Australian Defence Force

Australia defence force suicides 'a national tragedy'

A royal commission - Australia's top form of public inquiry - interviewed hundreds of people over eight months.

It found servicemen and women are struggling with bureaucracy and a lack of support after being discharged.

The government has apologised and promised to urgently respond to the report's recommendations.

"It's devastating that Australia has lost more serving and former serving personnel to suicide than it has lost through operations over the last 20 years in Afghanistan and Iraq," Veterans Minister Matt Keogh said.

Over 100 Ni-Vanuatu police officers undergo training with ADF

Participants are from the three elements of the Vanuatu Police Force, Vanuatu Mobile Force, Police Maritime and the general police.

Officer In-Charge of the VMF Training Wing, Lieutenant Tekol Masteia, said, “This is one of the first training courses that includes a big number of participants. Majority of the participants are VMPF personnel.”

Vanuatu radio network extended further

The small team travelled to Tanna with new cabling, cabinetry, microwave dishes, and other very high frequency components to add to the existing tower and enhance its capability to reach island communities that were previously out of radio range. 

Australian Army Signaller Athol Keeton explained what the combined Vanuatu Police Force and Australian Army team was doing and how it would help island communities near Tanna. 

Sola Police officers equipped to use new HF radio system for disaster response

The training is on how to set up a rapid deployment antenna in case the original antenna is down during a cyclone.

Officers at Sola Police Station have been trained to set up the antenna and established a quick communication with Vansec house.

Now the officers can confidently operate the new HF radio system and carry out emergency contact on radios during a cyclone or any other disaster.

The officers were also taken through Basic first Aid training conducted by the ADF personnel.

Australian aid to help Cyclone Harold relief efforts as COVID-19 frustrates response

The week-long storm has destroyed homes, cut off power and killed dozens in four Pacific island countries. Local disaster teams in Vanuatu hope to reach some of the worst-affected areas today.

Glen Craig from the Vanuatu Business Resilience Council estimates up to 90 per cent of homes in the country's second largest town, Luganville, have been damaged.

"It's worse than what we thought," he said.

"People here are positive. I think they're still a bit shell-shocked at the moment but they know that help is coming but help will need to come fast.