The Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide will investigate how Defence families can be better supported ahead of the interim report due to be released in August.
At a public hearing in Sydney this week, the Commissioners heard personal accounts of complex relationships involving suicidality and family violence.
Commission Chair Nick Kaldas said: “We are listening and taking note of urgent matters that might be quickly implemented when the interim report is released”.
The Commission has also heard from witnesses who were children at the time their family member died by suicide.
“Their evidence has provided invaluable insights into the long-term, intergenerational impacts,” Commissioner Kaldas said.
In his closing statement, Counsel Assisting the Commission Kevin Connor SC thanked participants for their courage and said their stories would inform the direction of the inquiry.
“We heard numerous accounts of how difficult healing and recovery can be, especially when appropriate acknowledgment of past events and past wrongs has not occurred and when appropriate supports have not been provided,” Mr Connor said.
“We have heard about the powerful impact an apology can have and how it can be transforming.”
Other lived-experienced witnesses detailed being discharged from the military because of their sexuality. The Commission also examined delays in processing claims through the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
The Royal Commission has received almost 1200 submissions so far.
The next public hearing will be held in Sydney from 7 March 2022.
Anyone wishing to make a submission should visit the Royal Commission website.