Defence acknowledges today’s announcement that the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will conduct a Defence case study.
The Defence case study will inquire into allegations of child abuse within certain areas of the Australian Defence Force. This includes allegations of historical abuse of children under the age of 18 and will focus on Navy’s former Junior Recruit Training Establishment at HMAS Leeuwin, the Army Apprentices’ School at Balcombe, and Australian Defence Force Cadet organisations from 2000 to present.
Defence is assisting the Royal Commission and fully supports its objectives to safeguard children. The safety and wellbeing of children involved with, or working in, Defence is paramount.
Understanding the nature and extent of historical abuse is fundamental to improving our culture and how our people are treated and Defence recognises and commends the courage of people who are sharing their personal experiences.
Defence’s senior leaders have clearly and publicly stated that unacceptable behaviour, including sexual misconduct, is not tolerated in any form.
Over the past three years Defence has acknowledged past abuse and worked with government to develop ongoing cultural reform programs, improve policies, and support procedures, and to address any allegations.
Defence has also implemented processes and programs designed to help people feel safe to report incidences of unacceptable behaviour and confident action will be taken.
While acknowledging the case study into parts of Defence, it would be inappropriate for Defence to comment in detail on matters before the Royal Commission.