Commissioner speaks on ignored talks
The chair of a Royal Commission has urged action on Defence and veteran suicide.
Nick Kaldas, the chair of the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide, has spoken at the National Press Club, expressing concern that the inquiry's critical findings are being overlooked.
After leading the commission for two years, Kaldas aimed to shed light on the issues uncovered thus far.
Kaldas stressed that the inquiry lacked adequate attention from both the media and politicians, prompting his decision to address the public.
He outlined the urgency of generating interest and awareness to drive change, saying; “People have not been that interested in them”.
The commission, running for over two years, issued an interim report last year, but Kaldas argued that words had outweighed action.
According to Kaldas, cultural problems persist within the Department of Defence, with reports of suicides among serving and ex-serving members continually reaching the commission.
This situation has raised doubts about Defence's commitment to reform.
Kaldas's address called for the establishment of an independent body with sufficient resources and the authority to hold governments, Defence, and relevant agencies accountable after the inquiry concludes.
He pointed out that the current problems have developed over decades, with numerous previous inquiries yielding minimal change.
Kaldas also noted that some might prefer to see his report buried among previous reports, underscoring the need to bring these issues to the forefront.
The full address is accessible here.