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Appointment of Defence Abuse Response Taskforce Reparation Payments Assessor



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Minister for Defence

Minister for Defence and Attorney-General - Joint Media Release - Appointment of Defence Abuse Response Taskforce Reparation Payments Assessor

30 May 2013

Minister for Defence Stephen Smith and Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus QC today announced the appointment of Ms Robyn Kruk AM to the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce as the Reparation Payments Assessor.

In November 2012, the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce (‘the Taskforce’) was established as part of the Government’s response to the DLA Piper Review into allegations of sexual and other abuse in Defence.

The Taskforce is responsible for assessing individual allegations of abuse in Defence occurring before 11 April 2011.

The Taskforce will determine, in close consultation with those who have made complaints, appropriate outcomes in response to allegations of abuse in Defence. These outcomes could include a referral to counselling and possible restorative processes, including apologies from appropriate Defence officers, a reparation payment of up to $50,000, and referral of appropriate matters to police or military justice authorities.

Under the Defence Abuse Reparation Scheme Guidelines, decisions to provide a reparation payment will be made by an independent Reparation Payments Assessor, based on recommendations from the Taskforce Chair, the Hon Len Roberts-Smith, RFD QC.

Ms Kruk is highly qualified for this role.

She is a former senior officer in the New South Wales State Government, including serving as Director-General of the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet, NSW Health and the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Ms Kruk has served as the Chief Executive and Commissioner of the National Mental Health Commission since 2011. She is a former practising psychologist and holds a Bachelor of Science, Psychology (Hons), a Master of Administration, and has completed the Harvard Advanced Management Program.

Ms Kruk was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for service to public administration in a range of areas including Commonwealth-State reform initiatives in health and natural resources.

Ms Kruk has recently served as Secretary of the Commonwealth Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities from 2009 until 2011 and has announced her impending retirement from the Australian Public Service.

Minister Smith and the Attorney-General also reminded people considering reporting an allegation of sexual and other abuse in Defence that the deadline for their report is this Friday, 31 May.

In March, the Government announced that the cut-off for the Taskforce accepting new allegations of abuse that are alleged to have occurred prior to 11 April 2011 will be 31 May this year.

The Government encourages any people who have experienced abuse prior to 11 April 2011 but who have not yet brought their case forward to consider doing so before Friday, 31 May.

All that is required by the cut-off date is that a person registers notice of their allegation with the Taskforce.

This may be done by contacting the Taskforce (via the Hotline on 1800 424 991 or at DART@ag.gov.au), providing their contact details and indicating that they wish to bring a complaint to the Taskforce about alleged abuse in Defence prior to 11 April 2011.

Further information, including a copy of the Defence Abuse Reparation Scheme Guidelines, is available on the Taskforce website at: www.defenceabusetaskforce.gov.au

Robyn Kruk AM: Biography

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Robyn Kruk AM has served as the Chief Executive and Commissioner of the National Mental Health Commission since 2011 and as Secretary of the Commonwealth Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities from 2009 until 2011. She has recently announced her impending retirement from the Australian Public Service.

She has led complex and diverse organisations at the Chief Executive level in theNew South Walesstate government including Director-General of the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet, NSW Health and theNSWNational Parksand Wildlife Service.

Robyn is a former practising psychologist and holds a Bachelor of Science, Psychology (Hons), a Master of Administration, and has completed the Harvard Advanced Management Program.

She serves on statutory and advisory boards both nationally and internationally including the Clinical Excellence Commission, The Agency for Clinical Innovation and has held the role of Co-Chair of the Reforming States Group for theUSbased Milbank Fund (Philanthropic Health Trust). She recently co-chaired the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development Task Force on Environment and Development inWestern China.

Robyn was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for service to public administration in a range of areas including Commonwealth-State reform initiatives in health and natural resources

Media contacts:

Mr Smith’s Office: Sacha Fenton (02) 6277 7800 or 0467 784 528

Mr Dreyfus’ Office: Annie Williams (02) 6277 7300 or 0428 040 522

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