Records relating to Australian Defence Force members’ and veterans’ suicides, and suicide prevention

On 19 April 2021 the Prime Minister, the Hon Scott Morrison, announced the establishment of a Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide. The Royal Commission is being conducted by Mr Naguib Kaldas APM, the Honourable James Sholto Douglas QC and Dr Peggy Brown AO. The Royal Commission commenced work on 8 July 2021.

In response, on 23 September 2021 the National Archives issued a targeted records retention notice covering records relating to Australian Defence Force members’ and veterans’ suicides, and suicide prevention.

The notice suspends the National Archives' permissions for the destruction of records that may be required by the Royal Commission and for any consequent government action. It will remain in force until otherwise advised by the National Archives.

Relevant records and any associated drafts and working papers may not be destroyed using any agency-specific or general records authorities or through a normal administrative practice.

Note that this retention notice does not preclude an agency's use of General Records Authority 31 subject to the conditions and exclusions specified within General Records Authority 31 and due consideration by the agency of the potential need for original records to be retained for the purposes of the Review into Commonwealth Parliamentary Workplaces.

The named Australian Government agencies in this retention notice are required by law to protect from destruction any relevant records subject to this notice. If other agencies identify potentially relevant records they should advise the National Archives as soon as possible

Further information on agencies and records affected is available in the records retention notice (PDF 228 KB).

Any questions in relation to the records retention notice may be directed to the National Archives via the Agency Service Centre.