Victims of rape and sexual abuse at the Defence Force were never told about a Government taskforce set up to investigate instances of abuse in the military and provide compensation to those affected.
The ABC TV's Four Corners program has broadcast four case studies of former cadets who report being sexually assaulted and raped at the Australian Defence Force Academy in the 1990s and 2009 but have not had their cases investigated by a specialist taskforce, the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce (DART).
DART was established to assess complaints of abuse, particularly of the ADFA 24 cases - a group of about two dozen cadets who were sexually abused at the military college between 1994 and 1998. It would also determine whether any ADFA 24 victims or perpetrators are still serving members of the ADF.
However, the Four Corners investigation revealed only seven of the ADFA 24 have lodged submissions, and the deadline for submissions was in May last year.
It also revealed that many of the sexual assault victims had made formal complaints with the Defence Force at the time of their abuse, but their complaints were not followed up by the military and have laid dormant since. It was shown there were cases where the alleged perpetrators of sexual abuse from the 1990s still serve as ADF officers, in some cases holding senior ranks.
One ADFA 24 victim, Kellie Gunnis, said she was never made aware of the government scheme and dismissed the initiative as a tokenistic gesture by Defence, calling the initiative an "excuse".
"How can they have this whole taskforce, have this whole system set up for people who had been through what I'd been through, and we weren't made aware of it?" she said in an interview on the ABC 1.
Gunnis said she was sexually harassed in her first year as a ADFA cadet in 1996, when she was subject to a demeaning ritual "bishing". She said she shoved into a wheelie bin and had food and water poured on her, before she was left out in the cold.
She reported the incident to Queensland Police but was "talked out of it". It was reported that the alleged perpetrator continues to hold a senior rank in Defence.
DART has already assessed more than 2,400 complaints of abuse, paid $28 million in compensation and referred 63 matters to police.
Former West Australian Supreme Court judge Len Roberts-Smith QC, who chairs DART said it was not DART's policy to approach victims, and that it was decided that victims should approach the task force "voluntarily".
He added that DART had publicised their campaign for some time and appealed to any other victims of sexual assault to contact DART.
A new project, known as Plan Millennium, has gathered and digitised 63,000 service police records from across the ADF and has been made available to DART, yet victims remain skeptical about the capability of the taskforce.
Victims were joined by former Australian Defence Force magistrate Ken Northwood in calling for a royal commission to unearth the full extent of abuse that took place in the military.
The outgoing Chief of Defence, David Hurley asked anyone with information about the ADFA 24 cases to contact him directly.