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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 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 (with the exception of women who experienced sexual abuse at ADFA in the mid-1990s, who can still make a complaint to the Taskforce). Those who are not able to make a complaint to the Taskforce 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. Further information about options that might be available to you can be found on the Frequently asked questions page of this website.

The Taskforce has released three landmark reports on abuse in Defence. The Report on abuse in Defence, which discusses the nature and extent of abuse in Defence, based on the complaints received by the Taskforce can be accessed on the Reports page of this website. The Taskforce has also released a Report on abuse at HMAS Leeuwin, which is available for download on the HMAS Leeuwin page of this website. The Taskforce Report on abuse at the Australian Defence Force Academy can be found on the ADFA 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.

Taskforce staff members will be unavailable from 3.00 pm Australian Eastern Standard Time on Wednesday 24 December 2014 to 9.00 am AEST on Friday, 2 January 2015. If you are distressed and in need of urgent assistance during the break, please contact one of these 24-hour support services in the box at the top of this page.

On 30 November 2014, the Hon Len Roberts-Smith QC concluded his term as Chair. The Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon David Johnston, announced that the Government will extend the Taskforce beyond 30 November 2014 and that the Deputy Chair, Mr Robert Cornall AO has been appointed as Chair of the Taskforce. A copy of the media release can be accessed on the Defence website.

Messages from the Chair of the Taskforce

On 17 December 2014, the Chair of the Taskforce, Robert Cornall AO, released a Message from the Chair. This message is available for download below:

On 28 November 2014, the former Chair of the Taskforce, the Hon Len Roberts-Smith QC, released a final message to complainants. This message is available for download below:

On 31 October 2014, the former Chair of the Taskforce, the Hon Len Roberts-Smith QC, released the following message in relation to the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee’s report on processes to support victims of abuse in Defence. This message is available for download below:

On 14 October 2014, the former Chair of the Taskforce released the following message providing an update on the delivery of outcomes to complainants. This message is available for download below:

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  • Minsiter for Defence and Attorney-General sign updated Taskforce Terms of Reference
    On 15 December 2014, the Minister for Defence and Attorney-General signed the Taskforce’s updated Terms of Reference. These updated Terms of Reference are available on the About us page of this website.
  • Deputy Chair Mr Robert Cornall AO appointed 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.
  • Taskforce releases two landmark reports on abuse in Defence.
    On 26 November 2014, the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce released its Report on abuse in Defence and Report on abuse at the Australian Defence Force Academy, which were tabled in Parliament by the Minister for Defence. The Report on abuse at the Australian Defence Force Academy is available for download on the ADFA page of this website. The Report on abuse in Defence is available for download on the Reports page of this website.