The Australian Government has appointed Dr Bernadette Boss CSC as the interim National Commissioner for Defence and Veteran Suicide Prevention. In this role, Commissioner Boss has commenced the Independent Review of Past Defence and Veteran Suicides. The Australian Government has announced terms of reference for the Independent Review.
Dr Boss commenced as the interim National Commissioner on 16 November 2020. Read Commissioner Boss’ media statement.
About the National Commissioner
Dr Boss has served as a Magistrate and Coroner of the Australian Capital Territory Magistrates Court since 2012. She holds a PhD from the University of Sydney and has practiced as a barrister in Australia and the United Kingdom, primarily in the areas of family law, criminal law, administrative law and human rights law. Dr Boss also served in various command and staff roles in the ADF, primarily as a reservist, and was awarded a Conspicuous Service Cross. She also worked in the healthcare system as a nurse in the United Kingdom.
Dr Boss tendered her resignation from the ADF on 28 September 2020.
The National Commissioner is independent from Government, the Department of Defence and the Department of Veterans' Affairs.
"My priority as the National Commissioner is to commence the Independent Review of Past Defence and Veteran Suicides and look at past suicides to understand the reasons why they occurred to help prevent future deaths. I know many families, serving and ex-serving ADF members and others who have been calling for action in response to these tragic deaths. I want to hear their stories," Dr Boss said.