NSW Australian Army Voluntary Cadets - Daughter Accused of Theft?

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16 February 2015
Hello everybody,

I do not know how much detail I can go into, the matter is not being investigated by Police or before the courts at this point in time. If it does not create issues I can provide more details to anybody who may be responding to this thread.

My daughter is a cadet with the Australian Army Cadets. She is a cadet, but is over the age of 18years.

Last week she was asked to go into the office where she was asked to fill out some forms in regards to the equipment that she has been issued as part of being a cadet. After the first form was completed the two senior officers who had asked her to attend the meeting alleged that she had been unlawfully removing equipment from the unit store. The information provided was from another cadet. It was not determined that equipment was missing through an audit of the unit equipment, which has not been done for a considerable period of time.

She was then interviewed on a number of points regarding the alleged theft of equipment, which she denied. At no point prior to, or during the meeting, was a support person offered or provided. The allegation of theft was not made until part way into the meeting.

During the meeting it was raised that the NSW Police could become involved in the matter, and that a search warrant could be executed on the family home. I know the equipment has not been stolen, nor is it in our family home. The amount of equipment alleged is substantial, not something that I would miss. We have also just completed renovations in our home, during which I personally cleared out her room for work to be done. I believe the allegation to be unfounded.

I have a few questions that I would love to seek answers to in regards to the process.
  • Should a support person for my daughter been present at the meeting from the very beginning?
  • Given the seriousness of the allegations, should my daughter been legally represented at the interview?
  • If the unit forwarded the matter onto the NSW Police, how would the evidence gained from the interview be treated? Would it be admissible in a court of law?
  • The unit has asked us to provide them with further information as to what is held at home. Should we be providing this information? Should we attend any further meetings unrepresented?
I do not believe that my daughter has taken the equipment. One of the officers conducting the interview was from another unit and has a long standing dislike for my daughter. I have offered to allow the unit commander to come to our house and look for himself to prove there is no missing equipment at home, however this offer was declined. I am worried about this issue being blown out of all proportions.


Michael T

Well-Known Member
9 April 2014
Sorry for the late reply, but you've posted a complex situation that requires specialised legal advice and guidance. If still ongoing, you would be best served getting advice as soon as you can - such as Get Connected with the Right Lawyer for You - Also remember to take detailed notes (which it seems you would have) so that you can put forward your arguments/side of the story.

I think the Commonwealth Ombudsman would have authority to deal with complaints about the Australian Army: Australian Defence Force - Commonwealth Ombudsman