Correction to Reporting on HMAS Success Assault Allegations
15 August 2011
I wish to correct mis-reporting regarding a case involving a member of HMAS Success (Sailor Sex Assault Charge Sunday Telegraph p23, 14 August 2011). The tone of the story implies Navy delayed notifying police of a serious allegation of misconduct. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Allegations of this type are taken extremely seriously by me and the broader Navy community. An offence was alleged to have occurred on Tuesday 26 July 2011 in HMAS Success. The matter was brought to the attention of the relevant naval authorities by the complainant on the morning of Wednesday 27 July 2011. The ADF Investigative Service was immediately informed of the matter and it was consequently referred to the NSW Police for further investigation. This is in accordance with the Defence policy on this type of matter.
After making her complaint the sailor was accompanied by ADF Investigative Service members to Kings Cross police station where she was interviewed on the afternoon of Wednesday 27 July 2011.
In the article there were also inaccurate statements which should be corrected. Most importantly, the sailor making the complaint was accompanied by ADF Investigative Services personnel when meeting with NSW Police and was not alone.
HMAS Success did not go to sea after the sailor came forward. It was alongside Garden Island in Sydney conducting an Extended Maintenance Availability period. The article contains speculative and unsubstantiated material regarding how the incident is alleged to have occurred.
The overwhelming majority of Navy members do the right thing but any allegation of wrongdoing must and will be thoroughly investigated. Navy’s cultural reform program, New Generation Navy, has focused on ensuring all Navy people have the confidence and courage to report allegations of inappropriate behaviour. The actions of this sailor, and the speed with which her complaint was dealt with, provide further evidence that Navy is building a strong culture of open reporting of alleged wrongdoing among its workforce.
Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, RAN
Chief of Navy