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Defence Chief deeply regrets harm

Chief of Defence Force General David Hurley has communicated a message of concern and regret to victims of alleged abuse in the services during a video message coinciding with the public release of the executive summary of the DLA Piper review into abuse within the ADF.

General Hurley said that DLA Piper was a significant report and showed the steps which need to be taken into the future. He cautioned against drawing a conclusion that the report was simply a case of "a few bad apples" and not reflective of the service.

"The first thing to say right up front, as CDF and with the support of service chiefs, is that any incidents of harm that may have been caused to our people through inappropriate behaviour both distresses and disappoints us and we deeply regret it," said Hurley.

Hurley went on to say that the Defence personnel shouldn't wait for the 5-year cultural change program known as Pathways to Change to deliver.

"If people have been harmed during their service in the ADF, that is completely unacceptable."

Victims of alleged abuse, current and former members and employees of Defence suffering distress can access the following services:

ADF members: The All-hours Support Line (ASL) is a confidential telephone service to assist ADF members and their families with accessing mental health services, such as psychology, medical, social work and chaplain services. The ASL number is 1800 628 036.

Defence APS employees: The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a confidential and free service to assist APS employees and their immediate family members, who may require counselling services. Appointments can be made via the EAP hotline on 1300 361 008.

Former ADF members and Defence APS employees: Special arrangements have been made to extend the EAP service for immediate, initial counselling to former ADF members and former Defence APS employees and their immediate families who raise or have raised allegations affecting them with the external review team and who require counselling assistance. This service can be accessed via the EAP hotline on 1300 361 008.

Source:  CDF DLA Piper Message