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THE Government has extended
the duration of the Defence Abuse
Response Taskforce from December
this year to May 2014 to allow comple-
tion of its scope of work.
Defence Minister Stephen Smith
said the number of cases before the
Taskforce was building steadily.
In addition to more than 1000 cases
reported to the DLA Piper Review into
allegations of sexual and other forms
of abuse in Defence, the Government
hotline has been receiving about 15 new
matters a week.
"Advice from the Taskforce Chair
is that he considers an extension of
this deadline is necessary as there is
no realistic prospect the work required
by the Terms of Reference could be
completed within the present 12-month
timeframe," Mr Smith said.
He tabled the Taskforce's first inter-
im report in Parliament on March 14.
The 31-page report provides an
update on progress made in establish-
ing the Taskforce. The Taskforce is
now preparing to transition into its
Operational Phase, in which the assess-
ment of allegations and complaints will
be considered in accordance with the
Mr Smith announced that the cut-off
for allegations of abuse that occurred
before April 11, 2011, would be May
31 this year.
"This will ensure that people who
have experienced abuse prior to April
11, 2011, but who have not yet brought
their case forward, have the time to
consider doing so," he said.
He also said that Government had
approved the Defence Abuse Reparation
Payment Scheme, in which to individu-
als could receive up to $50,000.
The Taskforce members will liaise
with those who have made allegations
of abuse to determine the most appro-
The Minister will be looking at
further avenues for parliamentary
oversight of the management of allega-
tions of abuse in Defence, and imple-
mentation of cultural change measures
including the first Annual Report on
Defence's implementation of the cultur-
al reform program, Pathway to Change,
in June this year.
The Defence Abuse Response Taskforce's first
interim report is available at http://www.
IN THE 12 months since the incep-
tion of the Pathway to Change:
Evolving Defence Culture initiative,
the organisation has made tangible
and measurable progress arising
from the suite of cultural reviews,
according to CDF Gen David
"Our actions to date support the
senior Defence leadership's goal for
a more diverse, inclusive and equita-
ble ADF," Gen Hurley said.
Of the 160 recommendations
put forward in the Defence culture
reviews, 48 have been closed out and
another 110 are under way.
Measures to address the issues
include the establishment of the
Sexual Misconduct Prevention and
Response Office (SeMPRO), which
will be officially launched in July.
SeMPRO and the introduction of
Restricted Reporting later this year
will mark an important shift toward
a victim-focused approach
In other developments, serving
female ADF members now have
the opportunity to work in all posi-
tions in the ADF with the excep-
tion of Special Forces, which will be
opened to women in 2014.
Gen Hurley said selection will
be based on a candidate's ability
to do the job, not their Gender, and
there would be no reductions to
any standards associated with this
He said the first anniversary of
the release of Pathway to Change
was also a timely opportunity to
remind people of the mechanisms
available to respond to complaints
or allegations of inappropriate
"I encourage you to report the
matter to your chain of command
as soon as practical so that it can be
addressed in a timely and appropri-
ate manner. However, if you feel you
are unable to report the matter in
your immediate work environment,
there are a number of other report-
ing mechanisms available to you,"
Gen Hurley recognised that
cultural change takes time, but the
organisation is on a positive track.
"Everyone at every level has
an active role to play in living the
Defence values to ensure that the
ADF meets its cultural intent to be
'trusted to defend, proven to deliver
and respectful always'," he said.
For the CDF's full statement on the Pathway
to Change anniversary, go to
Major milestone in
Defence's response to culture reviews is on track after a year of changes
Pushing ahead: The lifting of gender restrictions at the start of this year, made possible by the
implementation of Physical Employment Standards for all ADF roles, is seen as a significant step
forward for Defence culture as the organisation continues to implement changes recommended in
the Defence Culture Reviews.
File photo by LS Paul Berry
ON THE PATH
Of the 160 recommendations put forward,
48 have been closed off and another 110
are under way.
Equity and diversity training programs at
ADFA have been strengthened and the
number of equity advisers on campus has
been doubled to 40.
The Sexual Misconduct Prevention
Response Office will be officially launched
in July. The office will be dedicated to
responding to incidences of sexual miscon-
duct and provide education about the pre-
vention of sexual misconduct and assault.
A further 20 recommendations from the
Broderick Review Phase Two that aim to
enhance diversity have also commenced.
Four are complete and a further 16 recom-
mendations remain on track for completion
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