Royal Commission into defence and veteran suicide

Australia’s veterans need – and deserve – immediate government action to address the many factors which lead to veteran suicides.

RSL Queensland provided the following submissions to the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide identifying issues, risks and opportunities to improve the current landscape for Australian Defence Members and Veterans:

RSL Australia Submission to Royal Commission

Information on the public hearings will be publicised on the Royal Commission website and you can subscribe to the mailing list for emails including details about hearings.

Should you wish to contact RSL Queensland regarding the Royal Commission, please do so at

Defence and Veterans Legal Service

The Attorney-General’s Department has advised that as a part of the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide two types of legal assistance arrangements will be available – a legal financial assistance scheme and a national legal advice service. Please follow this link for information about the assistance provided by the Australian Government.

The Defence and Veterans Legal Service is a free national service supporting Australian Defence Force personnel and veterans, and their families, carers and supporters to safely share their experiences with the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide.

For more information view this brochure or visit the Defence and Veterans Legal Service website.


Support is available to anyone who needs it, including:

  • Defence All-hours Support Line 1800 628 036: a confidential telephone service for ADF members and their families
  • Defence Member and Family Helpline 1800 624 608: staffed by qualified human services professionals including social workers
  • Open Arms Veterans & Families Counselling 1800 011 046: provides free and confidential counselling and support for current and former serving ADF members and their families
  • The Defence Employee Assistance Program (EAP) 1300 687 327: a free, confidential and professional counselling service available to Defence Australian Public Service (APS) employees, Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) employees, Australian Defence Force (ADF) Reservists, ADF Cadets, Officers and Instructors of ADF Cadets and their immediate families, and their supervisors/managers
  • Safe Zone Support 1800 142 072 (available 24/7): a free and anonymous counselling line, for veterans and their families, providing access to specialised counsellors, with an understanding of military culture and experience
  • Lifeline Australia (available 24/7) 13 11 14: a national charity providing all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24 hour support and suicide prevention services
  • More information can be found on the Mental Health Portal


Interim Report

On 11 August 2022, Royal Commissioners, Nick Kaldas APM (Chair), The Hon James Douglas KC and Dr Peggy Brown AO presented the Interim Report of the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide to the Governor General, His Excellency, General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd). The Interim Report provides commentary on the following: 

  • summary of work undertaken
  • preliminary observations
  • recommendations about urgent and immediate issues

View the Royal Commission Interim Report


Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) Report

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) published the fifth annual report about suicide among permanent, reserve, and ex-serving ADF members on 16 November 2022. The report will be used to inform the work of the Australian Government, ADF, health and other services. For RSL Queensland the report can help inform and reinforce planning, delivery and engagement with stakeholders, and to ensure the needs of current and ex-serving members with particular vulnerabilities, continue to be met. 

Warning: This paper includes information about numbers and rates of death by suicide for serving and ex-serving members of the ADF. If the following content 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)


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