RARA Call for a Royal Commission

With the weight of the Parliament, the media and public opinion it is time to end the debate and call for a Royal Commission (RC) into Veteran Suicide.

Although the RARA were against a RC and supportive of the National Commissioner for Veterans Suicide and Prevention, there is no reason why both cannot be running simultaneously, and that is something that was conceded as a solution to the debate when appearing as a witness at the Senate Veteran Suicide and Prevention Bill 2020 Inquiry in November of last year.

Suicide and self-harm are a national tragedy, not just in the veteran community, but the statistics and facts show that the suicide rates in the veteran community is higher than the national average, which concerns us all and has been a top priority of the RARA for many years.

We support the Overwatch suicide first responder program and have helped at a personal level so many affected and their families but obviously due to both human and financial resources there is only so much that we can do, so its time to cease the debate and support this RC.

As is common practice with any RC the terms of reference will call for submissions and the RARA at national level will be a part of this process. We would encourage all Battalion Associations; state and territory RARA and individuals if deemed necessary to all support the process and make their own submissions.

There has been much conjecture, differences of opinion, which we are all entitled to and should be respected. Now, however, it is time to cease these opinions and divisions in public and as a whole of veteran’s community, in particular in support of our younger veterans who have been severely affected to get behind the democratic process and direction as decided by the Parliament and support the establishment of a Royal Commission.

Duty First

Michael von Berg MC OAM
Chair and National President