About us

The Defence Abuse Response Taskforce was established as part of the government's response to the DLA Piper Review into allegations of sexual and other abuse in the Australian Defence Force and the Department of Defence (referred to collectively as 'defence').

The Taskforce was established to assess and respond to individual cases of abuse in defence, occurring before 11 April 2011. This means that the fundamental work of the Taskforce is to determine, in close consultation with complainants, the most appropriate outcome in individual cases.

The Taskforce is dealing with allegations of abuse ranging from workplace discrimination, harassment and bullying to physical abuse resulting in bodily or mental injury to the most serious cases of sexual assault, including gang rape.

The Taskforce is committed to supporting complainants through the process to achieve a tailored outcome. For more information, visit the Outcomes page.

Between 26 November 2012 and 30 November 2014, the Honourable Len Roberts-Smith QC held the position of Chair of the Taskforce.

On 26 November 2014, the Minister for Defence announced that Mr Robert Cornall AO would take over as Chair of the Taskforce. Mr Cornall has served as Deputy Chair of the Taskforce since its establishment in 2012.

On 11 December 2014, the former Minister for Defence appointed Mr Robert Cornall AO as Chair of the Taskforce. Mr Cornall has served as Deputy Chair of the Taskforce since its establishment in 2012.

The amended Terms of Reference signed by the Chair of the Taskforce, Mr Robert Cornall AO, put in place a deadline of 30 June 2015 to complete assessments and the delivery of a number of outcomes, including Reparation Payments, referrals to civilian police and referrals to the Chief of the Defence Force for possible administrative or disciplinary action. The amended Terms of Reference are available below:

The former Terms of Reference establishing the Taskforce and appointing the Honourable Len Roberts-Smith RFD QC as Chair are available for download below:

An organisational chart of the Taskforce is available for download below:

Leadership group members

Chair, Mr Robert Cornall AO

Portrait of Robert Cornall

Mr Robert Cornall brings considerable expertise to the Taskforce after a career as a solicitor, legal administrator and legal policy maker. Mr Cornall was Deputy Chair of the Taskforce from November 2012 to 30 November 2014.

From 2000 to 2008, Mr Cornall was the Secretary of the Attorney-General's Department. Since 2008, Mr Cornall has undertaken a number of different projects and appointments for the Australian Government.

In 2006, Mr Cornall was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for his service to the community through contributions to the development of public policy. Mr Cornall's particular contributions included counter-terrorism arrangements in a changing global security environment and advice and governance across a diverse range of responsibilities within the civil justice system.

Between 1995 and 2000, Mr Cornall was Managing Director of Victoria Legal Aid and from 1987 to 1995 the Executive Director and Secretary of the Law Institute of Victoria.

Ms Susan Halliday

Portrait of Susan Halliday

Ms Susan Halliday brings significant expertise to the Taskforce in areas including corporate governance, human rights and employment law, workplace policy and strategic planning.

Having worked with ASIO and BHP, Ms Halliday was appointed Assistant Director of the Council for Equal Opportunity in Employment (1991 to 1994) and Assistant Director of the Business Council of Australia (1995 to 1998), Sex Discrimination Commissioner from 1998 to 2001 and Acting Disability Discrimination Commissioner from 1999 to 2000. Ms Halliday has run an employment law consulting and investigation firm for twelve years.

The inaugural chairperson of the regulatory authority the Victorian Institute of Teaching (2002 to 2011), Ms Halliday continues to chair the Institute's disciplinary hearings. As a non-executive director of forensic psychology firm–Caraniche Pty Ltd–for seven years, Ms Halliday became Chair of the Caraniche Board in July 2012. In 2010, Ms Halliday completed a nine year term on the Board of the State Library of Victoria.

Chief Police Officer for the ACT, Rudi Lammers APM

Portrait of Rudi Lammers

Assistant Commissioner Rudi Lammers APM is Chief Police Officer for ACT Policing, the community policing division of the Australian Federal Police (AFP).

Chief Police Officer Lammers brings a wealth of experience to the role, having served with the AFP for 31 years, 20 of which have been with ACT Policing.

Assistant Commissioner Lammers began his policing career with the Australian Federal Police in 1982. For the next 20 years he worked at most of the police stations throughout Canberra in a range of community policing roles including general duties patrol and criminal investigations.

Joining National Operations in 2002, Assistant Commissioner Lammers led a diverse range of areas, heading international projects and developing significant capabilities to support operations and investigations in several countries. His responsibilities included covert electronic surveillance, telecommunications interception, capabilities development, research and engineering.

Reparation Payments Assessor

Ms Robyn Kruk AM

Portrait of Robyn Kruk

Robyn Kruk AM served as the Chief Executive and Commissioner of the National Mental Health Commission from 2011 to mid-2013, and as Secretary of the Australian Government Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities from 2009 until 2011.

Ms Kruk has also led complex and diverse organisations at the Chief Executive level in the New South Wales state government including Director-General of the New South Wales (NSW) State Government Department of Premier and Cabinet, NSW Health and the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Ms Kruk is a former practising psychologist and holds a Bachelor of Science, Psychology (Hons); a Master of Administration; and has completed the Harvard Advanced Management Program.

She serves on statutory and advisory boards both nationally and internationally including the Clinical Excellence Commission, The Agency for Clinical Innovation and has held the role of Co-Chair of the Reforming States Group for the US-based Milbank Fund (Philanthropic Health Trust). She recently co-chaired the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development Task Force on Environment and Development in Western China.

Ms Kruk was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for service to public administration in a range of areas including Australian Government State reform initiatives in health and natural resources.

Former Chair of the Taskforce

The Honourable Len Roberts-Smith RFD QC

Portrait of Len Roberts-Smith

Following a distinguished legal career, which spans more than four decades, the Honourable Len Roberts-Smith is well placed to chair the Taskforce.

From 1978 he was the first Director of the Legal Aid Commission of Western Australia, before going to the Bar in early 1989 and being made a Queen's Counsel in December that year. From 2000 to 2007, he served as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Western Australia and from February 2005 was one of the inaugural Judges of the Court of Appeal.

Between 2002 and 2007, as a Major General in the Australian Army Reserve, he was the Judge Advocate General of the Australian Defence Force.

In May 2007, he was appointed the Commissioner of the Corruption and Crime Commission of Western Australia, a position which he held until his retirement on 31 January 2011.

The Honourable Len Roberts-Smith is a Trustee Director of the Australian Defence Force Assistance Trust and the Patron of the Citizens' Advice Bureau of WA (Inc).