Helping First Nations veterans tell their stories

This fact sheet is about the ways we can help you share your experience and recommendations with the Royal Commission.

What is the Defence and Veterans Legal Service?

The Defence and Veterans Legal Service supports Australian Defence Force personnel and veterans, and their families, carers and supporters to safely share their experiences with the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide.

We are a free national service that is independent of the Royal Commission, the Department of Defence and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.


  • give information and legal advice about taking part in the Royal Commission
  • support Australian Defence Force personnel and veterans, as well as their families, carers and supporters, and only give legal advice about individual matters
  • will only share your information if you give consent
  • can help you understand your legal rights and your options for sharing your experiences with the Royal Commission
  • can connect you with other services, including free counselling
  • have staff across Australia who deliver a trauma-informed, culturally safe and accessible service
  • are funded by the Australian Government through National Legal Aid
  • have a range of resources to support you to safely share your experiences with the Royal Commission.

Call 1800 33 1800 (FREE CALL) or visit

The next step is simple — call 1800 33 1800

Your first call to our Infoline (1800 33 1800) is a brief phone call to understand your needs and how you would like us to communicate with you.

On this phone call, we can provide basic information about engaging with the Royal Commission, direct you to our free resources, post factsheets and information to you, or book you into an appointment with one of our lawyers, anywhere in Australia.

You can stay anonymous for basic information, but we can give personalised legal advice if you choose to share more details. We do ask to collect some non-identifying information, like your suburb and how you found us, so we can make sure we are reaching all parts of the ADF and ex- ADF community.

What happens with a lawyer appointment?

When we book you in for an appointment with a lawyer, we can offer you a consultation by phone or audio-visual link and we will give you a definite date and time when our lawyer will contact you. Further contact can be by phone, audio visual link, email or post, depending on your choice.

Our lawyers will be able to advise you on any issue that concerns you and will not need to have you repeat the details of the experience you want to share with the Commission, unless you are wanting help to put a submission together. We can give that help in a trauma-informed way and will make this as easy for you as possible.

All advice from our lawyers is private and covered by lawyer/client confidentiality. We will not share any of your details with anyone. Getting our assistance does not commit you to any actions. Our service puts you in control of if and how you engage with the Royal Commission.

Need to know more?

Visit our website at

Disclaimer: This information is intended as a general guide. It should not be relied on as legal advice and we recommend that you talk to a lawyer about your own situation.


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Publication date: 10 May 2023
Publication type: Fact sheet
Language: English