A statement from the Acting Chief of the Defence Force
3 December 2014
I am disappointed that the author of the opinion piece titled 'It's wrong to march on by' did not seek clarification or comment from Defence prior to publication in the Courier Mail on 3 December 2014. The article lacks a contemporary understanding of the state of cultural reform in the Australian Defence Force (ADF).
The Chief of the Defence Force, Service Chiefs and I have demonstrated our commitment to addressing abuse and driving cultural reform in the ADF. There is no reluctance to fix these issues. Over the two years from July 2012 to June 2014, more than 380 ADF members had their service terminated for misconduct or unacceptable behaviour. Such behaviour contradicts our values and will continue to be effectively dealt with.
The ADF accepts that ADFA has not always provided an environment where all members were safe from sexual, physical and mental abuse. This is simply not acceptable and the actions of the Academy leadership in recent years reinforce the ADF's position that such behaviour is not tolerated.
ADFA is at the forefront of cultural change in Defence to become more fair, inclusive and respectful. ADFA’s leading programs on good citizenship and sexual ethics education are best practice and reflect a deep and genuine commitment to provide an environment and culture that supports the values and behaviours expected of our future leaders.
R.J. GRIGGS, AO, CSC
Vice Admiral, RAN
Vice Chief of the Defence Force