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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.

The Minister for Defence has announced that the Taskforce will be extended to 30 November 2014. This will ensure that the Taskforce can continue to provide outcomes to complainants and that these outcomes are provided in a timely manner. 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.

Message from the Chair of the Taskforce

Please find below a message from the Chair of the Taskforce, the Hon Len Roberts-Smith QC, 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:

The Taskforce is aware that many complainants are still waiting to hear the outcome of their assessment. Please read the message from the Chair of the Taskforce that is available for download below for further information:

You can also download a holiday message from the Chair of the Taskforce below:

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)
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Latest news

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

  • 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.
  • Chair addresses the Institute of Arbitrators & Mediators Australia conference in Canberra
    On 3 May 2014 the Chair of the Taskforce delivered an address at the Institute of Arbitrators & Mediators conference in Canberra. A copy of the speech is available on the Newsroom page, under 'Speeches by the Chair of the Taskforce'.