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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:

Find out more about...

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) 
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)

Latest news

If you have a media enquiry, visit the Newsroom page.

  • Defence Taskforce makes payments to people who suffered abuse
    On 11 September 2014, the Chair of the Taskforce, the Hon Len Roberts-Smith QC, announced that more than 950 Reparation Payments totalling $39.325 million had been paid to people who suffered abuse in Defence. Further information is available on the Newsroom page of this website.
  • Attorney-General thanks the Chair of the Taskforce for his leadership
    On 5 September 2014, the Attorney-General, Senator the Hon George Brandis QC, thanked the Hon Len Roberts-Smith QC for his leadership of the Taskforce. A copy of the Attorney-General’s media release is available for download on the Home page of this website.
  • Seventh Interim Report tabled in Parliament
    On 3 September 2014, the Taskforce released its Seventh Interim Report, which was tabled in Parliament by the Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon David Johnston. The Seventh Interim Report is available for download on the Reports page.
  • Chair of the Taskforce appears before Senate Committee On 13 August 2014, the Chair of the Taskforce appeared before the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee. A copy of his opening statement is available on the Newsroom page of this website.
  • Chief of Navy responds to the Report on abuse at HMAS Leeuwin
    The Chief of the Royal Australian Navy, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, has responded to the Taskforce's Report on abuse at HMAS Leeuwin by stating that the events should 'never have occurred' and urging Navy personnel to read the Report. More information about the Chief of Navy's response can be found on the Navy Daily website.
  • Minister for Defence delivers speech on Report on abuse at HMAS Leeuwin
    On Wednesday 18 June 2014, the Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon David Johnston made a speech to Parliament about the Taskforce's Report on abuse at HMAS Leeuwin. The speech can be accessed on the Parliament website.
  • Landmark Report on abuse at HMAS Leeuwin tabled in Parliament
    On Wednesday 18 June 2014, the Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon David Johnston, tabled the Taskforce's report on abuse at HMAS Leeuwin in parliament. The HMAS Leeuwin Report is available for download on the HMAS Leeuwin page. The HMAS Leeuwin Report was tabled alongside the Taskforce's Sixth Interim Report, which is available for download on the Reports page.
  • Extended interview with the Chair available on the ABC Four Corners website
    On 9 June 2014, the ABC's Four Corners program broadcast a story on abuse at the Australian Defence Force Academy, which included footage from an interview with the Chair of the Taskforce. An extended version of the Chair's interview is available on the ABC website.