Defence leadership affirms commitment to address past abuse and misconduct at ADFA
25 June 2014
The Chief of the Defence Force, General David Hurley, and the Chief of the Defence Force designate, Air Marshal Mark Binskin, have confirmed that following the change of command, Defence will continue to address cases of abuse and misconduct at the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) during the 1980s and 1990s.
“Given the significant public interest in these matters I want to reassure people that the work commenced during my tenure will continue when Air Marshal Binskin assumes command on 1 July,” General Hurley said.
“Defence invites any person who has suffered abuse at ADFA during the 80s and 90s to contact Defence in order to seek information about available support services or what action Defence may be able to take in relation to the abuse incident.”
A number of avenues will continue to be available to people who have been subject to abuse at ADFA in the past and who wish to report those matters.
The Defence Abuse Response Taskforce
The Defence Abuse Response Taskforce was established as an independent body to the Department of Defence to assess complaints of sexual and other forms of abuse by Defence personnel alleged to have occurred prior to 11 April 2011.
The Taskforce's Terms of Reference include consideration of the ‘24 ADFA cases noted by DLA Piper’. The cut-off date for complaints to the Taskforce has passed, but the Taskforce has advised, following media reports, that it is still able to accept complaints from members of the so-called ‘ADFA 24’ – a group of approximately 24 serious allegations of sexual abuse occurring in the 1990s.
The Taskforce can be contacted at DART [at] ag.gov.au
Any person who has been subject to abuse at ADFA during the 1980s and 1990s and wishes to report the matter to Defence for consideration of any action can contact Defence agencies listed on the Defence internet and intranet websites by selecting the icon on the front page ‘Report Abuse and Misconduct’.
Any person wishing to discuss their reporting options or access to mental health support can call the Defence Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Office (SeMPRO) on 1800 736 776 or email sempro [at] defence.gov.au. The SeMPRO response lines are staffed by experienced and qualified mental health professionals.
“It takes great personal courage to speak up about abuse,” Air Marshal Binskin said.
“My Command Team and I will continue General Hurley’s work to rigorously pursue these matters on behalf of the victims of abuse.”
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