Defence 'cooperating' with child abuse investigations

THE Australian Defence Forces says it is cooperating with an investigation after lawyers called for witnesses to the sexual and physical abuse of minors at four Australian Defence Force locations, including Amberley.

Porters lawyers want to speak to any former Defence Force personnel or former recruits who were posted to multiple bases to gather further evidence of knowledge of abuse and to aid in legal action against the Commonwealth of Australia.

A public notice calling for witnesses published on Monday, March 26 reveals Laverton and Williams RAAF bases in Victoria are also included as well as Wagga Wagga, NSW as well as Amberley.

It is understood the claims relate to historical matters.

A spokesperson for the Australian Defence Force says the department is cooperating with the recent Royal Commission.

"Defence does not comment on individual complaints but has fully cooperated with the recent Royal Commission and continues to support its objectives to safeguard children," the spokesperson said.

"Defence remains committed to providing a safe and secure environment for all youth that come into contact with the organisation, be they ADF members, ADF Cadets, or participants in work experience and youth engagement programs."

Porters Lawyers acts for a large number of former members of the Australian Defence Force who they claim suffered abuse during their recruit (or 'training') phase within the Australian Army, Royal Australia Navy and Royal Australian Air Force.

In a statement on their website, the firm is taking action against the Commonwealth of Australia on behalf of their clients for "injuries they sustained following horrific sexual and physical abuse perpetrated upon them by fellow recruits, ordinary members and even officers of the Australian Defence Force".

The Defence Abuse Response Taskforce (DART) was established in November 2012 as part of the Australian Government's response to a review into allegations of abuse in the Australian Defence Forces.
 
The complaints raised countless allegations of sexual abuse, sexual harassment, physical abuse, bullying and harassment by other junior recruits and members of the Australian Defence Force, Porters Lawyers claim.

Anyone with information that may be able to assist should contact Porters Lawyers on 02 6247 3477 or email lawyers@porterslawyers.com.au.