About us

The extended Terms of Reference for the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce expired on 31 August 2016. The Taskforce has now concluded.

The Taskforce was established to assess and respond to individual cases of abuse in Defence occurring before 11 April 2011. The fundamental work of the Taskforce was to determine, in close consultation with complainants, the most appropriate outcome in individual cases.

The Taskforce dealt with allegations of abuse ranging from workplace discrimination, harassment and bullying to physical abuse resulting in bodily or mental injury, to the most serious cases of sexual assault.

Between November 2012 and 30 November 2014, the Honourable Len Roberts-Smith QC held the position of Chair of the Taskforce.

From 11 December 2014 to 31 March 2016, Mr Robert Cornall AO was the Chair of the Taskforce. Mr Cornall had previously served as Deputy Chair of the Taskforce since its establishment in 2012.​

On 31 March 2016, the appointments of both the Chair and the Leadership Group (see below) ended.

From 31 March 2016 the Executive Director of the Taskforce was responsible for the administration of the remaining Taskforce functions under the extended Terms of Reference to 31 August 2016.

Extended Terms of Reference

The Minister for Defence and the Minister for Justice signed further Terms of Reference extending the operation of the Taskforce to 31 August 2016. The extended Terms of Reference enabled the legacy work of the Taskforce to be completed.

​​Previous Terms of Reference

In 2016, the Minister for Defence and Minister for Justice twice extended the Taskforce (firstly to 31 March 2016, subsequently to 30 June 2016) under new Terms of Reference to allow it to complete its work.

Amended Terms of Reference covered the period 1 July 2015 to 31 December 2015.  These Terms of Reference required assessments, reparation payments and referrals to police or to the Chief of the Defence Force for possible action to be concluded by 30 September 2015, and provided an extended registration period to 15 September 2015 for women who experienced sexual abuse at ADFA during the period 1991 to 1998.​

Between 15 December 2014 and 30 June 2015, the Taskforce operated under the Amended Terms of Reference.  The Amended Terms of Reference put in place a deadline of 30 June 2015 to complete assessments and the delivery of a number of outcomes, including Reparation Payments, referrals to civilian police and referrals to the Chief of the Defence Force for possible administrative or disciplinary action. A copy of these Amended Terms of Reference are available for download below:

The original Terms of Reference establishing the Taskforce and appointing the Honourable Len Roberts-Smith RFD QC as Chair are available for download below:

Former Leadership group members

The members of the Taskforce Leadership Group were appointed by the Attorney-General and Minister for Defence to advise and assist the Chair of the Taskforce in the overall guidance, policy and direction of the operation of the Taskforce.

On 31 March 2016 the appointments of members of the Leadership Group ended.

Former Chair, Mr Robert Cornall AO

Portrait of Robert Cornall

Mr Robert Cornall brought considerable expertise to the Taskforce after a career as a solicitor, legal administrator and legal policy maker. Mr Cornall was Deputy Chair of the Taskforce from November 2012 to 30 November 2014.

From 2000 to 2008, Mr Cornall was the Secretary of the Attorney-General's Department. Since 2008, Mr Cornall has undertaken a number of different projects and appointments for the Australian Government.

In 2006, Mr Cornall was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for his service to the community through contributions to the development of public policy. Mr Cornall's particular contributions included counter-terrorism arrangements in a changing global security environment and advice and governance across a diverse range of responsibilities within the civil justice system.

Between 1995 and 2000, Mr Cornall was Managing Director of Victoria Legal Aid and from 1987 to 1995 the Executive Director and Secretary of the Law Institute of Victoria.

Ms Susan Halliday

Portrait of Susan Halliday

Ms Susan Halliday brought significant expertise to the Taskforce in areas including corporate governance, human rights and employment law, workplace policy and strategic planning.

Having worked with ASIO and BHP, Ms Halliday was appointed Assistant Director of the Council for Equal Opportunity in Employment (1991 to 1994) and Assistant Director of the Business Council of Australia (1995 to 1998), Sex Discrimination Commissioner from 1998 to 2001 and Acting Disability Discrimination Commissioner from 1999 to 2000. Ms Halliday has run an employment law consulting and investigation firm for twelve years.

The inaugural chairperson of the regulatory authority the Victorian Institute of Teaching (2002 to 2011), Ms Halliday continues to chair the Institute's disciplinary hearings. As a non-executive director of forensic psychology firm–Caraniche Pty Ltd–for seven years, Ms Halliday became Chair of the Caraniche Board in July 2012. In 2010, Ms Halliday completed a nine year term on the Board of the State Library of Victoria.

Chief Police Officer for the ACT, Rudi Lammers APM

Portrait of Rudi Lammers

Assistant Commissioner Rudi Lammers APM is Chief Police Officer for ACT Policing, the community policing division of the Australian Federal Police (AFP).

Chief Police Officer Lammers brought a wealth of experience to the role, having served with the AFP for over 30 years, 20 of which were with ACT Policing.
Assistant Commissioner Lammers began his policing career with the Australian Federal Police in 1982. For the next 20 years he worked at most of the police stations throughout Canberra in a range of community policing roles including general duties patrol and criminal investigations.

Joining National Operations in 2002, Assistant Commissioner Lammers led a diverse range of areas, heading international projects and developing significant capabilities to support operations and investigations in several countries. His responsibilities included covert electronic surveillance, telecommunications interception, capabilities development, research and engineering.

Former Reparation Payments Assessor

Ms Robyn Kruk AM

Portrait of Robyn Kruk

Robyn Kruk AM served as the Chief Executive and Commissioner of the National Mental Health Commission from 2011 to mid-2013, and as Secretary of the Australian Government Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities from 2009 until 2011.

Ms Kruk has also led complex and diverse organisations at the Chief Executive level in the New South Wales state government including Director-General of the New South Wales (NSW) State Government Department of Premier and Cabinet, NSW Health and the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Ms Kruk is a former practising psychologist and holds a Bachelor of Science, Psychology (Hons); a Master of Administration; and has completed the Harvard Advanced Management Program.

She serves on statutory and advisory boards both nationally and internationally including the Clinical Excellence Commission, The Agency for Clinical Innovation and has held the role of Co-Chair of the Reforming States Group for the US-based Milbank Fund (Philanthropic Health Trust). She recently co-chaired the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development Task Force on Environment and Development in Western China.

Ms Kruk was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for service to public administration in a range of areas including Australian Government State reform initiatives in health and natural resources.

Former Chair of the Taskforce

The Honourable Len Roberts-Smith RFD QC

Portrait of Len Roberts-Smith

Following a distinguished legal career, which spans more than four decades, the Honourable Len Roberts-Smith was well placed to chair the Taskforce.

From 1978 he was the first Director of the Legal Aid Commission of Western Australia, before going to the Bar in early 1989 and being made a Queen's Counsel in December that year. From 2000 to 2007, he served as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Western Australia and from February 2005 was one of the inaugural Judges of the Court of Appeal.

Between 2002 and 2007, as a Major General in the Australian Army Reserve, he was the Judge Advocate General of the Australian Defence Force.

In May 2007, he was appointed the Commissioner of the Corruption and Crime Commission of Western Australia, a position which he held until his retirement on 31 January 2011.

The Honourable Len Roberts-Smith is a Trustee Director of the Australian Defence Force Assistance Trust and the Patron of the Citizens' Advice Bureau of WA (Inc).