RSL Australia submission to Consultation on Terms of Reference for the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide

A message from RSL NSW President Ray James

I am pleased to advise that following the request for feedback from sub-Branches through District Councils, RSL NSW has contributed to the RSL Australia submission on the Themes for Consultation to inform the Terms of Reference for the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide which was lodged on 21 May. You can read the submission here.

RSL State Branches across the country (except Queensland) provided member feedback which contributed to the RSL Australia submission.

The feedback received was consistent across the Branches, and predominantly in these areas:

  • Barriers to implementing previous inquiries re this topic, and for the Royal Commission going forward
  • External factors (outside of ADF service) including suicidality
  • Review of existing national data on all suicides, and evidence-based information for further reviews
  • Mental health research and processes for veterans
  • Support for serving personnel/veterans within the Service, and from NGOs and ESOs
  • Post Defence service employment opportunities
  • Transition processes
  • DVA Claims processes
  • Social media influence and disinformation

The submission also communicated RSL members’ views on the scope of the Royal Commission, the need for clarity between the function of the Royal Commissioner/s and the role of the National Commissioner for Defence and Veteran Suicide Prevention and the importance of reviewing the previous work in this area.

We will continue to listen to and advocate for all veterans throughout the Royal Commission. The RSL NSW Strategic Plan, which was formulated following consultation with members, has set us up well to be the leading agents of change to improve the lives of veterans.