Response to Defence Abuse Response Task Force Final Report
3 September 2016
The Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, has thanked the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce for its work after the Taskforce's final report was released by the Government yesterday.
The final report marks the completion of a significant body of work by Chairman Robert Cornall, AO and members of the Taskforce over more than three years.
"These are difficult matters and I thank the Taskforce for its sensitivity, professionalism and dedication to the complainants," Air Chief Marshal Binskin said.
"The ADF leadership accepts the profound impact of incidences of past abuse and we commend the complainants' courage in speaking up. By sharing their stories, they have allowed the Defence organisation to better understand our past in order to change the way people are treated.
"Fundamental to achieving the transformation we seek will be our ability apply the lessons we have learned and to maintain the momentum for change," Air Chief Marshal Binskin said.
To date, Defence has conducted more than 600 conferences in conjunction with the Taskforce as part of the highly successful Restorative Engagement Program.
"These deeply personal engagements have had a lasting impact for the complainants and the over 350 senior Defence officers who have participated. These officers, who are the next generation of leaders, will use the insights gained to make an enduring contribution to cultural change."
The Taskforce made a number of recommendations in its final report. Defence will now consider these recommendations in the context of continued improvement in preventing future occurrences, caring for victims and managing allegations of mistreatment.
The Defence Force Ombudsman will oversee the ongoing reforms to target the methods and means Defence applies in dealing with allegations of abuse.
"Defence is committed to eliminating all forms of abuse.
"We have undertaken significant reform activities over the past four years including the implementation of the Pathway to Change and the recommendations from other cultural reviews.
"Defence is now better postured to achieve more responsive, effective and appropriate outcomes in relation to contemporary incidents," said Air Chief Marshal Binskin.