Injured People

Defence force member abuse at HMAS Leeuwin

TGB's Brianna Tapscott has joined the call for a royal commission into child sexual abuse at an Australian Defence Force training facility.

TGB’s Brianna Tapscott has joined the call for a royal commission into child sexual abuse at an Australian Defence Force training facility.


Of all the military abuse matters I have worked on, cases arising from HMAS Leeuwin are among the most shocking.

Leeuwin operated as a naval training base in Western Australia between 1960 and 1986 for thousands of junior recruits.

It became a place of horrifying physical and sexual abuse for many teenagers who now, as adults, still bear the psychological scars that continue to impact their lives.

We have been assisting some victims through the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce (DART), and some of our clients have received some reparation, but many argue that this does not go far enough and a royal commission should be established.

A royal commission is appropriate, as the systematic abuse of children within the Australian Defence Force is a special case.

Despite the countless abuse matters that continue to emerge from Leeuwin, many veterans still find it difficult to get recognition from the Department of Veterans Affairs and Veterans Review Board.

For most victims it is more than just a compensation claim – it is a step towards getting help, and closure.

Veterans who have had their claims rejected still have options, and should seek legal advice from experienced military lawyers.

Author: Brianna Tapscott

We can help. Register online here or call us – we assist veterans Australia-wide, and have significant experience with Military compensation claims, having helped hundreds of members with disputes at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and Federal Court.

Tim White, a TGB partner who leads the military compensation department at the firm, is also a Legal Officer in the Royal Australian Airforce Reserves.