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Territory veterans supported to tell their story ahead of defence royal commission hearings in Darwin

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Veterans, serving defence members and their loved ones will be supported to share their stories with the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide, with a dedicated legal service offering free, confidential legal advice.

The Defence and Veterans Legal Service (DAVLS) is a free, national service established to support people affected by high suicide rates within the Australian Defence Force (ADF) community. DAVLS lawyers offer independent information and legal advice to people considering engaging with the royal commission, which is set to hold public hearings in Darwin in October.

“Today marks one year since the establishment of this royal commission. We have witnessed extraordinary bravery and insight from those who have shared their stories so far,” DAVLS lawyer Rachael Vincent said.

“Every person in the Australian defence community who has been touched by suicide or suicidal thoughts has a story that matters, and we want to help Territorians be heard.

 “If you are considering sharing your experiences with the royal commission, we can help you understand your legal rights and options, including the option to share your story in a private session. We can also connect you with other important services including counselling.

“Our service is free, confidential and available to anyone who needs it. Speaking with one of our lawyers does not commit you to giving evidence or making a submission. Our job is to help you stay in control of whether and how you tell your story.”

What: Defence and Veterans Legal Service (DAVLS) lawyers will be in Darwin to provide information-packed seminars and face-to-face advice.

When: Seminars will take place on Tuesday 19 July at 11am and again at 4pm at Harry’s Place, 1 Willeroo Street, Tiwi. Light refreshments will be served. No need to register for information seminars – simply come along on the day.

Confidential, face-to-face advice will be available onsite throughout the day. Call the DAVLS infoline on 1800 33 1800 to secure your place.

An initiative of National Legal Aid, DAVLS is independent of the royal commission and has been established to support ADF personnel and veterans, as well as their families, carers and supporters, to safely engage with the royal commission. Services are delivered by legal aid commissions in each state and territory.

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