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Preliminary Representation of Diversity in Defence

As at 31 December 2012, Defence employed a workforce of 79,292 people consisting of 56,955 serving ADF members and 22,337 APS employees, with an additional 25,329 Active Reserve members.

The following is a statistical representation of our current quantifiable measures of key diversity themes in Defence: 

Table 1. Diversity Statistics of Defence Workforce as at 31 December 2012
Workforce as at 31 Dec 2012 Total Number Percentage of Total Female Male ATSI NESB1 People with Disability (APS only)
ADF2 56,955 71.83% 13.95% 86.05% 0.97% 5.41% -
APS3 22,337 28.17% 40.56% 59.44% 0.67% 14.11% 2.33%
TOTAL 79,292 100.00% 21.45% 78.55% 0.88% 7.86% -
Table 2. Diversity Statistics of ADF Workforce as at 31 December 2012
ADF Workforce as at 31 Dec 2012 Total Number Percentage  of Total Female Male ATSI NESB1
NAVY – Permanent2 13,870 24.35% 18.44% 81.56% 1.09% 4.41%
ARMY – Permanent2 29,040 50.99% 10.36% 89.64% 1.12% 5.90%
AIR FORCE – Permanent2 14,045 24.66% 16.97% 83.03% 0.55% 5.38%
TOTAL ADF Permanent2 56,955 100.00% 13.95% 86.05% 0.97% 5.41%
Table 3. Diversity Statistics of ADF Workforce as at 31 December 2012
ADF Workforce as at 31 Dec 2012 Total Number Percentage  of Total Female Male ATSI NESB1
NAVY – Active Reserve4 4,735 18.69% 20.74% 79.26% 0.68% 3.53%
ARMY – Active Reserve4 16,568 65.41% 13.39% 86.61% 2.36% 10.50%
AIR FORCE – Active Reserve4 4,026 15.90% 21.71% 78.29% 0.50% 6.14%
TOTAL Active Reserve4 25,329 100.00% 16.08% 83.92% 1.75% 8.50%

The Defence Attitude Survey 2012 collected attitudinal information around diversity. The following table shows that all Defence workforce segments reported lower satisfaction with their organisation’s commitment to having a diverse workforce than the wider APS in the last survey:

Perceptions of Organisational Commitment to Diversity
'I am satisfied with Defence's commitment to having a diverse workforce'

Figure 2. Perceptions of Organisational Commitment to Diversity


This information is intended to provide a preliminary depiction of Diversity in Defence, with the data we currently have available, to provide a point of reference as we progress towards accomplishing our goals for Diversity and Inclusion in Defence.


  1. Due to data restrictions, Defence NESB personnel are identified as those whose first language is 'English and another language' or 'another language'.
  2. ADF Permanent figures include permanent ADF, continuous full-time service Reservists, and residual gap year participants.
  3. APS figures include ongoing and non-ongoing employees.
  4. Active Reserve figures does not include Reserve members on continuous full time service (these are counted in ADF Permanent figures) or Standby Reserve members.