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Veterans urged to come forward ahead of Royal Commission hearings in Darwin in October

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Darwin’s serving personnel and veterans are being encouraged to have their voices heard ahead of upcoming Royal Commission public hearings in the Northern Territory (NT).

MEMBERS of Darwin’s extensive defence and veterans community are being encouraged to come forward to have their voices heard ahead of upcoming Royal Commission public hearings in the Top End.

The Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide will travel to Darwin in October, with Defence and Veterans Legal Service (DAVLS) lawyers in town this week to provide face-to-face advice.

DAVLS lawyer Rachael Vincent said the free service had “witnessed extraordinary bravery and insight from those who have shared their stories so far”.

“We’re completely confidential, we’re free and we’re completely independent, we’re not the Royal Commission, we’re not Defence,” she said.

“What we’re hearing so far is really a lot of people who haven’t felt heard, who have had problems and issues and really quite harrowing stories, and their problems haven’t been heard so they haven’t had any solutions.

“What I’m anticipating hearing in Darwin is again, more stories of people who have had pretty terrible things happen and who haven’t felt heard, and my job is to really help those people feel heard and get their voices out there.”

Rachael Vincent. Picture: Glenn Campbell

Ms Vincent said speaking to her team did not commit anyone to giving evidence at the hearings but rather would “help you stay in control of whether and how you tell your story”.

The seminars will take place this Tuesday at 11am and 4pm at Harry’s Place, 1 Willeroo Street, Tiwi.

Confidential, face-to-face advice will be available on site throughout the day.

Registration is not required but interested parties can call the DAVLS infoline on 1800 33 1800 to secure a place.

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