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Last week has seen the conversation surrounding the need for a Royal Commission into Veteran suicide come to a head. With a unanimous vote in the Senate, the nation is now set to watch this Monday, March 22nd, with the expectation that it will also pass the Lower House.

For too long now, this debate has been dragging on, inflicting further insult to the moral injury that has been plaguing the Veteran community for decades. While politicians continue to argue which party has the better policy, Australian Veterans of all generations have continued to suffer  from the inaction and failed understanding of the key issues at hand.

 Recognition, respect and accountability are at the root cause of the emotional trauma and resentment that has now been allowed to form and fester within our Veteran community

Recognition, respect and accountability are at the root cause of the emotional trauma and resentment that has now been allowed to form and fester within our Veteran community, families and those left to attend to these wounds inflicted on the home front. Meanwhile, the government-funded systems, departments and agencies assigned with the transition and welfare of our veterans have continued to fail at systemic levels.

Arguments have been continually presented with the focus on the powers and authority of the government’s proposed National Commissioner into Defence and Veteran Suicide Prevention, which would be an ongoing function, compared to those of a “static” Royal Commission. They are as  clinical and emotionless as they are irrelevant. The arguments, over which policy paper reads better, again continue to fail to grasp that the key missing link is actually the moral authority - the trust of the Veteran community - that has been destroyed through decades of words without actions, of failings without accountability.

 A line in the sand must be drawn

A line in the sand must be drawn. A line from which we can form up and advance from together - with renewed hope, understanding and collective action for cultural change. When the House of Representatives assembles on Monday to cast its vote on the motion calling for a Royal Commission into Veteran Suicide, each sitting Member will have their chance to show their support for our Veterans and demonstrate their understanding of what is needed - now. 

Calling a Royal Commission into Veteran Suicide – now, not six months from now, or a year from now — will not prevent all future suicides from occurring. But what it will do is immediately demonstrate the Government’s respect, understanding and care for our Veterans. It will immediately work to bridge the gap in the Veterans suicide rate that is more than double the community average in our Service Women, and currently has our Service Men more than double the suicide risk upon leaving the military. We aim for zero, and if we fail, we hope we fail fewer  than how many we’re failing now.

Calling a Royal Commission in Veteran Suicide TODAY will send out a statement and symbol of hope for all generations of Australian Veterans

Each further day of delay only widens the chasm that continues to claim more Veterans to suicide than the wider community. Calling a Royal Commission in Veteran Suicide TODAY will send out a statement and symbol of hope for all generations of Australian Veterans and show the seriousness of our Government’s dedication to our custodians of the ANZAC spirit for the world to see. Failing to call a Royal Commission – immediately – is exactly that: failure, of the ones who call themselves our leaders, to lead.

 

Maintain the Memory of our Meritorious ‘Many’

The Chief of the Defence Force has stated that he will ask the Governor General of Australia to strip the Meritorious Unit Citation awarded to Task Force 66, Special Operations Task Groups who served during the period 30 April 2007 - 31 December 2013. This will impact over 3000 Special Operations personnel including the families of those heroes who have died in combat. Show your support for common sense and help us stop this persecution of ‘the many’ who served with honour.

 

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