From: DART Media
Date: Thu 19/11/2015 8:46 AM

Message from the Chair of the Taskforce, Robert Cornall AO

The Government has issued Amended Terms of Reference which extend the operation of the Taskforce to 31 March 2016. The new Amended Terms of Reference will come into effect on 1 January 2016.

The Taskforce will have met all of the requirements under its current Terms of Reference by 31 December 2015. This short extension will allow the Taskforce to complete its Restorative Engagement Program and most of its counselling outcomes without interruption.

To date, the Taskforce has delivered outcomes to over 1700 complainants. Those outcomes include reparation payments, counselling services and the successful completion of over 400 restorative engagement conferences between complainants and Defence representatives.

In addition to assisting complainants, the Taskforce’s work has had enduring impact on future generations of Defence leaders. Their experience as part of that Program will make a long term and lasting contribution to cultural change in the Australian Defence Force.

Over the coming months, the Taskforce will continue to liaise with Defence on the implications of its findings for Defence culture and practices. The Government will also make arrangements for the management of administrative matters arising in relation to the Taskforce or its work after 31 March 2016.

The Taskforce will deliver its Final Report on or about 31 March 2016.

While the Taskforce cannot register any further complaints, there are other avenues available for those who wish to pursue a complaint. They include the Defence Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Office (for sexual misconduct complaints), the Inspector General of the ADF, the Defence Force Ombudsman and the Australian Human Rights Commission.

Further information about organisations that can provide assistance both within the military justice system and external to Defence can be found at www.defence.gov.au/mjs/Organisations.asp.

If you are distressed and in need of urgent assistance, please contact one of these 24-hour support services:
• Lifeline: call 13 11 14
• Beyondblue: call 1300 224 636; or
• Suicide Call Back Service: call 1300 659 467.

Robert Cornall
Chair
Defence Abuse Response Taskforce

This message is available for download on the home page of the Taskforce website: www.defenceabusetaskforce.gov.au.