum on 30 May, aiming to facilitate the coming together of representatives from across the sector and to address the emerging issues from the Royal Commission.

The RSL will be represented at all future sessions, and will continue to advocate for the welfare of Defence members and veterans long after the Final Report has been released.

Here’s a timeline of major milestones since the start of the Royal Commission.

The Veterans’ Catalogue gives veterans and families access to more than 1,500 providers offering essential support and services. Access the app on the RSL Australia website.

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