Welcome to the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce
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 forms of abuse in 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.
Please note that the deadline for providing all relevant information and documentation to the Taskforce has now passed.
If you missed the cut-off date for making a complaint to the Taskforce, you can no longer register a complaint with the Taskforce but can still make use of other external mechanisms. Defence has provided a list of available options on the Report Abuse and Misconduct page of the Defence website.
Please visit the Frequently asked questions page for more information about the options that might be available to you.
On 18 June 2014, the Taskforce released its Report on abuse at HMAS Leeuwin, which is based on the personal accounts of more than 200 complainants who trained at HMAS Leeuwin, a Junior Recruit Training Establishment operated by the Royal Australian Navy in Fremantle, Western Australia from 1960 to 1984. The HMAS Leeuwin Report is available for download on the HMAS Leeuwin page of this website.
Please contact the Taskforce via the free-call Hotline on 1800 424 991 or at DART@ag.gov.au if you have any queries or concerns, or if your contact details have changed since you made your complaint.
If you are feeling distressed and require urgent assistance, please call one of the 24-hour support services listed below:
- Lifeline: call 13 11 14
- Beyondblue: call 1300 224 636; or
- Suicide Call Back Service: call 1300 659 467.
Further information about support services that might be available to you is provided on the Counselling page of this website.
On 3 September 2014, the Hon Len Roberts-Smith QC, announced that he would be unable to accept a further extension of his appointment as Chair of the Taskforce.
The Attorney-General, Senator the Hon George Brandis QC, has thanked the Chair for his leadership of the Taskforce. Both the Attorney-General and the Chair have expressed their confidence that the high standard of service provided to complainants by the Taskforce will not be affected by a change in leadership. The Attorney-General has confirmed that the Government will announce arrangements for the Taskforce beyond 30 November in due course.
A copy of the Attorney-General's media release is available for download below:
Message from the Chair of the Taskforce
On 13 August 2014, the Chair of the Taskforce, the Hon Len Roberts-Smith QC, appeared before the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee. A copy of his opening statement is available for download below:
Please find below a message from the Chair of the Taskforce regarding a report on abuse at the Australian Defence Force Academy that was broadcast on the ABC's Four Corners program on Monday 9 June 2014:
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For information about how you can go about sharing your story publicly, download the fact sheet below:
Meeting between the Chair of the Taskforce, the Hon Len Roberts-Smith QC (left) and
the Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon David Johnston (right)