Response to reporting regarding CAPT Mona Shindy
6 January 2016
Recently, a number of news articles and social media commentary have been published relating to comments made by CAPT Shindy. The articles are critical of CAPT Shindy’s commentary and question Navy’s and Defence’s social media policies and efforts to support workforce diversity opportunities.
As part of Navy’s promotion of diversity within the Australian Defence Force, a Twitter account was established to promote Defence and Navy policy on employment diversity across Defence. Initially, the account received mixed attention but in recent months, in line with increased public debate on Islam, it has attracted a growing number of contentious comments.
In administering the account, CAPT Shindy has been inundated with these comments, many of which have been very personal and highly confronting and she has had to judge the right balance between policy and personal comment. On 3 December 2015, the Chief of Navy counselled CAPT Shindy on this dilemma. In discussion with CAPT Shindy, the Chief of Navy determined that while she may have misjudged the balance, there had been no wilful violation of policy, but that further use of the Twitter account and public comment of this nature would cease at his direction. She agreed with this position. The Twitter account was shut down on 10 December 2015.
Subsequently, the Chief of Navy initiated a review of Navy’s social media methods to regain the necessary direction for Navy and Defence’s diversity message. In conducting the review, Navy seeks to strengthen its messaging in sync with its support to traditional media and other lines of communication, to ensure accuracy of information, and to provide reliable supplemental communications to its members and the wider Australian public. Navy’s use of social media is continuing to develop as a necessary part of a synchronised communications plan.
Navy remains committed to the promotion of diversity and to strengthening its diversity message.
CAPT Shindy has provided 26 years of dedicated service and retains the Chief of Navy’s complete support.