Free service helps Indigenous veterans
[by Jeremy Boylen]
A free legal service for veterans is helping First Nations people to take part in the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide. However, people should move quickly if they want to have a yarn with this inquiry.
Submissions to the Royal Commission must be received by the middle of next month - Friday the 13th of October. The good news is that free support is available - from the Defence and Veterans Legal Service - to help you prepare, draft and lodge your submission.
Free support for Indigenous veterans Maureen Bates-McKay (left) is an Indigenous woman who works at the Defence and Veterans Legal Service.
“First Nations people have a proud history of serving in the Defence Force and it’s really important that their stories are heard by this inquiry,” says Ms Bates-McKay.
“We provide free, independent and confidential support to help people tell their stories to the Royal Commission.
“We deliver that support to current and former Defence Force members, plus their families.
“There are problems in the military that have to be fixed and this inquiry can help to make those changes. But it must hear from Indigenous veterans about their experiences.
“We help people prepare their submissions and we provide tailored legal advice about issues including privacy, confidentiality and other legal protections.
“We have staff across Australia and they specialise in helping members of the Defence and veterans communities. And all of them speak in plain language that’s free of jargon.
“I know it can be hard to speak up. However, submissions to this inquiry can help to right past wrongs and improve the treatment of those who serve today and in the future.”
Free legal help For free and independent legal support anywhere in Australia, call us on 1800 33 1800. To have a yarn with our First Nations staff, ask to speak with Maureen or Tanya
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