Minister for Defence Stephen Smith — Reviews into ADFA, the ADF and Defence Culture

Reviews into the Aus­tralian Defence Force Acad­e­my, the Aus­tralian Defence Force and Defence Cul­ture
Today I detail progress in the com­pre­hen­sive cul­tur­al reviews with­in the Aus­tralian Defence Force Acad­e­my (ADFA), the Aus­tralian Defence Force (ADF) and the Defence organ­i­sa­tion.
These com­pre­hen­sive reviews were ini­ti­at­ed fol­low­ing the rais­ing of alle­ga­tions of inap­pro­pri­ate con­duct at the Aus­tralian Defence Force Acad­e­my on 5 April 2011.

A Steer­ing Com­mit­tee chaired by the Vice Chief of the Defence Force is coor­di­nat­ing the work of the reviews. 

These reviews are in addi­tion to the Inquiry into the Man­age­ment of the ADFA Skype Inci­dent of March 2011 and its after­math led by Mr Andrew Kirkham QC.

Review into the Treat­ment of Women in the Aus­tralian Defence Force Acad­e­my and Aus­tralian Defence Force

Ms Eliz­a­beth Brod­er­ick, the Sex Dis­crim­i­na­tion Com­mis­sion­er, on behalf of the Aus­tralian Human Rights Com­mis­sion, is lead­ing an exam­i­na­tion of the treat­ment of women at ADFA

The oth­er mem­bers of her pan­el are Dr Dami­an Pow­ell, Prin­ci­pal of Janet Clarke Hall Res­i­den­tial Col­lege, Mr Mark Ney, for­mer Assis­tant Com­mis­sion­er of the Aus­tralian Fed­er­al Police and Ms Sam Mostyn, a cor­po­rate advi­sor and expert in cul­tur­al change pro­grams in areas such as telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions, insur­ance and elite male sport. 

The pan­el will also con­sid­er what fur­ther ini­tia­tives are required to dri­ve cul­tur­al change in the treat­ment of women at the Academy.

In a sec­ond phase of her review, Ms Brod­er­ick and her pan­el will exam­ine the effec­tive­ness of cur­rent strate­gies rec­om­mend­ed by the Aus­tralian Defence Force’s Women’s Action Plan, includ­ing imple­men­ta­tion of these strate­gies across the ADF and mea­sures and ini­tia­tives required to improve the path­ways for increased rep­re­sen­ta­tion of women into the senior ranks and lead­er­ship of the ADF

Ms Brod­er­ick has released the Terms of Ref­er­ence for the review (attached for ease of ref­er­ence) and is work­ing towards com­plet­ing her task at the Defence Acad­e­my by July, and her sec­ond phase by the end of this year. 

Inde­pen­dent Advi­so­ry Pan­el on Alco­hol (IAPA)

Drink­ing and inap­pro­pri­ate behav­iour often go hand in hand. The Inde­pen­dent Advi­so­ry Pan­el on Alco­hol (IAPA) will over­see and review the out­comes of the ADF Alco­hol Man­age­ment Strat­e­gy includ­ing in rela­tion to ADFA and con­sid­er the impact of alco­hol in the ADF more broadly. 

The objec­tives of this pan­el will be: 

  • to advise the ADF on cur­rent organ­i­sa­tion­al cul­ture and indi­vid­ual atti­tudes towards alcohol; 
  • to rec­om­mend evi­dence-based pol­i­cy, strate­gies and pro­grams to min­imise alco­hol-relat­ed harm and sup­port cul­tur­al change with­in the ADF; and 
  • to iden­ti­fy short, medi­um and long term goals that will sup­port a sus­tain­able ADF Alco­hol Man­age­ment Strategy. 

The mem­bers of the IAPA are Pro­fes­sor Mar­garet Hamil­ton (Chair), an exec­u­tive mem­ber of the Aus­tralian Nation­al Coun­cil on Drugs, Pro­fes­sor Steven All­sop and Asso­ciate Pro­fes­sor John Wig­gers, who are both senior health pro­mo­tion prac­ti­tion­ers with exten­sive expe­ri­ence in alco­hol-relat­ed research, and Com­man­der Joint Health, Major Gen­er­al Paul Alexan­der. Pro­fes­sor Hamil­ton is sched­uled to report at the end of July. 

Social Media Use Review

The impact of social media has cre­at­ed new chal­lenges for the ADF and the Defence organisation. 

The review will exam­ine Defence’s oblig­a­tions in rela­tion to the use of social media by its employ­ees and the organ­i­sa­tion, and make rec­om­men­da­tions to mit­i­gate asso­ci­at­ed risks and to har­ness oppor­tu­ni­ties to improve Defence’s work and reputation. 

Mr Rob Hud­son, from the exter­nal con­sult­ing com­pa­ny George Pat­ter­son Y & R, will lead a small team, with the aim of devel­op­ing mea­sures to ensure that the use of new tech­nolo­gies is con­sis­tent with Aus­tralian Defence Force and Defence values. 

This review is sched­uled to pro­vide an inter­im report by the end of July. 

Per­son­al Conduct/Behaviour/Reputation Review Each mem­ber of the ADF, from the most junior cadet to the most senior offi­cer, is a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of Defence and our nation. 

Major Gen­er­al Craig Orme, a senior, expe­ri­enced Human Resources pro­fes­sion­al with­in Defence, will lead a review into the per­son­al con­duct of Aus­tralian Defence Force per­son­nel, with a focus on assess­ing the Aus­tralian Defence Force’s codes of con­duct and how behav­iour match­es them. 

Major Gen­er­al Orme will review all pol­i­cy and leg­is­la­tion that gov­erns ADF con­duct and iden­ti­fy oppor­tu­ni­ties to strength­en and clar­i­fy the oblig­a­tions of ADF mem­bers to behave appro­pri­ate­ly at all times.

The Per­son­al Con­duct review led by Major Gen­er­al Craig Orme will report in September.

Man­age­ment of Complaints

It is essen­tial that the ADF and Defence pro­motes and enforces the high­est stan­dards of behav­iour and cre­ates an envi­ron­ment where com­plaints can be aired and appro­pri­ate­ly addressed.

The inde­pen­dent Inspec­tor Gen­er­al of the Aus­tralian Defence Force, Mr Geoff Ear­ley, is con­duct­ing a review of the man­age­ment of inci­dents and com­plaints in Defence with spe­cif­ic ref­er­ence to the treat­ment of vic­tims, trans­paren­cy of process­es and the juris­dic­tion­al inter­face between mil­i­tary and civ­il law, which may lead to untime­ly deci­sion mak­ing processes.

The Inspec­tor-Gen­er­al ADF will pro­vide an inter­im report on his review of the man­age­ment of com­plaints in July.

Path­ways for Women in APS Leadership

This review will exam­ine path­ways for women in the Aus­tralian Pub­lic Ser­vice (APS) in the Defence organ­i­sa­tion and rec­om­mend meth­ods to over­come cul­tur­al bar­ri­ers, rec­om­mend meth­ods to improve lead­er­ship rep­re­sen­ta­tion rates of women in the Defence APS and rec­om­mend meth­ods to improve pro­gres­sion out­comes for APS women with­in over­all APS frameworks.

It will be led by the Deputy Pub­lic Ser­vice Com­mis­sion­er, Ms Carmel McGregor. 

Ms McGre­gor will report at the end of July.

Young Adults Devel­op­ment and Lead­er­ship Ini­tia­tive Many of the chal­lenges faced by young adults at ADFA are shared by oth­er ter­tiary and youth organ­i­sa­tions. This ini­tia­tive by the Vice Chief of the Defence Force will devel­op effec­tive respons­es to the chal­lenge of lead­ing and devel­op­ing young adults under­tak­ing ter­tiary edu­ca­tion in res­i­den­tial envi­ron­ments which can be applied to both civ­il and mil­i­tary institutions. 

Defence will engage with select­ed uni­ver­si­ties and appro­pri­ate res­i­den­tial col­leges to iden­ti­fy the issues of great­est shared con­cern and to devel­op edu­ca­tion­al and train­ing pro­grams for both lead­er­ship teams and stu­dents to meet the chal­lenges aris­ing from them. 

The ini­tia­tive will be coor­di­nat­ed by the Aus­tralian Defence Col­lege and led by Rear Admi­ral James Goldrick, the Com­man­der Aus­tralian Defence College.

Man­age­ment of Allegations

The past month has seen a large num­ber of pub­lic or pri­vate alle­ga­tions of sex­u­al or oth­er forms of abuse drawn to the atten­tion of my office, as well as to the atten­tion of the Depart­ment of Defence and the media. 

These alle­ga­tions are being dealt with method­i­cal­ly and at arms length from Defence. Defence has engaged DLA Phillips Fox (now DLA Piper) as the inde­pen­dent legal firm to review each alle­ga­tion raised. 

The DLA Phillips Fox process will be ongo­ing until all mat­ters raised have been assessed. 

Review into the Treat­ment of Women in the Aus­tralian Defence Force Acad­e­my and Aus­tralian Defence Force Terms of Reference 

The Review Pan­el, led by the Sex Dis­crim­i­na­tion Com­mis­sion­er, will review, report and make rec­om­men­da­tions on:

a. The treat­ment of women at the Aus­tralian Defence Force Acad­e­my with a par­tic­u­lar focus on the ade­qua­cy and appro­pri­ate­ness of mea­sures to: pro­mote gen­der equal­i­ty, ensure women’s safe­ty, and to address and pre­vent sex­u­al harass­ment and abuse, and sex discrimination; 

b. Ini­tia­tives required to dri­ve cul­tur­al change in the treat­ment of women at the Aus­tralian Defence Force Acad­e­my, includ­ing the ade­qua­cy and effec­tive­ness of exist­ing ini­tia­tives and of approach­es to train­ing, edu­ca­tion, men­tor­ing and development; 

c. The effec­tive­ness of the cul­tur­al change strate­gies rec­om­mend­ed by the Chief of the Defence Force Women’s Ref­er­ence Group in the Women’s Action Plan includ­ing the imple­men­ta­tion of these strate­gies across the Aus­tralian Defence Force; 

d. Mea­sures and ini­tia­tives required to improve the path­ways for increased rep­re­sen­ta­tion of women into the senior ranks and lead­er­ship of the Aus­tralian Defence Force; and e. Any oth­er mat­ters the Pan­el con­sid­ers appro­pri­ate that are inci­den­tal to the above terms of reference. 

Addi­tion­al­ly, 12 months after the release of the Panel’s report (the Report), a fur­ther inde­pen­dent Report will be pre­pared which: 

  • audits the imple­men­ta­tion of the rec­om­men­da­tions in the Panel’s Report by the Aus­tralian Defence Force Acad­e­my and the Aus­tralian Defence Force more broad­ly; and 
  • makes any fur­ther rec­om­men­da­tions nec­es­sary to advance the treat­ment of women at the Aus­tralian Defence Force Acad­e­my and in the Aus­tralian Defence Force. 

The Pan­el will con­sult wide­ly in con­duct­ing the Review.
In prepar­ing the Report the Pan­el may have regard to the evi­dence and avail­able out­comes of the addi­tion­al reviews announced by the Min­is­ter for Defence in April 2011.
The Pan­el may release inter­im reports address­ing dif­fer­ent ele­ments of the terms of ref­er­ence ahead of the com­ple­tion of the Report.
Mr Smith’s Office: Andrew Porter (02) 6277 7800 or 0419 474 392
Depart­ment of Defence: (02) 6127 1999 

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Australia 

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