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ADFA needs our support

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ADFA needs our support

November 7, 2011

Now the report on ADFA by the Sex Discrimination Commissioner has been tabled the Defence Minister and his senior Defence leaders need to issue a public statement affirming their strong support for the institution as a first-class academic and military institution.

Shadow Defence Minister David Johnston said the Opposition strongly endorsed Elizabeth Broderick’s report into the treatment of women at ADFA, saying she didn’t mince words in her thorough and wide ranging cultural review.

“Commissioner Broderick found first and foremost that ADFA is an elite academic institution where both male and female students took enormous pride in their work, however, she did find widespread low level sexual harassment was common,” Senator Johnston said.

“Whilst I am encouraged the Commissioner spoke so highly of ADFA as an elite institution it is also important to recognise there is no place for any form of sexual intimidation at the college where we are training our future military leaders.”

The review found the quality of recent Commandants had been high and many cadets, staff and parents commented favourably on CDRE Bruce Kafer’s leadership and commitment to ADFA.

“This came as no surprise to me because I have always held the current and past ADFA leadership in very high regard, which is why I also support Commissioner Broderick’s view they should have more control over staffing appointments,” Senator Johnston said.

“The current acting Commandant, Rear Admiral Goldrick is also a person I regard very highly and is well suited to taking ADFA past these reforms into the future.”

“It is essential, as Commissioner Broderick notes, that the staff appointed to ADFA see their posting as a significant achievement and a prestigious posting in their career paths.”

Senator Johnston said he was also encouraged by the Commissioner’s direction that within 12 months of the release of the review that the Vice Chief of the Defence Force, in association with the services, report back in a progress report of her recommendations.

“When the Minister first announced this review I was concerned that this would go of the way of many Defence reviews and simply be filed away in the too hard basket, but Cr Broderick’s review is a rare outsider’s account that cannot be ignored,” Senator Johnston said.

“What ADFA needs now is for the Minister and the Defence Chiefs to come out and assure the mums and dads of the nation that ADFA is an excellent institution that will continue to mould young men and women into great military leaders.”