In establishing a Royal Commission into veteran suicide, the Government gave
strong recognition to not only the depth of feeling within the veteran community
regarding such tragedies but also as to how all sides of politics within both Houses of
the Parliament spoke as one voice in support of a formal judicial inquiry.
The Alliance of Defence Service Organisations (ADSO)1 congratulates the Prime
Minister on appointing the former NSW Deputy Police Commissioner, Nick Kaldas
APM, to head the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide.
In speaking on ADSO’s behalf, its National Chairman, Mr Kel Ryan, said that not
only is the Royal Commission a positive step forward in the care of Veterans and
their families, but it is a critical way in which the tragedies could be arrested.
Given the Royal Commission’s importance, Mr Ryan also proffered that he thought
Mr Kaldas’ appointment as Commissioner was a near perfect choice. His
independence was without question and his investigative background experience and
skills both on the home front and internationally was without parallel.
ADSO acknowledges that Mr Kaldas will be joined in the Royal Commission by
former Judge of the QLD Supreme Court, Mr James Douglas QC and by Dr Peggy
Brown AO, a consultant psychiatrist who has been a leading participant in national
mental health policy and planning in Australia.
ADSO commits to working closely with Commissioner Kaldas and his team so that
ultimately there is a marked improvement in Veterans’ mental health going forward.
ADSO comprises The Defence Force Welfare Association (DFWA), Naval Association of Australia (NAA), RAAF Association (RAAFA), Royal Australian Regiment Corporation (RARC), Australian Special Air Service Association (ASASA), the Australian Federation of Totally and Permanently Incapacitated Ex-Service Men and Women, the Fleet Air Arm Association of Australia, Partners of Veterans Association of Australia, Royal Australian Armoured Corps Corporation (RAACC), the National Malaya & Borneo Veterans Association Australia (NMBVAA), Defence Reserves Association (DRA), Australian Gulf War Veterans Association, Australian Commando Association, the War Widows Guild of Australia, Military Police Association Australia (MPAA), the Australian Army Apprentices Association, the Women Veterans Network, and the Combat Support Association.