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Army June 6, 2013
Flg-Off Iain Slater
THE new Sexual Misconduct
Prevention and Response Office
(SeMPRO) is well placed for its offi-
cial launch in July, delegates were
told at the SeMPRO Conference in
Canberra on May 23-24.
SeMPRO has been established to be
an access point for Defence members
who want to report sexual misconduct. It
will coordinate timely responses, victim
support, education and policy, and man-
age reporting of sexual misconduct in
Air-Cdre Kathryn Dunn, who heads
up SeMPRO, said her office would be
taking a victim-focused approach.
"How you first respond to a victim of
sexual assault when they disclose influ-
ences how they recover," she said.
"The work of SeMPRO is important
because we know there are people in our
workplaces who are traumatised by sex-
ual assault. We encourage them to come
forward to receive the support that they
need so that they can recover and return
to their full potential."
More than 120 specialists from
most Defence establishments attended
the SeMPRO conference in Canberra,
including medical officers, psycholo-
gists, chaplains, legal officers, and ADF
Investigative Service personnel. "The
SeMPRO team are working closely
with the specialists to build a service-
delivery model because a more coordi-
nated approach is needed. The confer-
ence attendees are the folk most likely
to hear someone's disclosure of a sexual
assault," Air-Cdre Dunn said.
In addition to victim care, SeMPRO
also advises on the management and
reporting of sexual assault and miscon-
"On the one hand we will be sup-
porting victims of sexual assault, on the
other hand, Defence has a zero toler-
ance to offenders who need to be held to
account," Air-Cdre Dunn said.
Data collected by the ADF
Investigative Service over the past five
years shows that, on average, there have
been 80 sexual assaults reported annu-
ally in Defence. Research shows that
80-90 per cent of assaults are not report-
ed, which means we do not have a full
appreciation of the number of sexual
assaults happening each year in Defence.
"It is important to manage expecta-
tions," Air-Cdre Dunn said.
"It's really about making sure we are
looking after our people so an increase in
reporting needs to be seen as a positive
result. We will also have more accurate
prevalence data and trends so that we
can target our education and prevention
The program, still in its develop-
ment stage, aims to increase awareness
and educate people about healthy rela-
tionships, sexual ethics, consent and
Defence members will be able to contact
SeMPRO on 1800 SeMPRO (1800 736 776) or
through email on SeMPRO@defence.gov.au for
support, advice and information regarding sexual
assault management and reporting.
Road to recovery
Coordinated response in tackling sexual assaults in the ADF
THE ADF Theatre Project has com-
menced its recruitment process and
opportunities to participate still exist
for serving members who have been
wounded or injured or become ill in
Participants of the ADF Theatre
Project will perform a role in a stage
play inspired by their personal experi-
ences, as well as reflecting on the past
decade of ADF operations.
In the first step of the recruitment
process for the ADF Theatre Project,
13 applicants from the Army, Navy and
Air Force recently came to Canberra to
attend a two-day selection activity.
Attendees shared their personal sto-
ries and gained a greater understanding
of what the project might mean to their
rehabilitation and recovery.
"Everyone has an artist within
them," according to Army officer and
professional actor Lt-Col Warwick
Young, who took the group through
mini acting workshops to give them a
small taste of what lay ahead for those
who were selected to continue with the
By the end of day two, the par-
ticipants were eager to progress to
the next phase where they would
attend six weeks of acting work-
shops in Sydney -- alongside some of
DEFENCE Families of
Australia has launched a family
survey to provide concrete data
on the effectiveness of existing
support services and identify
needs not being met.
The survey is seeking fam-
ily views independent of the
ADF members with anonymity
and confidentiality guaranteed.
"The opinions of fami-
lies matters," DFA National
Convenor Julie Blackburn said.
"This data, combined with
discussions at DFA consulta-
tion meetings around the coun-
try in June and July can be used
to assist decision-makers as to
where and how to allocate its
Defence community resources.
"It is important that we
give the government the vital
information needed about your
needs as a Defence family
when making tough decisions
Previous annual survey
feedback has been used by DFA
to advocate for and achieve
improvements in housing stand-
ards, base access, health, educa-
tion, child care and deployment
Each Defence family should
complete one survey response.
Respondents may be partners,
parents, children and full
and part-time ADF members
responding on behalf of their
family. It should be noted that
most questions are directed to
the family members living with
an ADF member.
All survey responses are
anonymous. Contact details
requested at the end of the
survey are only collected for
the purposes of DFA member-
ship and statistics and will not
be shared with Defence or any
Complete the DFA Family Survey
online at http://www.dfa.org.au/
Contact DFA at email@example.com.
au for a paper version to be mailed
From theatre of war to performance theatre
Families in focus
Photo by Cpl
Nobody knows the inside scoop like the
soldier on the ground.
Contact the editorial team by email to
Australia's finest theatrical talent -- and
share their personal experiences with
the writer to support the development
of the script.
The ADF Theatre Project is a
collaboration between Defence and
Sydney Theatre Company. It provides
an opportunity for servicemen and
women, with various wounds and inju-
ries, ranging from post-traumatic stress
disorder to physical incapacities, to
participate in a unique performing arts
program to support their rehabilitation.
Director General ADF Theatre
Project Brig Alison Creagh said the
project would provide participants
with many positive experiences and
the opportunity to make a difference
in their own lives as well as for their
families, colleagues and the Australian
"We know that theatre can make a
meaningful difference in the rehabilita-
tion journey for individuals and we
expect participants in the ADF Theatre
Project will experience benefits such as
improved confidence and self-esteem
as they share their experiences and
gain new skills," she said.
"Participants will gain a great sense
of achievement from what will be a
powerful theatrical production.
"The ADF Theatre Project is also a
unique opportunity for the Australian
public to understand Australia's recent
story of war and the challenges faced
by the brave men and women of our
LCpl Craig Hancock said he attend-
ed the selection centre to tell his story.
"I think the ADF Theatre Project is
a good way to tell our story of what we
experienced in Afghanistan," he said.
The project will open in Sydney
in February, before touring to various
locations around Australia.
Participants will be provided with
full health support to align with their
individual rehabilitation requirements.
Interested personnel are encouraged to
talk to visit the website below.
Further information is available from the
ADF Theatre Project website http://legacy/
on the DRN or by contacting the ADF Theatre
Project's Lt-Col Roger Holmes.
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