Veterans and their families wanting to give evidence to the Royal Commission investigating Australia’s rates of military suicide now have access to free legal support at ANZAC House Veteran Central.
The free, independent legal support by Legal Aid WA is available to current and former members of the Australian Defence Force, as well as their families, carers and supporters, who want to share their experiences with the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide.
Solicitor Mitchell Caubo from the Defence and Veterans Legal Service (DAVLS) will be available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays on Level 2 at ANZAC House Veteran Central.
Mitch said he was committed to helping Veterans and their families tell their stories in person through a trauma-informed service, rather than sharing over the phone their experiences of war and combat and the resulting trauma.
“It’s not just written submissions. We can also help with video submissions and we can also support those called to give evidence to the Royal Commission with lawyers and an interpreter if necessary,” Mitch said.
The Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide is examining systemic issues and risk factors in past deaths by suicide, including suspected suicides, and lived experience of suicide risks of Australian Defence Force members and Veterans.
RSLWA CEO John McCourt said he was pleased to have facilitated Legal Aid WA to operate from ANZAC House Veteran Central.
“This is a critical service for WA Veterans and the families of Veterans to get advice and support to make their submissions,” he said.
“This is what the vision was for the new ANZAC House, to put our Veteran community at the centre of service delivery.
“Veteran Central at ANZAC House provides a suite of services and it’s great to have Legal Aid WA as part of our one-stop-shop.”
Having grown up as a “RAAF brat”, Mitch has first-hand experience of the pressures that the ADF lifestyle can exert on Defence personnel and their family members.
He is passionate about supporting anyone who is considering sharing their experiences with the Royal Commission.
Mitch joined Legal Aid WA as a solicitor with DAVLS in February this year after making a career shift from commercial law.
In his spare time, Mitch volunteers as an instructor with the Australian Air Force Cadets, an organisation he has been involved in since starting as a Cadet in 2009.
Mitch can give advice about your legal rights when engaging with the Royal Commission and support you in sharing your experiences safely through a submission or private session.
Through DAVLS he can also connect clients with other services, such as counselling, advocacy and other legal support for matters that are not related to the Royal Commission.
To arrange an appointment, call 1800 33 1800 or visit the DAVLS website for more information https://defenceveteranslegalservice.org.au