Nick Caldas leads the Royal Commission on Defense and Veteran Suicides
Prime Minister Scott Morrison formally launched a Royal Commission into the suicides of veterans and defense personnel on Thursday, announcing that a former New South Wales policeman would lead the investigation.
The Royal Commission will examine methodological issues and cross-cutting topics related to defense and veteran suicides, chaired by former NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Nick Kaldas.
“The death of any ADF member or veteran is a tragedy that all Australians feel deeply,” said Scott Morrison.
“As a government, we are committed to addressing the continuing impact of the service, including preventing future deaths by suicide and providing opportunities for recovery.”
The commission will investigate issues that occur during service, transition from service and length of service after separation.
From 2001 to 2017, an Australian veteran died by suicide every two weeks, According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.
More Australian war veterans have committed suicide than have died on active duty since the Australian Defense Forces were deployed to Afghanistan in 2001.
The Royal Commission will be able to investigate any previous deaths by suicide, and into suspected suicides.
Mr Morrison assured the veterans and their families that the Royal Commission would conduct its investigations in a “trauma-informed manner”.
Financial, legal, advisory and other support services will also be provided to those who deal with the Royal Commission.
“The royal commission will be inFormed by the individual experience of defense members, veterans, their families and support networks,” Mr. Morrison said.
The Royal Commission on Defense and Veteran Suicide is due to submit an interim report on August 11, 2022, and a final report on June 15, 2023.