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Malcolm Turnbull: we lost our son to suicide while serving in the ADF – please change service contracts so next-of-kin can be notified of self-harm, suicide attempts

This petition had 108,505 supporters


On the 22nd February 2012 we lost our son to suicide. No note was left.

Stuart was 27 years old and a serving member of the Royal Australian Navy. 

After his funeral, we visited his base – and left devastated to find out he'd tried to kill himself before. His shipmates told us that a year earlier while on missile practice in Hawaii he'd been found below deck with a noose around his neck searching for a place to tie off.

Immediately I proposed an additional clause in the ADF contract of service that would give waiver to the Privacy Act in circumstances where self-harm is evident, and next of kin would be notified immediately. 

Every civilian employer, as well as medical and mental health professionals accept this procedure. It seems like basic "Duty of Care". Tragically, the ADF hasn't acted. 

Since our loss of Stuart – 2 of his shipmates have also lost their lives by suicide and yet there's been no action. At the time I criticized the Minister for Defense for letting this happen on his watch after clearly explaining what must be done.

The pain of losing Stuart like this is still devastating. All we want is to prevent this happening to other families – so they don't suffer the daily regret of not having the opportunity to be there for our sons and daughters when they most need us. 

Mr Minister, implement this clause to protect our sons, daughters, fathers and mothers from this bureaucratic stupidity that is killing the cream of our country. After all, The Privacy Act was never meant to do harm.



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