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Annual Report 2013-14

Volume 1, Part 3 : Governance and Accountability

Chapter 7: Reform and cultural change


Management of reform—key achievements

In September 2013, the then Minister for Defence agreed to the new Strategic Reform Operating Model to replace the 2009 Strategic Reform Program. Oversight of strategic reform in Defence rests with the Chief Operating Officer, on behalf of the Secretary and the Chief of the Defence Force.

Existing reform activities have transitioned to business as usual, and are being managed by the relevant Group or Service. Groups and Services are now responsible for the design, implementation, monitoring and measurement of new reform activities within the Strategic Reform Benefits Framework, which provides a benefits and reporting framework to track future reform progress.

While benefits are realised over the life of a reform activity, progress milestones and long-term benefits will be monitored through inclusion in Defence Annual Plans and measured through periodic enterprise reports to the Defence Committee. This focus on benefits realisation will allow Defence to better understand changes that occur because of reforms. It will also facilitate the more effective allocation of resources to reform activities that are shown to be adding value to Defence, reducing or reshaping effort where reforms are not achieving the desired outcomes as they are being implemented.

March 2014 marked the second anniversary of Pathway to Change: Evolving Defence Culture, Defence’s cultural reform program that is both a statement of cultural intent and a strategy for addressing the recommendations from a range of culture reviews into aspects of Defence and ADF culture.

Activities under Pathway to Change will continue through 2014–15 and 2015–16. However, its success will only be evident over time and in concert with other cultural change reform activities being undertaken by the Groups and Services. Continuing reform remains a strategic imperative for Defence.

Cultural change

In the two years since Pathway to Change was launched, substantial progress has been made. As at 30 June 2014, 148, or 84 per cent, of the 175 key actions and recommendations from the six culture reviews were implemented.

Key achievements included:

  • establishing the Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Office (SeMPRO)
  • an increased focus on improving diversity and inclusion within Defence
  • the release of the ADF alcohol management strategy.

Defence has developed measures and metrics for evaluating Pathway to Change progress against six key levers for cultural change and reinforcement. In the past two years, some positive trending results against each lever show:

  • perceptions of Defence commitment to creating a diverse workforce is at a very high level and has remained stable from February 2013 to February 2014
  • perceptions of the extent to which Defence colleagues, supervisors, commanders/managers and Defence senior leaders behave with integrity is at a very high level and has remained stable from February 2013 to February 2014. Of the workplace behaviours included in Defence’s YourSay survey, ‘behave with integrity’ is one of the behaviours reported as observed most frequently in the workplace
  • the proportion of women in initial training establishments is increasing
  • the proportion of women attending courses that facilitate promotion is increasing
  • perceptions that it is worthwhile to report unacceptable behaviour are high, although there is room for improvement in actual rates of reporting
  • the percentage of unacceptable behaviour cases finalised in less than six months is improving. Progress in this area is expected to improve now that better reporting of complaints is in place
  • perceptions about the accessibility of flexible working arrangements are increasing, particularly for the ADF.

In order to embed and further develop cultural reform, Defence has begun a four-year collaboration with the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC). The AHRC has substantial knowledge of Defence and our objectives, as a result of Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick’s two reviews into the treatment of women at Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) and in the ADF more broadly. This collaboration will see joint ADF/AHRC teams visiting 10 establishments annually, with the potential for additional site visits to deal with particular issues, as well as assisting and advising Defence with thematic work to support Pathway to Change.

To support the work of the AHRC, Defence has implemented a research program to provide an annual ‘health check’ of the perceptions of cultural reform and the organisational climate across Defence. This program is in addition to Defence standard attitudinal research, the YourSay program, which measures workforce attitudes and behaviours across a range of topics. Both of these programs contribute directly to the measurement of cultural change in Defence.

We have demonstrated our commitment to the cultural reform program by substantially completing the implementation of the culture reviews within a two-year time frame. Defence is also committed to making a concentrated effort over a further three-year period towards embedding the changes needed to achieve the enduring cultural change.

Improved reporting of sexual misconduct

SeMPRO was launched in July 2013 as one of Defence’s key responses to the Review into the treatment of women in the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADF)—Phase 2 report. The office supports victims of sexual misconduct in Defence and provides advice and guidance to commanders and managers on the management and reporting of sexual misconduct.

SeMPRO is the single point of data collection, analysis and mapping of sexual misconduct within Defence. The office collects demographic data of alleged reports of sexual misconduct, including de-identified data on the victims of these reports.

Over time, the collection of sexual misconduct data will enable the identification of behavioural trends or areas of prevalence of sexual misconduct to enable Defence to enhance strategies for prevention and response. A particular focus will be Defence’s sexual misconduct education and prevention programs by allowing for the development of customised and targeted packages.

The report on sexual misconduct in Defence provides a baseline for future reporting of sexual misconduct in Defence. We will use this data to inform the understanding of sexual misconduct trends within Defence to facilitate a quantitative assessment of the progress of Defence’s cultural reform efforts in relation to sexual misconduct.

Online Chapter 7 SeMPRO Report.

Diversity in Defence

Defence values an inclusive and diverse workplace and the unique knowledge, skills and attributes that our people bring to their work. Defence’s capability is maximised by drawing on the diversity of its people, which reflects the variety of personal experiences that arises from differences of culture and circumstance.

Defence has continued its strong commitment to improving the diversity of its workforce through its Centre of Diversity Expertise and the development of the Defence Diversity and Inclusion Strategy, which was endorsed by the Defence Gender Equality and Diversity Council. The strategy draws together, for the first time, the corporate intent for diversity and inclusion. It also articulates the strategic goals that will underpin successful diversity and inclusion in Defence and identifies the immediate diversity priorities for the organisation. Those priorities align with each stage of the employment lifecycle of Defence people—attract, recruit, develop, retain and transition. They also reflect those groups in Defence requiring priority attention—women, Indigenous Australians, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, people with disability, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people.

The Diversity and Inclusion Strategy Implementation Plan released in 2013–14 is drawing together all current activities across the organisation. This will allow Defence to expand programs currently delivered to parts of Defence and will clearly identify opportunities to develop further programs and initiatives. The implementation plan will be used to address gaps in the attraction, recruitment and retention of a diverse workforce and will profile Defence as an employer of choice.

Infographic: Defence workforce diversity

Infographic providing diversity statistics for permanent and ongoing ADF and APS staff as at 30 June for each of three years: 2009, 2013 and 2014. The diversity data includes country of birth (not Australia), disability, country of birth (not Australia, Canada, NZ, UK or US), Indigenous, and non-English speaking background.

Table 7.1: Completed or closed recommendation on employment pathways for APS women in Defence, by theme, as at 30 June 2014

Theme

Status of recommendations

Theme 1—Committed leadership support

Recommendation 1.1—Developed a Defence Diversity and Inclusion Strategy and Implementation Plan.

Recommendation 1.2—Amended SES performance agreements to record leadership commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Recommendation 1.3—Established internal and inter-agency rotation programs for SES bands 2 and 3.

Recommendation 1.4—Delivered pilot unconscious bias awareness training and coaching across ranks and levels.

Recommendation 1.5—Increased number of women on senior leadership committees.

Theme 2—
Talent management and succession planning

Recommendation 2.1—Developed an EL1 talent management program which includes a facilitated shadowing and coaching component.

Recommendation 2.2—Developed an EL1 talent management program designed to provide a 50:50 gender ratio, ensuring over-representation of women.

Recommendation 2.3—Consolidated various graduate programs.

Theme 3—Workplace flexibilities

Recommendation 3.1—Amended policy to enhance and support workplace flexibility.

Recommendation 3.1—Conducted review of customer access channels for workplace flexibilities information.

Theme 4—Attraction, recruitment and selection

Recommendation 4.1—Developed branding and attraction strategy for APS recruitment.

Recommendation 4.2—Developed EL 2 refresher programs.

Recommendation 4.3—Developed online recruitment guide and fact sheets and mandated gender balance on recruitment panels.

Recommendation 4.4—Developed a common induction process to raise awareness of staff and manager responsibilities and obligations under APS employment.

Recommendation 4.5—Arranged for the Directorate of Senior Officer Management to provide a centralised approach to recruitment and selection activities for the SES.

Theme 5—Support and development

Recommendation 5.1—Developed formal and organic networking programs with SES women in sponsorship roles.

Recommendation 5.2—Incorporated mentoring components into EL1 and EL2 talent management programs.

Theme 6—Governance and infrastructure

Recommendation 6.1—Developed a diversity awareness training program in collaboration with the Australian Public Service Commission.

Recommendation 6.2—Communicated revised APS Values to all staff.

Recommendation 6.3—Funded backfilling requirements to meet obligations associated with parenting leave—any resource risk associated with parenting leave will be met by the portfolio.

Recommendation 6.4—The APS Women’s Review Oversight Group was established to oversee the implementation of the review’s recommendations and evaluation strategy. This has since been replaced by the Defence Civilian Committee.

Table W7.2: Indigenous

  Indigenous
  1 July 2009 1 July 2013 1 July 2014
Total % Total % Total %
ADF
Permanent 569 1.0 643 1.1 698 1.2
Active Reserve 501 2.0 482 1.9 443 1.8
Navy 
Permanent 149 1.1 180 1.3 207 1.5
Active Reserve 19 0.4 34 0.7 32 0.6
Army
Permanent 312 1.1 349 1.2 371 1.3
Active Reserve 465 2.7 425 2.6 383 2.6
Air Force
Permanent 108 0.8 114 0.8 120 0.8
Active Reserve 17 0.5 23 0.6 28 0.6
APS
Ongoing 149 0.7 167 0.8 198 0.9
Non-ongoing 1 0.3 1 0.6 1 1.1
Comments: 
Active Reserve figures include continuous full-time service.
Data for this table is reliant on self-identification on the Defence HR system. Therefore, the data is likely to under-report actual rates.
Last year numbers will not match those provided in the report from the same month last year.  
This is because these numbers are updated to include changes in self-identification that have been made within the last 12 months.

Table W7.3: Non English speaking background 

  Non English speaking background 
  1 July 2009 1 July 2013 1 July 2014
Total % Total % Total %
ADF
Permanent 2802 1.0 3056 1.1 3233 1.2
Active Reserve 2065 2.0 2105 1.9 2014 1.8
Navy
Permanent 539 1.1 624 1.3 663 1.5
Active Reserve 152 0.4 187 0.7 190 0.6
Army
Permanent 1539 1.1 1658 1.2 1752 1.3
Active Reserve 1695 2.7 1666 2.6 1554 2.6
Air Force
Permanent 724 0.8 774 0.8 818 0.8
Active Reserve 218 0.5 252 0.6 270 0.6
APS
Ongoing 2642 0.7 3100 0.8 3041 0.9
Non-ongoing 40 0.3 30 0.6 11 1.1
Comments: 
Non English speaking background counts those whose first language spoken is English and another language' or 'another language'.
Active Reserve figures include continuous full-time service.
Data for this table is reliant on self-identification on the Defence HR system. Therefore, the data is likely to under-report actual rates.
Last year numbers will not match those provided in the report from the same month last year. 
This is because these numbers are updated to include changes in self-identification that have been made within the last 12 months. 

Table W7.4: Birth country (not AUS) 

  Birth Country
(not AUS) 
  1 July 2009 1 July 2013 1 July 2014
Total % Total % Total %
ADF
Permanent 6849 1.0 6838 1.1 7075 1.2
Active Reserve 3356 2.0 3456 1.9 3269 1.8
Navy
Permanent 1648 1.1 1739 1.3 1820 1.5
Active Reserve 704 0.4 765 0.7 755 0.6
Army
Permanent 3309 1.1 3268 1.2 3384 1.3
Active Reserve 2090 2.7 2047 2.6 1840 2.6
Air Force
Permanent 1892 0.8 1831 0.8 1871 0.8
Active Reserve 562 0.5 644 0.6 674 0.6
APS
Ongoing 2436 0.7 3123 0.8 3018 0.9
Non-ongoing 65 0.3 33 0.6 12 1.1
Comments: 
Excludes those individuals who identified a birth country of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States or did not provide birth country data.
Active Reserve figures include continuous full-time service.
Data for this table is reliant on self-identification on the Defence HR system. Therefore, the data is likely to under-report actual rates.
Last year numbers will not match those provided in the report from the same month last year. 
This is because these numbers are updated to include changes in self-identification that have been made within the last 12 months.

Infographic: Defence workforce diversity - country of birth other than Australia

Infographic providing the percentage of ADF and APS staff who were born in a country other than Australia.

Table W7.5: Birth country  (not AUS, CA, NZ, UK, US)

  Birth country
(not AUS, CA, NZ, UK, US)
  1 July 2009 1 July 2013 1 July 2014
Total % Total % Total %
ADF
Permanent 2796 1.0 2948 1.1 3069 1.2
Active Reserve 1481 2.0 1567 1.9 1490 1.8
Navy
Permanent 604 1.1 646 1.3 670 1.5
Active Reserve 189 0.4 236 0.7 227 0.6
Army
Permanent 1379 1.1 1475 1.2 1537 1.3
Active Reserve 1074 2.7 1066 2.6 984 2.6
Air Force
Permanent 813 0.8 827 0.8 862 0.8
Active Reserve 218 0.5 265 0.6 279 0.6
APS
Ongoing 1369 0.7 1919 0.8 1887 0.9
Non-ongoing 38 0.3 21 0.6 8 1.1
Comments: 
Excludes those individuals who identified a birth country of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States or did not provide birth country data.
Active Reserve figures include continuous full-time service.
Data for this table is reliant on self-identification on the Defence HR system. Therefore, the data is likely to under-report actual rates.
Last year numbers will not match those provided in the report from the same month last year. 
This is because these numbers are updated to include changes in self-identification that have been made within the last 12 months. 

Table W7.6: Disability

  Disability
  1 July 2009 1 July 2013 1 July 2014
Total % Total % Total %
ADF
Permanent 402 1.0 274 1.1 230 1.2
Active Reserve 118 2.0 117 1.9 112 1.8
Navy 
Permanent 92 1.1 67 1.3 57 1.5
Active Reserve 31 0.4 32 0.7 31 0.6
Army
Permanent 234 1.1 156 1.2 130 1.3
Active Reserve 78 2.7 71 2.6 66 2.6
Air Force
Permanent 76 0.8 51 0.8 43 0.8
Active Reserve 9 0.5 14 0.6 15 0.6
APS
Ongoing 772 0.7 653 0.8 613 0.9
Non-ongoing 7 0.3 0 0.6 0 1.1
Comments: 
Excludes those individuals who identified a birth country of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States or did not provide birth country data.
Active Reserve figures include continuous full-time service.
Data for this table is reliant on self-identification on the Defence HR system. Therefore, the data is likely to under-report actual rates.
Last year numbers will not match those provided in the report from the same month last year.
This is because these numbers are updated to include changes in self-identification that have been made within the last 12 months. 

 

Indigenous participation and engagement

Defence continues to make progress against the objectives outlined in the Defence Indigenous Employment Strategy 2012–2017. The organisation provides a range of programs for Indigenous Australians with the aim of improving individuals’ access to employment opportunities and working with remote communities on infrastructure and environmental conditions.

For the first time in several years, Indigenous participation in the ADF increased from 1.1 per cent to 1.2 per cent in 2013–14, while the APS participation rate increased from 0.8 per cent to 0.9 per cent.

Several initiatives from the Defence Indigenous Employment Strategy have advanced, including a greater use of ‘affirmative measures’ positions across the Defence APS workforce; the establishment of an Indigenous alumni network; the integration of an Indigenous ‘shadowing’ program; and the launch of the Defence Indigenous University Support Program. This program provides support for up to 10 undergraduate students and up to 10 students undertaking undergraduate enabling programs in a discipline that contributes to Defence capability. It includes enhancing the students’ academic performance and their understanding of Defence through mentoring, work experience and other support.

Through the Australian Public Service Commission’s Indigenous Pathways program, Defence increased its 2013–14 intake for the Defence APS traineeship and cadetship programs. This involved complementary work to develop the programs, enabling better support for participants and their supervisors.

Defence continued to conduct a range of programs to support the recruitment of Indigenous Australians to the ADF. The most notable are the four Indigenous pre-recruitment courses conducted each year and the three Defence Indigenous Development programs. These courses aim to develop participants’ knowledge, confidence and individual skills to prepare them for employment opportunities in the ADF and Defence APS. Key components include culture and values; fitness; military training; preparation for the recruiting process; and language, literacy and numeracy skills.

Defence also continues to support its community engagement role, which includes a number of events across the country during NAIDOC Week and National Reconciliation Week to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.

People with disability

Defence has developed an inclusive workplace through a range of initiatives to support people with disability. This work was given sharper focus in 2014 through the Defence Civilian Committee.

Key Defence APS disability initiatives in 2013–14 included:

  • the Defence Intellectual Disability Employment Initiative, which employed 18 people with intellectual disability
  • the Paralympian Workplace Diversity Program, which provided 12-month non-ongoing positions for paralympians
  • the piloting of a Notification of Reasonable Adjustment Passport, which will document reasonable adjustments in the workplace for people with disability to reduce their need to continually explain their disability or adjustment requirements and facilitate cross-agency transfers of equipment provided for them
  • two Australian Disability Enterprises, which provided administrative support to Defence in Canberra and Brisbane
  • the application of the Australian Public Service Commission’s pilot RecruitAbility scheme principles to all APS jobs advertised, including graduate positions.

Disability reporting mechanisms

Since 1994, Commonwealth departments and agencies have reported on their performance as policy adviser, purchaser, employer, regulator and provider under the Commonwealth Disability Strategy. In 2007–08, reporting on the employer role was transferred to the Australian Public Service Commission’s State of the Service Report and the APS Statistical Bulletin. These reports are available on the Australian Public Service Commission’s website (www.apsc.gov.au). Since 2010–11, departments and agencies have no longer been required to report on these functions.

The Commonwealth Disability Strategy has been overtaken by the National Disability Strategy 2010–2020, which sets out a 10-year national policy framework to improve the lives of people with disability, promote participation and create a more inclusive society. A high-level two-yearly report will track progress against each of the six outcome areas of the strategy and present a picture of how people with disability are faring. The first of these reports will be available in late 2014 on the Department of Social Services website (www.dss.gov.au).

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people

Defence has a number of initiatives in place that enhance inclusiveness and provide additional support and networks for LGBTI members and employees.

Each year, Pride in Diversity Australia issues the Australian Workplace Equality Index, a benchmarking initiative that assesses an organisation’s commitment to LGBTI workplace practices. Participation in this index provides Defence with comprehensive feedback on the organisation’s LGBTI inclusiveness.

Defence was identified as a Bronze status employer for an LGBTI inclusive workplace at the 2013 Australian Workplace Equality Index Awards. To be awarded Bronze status, employers must achieve a minimum score set by current practice for Bronze status and show a considerable amount of activity in this area through providing sufficient evidence of work in LGBTI workplace inclusion.

Women in Defence

Defence continues to focus its efforts on implementing changes in the workplace to ensure greater representation of women generally, within the organisation and specifically, in leadership positions. Actions are underway to remove direct and indirect structural and cultural barriers preventing women from achieving their full potential and full participation. A key milestone was reached in 2013–14 when the participation rate of women in the ADF reached 15 per cent, an increase from 14.3 per cent at the beginning of the financial year. The Defence APS female participation rate remained steady at 40.6 per cent.

Two reviews, the Review into the treatment of women in the Australian Defence Force—Phase 2 report and the Review of employment pathways for APS women in the Department of Defence, established a strong capability imperative to improve the treatment of, and enhance career opportunities for, women in Defence. A separate report on women in the ADF was included for the first time in the Defence Annual Report 2012–13 and is provided again this year as a supplement. Progress against Phase 1 of the implementation of the review of employment pathways for APS women in Defence is provided as a supplement (all 20 recommendations are now completed or closed). A forward work plan has been developed, and agreed by the Defence Civilian Committee, to deliver a second phase of activity against the review’s themes, including an evaluation and further development of the various pilot programs.

Other key Defence initiatives for women in 2013–14 included the following:

  • The removal of gender restrictions on ADF combat role employment categories continued. The Defence Science and Technology Organisation is continuing to work with all three Services to implement the Physical Employment Standards in line with agreed timings for the removal of gender restrictions to allow direct recruitment into all combat roles by 2016.
  • The ADF Recruitment of Women Strategy included the introduction of specialist recruitment teams for women to improve the inquiry-to-enlistment conversion rate of female candidates.
  • The Secretary and Chief of Defence Force Gender Equality Advisory Board, which is composed of public and private sector members, continued its work. The advisory board drives and shapes the strategic direction of the Secretary’s and the CDF’s gender equality priorities within the broader Defence cultural reform agenda. The Secretary and the CDF also use the board to incorporate community perspectives on how to make Defence a more inclusive organisation—one that proactively aligns its values and accepted behaviour with evolving community standards.
  • Ms Julie McKay was appointed as the CDF’s gender adviser to provide alternative perspectives on gender issues, informed by an expert understanding of wider community and United Nations gender issues.
  • Defence implemented a strategy to attract female graduates to the organisation, including through closer engagement with universities that have relatively high numbers of students studying science and engineering.
  • A pilot Building Confidence program was initiated to address confidence gaps that have been highlighted as the main barrier to progressing senior women in the APS. A further pilot program addresses unconscious bias.
  • A talent management program, designed to ensure that high-performing women are given maximum opportunity to progress their careers, was implemented.
  • Senior women’s mentoring and network opportunities were developed.

Women in the ADF

The Review into the treatment of women in the Australian Defence Force—Phase 2 report, undertaken by Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick, established a strong capability imperative to improve the treatment of women and enhance their career opportunities in the ADF. Defence is committed to a range of strategies and targets required to achieve the recommendations of this review.

Recommendation 3 of the review was the publication of a report on women in the ADF as a supplement to the Defence annual report, to include information in the broad areas of:

  • women’s participation
  • women’s experience
  • access to flexible work
  • sexual harassment and abuse.

The inaugural ‘Women in the ADF’ report was published as an online supplement to the Defence Annual Report 2012–13, and provided a strong baseline for future reporting of women’s participation and experience in the ADF. A second ‘Women in the ADF’ report has been developed and is provided online (PDF, 365KB). It incorporates feedback from the AHRC’s 2014 audit report to include changes such as the addition of more discussion and analysis of data and making the report more suited to a general audience. The report’s fourth element—sexual harassment and abuse—is now a dedicated report in an online supplement separate to the ‘Women in the ADF’ report, reflecting its relevance to both women and men in the ADF.

The 2013–14 ‘Women in the ADF’ report uses the baseline established for the previous year’s report to compare past and current data. This allows for a more rigorous measurement of what Defence’s cultural reforms have achieved. While cultural reform takes time, the comparison shows that considerable gains have been made in the previous year. For example, the proportion of women in the ADF has increased, women are more likely to access flexible work and women have become much more positive about Pathway to Change.

These improvements indicate the success of the implementation of Commissioner Broderick’s recommendations, and of the broader Pathway to Change strategy. They reinforce the imperative for Defence to remain committed to cultural reform and to continue to make progress.

Removal of gender restrictions from ADF combat role employment categories

On 27 September 2011, the then Minister for Defence announced that the Government had formally agreed to the removal of gender restrictions from Australian Defence Force combat roles. Subsequently, a well-considered and phased five-year implementation plan was developed by Defence and endorsed by the Government in June 2012.

Implementation progress is reflected in Table 7.2. Key milestones fully achieved in 2011–12 and 2012–13 are reported in the Defence annual reports for those years. Key milestones that were not fully achieved in those years and have been achieved this period are included in Table 7.2, in addition to key milestones reported for 2013–14. Additionally, key milestones that extend across the five-year implementation period will continue to be reflected until completed or until 2016–17.

Table 7.2: Key milestones for removal of gender restrictions from ADF combat role employment categories

Key milestone

Status

Corporate

(i) Pathway to Change

Substantially met

Pathway to Change has made considerable progress.

(ii) In-service transfers in all Services

Met

All combat roles opened to current serving female members.

Navy

(i) Relevant documentation, programs and guidance reviewed or developed

Met

(ii) Culture change program developed

Substantially met

This milestone is due for completion by December 2015.

(iii) Support mechanisms developed

Substantially met

This milestone is due for completion by December 2015.

Army

(i) Cultural change programs implemented

Substantially met

The milestone is due for completion by December 2015.

(ii) Policy/procedures and training documents amended

Substantially met

This milestone is due for completion by December 2015.

(iii) In-service transfers arranged

Met

All Army combat roles have been opened to current serving female members.

(iv) Physical employment standards trade transfers implemented

Met

All mechanisms are in place to allow successful trade transfer within the Army.

Air Force

(i) Culture reform initiatives implemented

Substantially met

As part of the broader Air Force cultural reform program, activities related to inclusion and the removal of gender restrictions are expected to be completed by December 2015.

(ii) Support mechanisms implemented

Met

The Air Force is developing support mechanisms for women undertaking combat roles, in addition to support already available to all Air Force members. The development of these support systems will be informed by independent review and supported by the Air Force Directorate of Organisational Development and Culture.

ADF alcohol management strategy

The release in June 2014 of the ADF Alcohol Management Strategy and Plan 2014–17 provided new guidelines for the use of alcohol in the ADF and contained a very clear message for all Defence members: the ADF expects all members to be responsible, safe and respectful when drinking anywhere at any time.

The message for the Australian community is that the ADF has adopted a whole-of organisation approach through:

  • educating and informing staff about responsible alcohol use
  • managing the availability and supply of alcohol
  • providing support and treatment to those who require it
  • monitoring and responding to alcohol-related incidents.

The ADF alcohol management strategy was developed because Defence, as an organisation, needed to change the culture of alcohol use within the ADF and minimise alcohol-related harm.

In April 2011, an independent advisory panel on alcohol, chaired by Professor Margaret Hamilton, was commissioned and its report, The use of alcohol in the Australian Defence Force (the Hamilton review), was published in March 2012.

The review highlighted that much of the risk, cost and harm associated with alcohol use in the ADF did not arise from the small number of personnel who were alcohol dependent, but from those who participated in occasional episodes of short-term risky drinking and associated risk behaviours.

The ADF worked closely with the Australian Drug Foundation to develop a strategy, plan and a range of supporting tools and resources that incorporates the recommendations of the Hamilton review and draws on evidence from the National Drug Strategy 2010–15 and recommendations from the World Health Organization by incorporating an integrated suite of supply reduction, demand reduction and harm reduction interventions.

The supporting tools and materials include an ADF Behaviour Expectations Statement endorsed by the Chief of the Defence Force, a Leader’s Guide to Alcohol Management and the ADF Event Management Guide.

The ADF Alcohol Management Strategy and Plan 2014–17 is a landmark document that sets out a four-year framework for improving alcohol management and reducing the negative impact of alcohol on the health, safety and capability of the ADF.