Letter to the Editor - The Guardian Australia
15 August 2014
Dear Ms Wilson,
I write to express my concern regarding the reporting in the Guardian Australia Online on 14 August 2014, an article entitled ‘Jacqui Lambie calls for royal commission into Defence abuse cases’.
While it would be inappropriate for me to comment on what Senator Lambie said to your correspondent, I do feel that it is appropriate to express my concern regarding the lack of balance in the article.
It was very clear from the opening statement that I made to the inquiry and my subsequent evidence that the senior leadership of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) takes the issue of abuse very seriously and has been and remains deeply committed to tackling this problem and forging an inclusive culture based on respect.
This material was available to your correspondent prior to publication of the article. Given the central tenet of the article was that Defence was downplaying abuse, I consider not even acknowledging my evidence or previous public statements or indeed the high profile public comments of the previous Chief of Defence Force, General David Hurley and the Chief of Army Lieutenant General David Morrison shows an extraordinary lack of balance.
This is a difficult and complex issue affecting the lives of thousands of people. We are very much focused on supporting the victims of abuse through the very good work of the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce as much as we are on improving the culture across the ADF.
Regrettably your article has done little to help public understanding of this very important issue.
R.J. GRIGGS, AO, CSC
Vice Admiral, RAN
Vice Chief of the Defence Force
Link to the Vice Chief of the Defence Force opening statement to the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee Inquiry into the Government response to the DART is available here