A statement from the Chief of the Defence Force
21 June 2013
Over the past week the Australian Defence Force (ADF) has taken a strong and visible stance against unacceptable behaviour. This is cultural reform in action. This is the Defence Senior Leadership taking steps to set the boundaries and expectations necessary to give full force to cultural change.
The Australian Defence Force Academy remains an important training institution for future leaders of the ADF. I am extremely disappointed that a number of cadets have allegedly engaged in the type of unacceptable behaviour that brings their colleagues, the Academy and the ADF in to disrepute.
We acknowledge that we are addressing some serious issues and I do not apologise for the decisive action myself, the Vice Chief of the Defence Force and the Service Chiefs are taking across the ADF as we work to eliminate unacceptable behaviour. We will not accept or excuse illegal, offensive or discriminatory behaviour in the ADF. Such behaviour contradicts our Defence values and will have swift and decisive consequences.
The Academy has made measurable progress to implement the recommendations made in the Broderick Review into the Treatment of Women at ADFA and the decision to suspend the cadets demonstrates that we are serious about continuing our cultural reform.
The degree of public scrutiny of the ADF indicates that Australia expects more of us and we must demand more of ourselves. An ADF member is never off duty. Leaders will be held accountable for the way in which they exercise their authority and every member of the ADF at every rank will be expected to take responsibility for their actions.
As individuals we must have the moral courage to act, and the ability to respond when issues arise. I commend the cadets who have stepped forward to raise concerns at ADFA this week and I encourage anyone who experiences or is aware of unacceptable behaviour to also speak up so that these matters can be addressed.
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