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Welcome to the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce

The Taskforce was established to assess and respond to individual cases of sexual and other abuse in Defence occurring before 11 April 2011.

The deadline for making a complaint to the Taskforce has now passed. If you missed the cut-off date, you can no longer register a complaint with the Taskforce. Information about the other ways you might be able to obtain assistance can be found on the Frequently asked questions page of this website.

The Taskforce’s current Terms of Reference are available on the About us page of this website. The Terms of Reference set out several deadlines for the delivery of outcomes offered by the Taskforce as its work is coming to an end.

A Message from the Taskforce

24 April 2016

On ANZAC Day, it is important to reflect upon and commemorate the great contribution made by people who have served this country in the Australian Defence Force.

It is also important to remember that for some, ANZAC Day inspires not only a feeling of pride, but also feelings of loss or grief.

The Taskforce will be closed on ANZAC Day, but will be open on Tuesday 26 April 2016. We encourage anyone who requires urgent assistance during this period to call one of the following 24-hour support services:

  • Lifeline: call 13 11 14
  • Beyondblue: call 1300 224 636; or
  • Suicide Call Back Service: call 1300 659 467.

Kirsty Windeyer
Executive Director
Defence Abuse Response Taskforce

Extension of the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce to 30 June 2016

The Government has issued extended Terms of Reference for the operation of the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce effective from 1 April to 30 June 2016 (unless the functions are conferred on another person or body before 30 June). These Terms of Reference provide a legacy period for the Taskforce to conclude its work and make any arrangements necessary for ongoing functions arising from its work.

The amended Terms of Reference require the Taskforce to conclude the small number of outstanding outcomes for complainants between 1 April and 30 June 2016. This includes delivery of outstanding restorative engagement conferences, and the conclusion of the National Counselling Program by 30 June 2016.

The Government is still considering options for any future additional mechanisms to deal with complaints of abuse in Defence.

Messages from the Chair of the Taskforce

Please find a Holiday message from the Chair, available for download below:

On 18 November 2015, the Chair of the Taskforce, Robert Cornall AO, released a message from the Chair relating to the decision by Ministers to extend the Taskforce to 31 March 2016:

Previous messages from the Chair of the Taskforce are available for download below:

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    • Taskforce extended to 31 March 2016
      The Minister for Defence and Minister for Justice have agreed to extend the Taskforce to 31 March 2016 to allow it to complete its restorative engagement program and most of its counselling outcomes by the extended date.
    • Register allegations of sexual abuse at ADFA by 15 September 2015
      Women who experienced sexual abuse at the Australian Defence Force Academy during the period 1991 and 1998 have until 15 September 2015 to make a complaint to the Taskforce. To register a complaint falling within this category, please see the Contact us page of this website.
    • Report on progress, operations and future structure released
      On 30 July 2015, the Taskforce released its Report on progress, operations and future structure. A copy of this Report can be found on the Reports page of this website.