Defence holds personal information about ADF members to assist in the support of members and their families, both during and after their service.
Personal information about ADF members can be accessed via the personal information request process and will be actioned within 30 days.
Why make a personal information request
There are some common reasons for requesting the personal information of an ADF member.
- Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide where applicants are seeking information required by the Royal Commission.
- Amendment or annotation to correct personal information that is incomplete, incorrect, out-of-date or misleading.
- Compensation or legal claims where evidence of ADF service and health assessments are required.
- Eulogy details for a funeral or memorial service that reference an ex-member's ADF service.
- Historical research where details of an ADF service is being referenced for family or personal research activity.
- Membership to veteran organisations where evidence of ADF service is required.
Types of personal information available
Certain types of personal information about ADF members are retained by Defence, and are available to request access to. Be aware that some information may be difficult or upsetting to read if it details traumatic or sensitive events or incidents.
- Health records
- Incident and inquiry records
- Psychology records
- Service records
Under the Privacy Act 1988 the information may be redacted to protect the privacy of third parties before release. For more details see the Redaction information page.
Who can make a personal information request
The personal information of an ADF member can be requested by:
- Current member
- Immediate family of a current or ex member, living or deceased
- Advocate or representative of a living current or ex member
- Advocate or representative of the immediate family of a deceased ex-member.
How to make a personal information request
Before initiating a request, gather this information:
- Make a list of all personal information being requested.
- Prepare 2 certified proof of identity documents (one photo ID and one secondary ID) of the applicant and/or current or ex member.
- Prepare a hand-signed signature verification document of the applicant with the wording "This signature supports my online application for Defence information on [insert date]." followed by a signature.
- Where relevant, prepare a hand-signed consent document from the current member, ex-member or family member with the wording "I [name] residing at [address] consent to allow my Defence information to be released to [name] via [address]. By signing this document I authorise Defence to disclose the information identified in the online application made via www.defence.gov.au on [date]." followed by signature.
- Where relevant, prepare proof of relationship to the current or ex member.
- Where relevant, prepare proof of death of the ex-member.
Personal information request administrative process
The following steps are followed by Defence when processing a personal information request.
Assess whether the request is most appropriate to be released administratively or as a freedom of information (FOI) request.
Confirm the applicant’s identity.
Check consent and proof of relationship.
Provide applicant with acknowledgement of request and estimated timeframe for their request.
Apply redactions in accordance with the Defence redaction guidelines.
Send documents an accompanying letter or email which explains the reasons for any redactions and details escalation and review processes.
Personal information request outcomes
Applicants will receive confirmation of receipt of their personal information request.
The personal information will be provided within 30 days, unless otherwise notified.
If the personal information supplied is inadequate, a FOI request may be submitted for a more formal review.