For ADFA to be a centre of excellence for tri-Service education and training, the case for change laid out in this report must be understood and the accompanying recommendations must be implemented as a matter of priority.
There are many positive aspects to ADFA, including the commitment and loyalty of its cadets and the genuine commitment by the leadership team to improvement and reform. However, there are systemic issues that hinder ADFA from realising its true potential. These issues have a significant impact on the treatment of women.
The Review has adopted a broad approach to examining the treatment of women at ADFA. The treatment of women fundamentally hinges on identifying the very role and purpose of ADFA, strongly articulating its strategic vision, building on the strengths of leadership and staff and creating a diverse and inclusive culture that deals effectively with unacceptable behaviour and complaints. Only by addressing these fundamental issues will ADFA have the capacity to positively and practically create an equitable, inclusive and diverse workforce for the long term.
In formulating its recommendations, the Review has drawn on evidence provided through the consultations, submissions, qualitative data and extensive research, as well as recommendations put forward in other reviews that have not been effectively or fully implemented to date.
Some of the recommendations include reference to expert providers being engaged to collaborate with ADFA to deliver specific education and training programs on equity, diversity and sexual ethics. A number of industries, corporations, sporting codes and teams engage external experts to work with them to deliver such programs, with positive results. It is proposed that ADFA adopt a similar approach.
The Review undertook extensive international research and identified a number of lessons learned from the overseas experience. These lessons have helped to strengthen and reinforce the Review’s recommendations.
In considering the initiatives that will drive cultural change in the treatment of women at ADFA, the Review has also identified and considered a sample of ‘best practice’ initiatives and trends from international defence services. While specific initiatives are detailed in Appendix J, it is first valuable to make some observations about the broader environment from which such initiatives are most likely to develop and in which they are most likely to succeed.
(a) Inclusive defence services: greater integration of women
An initial observation from the scan of international defence agencies and their military academies is that the greater the presence of women as defence personnel – both in terms of the breadth of the roles they occupy, as well as their presence in leadership positions – the more likely their acceptance by their male colleagues.
Achieving a critical mass of women is a challenge with which all defence services examined by the Review have struggled. Given that significant efforts have been made to promote gender integration in all these defence forces, it is clear that strategic approaches are needed to achieve a greater representation of women across the services.
(b) Strong statements from leadership
The example set by those in leadership positions, whether male or female, is another crucial environmental factor. Studies from across a range of international settings confirm that strong leadership is the single biggest factor in building inclusive services. It is significant, then, when those at the helm of the defence services acknowledge this role.
Strong statements from leaders about the importance of ethics and respect for others set the tone for those entering a defence force. It also positions equity and inclusion as core defence values, rather than impositions from outside. Of particular note is the move from an emphasis on equality as relevant only to women, to a broader emphasis on ‘gender’. Equally important are what have been called ‘gender inclusive’ approaches, rather than ‘gender blind’ or ‘gender neutral’ approaches, which champion formal equality but which often do little to achieve equality of outcomes.
Similarly, it is essential that harassment and discrimination are framed as damaging to operational effectiveness, rather than merely a breach of the law. This turns the final barrier to women and minority groups – the argument that the inclusion of women (as well as openly gay and lesbian personnel) compromises unit cohesion and therefore effectiveness – on its head.
In this respect, Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and the Netherlands have all developed unequivocal statements of commitment from leadership.
(c) Leadership practices: leading by example
Although the way in which leadership is manifested and perceived can vary, the relevant literature confirms the enormous difference that individual leaders can make in shaping the environment in which defence personnel operate. While one squadron may have a relatively high level of sexual harassment, for example, another may not as a result of the Commanding Officer making it clear that harassment is simply not tolerated and that all members will be treated fairly, while acknowledging difference where appropriate. For example, a study on successful leadership strategies involving female members of the Canadian Forces indicated that practices which aided integration included not singling women out, setting an example, inspiring teamwork, dealing with difference ‘without making a big deal’, mentoring and, importantly, not defining integration as only an issue relating to women.
(d) Clear policies and effective training
A culture that is inclusive of women and supported by leadership needs to be underpinned by clear, unambiguous policies that are accessible, flexible and widely understood.
For example, the Canadian Forces has clear policies and guidelines for the prevention of and response to harassment, all of which assert the negative impact of harassment, sexual misconduct or discriminatory behaviour on esprit de corps, cohesion and operational effectiveness, arguablysignalling a shift from legalistic compliance to core value. These documents spell out the legislative and regulatory framework for addressing inappropriate behaviour; the process for filing a complaint; the roles of all parties involved, including that of assistants for the complainant and respondent, as well as trained harassment advisors; the nature of proof required; and all parties’ respective rights and responsibilities in the process.
Similarly, the New Zealand Defence Force Guide on Mediation and Investigation sets out a clear eight-step process for requesting the mediation or investigation of a complaint of discrimination, harassment or bullying, complete with sample templates for complainant and respondent letters.
Just as importantly, there must be awareness of these policies and training to support and maintain their implementation. Single or isolated information sessions provided to cadets in their first year have not been shown to engage sufficient attention or have an impact on future attitudes or behaviour. It is therefore critical that continuous training – whether on broad issues of equity and discrimination or specifically on sexual harassment and sexual assault – be embedded in the mainstream curriculum for leaders and their subordinates alike. To be effective, this training must use engaging methodologies. For example, small discussion groups have proved to be much more effective than lectures to large groups, and creative ways of communicating information have proven particularly useful in raising awareness.
Finally, these policies, programs and training must be regularly evaluated and standardised. As a broad example, despite significant investment by the United States Department of Defense and reports of sexual assault in the US Defense services dropping by 2% in 2010, the Fiscal Year 2010 Department of Defense Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military notes the importance of using consistent language across a proliferation of policy that has simply become confusing, especially for new personnel. Similarly, it notes that adequate funding is essential to ensure the proper implementation of policies. 
(e) Cultural change essential
Perhaps the most important observation to make is the overwhelming call for cultural change from international commentators; a call which seems a natural progression at this stage in the ‘gender integration journey’.
Having accepted women into their ranks, defence forces and military academies have traversed terrain familiar to all organisations attempting to evolve into inclusive organisations. At first, attempts are made to integrate women based on formal equality policies which, as noted above, are often ‘gender blind’ and unable to respond effectively to the realities of difference.
The next stage in the journey appears to be a negative response to this inclusion which, unfortunately, has often involved palpable hostility to female personnel from their male peers and leaders alike. This hostility can take the form of openly expressed attitudes regarding the place of women in a defence force. Regrettably, it can also include sexual harassment, sexual assault and other damaging behaviours related to sexual activity.
Following this response comes the realisation that more needs to be done to foster equality, including strong statements of leadership; leadership practices that are fair; processes that are clear and accessible; and a culture in which these processes operate that is inclusive.
Just as certain factors have shaped a masculine, controlled and homogenous culture in the Australian context, defence leaders and commentators in international defence environments have identified a need to acknowledge and grapple with similar cultures that have developed and which, by their very nature, can discourage difference and perpetuate hostility to women or qualities perceived as ‘feminine’. This culture can be exacerbated in the somewhat closed setting of a defence academy.
Appendix J describes a range of best practice initiatives operating in international military academies examined by the Review. ADFA currently has a number of policies and programs in place which share attributes of some of these initiatives, such as the Equity and Diversity Advisors (RMC Canadian Forces).
However, as discussed previously, these initiatives must be positioned within a cultural and organisational context which unambiguously makes clear that equity and diversity are valued and that women are integral to the success of ADFA and the ADF. Equally, these values must be built into the training and ongoing professional development of all personnel, rather than being perceived as ‘add-ons’ or incidental to core Defence business. The Review’s recommendations incorporate some of these best practice initiatives to help realise a strong future for ADFA.
A recurring theme throughout the consultations was that a ‘world class military needs a world class academy.’ While there was general agreement on this point, there was no definition about what ‘world class’ means. The Review has chosen not to use this terminology. Instead, we suggest that ADFA should realise its potential to become the best tri-Service military academy it can be. This will necessitate change on a number of fronts.
Investment in and promotion of ADFA by the leadership of Defence, and clarifying its strategic purpose, is fundamental to creating a gender equitable environment and improving the treatment of women at the Academy.
ADFA is run as a joint organisation, however it does not receive the specific attention of the Services. A clear and unambiguous accountability for ADFA must be established. Because of its strategic significance in training and educating the future leadership of the ADF, the Review recommends that this accountability be held by the VCDF.
The ADFA ‘product’ should be highly valued and the Review agrees that it is:
... a really easy product to sell, because you’re selling a career ... ie, guaranteed job and university education.
But ‘what does ADFA stand for?’ What is the ADFA product and who defines it? The Review was told that:
It has changed many times on what the focus is. So if you went to the two-star that runs the place, the one-star, the XO’s branch, someone who runs field training, a DO, a RAAF DO, a Navy DO, an academic from the Politics department or an academic from the Engineering department, or a PTI, and ask them, “What are we producing?” every single one of them would give you a different answer.
Which values define ADFA? Are they the single Service values, the Joint values or the ADFA values? How do cadets navigate this?
This lack of clarity can be partly attributed to the current state of the AMET program. The AMET program should be producing the skills and qualities necessary to allow cadets to succeed in their roles as officers in the ADF. However, there is currently confusion about what AMET is designed to produce, including the view that the program is too heavily weighted to drill training at the expense of leadership experiences that would be more relevant to future careers as officers.
The AMET program, a central feature of ADFA, appears to have been allowed to evolve over years in a haphazard fashion without a clear view of the final product that it is intended to produce:
It is driven by personality, it is the sum total of a thousand good ideas fairies and it is not linked in any way to any form of training needs analysis. It just is. It is a series of lessons that ADFA has done and passed on father to son, father to son over 25 years. There is no version control, it sits in the G Drive where any given instructor can just pull it up, mess with it and ... over time it gets moderated a bit, moderated a bit, moderated a bit. Eventually the lesson looks nothing like what it was intended to be ... quite frankly I’m horrified by this.
Having acknowledged the shortcomings associated with AMET, ADFA is currently in the process of redesigning the program. The intention is to more closely align the program with the needs of the Services by looking at the job descriptions of the roles that cadets will eventually fill. This will involve increased and ongoing consultation between ADFA and the three Services.
Beyond AMET, the lack of clarity was also attributed to the tri-Service nature of ADFA. The view was expressed that the tri-Service environment does not necessarily produce a joint culture and the question was asked whether a cadet can ‘learn to be “joint” before you learn to be “single”’?:
Are we producing Joint Officers, for example? If we are, well, what does that mean? What does it look like? Let’s go to the Service chiefs. “What do you want to see a Captain in ten years’ time able to do in an operation cell?” “Well, I want him to speak Navy, and I want him to be able to speak RAAF and I want him to know the capabilities. And I want him to know the Service differences.” So how do we do that? Well, we can do joint planning activities.
However, the Review also recognises that an ADFA education comes at a cost:
This is an expensive and difficult way to deliver an undergraduate education to our officers ... ADFA only makes sense if it can significantly exceed wider community expectations and institutional benchmarks. (cost is estimated as $300,000 per graduate factoring in salaries, staff costs, on-costs and university contract).
Investment into ADFA cadets goes beyond dollars. Investment in developing ethical leadership, military skills, academic excellence and inquiry, and building a truly equitable and inclusive culture which values the contribution of women and men will pay significant dividends to Defence and to the broader community.
Clarifying the strategic purpose of the organisation is a threshold issue. The ADF leadership should visibly reaffirm ADFA’s position as its pre-eminent tri-Service training academy and commit to the benefits of a diverse, equitable and inclusive workforce.
In summary, ADF and ADFA senior staff have expressed mixed views on the efficacy of the ADFA tri-Service model and ambivalence about its purpose, either as a military establishment or an academic institution. While ADFA espouses excellence, these mixed views inhibit ADFA from realising its potential and, significantly, from integrating equality, diversity and inclusion in a meaningful way.
1. The ADF leadership, including the Chiefs of Service, reaffirm ADFA’s pre-eminent role in the education and training of future leaders for the ADF.
2. The CDF issue a strong statement in support of ADFA and demonstrate a visible commitment to it.
3. The CDF develop for ADFA:
4. ADFA develop a performance framework that incorporates the current metrics and new metrics to capture the implementation of the recommendations contained in this report.
5. The VCDF be accountable for the implementation of the recommendations contained in this report to ensure the full inclusion of women at ADFA.
The 2009 Defence White Paper sets out the Government’s plan to build a stronger ADF. It states that ‘[p]eople are at the heart of delivering Defence capability.’ Defence is a large, complex, diverse and dispersed organisation. However, neither the gender profile nor the diversity, cultural or otherwise, of the ADF or ADFA is reflective of Australian society.
(a) The business case for diversity
Women’s workforce participation has increased significantly over the past 30 years. From 1981 to 2011, the labour force participation rate of women has increased from 44.6% to 59.1%. Women’s workplace participation is fundamental to productivity and growth. If the rate of labour force participation is to continue, organisations need to remove structural barriers to women’s participation and value their contribution.
The ADF and ADFA are no different from other organisations competing in an increasingly tight labour market. In its Quarterly Defence Workforce Outlook, the Department of Defence acknowledges the recruitment and retention pressures that lie ahead:
The greatest recruitment risk is perhaps in the 5 to 10 year period, when the demand for higher level skills and qualification is forecast to outstrip supply to unprecedented levels ... attracting enough candidates with the necessary skills and abilities to complete training will be a significant challenge.
To meet this challenge and maintain competitive advantage in the labour market, the ADF and ADFA need to recruit and maintain the best talent. They can do this by being diverse and inclusive organisations that make a strong commitment to removing structural barriers and enhancing women’s participation. Women are, and will increasingly be, imperative to the ability of the ADF and ADFA to deliver its mandate.
ADFA would, therefore, benefit from implementing strategies that aim to diversify its workforce. One such strategy is to focus on recruiting and retaining women by being the best workplace it can be.
As evidenced by the international research, this requires a commitment to cultural change. To succeed in this endeavour organisations require strong leadership and a comprehensive plan to shift behaviours. Implementing the Review’s recommendations provides the basis for this change as it will re-focus the disparate and piecemeal initiatives currently in place at ADFA into a cohesive strategy.
Creating an environment in which diversity and differing views are encouraged contributes to organisational strength and performance. A message circulating at ADFA which suggested that submissions made to this Review ‘should only include positive aspects of ADFA life as appropriate’ does little to encourage an open and healthy workplace or validate differing experiences.
Drawing on the international research, a model for fostering cultural change and a workplace that values equity and diversity will include the following elements:
- Communicate the case for change consistently and broadly throughout the organisation. The compelling case for change is the ‘business case’; that is, the competitive advantage and economic benefit gained from retaining the best staff.
- Refine organisational processes that reinforce equity and diversity principles and practice. This includes the development of indicators to track performance and underpin accountability.
- Adopt a systematic approach to learning and development that builds the capabilities of staff to foster changed behaviours.
- Leaders of the organisation must model the change all the way down the line to the front line. As middle managers and direct supervisors are critical influencers of sustained change, it is essential that they support the change and understand the importance of diversity and inclusion.
- The development of an equity strategy for the creation of a diverse workplace is a useful tool for communicating the case for change and how the change will be implemented and monitored. Used as a framework for change, an equity strategy is a cohesive plan to address structural barriers for women in the workplace that enhances equity and diversity and ultimately benefits all staff.
- An equity strategy for ADFA would include a clear and unambiguous statement about diversity, equity and inclusion. It would outline key strategic directions for ADFA that promote gender equality and increased participation of women. The strategy would provide a leadership model for senior staff, integrated training for staff delivered by subject experts and performance measures for assessing success in this area.
(b) Implementing equity and diversity principles
While ADFA has made efforts to implement Defence policies about equity and diversity in various ways, there remains a fundamental disconnect between the policy context and the way in which it operates at ADFA.
The current focus of equity and diversity training at ADFA is as a punitive and process-oriented response to prohibited conduct, and without any concomitant emphasis upon positive responses and benefits. ADFA should re-focus its approach to equity and diversity so that it is not used as a disciplinary tool but rather stands as a universal concept that underpins ADFA values and principles and is reflected in its policies and practices.
A commitment to ongoing training can assist in developing an inclusive culture where people feel valued for their unique contribution to the workplace. External subject experts who are able to tailor the training to the specific context of ADFA to ensure its relevance should be engaged to conduct regular interactive diversity and equity training for all staff at ADFA, including senior leadership.
Cadets would also benefit from regular presentations from accomplished female leaders, from both within the ADF and beyond who as role models can highlight their career and personal experiences, challenges and achievements.
Senior leadership must not only consistently communicate their commitment to diversity and inclusion; they need to model this on a daily basis to those whom they are leading. This may include the appointment of ‘Diversity Champions’ to lead the way. This will also include publicly condemning acts of sexual harassment, unacceptable sexual behaviour and sexual assault and responding in a consistent and timely manner.
In summary, the concepts of equity and diversity are not overarching, positive values at ADFA. They are used in a disciplinary context in response to incidents of unacceptable behaviour.
Further, equity and diversity processes are confusing and cumbersome. They can also give rise to stigma, suspicion and victimisation.
Equity and diversity principles and values should be tied to ethical leadership as a core component of training and instruction for cadets and staff.
|6. ADFA develop and articulate a clear, unambiguous and widely disseminated statement about diversity, inclusion and gender equality which:|
7. ADFA teach equity and diversity separately from complaints procedures.
8. ADFA teach equity and diversity principles as core values underpinning ethical leadership.
9. ADFA evaluate the effectiveness of the Equity Advisers’ Network to strengthen its advisory capacity.
10. ADFA embed equity and diversity in all policies and practices through:
ADFA must be a priority within the ADF. Service Chiefs must have an investment in, and take seriously, the outcomes delivered by ADFA. The Commandant at ADFA must have strategic and meaningful engagement with the Service Chiefs to ensure that midshipmen and cadets are being trained and developed in a manner which is aligned to the future needs and capability requirements of the Services and the ADF. This is critical to future success as it establishes norms, behaviours and expectations that officers will carry throughout their military careers. The influence and impact these young cadets will have on Defence as they command personnel and progress through their careers is immeasurable.
The Commandant’s duties and responsibilities are outlined in the Directive by Commander Australian Defence College to the Commandant Australian Defence Force Academy. This document explains that the Commandant’s mission is to:
... undertake the professional development of initial entry officers that provides them with the foundation skills, knowledge and attitudes needed by junior officers, including military training and tertiary education.
Despite best intentions, any Commandant would find it difficult to achieve this objective without a strong connection to the training needs of the Services. The Commandant is relatively isolated from the wider ADF, including the Service Chiefs, despite the critical role that ADFA plays in training and developing future ADF personnel.
|11. The VCDF develop a strategy to allow for greater engagement between the Commandant and the ADF Service Chiefs.|
Previous reviews, including the Grey Review and the Kafer Review, have stressed the importance of having high quality staff posted to ADFA. Military staff at ADFA are expected to fulfil a range of different roles – in training, supervision and support – and their skills have a particular impact on minority groups, including women. In working in a tri-Service and mixed gender environment, staff members require a particular set of skills and need to be aware that regardless of their rank, they are in a position of significant responsibility for the future generation of ADF officers. Skills in communicating with young people – and in a mixed gender environment – need to be more fully integrated into the recruitment, training and evaluation of staff. As Commodore Kafer states as part of his ‘Commandant’s Philosophy’:
The Defence staff at ADFA exists, fundamentally, to ensure that every trainee officer is afforded every opportunity, within reason, to succeed at ADFA – to achieve their goals of graduation and progression. We must create the environment where all of our officer cadets and midshipmen are given the chance to develop and enhance their leadership skills and officer qualities, and are imbued with an attitude of continually striving for excellence in all aspects of their work.
In order to achieve this goal, the three Services must provide ADFA with the best possible military staff. Some stakeholders told the Review that ADFA’s military staff are consistently of a high quality. The Deputy Commandant, for example, said that he ‘cannot speak too highly of the staff at ADFA, all of whom are committed to assisting the midshipmen and cadets in successfully completing their training’. However, the Review also heard that for many ADF personnel, ADFA is not perceived as a good posting. As a result, staff quality and commitment can vary and some staff members accept their posting to ADFA reluctantly. The Commandant has limited influence over which staff are posted to ADFA and over the process for their removal. Given the importance of having high quality staff at ADFA that contribute positively to the culture, it is important that the Commandant’s role in selection is strengthened.
Inconsistencies in the quality of staff have a direct impact on the experience of cadets. One staff member told the Review that they ‘would like to see a greater focus on the quality of staff that come here, a greater focus on improving the quality of training that we can provide for the staff ... because the staff have such a big influence on the cadets.’ Cadets frequently cited particular staff members, especially those with operational leadership experience, including women, as being inspiring trainers and mentors. However the Review also heard that the lack of sufficiently experienced staff can cause frustration among cadets. One cadet asked, for example, ‘how can you be given leadership training by someone who hasn’t experienced leadership themselves?’
There is a feeling at present that ADFA does not rank with other initial officer training schools as a prized posting in which to serve, partly because it is seen as disrupting technical skills development essential to career progression in the Services. This is particularly the case for Navy and the Air Force. If ADFA is to attract and retain high quality staff, with sufficient skills to improve the treatment of women, this must change. As one person told the Review, ‘the Academy must compete against other high priority requirements for trained, high quality staff ... [but] ADFA should rank with the other initial officer entry training establishments and not behind them in the order of priority.’ Similarly, at present the quality of staff posted to ADFA by the three Services also varies. This too needs to be standardised. One staff member, when asked what they would like as a result of the Review said: ‘One of the best outcomes would be to standardise competencies. Standardise competencies and just say you make it or you don’t.’
Beyond the need to attract high quality staff, there is also the need to retain a full complement of staff and to ensure that ADFA is provided with the personnel necessary to ensure that the Academy is able to operate at the highest possible standard. As one senior staff member told the Review:
The most significant resource shortage at ADFA is personnel. With only 104 military staff, ADFA is more thinly staffed than other ADF ab initio training colleges, and every staff vacancy hurts us. This is even more acute when it is a female member of staff missing ... Given this thin staffing, I consider that staff selection and management is the single most important factor in ensuring women at ADFA are free of harassment and other forms of unacceptable behaviour.
It is critical that the ADF’s three Services develop innovative solutions to attract the best training staff to ADFA and then seek to retain them. This could, for instance, include those who may be good educators and trainers but are not at present considered for posting to ADFA. It could include Service Chiefs discussing the ADFA posting schedule with the CDF to give greater visibility of the talented staff selected for ADFA.
As well as ensuring that staff posted to ADFA are fit for the purpose, morale could be significantly improved if staff felt their service at ADFA was likely to positively impact on their Defence careers. This, in turn, would likely have a positive impact on the relationship between staff and cadets, as well as the quality of supervision and training. High quality staff committed to the mission of ADFA are also more likely to dedicate themselves to policies, including those outlined in this Report, that will improve the treatment of women at the Academy.
In developing strategies to make ADFA a more attractive posting, consideration could be given to the possibility of making strong performance in a training institution and tri-Service environment a key to career progression. Some positions could also be expanded to make them more attractive. For example, the Review heard from many DOs and DSNCOs, in particular, that their jobs were presently too focused on administrative tasks at the expense of meaningful engagement with cadets.
A stronger emphasis on work/life balance would also make the posting more enticing, particularly to high quality female staff. The Review heard mixed views from staff on the current situation with regard to work/life balance. On the one hand, the Review heard that ‘this place doesn’t foster a good work life balance’. However, the Review was also presented with the contrary view, with another staff member commenting: ‘I’ve found that I’ve had plenty of time at home.’ The Deputy Commandant told the Review that improving the work/life balance would help attract high quality female staff to ADFA:
It will be no surprise to the Review Panel that a balanced commitment to family and work at ADFA is often harder for women to achieve. In my time at ADFA, almost half of the women on military staff have started families while working here, or already had young children at home. This is a harder road for women, and while ADF provisions for parental leave are excellent, improvements such as an on-site crèche would go some way towards improving the ability of women to ‘stay in the race’.
|12. The Commander, Australian Defence College, work with the Deputy Chiefs of Service in order to achieve the following outcomes:|
The lack of a strong corporate memory at ADFA contributes to inconsistencies in the delivery of AMET training, weaknesses in the development and implementation of polices to improve the treatment of women at the Academy, and lost opportunities to collect and build on positive and negative experiences. Stop/start initiatives in areas such as equity and diversity also impact on the treatment of women at ADFA.
As the Kafer Review noted, there are several reasons for shortcomings in the retention of corporate memory. These include weaknesses in the structural arrangement of the Academy, particularly in the relationship between the CI and XO branch, and the high rate of staff turnover. One ADFA Personnel Officer estimated that the annual staff turnover rate has been 43% over the past five years. Staff turnover at the most senior level, in the position of Commandant, has been particularly high. Since February 2006, there have been six Commandants at ADFA (including two acting Commandants).
The direct impact of this level of turnover on the quality of training is clear. For example, in relation to developing and improving the quality of AMET training, one staff member commented that the lack of direction has been ‘no one’s fault. It’s just someone moves on and it gets left behind in the business of everything else.’ As another staff member told the Review:
It is essential that military staff at ADFA have sufficient tenure here ... In the case of senior leadership, the tenure issue is even more acute ... This level of turnover has been damaging, and must be avoided.
This high rate of turnover makes it difficult for ADFA to effectively implement polices that will improve the treatment of women at the Academy, including those recommended in this Report. In the words of one staff member, ‘experience walks out the door when you walk out the door.’Improving leadership stability, organisational memory and continuity would ultimately strengthen ADFA’s capacity to improve the treatment of women at the Academy.
In summary, the turnover of Commandants has been too frequent, which impacts on ADFA’s leadership stability, organisational memory and continuity.
|13. The tenure of Commandants should be for a minimum of three years and should not be reduced, other than in exceptional circumstances.|
Attracting the best possible staff to ADFA would significantly improve the Academy’s culture and impact positively on the treatment of women. However, even high quality staff require specialised training to equip them for working in ADFA’s unique environment. Induction arrangements are in place, but they are inadequate and are currently being reviewed by ADFA. As part of this Review consideration should be given to a compulsory pre-command induction program for all staff prior to their commencement at ADFA. Further, ADFA should prioritise strategies to strengthen training on equity, diversity and inclusion.
A redesigned induction program should include education and training on how to appropriately deal with young people. This should include training in supervision of mixed gender environments, as well as pastoral, disciplinary and educational practices relevant to the supervision and care of 17-23 year olds in a residential setting. This education and training should be delivered by an expert educator with appropriate expertise and should be independently evaluated on an annual basis. This induction training should emphasise the core values of ADFA, including as a tri-Service and mixed gender institution.
Induction should be supplemented by the creation of staff learning groups facilitated by an expert facilitator. In developing these learning groups, consideration should be paid to the concept of ‘appreciative inquiry’. This concept holds that the best way for ADFA to improve the performance of its individuals and the organisation as a whole is by learning from and building upon existing strengths and potential.
At the same time, closer attention must be paid to the ongoing evaluation of staff against the considerations identified in this Report. As recognition of the impact military staff have on the experiences of cadets, and the treatment of women in particular, ADFA should incorporate the effective day-to-day implementation of the recommendations contained in this Report into the performance reviews for all staff. This should include a system to incorporate confidential feedback from cadets and peers so that their voices are heard.
In summary, the induction training for staff is inadequate. Many ADFA training staff are not skilled in supervising mixed gender groups or in dealing with young people. The staff are key role models and have an impact on how cadets treat each other.
|14. ADFA provide staff with appropriate induction, education and training on:|
15. As part of their performance reviews, ADFA staff be assessed against, among other things:
Consistent with the findings of the Kafer Review, consideration should be given to developing a one-year single Service training and workplace program for Army and Air Force cadets prior to their arrival at ADFA. This would be similar to the current Naval Officer Year One (NOYO) scheme. As suggested to us, the one year SST program should be an immersion experience in the Service itself, rather than just time spent in a single Service training institution. The Review heard from a range of stakeholders, including staff, that midshipmen arriving at ADFA often display a greater level of maturity than their Army and Air Force colleagues, as a result of this experience.
While support for a single year program across the three Service was not universal, the Review did hear from a range of stakeholders who felt that a number of benefits would flow from the introduction of such a scheme. Chief among these was the widely held feeling that cadets would arrive at ADFA with a greater level of maturity. This in turn may decrease the likelihood of incidents of unacceptable behaviour. As noted previously in this Report, most cadets arriving at ADFA are living away from home for the first time. For most of them, the military environment at ADFA will also be dramatically different to the high school environments that they have only just left.
A Year One program would result in more mature cadets arriving at ADFA. As one senior Defence official told the Review, ‘more mature officer cadets will achieve better results at ADFA and be positioned to benefit more completely from what ADFA offers.’ In practical terms, the introduction of a Year One program prior to ADFA should also mean that virtually all cadets would be at least 18 years of age when they arrive at the Academy.
While maturity is not by any means the only factor that contributes to problems around the treatment of women at ADFA, there is an understanding that it does have a significant impact on behaviour at the Academy. One senior ADFA staff member told the Review that ‘while age is not an absolute indicator of behaviour and performance, most staff at ADFA would – on balance – prefer to have slightly older cadets under their command.’
The Review also heard that the introduction of such a scheme would allow cadets to develop their understanding of their chosen Service. As a result, cadets would be given a true sense of Service life before arriving at ADFA and would be in a better position to resign early if they were to decide that an ADF career was not for them. At the same time it might allow the Services to assess cadets’ potential before committing the substantial resources required to develop them as officers. One senior staff member told the Review this approach would also be cost effective, allowing the Services to ‘put your attrition at the front where it’s cheapest’. The Review heard that the Services were already exploring this option because of concerns about attrition rates. The importance of an academic education at the formative stages of a young officer’s career should not be underestimated. The one year immersion experience could enhance the maturation process as cadets prepare to commence their undergraduate studies.
Introducing a one year single Service training and work placement program for all cadets would necessarily require some rethinking about the training delivered at ADFA to ensure that it remained relevant to the three Services. At present there is a concern about the relevance of ADFA to Navy midshipmen. One person told the Review, ‘In many ways ADFA seems to do little for the development of MIDN – indeed many are angered at being treated like children with no acknowledgement of their achievements in the Navy from any quarter.’ In the words of another staff member, ‘ADFA has no military training purpose to those Navy individuals.’ These concerns will need to be addressed in the development of a similar scheme across the three Services.
Such a scheme would also require the single Service training institutions to consider strategies to better accommodate the needs of young cadets. In the Army, for example, there is an understanding that ADFA currently acts as a bridge between high schools and RMC Duntroon. As part of such a scheme, ADFA should also give consideration to the possible introduction of a trimester approach to the academic calendar. This would allow cadets, with the exception of Engineering students, to complete their undergraduate degree in two rather than three years, meaning that a new Year One program would not add to their overall length of study. Consideration would also need to be given to ways to maintain a strong tri-Service culture at ADFA despite cadets’ previous immersion in the culture of their chosen Service.
In exploring this option, consideration should be paid to broadening the range of recruitment options in a way that recognises the different life paths of women and men, including caring responsibilities and other factors.
In summary, Army and Air Force cadets entering ADFA do so commonly without much ‘real world’ experience and little or no experience of a military environment. Midshipmen, in contrast, have had valuable experience in the Navy before arriving at ADFA.
|16. The VCDF, in association with the Services:|
As noted in this Report, ADFA’s formal system of cadet hierarchy was dismantled following the Grey Review. That Review found that cadet hierarchy and the lack of sufficient supervision contributed to the incidence of bullying and harassment. However, as this Review has heard, the lack of a cadet hierarchy ever since has been a source of concern and, at times, frustration among cadets and staff. In particular, it has been blamed for the lack of comprehensive and effective mentoring opportunities for cadets.
A number of informal and semi-formal mentoring opportunities are provided to cadets, primarily through the Academy’s sporting clubs and the recent Squadron restructure. In this sense, there is a wide acknowledgement of the value of mentors, particularly given cadets’ differing levels of maturity and the challenges they can experience as they embark on their military careers. As one person told the Review, the ‘adjustment to military life can be difficult for all genders and mentors play an important part in smoothing that process.’ Even informal mentoring can provide beneficial support to cadets:
Now it’s done informally already and at different levels ... that might be a quiet word in the ear or it might simply be you know somebody taking them through hints for young players, how to do better at ADFA, the stuff which is not in the rule book, the stuff which is not part of the training programme.
However, as one cadet told the Review:
I believe that what ADFA really lacks is that sort of formalised structure whereby you can develop opportunities in which to lead ... Obviously we can’t mentor and facilitate everyone’s leadership and administration growth as well as could be done if there was an existing structure such as a formal hierarchy.
Following the implementation of the recommendations of the Kafer Review, new cadets now have mentoring systems that allow them to enquire about or deal with issues in ways that do not require them to go directly through their chain of command. These offer valuable leadership opportunities and the possibility to strengthen support structures for cadets. However, ADFA needs to make these opportunities more accessible and visible to cadets. The Review heard that most cadets are unaware of the mentoring and leadership opportunities on offer, for example, through AGORA.Additionally, some stakeholders felt that these mentoring and leadership opportunities do not give cadets a sufficient sense of responsibility and were, according to one staff member, merely ‘Mickey Mouse’ leadership positions.
In summary, cadets would benefit from regular mentoring and advice, given their differing levels of maturity and the challenges they can experience as they embark on their military training and career. Such a scheme should be developed to supplement the informal mentoring provided by older cadets through the sporting clubs and other extracurricular activities. In relation to female cadets, ADFA should draw on the experiences of existing mentoring programs operating in other universities.
In supporting the informal mentoring structures currently operating at ADFA and in acknowledging the new mentoring scheme between third year and first year cadets arising from the new divisional and squadron structure, the Review does not support the reintroduction of cadet hierarchies.
|17. ADFA offer cadets a mentor, external to ADFA who may be drawn from a non-military background, to provide support and advice. Female cadets should be given the option to be placed with female mentors. Workplace-based mentoring programs targeting women that operate through universities, including UNSW, should be considered as a useful template.|
There is a continuing ‘drinking culture’ at ADFA. As noted by Professor Margaret Hamilton, this is a formative period for ADF personnel that will shape and establish their values, attitudes and behaviours, including drinking habits.
ADFA must recognise that alcohol use is frequently excessive within the cadet body and that, as well demonstrated by wider research on drug and alcohol use:
- excessive alcohol consumption and intoxication are established risk factors for a range of inappropriate behaviours and illegal activities
- consumption patterns of alcohol are greatly affected by price and by a range of availability factors.
It follows that ADFA should actively implement a strong and positive set of policies designed to ensure the duty of care to cadets by properly supervising and controlling alcohol consumption. While the Review acknowledges that the ADF already has some mechanisms in place to address alcohol use, it identifies two key areas where these can be improved at ADFA.
As discussed in Chapter 1, the relatively inexpensive prices of alcoholic drinks available on-site at ADFA, coupled with cadets’ high disposable income, was cited by numerous consultation participants as a contributor to excessive alcohol use.
ADFA is also subject to the ADF’s policies on alcohol and drug testing, including Defence Instruction (General) Personnel 15-4 Alcohol Testing in the Australian Defence Force. However, as highlighted in Chapter 1, while significant alcohol testing has been undertaken at ADFA in 2011, it has not been undertaken as frequently in recent years. It is important that these policies be actively implemented.
In summary, ADFA continues to be a culture where there is regular, heavy alcohol use. Some of this takes the form of ‘binge drinking’.
While the Review recognises that this may be relatively typical of Australian youth culture, risks to the safety and wellbeing of the individual and others are increased when there is an excessive use of alcohol.
|18. As part of the ADF’s overall review of alcohol, ADFA:|
Residential university settings benefit from a close relationship between staff and students to address pastoral, academic, health and disciplinary concerns. Current limitations within ADFA’s residential configuration require proper and focused consideration, in order to realise its aim of providing the best possible learning and training environment for all cadets.
In addition, a well supervised residential setting can significantly minimise the risk of unacceptable behaviour. The mixed gender residential setting of ADFA creates particular issues of supervision. To develop its potential as a residential setting in which consistently high standards of behaviour are developed, encouraged and reinforced, ADFA should reform the residential setting to enhance staff ‘after hours’ engagement and supervision.
In a residential setting where large numbers of new students arrive each year, staff must share a common commitment to maintaining, and where appropriate, enforcing cultural standards. They should display a willingness to engage with students about communal expectations, to demonstrate pastoral concern and, where necessary, to take disciplinary action to uphold these expectations. The physical arrangements of the site need to provide opportunities to enhance cultural values.
In Chapter 3, the Report discussed views raised in focus groups regarding inconsistent enforcement of fraternisation rules and other room policies in place at ADFA. This highlights their inadequacy as a means of minimising risks to cadets. The Review has also heard that despite some opposition to ‘segregation’, separate living spaces for women have been beneficial in creating a safer environment for them:
The situation of communal living was mitigated in first and second year by separating cadets into all-female and all-male living sections (i.e. separate corridors and floors). You would still be in the same division (building) as males but would not share showering/toilet/laundry facilities. This set up was more than adequate, as you did not feel embarrassed walking from your room to the bathroom in a towel or robe, and had a good amount of privacy. It was also beneficial living alongside females because when emotions ran high you could visit their rooms and express these to your female friends.
It is clear that there is a need for further and better assessment of the risks which arise within this setting, particularly for young women. There is also a need to develop and implement appropriate risk management strategies.
Arrangements for the supervision and pastoral care for cadets are generally reactive. Rather than waiting for cadets to make use of the academic, military or pastoral support offered at ADFA, the space should be better integrated to bring DOs and DSNCOs, padres and academic staff into the residential spaces. This allows for improved connections and supervision of cadets and would break down the notion of a ‘parallel universe’ in which cadets meet the academic and military demands of staff during the day but self-regulate their social spaces during the night. The physical arrangement of residential settings needs to be designed to promote these goals.
There was a suggestion by several staff members that any renovation program should include offices and overnight accommodation for military staff. One senior member of military staff suggested that this be provided for squadron and divisional staff. The Review sees merit in this suggestion. It was apparent to the Review that the very nature of ADFA being residentially based, with cadets being unable to return home at the end of the day, has led to some of the more serious issues around the treatment of women.
Appropriate supervision of cadets requires the close, shared engagement of junior and senior staff, both in formal and informal interactions with cadets, to ensure the maintenance of high standards of conduct. In order to drive further a cultural process which militates against poor behaviour towards women, ADFA needs to improve the structures which comprise the residential setting.
In addition to the creation of suitable accommodation for Divisional Officers and NCOs on site, a proposal put to the Review was the possibility of retaining Residential Advisors such as junior officers posted to Canberra (particularly those undertaking postgraduate or mature age undergraduate studies at UNSW@ADFA) to live in the ‘lines’. The Review supports this proposal. If properly selected, inducted, trained and supported in their role by divisional staff, and if given access to the Commandant in cases of serious disciplinary or pastoral issues, such Residential Advisors might provide a valuable point of reference between the expectations of staff and the realities of cadet life.
These Residential Advisors could be encouraged to develop formal relationships with divisions, as well provide informal guidance and support to cadets. They would also be in a position to act as an authority figure and monitor and encourage the development of the right atmosphere within each division. Another staff member suggested that having such advisors in a supervisory role might caution against incidents of unacceptable behaviour.
Adequate processes for the selection, training and support of the Residential Advisors should be put in place. Individuals should be selected according to qualities of ethical leadership and their ability to provide after hours supervision and pastoral care for cadets, rather than being selected only on the basis of being an ‘old boy’ (or ‘old girl’) where there is a possibility that they will help perpetuate the culture they themselves experienced. It is also recommended that there be one male and one female Residential Advisor for each First Year Division.
This will require the creation of appropriate, additional accommodation suitable for them to live on-site to play a supervisory role and one which encourages an ongoing learning environment for cadets outside formal study and training times. This role would include providing ongoing, interactive training based on real scenarios, including demonstrating and modelling women as leaders.
In summary, cadets are, with very few exceptions, housed on the ADFA campus. Complex issues arise because this is a place of residence and a place of study and work. For most cadets, it is also the first time they have lived away from home. Given that ADFA has a duty of care to its cadets, the Review finds that there are inadequate levels of oversight and supervision to minimise risks. Greater engagement of staff ‘after hours’, and the creation of appropriate staff accommodation to support this aim, will greatly enhance ADFA’s culture and effectiveness in the development of the cadets within its care.
19. As a priority, ADFA instruct an Occupational Health and Safety specialist to conduct a risk assessment of the residential accommodation, including bathrooms, to identify the existence and level of risk to cadets arising from mixed gender living arrangements. ADFA should implement the recommended risk minimisation strategies arising from this assessment.
20. As a priority, to address the issue of isolation and to increase supervision in the residential setting the Commandant adopt a system based on a model of Residential Advisors for each first year Division (one male and one female) who will live in the residential block to provide after hours supervision. While they may be recent ADFA graduates engaged in postgraduate study, the Residential Advisors should be outside the cadet structure, and should have appropriate skills and attributes in leadership, and the ability to provide after hours supervision and pastoral care for cadets. They should have a direct line of report to the Commandant in the case of serious pastoral or disciplinary incidents.
21. The ADFA Redevelopment Project Committee:
Issues surrounding gender relations, the range of sexualised activities and sexual behaviour are not fully understood in the cadet body. While discussion around ‘reputation management’ is provided to cadets, specifically female cadets (see Chapter 3), there was limited, if any, education about healthy and respectful relationships, issues regarding consent, the meaning and inappropriateness of sexist language and behaviour, and issues regarding controlling and threatening behaviour.
Consultations and the results of the 2011 ADFA Unacceptable Behaviour Survey indicate that incidents of inappropriate conduct and inappropriate attitudes towards women are present at ADFA.
In its 2007 report, Preventing violence before it occurs: A framework and background paper to guide the primary prevention of violence against women in Victoria, VicHealth reported that:
Attitudes and norms about gender roles and relations operate at both peer and organisational levels to increase the risk of violence against women, especially sexual violence. Organisational contexts found to be of particular concern in this regard are male sports clubs and facilities, male residential colleges on university campuses and the military. This does not mean that the risk is higher in all such environments, since research shows considerable variability between contexts ... (However), there is evidence that aspects of organisational culture in the military may be a factor in the perpetration of violence.
The VicHealth report found that a strong theme emerging in the literature is the need for these groups to be engaged in the planning and implementation of primary prevention. The report suggested that action to enhance gender relations and prevent violence against women should be underpinned by interrelated themes that include promoting equal and respectful relationships between men and women, promoting non violent social norms and improving access to resources and systems of support. It also suggested that for specific groups, such as the military, interventions need to be specifically targeted.
An effective primary prevention tool is education around gender relations, sexual ethics and healthy and respectful relationships. While ideally beginning in schools, such education can, if delivered appropriately and relevant to the target audience, have an impact on attitudes and behaviours. In the context of ADFA, such education needs to be accompanied by a range of other strategies, including the promotion of strong messages by ADF and ADFA leaders about gender equity and the unacceptability of violence against women. It also requires the availability and accessibility of appropriate supports and assistance to complainants and victims. Recommendations on these complementary strategies are provided in the Report. In addition, the Review understands that:
... Interventions need to be short enough to be practical, but long and intensive enough to be effective ... The evidence is that very short programs, e.g. of one hour only, are ineffective.
The delivery of an education program should be done by an external expert in gender relations, sexual ethics and healthy and respectful relationships, in collaboration with ADFA. This approach will allow for a specific and targeted program to be developed that will have maximum impact with cadets. Where possible, education specifically delivered to male-only cadets, should be undertaken by a male educator who, among other things, can act as a positive role model for men. One-off, ‘add on’ programs have limited value. Those that are embedded into existing education and support process, based on the themes that underpin overall organisational values, practice and policy, will have greater benefits.
In summary, issues surrounding gender relations are not fully understood in the cadet body. Some staff can give inconsistent messages around what is unacceptable behaviour. Similarly, the impact of sexualised activities and sexual behaviour are neither well understood nor grounded in an appropriate ethical framework for the cadet body.
|22. ADFA, in collaboration with an expert educator, provide cadets with interactiveeducation on:|
Training on complaint policies and procedures should be tailored to the different roles, skills and level of responsibility of different groups within ADFA, including new cadets, more senior cadets, designated contact/complaint officers (Equity and Diversity) and the chain of command.
An inability to effectively manage complaint processes undermines their integrity and acts as a significant potential barrier to reporting of complaints or incidents of sexual harassment, abuse, assault or discrimination.
Accordingly, training delivered to all ADFA staff that may be involved in or responsible for handling complaints, or managing cadets after an inquiry into a complaint or incident, should help them develop:
- a thorough understanding of how findings are made in relation to complaints
- skills in how to implement findings and outcomes of a complaint inquiry or resolution.
A lack of clarity for those handling or managing the investigation and/or resolution of complaints or incidents can lead to inappropriate outcomes or a delay in implementing procedures. A flow chart tool could be developed to provide an over-arching, simple guide on how the key Instructions and Academy Standing Operating Procedures work together, along with some practical hypothetical examples. This would support management in conducting complaint processes and maximise the effectiveness of the existing policy framework.
The flow chart tool could be incorporated as appropriate into the different training modules delivered to ADFA cadets, Equity and Diversity Officers and staff on making and responding to complaints of unacceptable conduct, including complaints of sexual harassment and abuse and sex discrimination.
There is a focus in the culture of ADFA on cadets seeking to deal with issues at the ‘lowest possible level’ by ‘self resolution’ and ‘supported self resolution’. It also appears there can be a lack of understanding of what constitutes a ‘complaint’ by applying an ‘informal’ versus ‘formal’ distinction.
The appropriate exercise of discretion by commanders, managers and Inquiry Officers when a complaint is initially received – including identifying resolution options appropriate to the nature and circumstances of the complaint, and the obligation to take action and report on actions and resolution – should form a key element of the training delivered to those responsible for responding to and/or managing complaints.
|23. ADFA review the training on making complaints of unacceptable behaviour (including sexual harassment and abuse and sex discrimination), with specific attention to creating specific modules tailored to different groups within ADFA – namely first-year cadets, more senior cadets and staff – to reflect their different responsibilities in relation to complaint/incident reporting, response and management.|
ADFA has a number of complaints policies and mechanisms and the Review considers that the policy framework is sound. Some cadets have a good knowledge of the formal complaints making processes through Equity Advisers and padres. Others indicated that while they were satisfied with the complaints process, they were unsure about the outcomes of the process. They also considered that ‘personalities’ – that is, who a complaint was brought to – had an impact on the outcome.
Equity Advisers told the Review that no complaints had been brought to them during 2011.
Despite awareness of the complaints process and a sound policy framework, the process is cumbersome and can be inconsistently applied. A total of 18 separate avenues for complaints were identified. A number of confidential submissions and interviews also indicated deficiencies in the complaints processes. As discussed in the Report, while cadets might be aware of the processes, they can also be ostracised, stigmatised or victimised for lodging a complaint.
A mechanism to overcome the issues that currently compromise ADFA’s complaint system is to establish a dedicated confidential toll-free advice hotline that is easily accessible and can refer cadets to appropriate internal and external supports and services. Staff could also access the line to seek advice about referral options for cadets who may have sought assistance from them. The hotline should be staffed by expert operators and operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
In establishing the hotline, ADFA should draw on the protocols and policies of the Army’s Fair Go Hotline. This service allows Army personnel to raise previously unreported incidents of unacceptable behaviour, including bullying, harassment, victimisation, verbal abuse or assault. Callers can remain anonymous and the chain of command is only advised of the call with the express permission of the caller, unless the caller discloses information that the operator is obliged to report. Issues reported to the Fair Go Hotline are investigated and necessary action taken.
In summary, ADFA needs a dedicated, simplified confidential advice line that is easily accessible and has the ability to refer cadets and staff to appropriate internal and external supports and services.
|24. ADFA establish and promote a dedicated, ADFA-specific, 24 hour, seven day, toll-free hotline for all cadets, staff, families and sponsor families. The expert operators will provide advice and referral about the most appropriate mechanism or service (ADFA, ADF or external) to deal with the complaint. In establishing the line, ADFA should draw on the protocols and policies of the Army Fair Go Hotline.|
The survey tools currently used to gauge cadets’ experiences of, and attitudes towards, unacceptable behaviour are methodologically flawed and inconsistently applied. Appendix D outlines some of the methodological concerns that the DSPPR has raised about the Unacceptable Behaviour Survey as currently administered. Further, recently administered unacceptable behaviour survey reports have rarely been published, and there is no set process for instigating an organisational response to findings.
ADFA should address this by redesigning and annually administering its survey in order to accurately record experiences of, and attitudes towards, unacceptable behaviour.
Following the Australian Defence Association’s suggestion that the ADF conduct more surveys and be ‘open about the findings and what the Defence Force intends to do about them’, ADFA should transmit the results of its annual Unacceptable Behaviour Survey to cadets and staff. It should also use the results to develop a transparent strategic organisational response.
In summary, data on experiences of, and attitudes towards, unacceptable behaviour is patchy and difficult to access. The Review found no strategic response to the results of the Unacceptable Behaviour Surveys had been prepared over previous years.
|25. ADFA develop and annually administer a survey in order to more accurately measure the level of sexual harassment and sexual abuse among cadets. This survey should be followed up with a strategic organisational response by the Commandant, with feedback provided to cadets and staff to ensure that they have an investment in any reform arising from the survey results.|
There is evidence that the challenges and problems surrounding unacceptable behaviour confronting ADFA also exist in other universities and residential colleges. This suggestion is supported by the 2011 National Union of Students Safe Universities Blueprint and researchers working in the sector.
ADFA should develop its Unacceptable Behaviour Survey in consultation with other Group of Eight Universities’ Residential Colleges and Halls. This would demonstrate that ADFA is taking national leadership on the issue of unacceptable behaviour and using the challenges that it has faced in the recent past to achieve a wider, socially positive outcome.
In addition to creating a tool which could be used by the tertiary education sector to identify and address issues of gender equity, collaboration would be beneficial to ADFA and allow it to benchmark against comparable institutions.
|26. To provide meaningful comparisons, ADFA develop this survey in consultation with other Group of Eight Universities’ Residential Colleges and Halls, applicable to cadets as both military in training and university students. ADFA should consider including other single service training establishments in the development of this survey.|
In order to appropriately and effectively manage incidents of unacceptable sexual behaviour, it is essential that ADFA have a well-maintained online database that records all reported incidents of inappropriate sexual behaviour.
The 2007 Ombudsman Report supported the ADF’s stated intention at that time to develop a single, online database to record details of complaints of unacceptable behaviour. It does not appear that this database has yet been created. Paper-based filing and reporting systems continue to be used. The Review endorses the creation of an online database at ADFA to record and manage individual complaints (as well as other data, discussed below).
The 2007 Ombudsman Report identified the key functions that the online system/database should provide, including allowing all relevant records to be easily accessible to those with a need to know; protecting the privacy of the individuals involved; including pro formas for records of conversations; including timeliness alerts for particular actions or updates; facilitating the movement of records from one unit to another or referral to a different delegate or a different location.
Given the need to address incidents of unacceptable behaviour at ADFA, there is a need for a system incorporating these elements to be developed as a priority.
|27. In order to record, track and manage complaints and incidents, ADFA develop and maintain, through the ADF information system, a comprehensive, accurate and up-to-date online database. This database should identify all relevant information relating to individual complaints and incidents of unacceptable conduct, including sexual harassment, abuse and assault and sex discrimination, including:|
The 2007 Ombudsman Report noted an absence of a quality assurance process to identify record keeping deficiencies in complaint management processes. It recommended that Defence consider implementing quality assurance mechanisms for recordkeeping and reporting to ensure that standards are being met. This Review did not see any formal quality assurance processes in relation to ADFA record keeping that would identify deficiencies in complaint management processes. The only quality/audit function currently undertaken is by the IGADF, as part of the three-yearly Military Justice Performance Audits. While highly valuable, these audits are not frequent enough given the nature of the issues involved at ADFA.
28. Reports from this database are to be reviewed by the Commandant on a monthly basis to ensure timely and appropriate actions. The Commandant should also report monthly to the Commander, Australian Defence College, on incidents, trends and identifiable concerns arising from the data.
29. In order that standards of reporting, recording and resolving incidents are properly met, ADFA should ensure the database undergoes annual quality assurance testing to determine:
Female cadets experience injuries at a greater rate than their male counterparts. While women make up around 20% of the cadet body, ADFA statistics indicate that female cadets have suffered one third of all injuries since 2006. From the data available to the Review, a significant proportion of these injuries appear to be related to physical training, work and other training activities undertaken by cadets. These injury rates are of concern.
ADFA, and the ADF more generally, has mechanisms in place to address injuries and illness. However, the Review heard evidence that among some ADFA staff there is limited understanding of, or sensitivity to, the fact that women are physiologically different to men and may experience different health or physical concerns. There is also a perception among some staff that female cadets are more likely to try to avoid training.
It is concerning that there can be a significant stigma attached to being injured or unwell (the ‘sick parade’). Particularly in cases where an injury or illness is not visible to others, cadets may be viewed as ‘faking’ their condition to get out of physical training or other commitments. This can result in ostracism and victimisation of the affected cadets. Given their higher rates of injury, this can particularly impact on female cadets.
There is also a need for ADFA to actively explore ways of promoting health and wellbeing, including examining best practice in comparable residential settings.
In summary, women have different health needs and physical capacity to men. This difference is often not well understood and can be interpreted as being a weakness. As a proportion of the ADFA population, injuries are more frequent among female cadets than male cadets.
|30. ADFA undertake a detailed evaluation to determine whether female cadets are more likely to become injured than male cadets and, if so, identify the causes and additional mechanisms to be put in place to manage this risk. Following this evaluation, strategies should be developed to:|
Cadets may face barriers in seeking assistance or reporting incidents of unacceptable behaviour. These include a lack of encouragement from peers (particularly in the context of pressure to keep issues ‘in house’ and not to ‘go jack on your mates’) and the potential for negative reactions and repercussions, such as not being believed or facing a ‘backlash from the rumour mill’.
ADFA offers support services for cadets, including psychologists, padres and Equity and Diversity Advisors. However, cadets may not choose to use these services due to, among other things, concerns about whether the issue will be recorded on their personnel file.
To address these concerns and to ensure that cadets have appropriate support when they need it, the Review considers it important that cadets have access to support services outside ADFA, in addition to those provided by ADFA and the ADF.
In summary, seeking support for sensitive health and wellbeing issues, and/or reporting and seeking support for personal or sexual abuse, can be difficult for midshipmen and cadets who live and work closely with their peers and colleagues. In addition, personal or sexual abuse can carry a feeling of shame and stigma, a fear of ostracism and victimisation and a perception that a complaint may not be dealt with adequately or confidentially by ADFA and the ADF.
|31. In order to provide cadets with a range of support options regarding health andwellbeing, sexual or personal abuse and violence, ADFA:|
The Review is aware of multiple previous reviews of ADFA and the range of recommendations that have been made. Many of the issues raised in this Report have been highlighted by previous reviews and have been on ADFA’s agenda for some time. Progress has been made on some recommendations, but others have been slow to advance.
The Commissioner’s message at the beginning of this Report indicates that changes arising from this Review require a reflective approach. A fundamental and strategic cultural shift is required to achieve gender equality at ADFA, to ensure women’s safety and to prevent sexual harassment, abuse and sex discrimination. Achieving these outcomes does not lend itself to a compliance-based, checklist methodology.
Successful implementation will require a clear focus on outcomes, an unequivocal commitment to change and access to specialist skills and expertise.
In accordance with the Review’s Terms of Reference, 12 months after the release of this Report a further independent report is to be prepared which will:
- audit the implementation of the recommendations in this Report, and
- make any further recommendations necessary to advance the treatment of women at ADFA.
At that time, the impact of any further proven incidents will be examined to ascertain whether changes are needed.
 The Canadian Forces are regarded as a benchmark, despite having achieved only 15.1% by 2009, see Canadian Forces, Canadian Forces 2009 National Report to the Committee for Women in NATO forces (2009), p 2. At www.nato.int/issues/women_nato/meeting-records/2009/national-reports/canada-national-report-2009.pdf (viewed 23 August 2011). In 2009, the representation of women in the Dutch Defence Force stood at only 9%, despite a concerted effort to recruit women, see E Jansen, WO=MEN, Dutch Gender Platform, UNSCR 1325 In-country monitoring report – The Netherlands, Global Network of Women Peace-builders (October 2010), p 15. At www.wo-men.nl/cms/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/UNSCR-1325-monitoring-report-The-Netherlands-20101.pdf (viewed 26 June 2011). The Dutch Ministry of Defence has identified retention as potentially more important to increasing the representation of women, see: R Moelker and J Bolch, Hidden Women: Women in the Netherlands Armed Forces,Publications of the Faculty of Military Science, No. 2008/01, Netherlands Defence Academy (2008). At hbo-kennisbank.uvt.nl/cgi/nda/show.cgi?fid=1721 (viewed 15 July 2011); E van den Heuvel and M Meijer, Gender Force in the Netherlands Armed Forces (Paper presented at the RTO Human Factors and Medicine Panel (HFM) Symposium, Antalya, Turkey, 13-15 October 2008), p 2. At www.docstoc.com/docs/75589982/Gender-Force-in-the-Netherlands-Armed-Forces (viewed 23 August 2011).
 KA Scott, Universal or gender-specific? Exploring military leadership from a subordinate perspective, Technical Report, DRDC Toronto TR 2003-121 (October 2003). At pubs.drdc.gc.ca/PDFS/unc57/p521079.pdf (viewed 6 June 2011).
 E van den Heuvel, note 1, pp 2-6.
 For example, the UK Chief of the General Staff’s Equality and Diversity Directive for the Army clearly notes that ‘the Army defines the notion of diversity as something that explicitly recognises differences. People are valued for their differences and feel valued.’ See United Kingdom Ministry of Defence, Chief of the General Staff’s Equality and Diversity Directive for the Army, Army Code 64340 (April 2008), p 3. Atwww.army.mod.uk/documents/general/CGS_ED_Directive-Apr_08.pdf (viewed 23 August 2011).
 United Kingdom Ministry of Defence, above, at p 1 states: ‘The Army views Equality and Diversity as critical components in the generation and maintenance of Operational Effectiveness, and not for reasons of political correctness.’ Similarly, US Secretary of Defense, Robert M Gates, describes sexual assault as something that ‘not only does unconscionable harm to the victim; it destabilises the workplace and threatens national security’, see: USA Department of Defense, Department of Defense Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military, Fiscal Year 2010 (March 2011) Introduction, p 1. At www.sapr.mil/media/pdf/reports/DoD_Fiscal_Year_2010_Annual_Report_on_Sexual_Assault_in_the_Military.pdf (viewed 23 August 2011).
 See generally KA Scott, note 2.
 Effective leadership and organisational climate have been noted as the strongest predictors of whether or not sexual harassment will occur in a unit: RN Lipari and AR Lancaster, Armed Forces 2002 Sexual Harassment Survey, DMDC Report No. 2003-026 (November 2003), p vi. Atwww.defense.gov/news/Feb2004/d20040227shs1.pdf (viewed 7 September 2011).
 AR Febbraro, Women, leadership and gender integration in the Canadian combat arms: A qualitative study, Technical Report DRDC Toronto TR 2003-170 (December 2003). At http://pubs.drdc.gc.ca/PDFS/unc31/p521088.pdf (viewed 20 June 2011).
 Canada National Defence, Harassment Prevention and Resolution Guidelines, A-PM-007-000/FP-001 (2004). Atwww.cfpsa.com/en/corporate/Services/hrservices/HumanRights/PDF/Harassment%20Prevention%20and%20Resolution%20GuidelinesMay%2007.pdf(viewed 7 September 2011); Canada National Defence, Harassment Advisor Reference Manual (2005). For similarly clear processes see also United Kingdom Ministry of Defence, United Kingdom Tri Service Policy on Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence, Joint Service Publication 913, provided to the Review by RMAS, 28 July 2011.
 New Zealand Ministry of Defence, NZDF Guide – Mediation & Investigation, provided to the Review by the NZDF.
 The Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force, Report Concerning the Assessment of USAF Sexual Assault Prevention and Response(2004), p 10. At www.dtic.mil/dacowits/agendadoc/USAF_Sexual_Assault_p_r.pdf (viewed 23 August 2011). Meanwhile, the UK‘s Ministry of Defence,Basically Fair – Respect for Others in the British Army, AC 64325, Edition 4 (October 2008) and the US’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office campaign ‘Hurts One. Affects All’ use succinct and pithy language to make the link between equity and operational effectiveness.
 P Kime, ‘DOD Survey: Sex Assault Reports Decline in 2010’, Air Force Times, 11 July 2011, p 10.
 See generally USA Department of Defense, note 5. Similarly, New Zealand Ministry of Defence, NZDF Policies and Practices Relating to Physical, Sexual and Other Abuses, Report No. 9/2005 (2005) notes that, despite a suite of strong policy and processes, gaps in measurement and monitoring arrangements can detract from a Defence Force’s capacity to be confident of their effectiveness.
 Diversity Surveys across the Canadian Forces continue to indicate that, while behaviours have become more inclusive, attitudes lag behind. K Davis, Gender Neutrality & Sexual Difference: Limits to Cultural Intelligence in the Canadian Forces, Defence Research and Development Canada, RTO-MP-HFM-158. At www.rta.nato.int/Pubs/RDP.asp?RDP=RTO-MP-HFM-158 (viewed 23 August 2011), pp 1-6. See also K Davis (ed), Women and Leadership in the Canadian Forces: Perspectives and Experiences (2009).
 An internal brief by Dr Alan Okros, Canadian Forces College, to the Commandant of RMC Kingston was provided to this Review in which it is argued that awareness raising and changes to cadet culture are likely to have a more enduring impact than any formal policy reform. See also N Blake, The Deepcut Review: A review of the circumstances surrounding the deaths of four soldiers at Princess Royal Barracks, Deepcut, between 1995 and 2002 (29 March 2006) for comprehensive discussion regarding the culture in which young trainees often find themselves.
 A survey of cadets at the Netherlands Defense Academy, for example, found that support for the full integration of women into the armed forces dropped significantly among male cadets from first to fourth year, while attitudes of female cadets remained roughly the same: R Moelker, note 1, p 53.
 Confidential interview.
 Confidential interview.
 Confidential interview
 Confidential interview.
 Meeting with Australian Defence College Advisory Board, 29 July 2011.
 Confidential interview.
 Confidential interview.
 Department of Defence, Defending Australia in the Asia Pacific Century: Force 2030, Defence White Paper 2009 (2009), p 113. Atwww.defence.gov.au/whitepaper/docs/defence_white_paper_2009.pdf (viewed 23 August 2011).
 Department of Defence, Defence Cultural Diversity Awareness Training Package. Atwww.defence.gov.au/fr/education/CulturalDiversityatWork_files/frame.htm (viewed 23 August 2011).
 Australian Bureau of Statistics, ‘Labour Force Status by Sex – Seasonally adjusted’, Labour Force, Australia, July 2011, cat no 6202, Table 02. At www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/6202.0Jul%202011?OpenDocument (viewed 6 September 2011).
 Department of Defence, Quarterly Defence Workforce Outlook: 28 March 2011 (2011).
 Confidential submission 20.
 This model is one recommended by McKinsey & Company: J Barsh, Unlocking the full potential of women in the US economy (2011),www.mckinsey.com/client_service/organization/latest_thinking/unlocking_the_full_potential.aspx (viewed 13 September 2011).
 RADM J Goldrick, Commander Australian Defence College, Directive by Commander Australian Defence College to the Commandant Australian Defence Force Academy, 1 July 2010, p 1.
 CDRE BJ Kafer, ‘Commandant’s Philosophy’ (2011), provided to the Review.
 Public submission COL Petersen.
 Confidential interview.
 Cadet focus group.
 Confidential submission 18.
 Staff focus group.
 Confidential submission 19.
 Staff focus group.
 Staff focus group.
 Public submission COL Petersen.
 CDRE BJ Kafer, Report of the Review of the Australian Defence Force Academy Military Organisation and Culture, ADFA 2010/1104615/1 (2010), p 32.
 D Durrington in LT COL N Fox, Email to Review, 23 August 2011.
 Confidential interview.
 Confidential submission 19.
 Confidential interview.
 Confidential submission 18.
 Confidential submission 19.
 Confidential interview.
 Staff focus group.
 Confidential submission 9.
 Confidential interview.
 Confidential submission 18.
 Public submission LEUT Parker.
 Confidential interview.
 Staff focus group.
 Agora is a recently established cadet representative committee made up of nine members. Its positions are appointed by the Commandant. Though fairly new, it is designed to provide additional leadership opportunities for cadets and facilitate communication between cadets and senior staff.
 Staff focus group.
 Independent Advisory Panel on Alcohol, draft Report to Minister for Defence and Chief of Defence Force (8 August 2011) pp 45-46.
 Australian Bureau of Statistics, ‘Risk Taking by Young People’, Australian Social Trends, cat no 4120.0 (2008),www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Lookup/4102.0Chapter5002008 (viewed 26 August 2011); J Norris, ‘The Relationship Between Alcohol Consumption and Sexual Victimization’ (2008) VAWnet: The National Online Resource Center on Violence Against Women, pp 1-13. Atwww.vawnet.org/Assoc_Files_VAWnet/AR_AlcVictimization.pdf (viewed 26 August 2011); A Morgan and A McAtamney, ‘Key Issues in alcohol-related violence’ (2009) 4 Research in Practice 1, pp 1-8. At www.aic.gov.au/publications/current%20series/rip/1-10/04.aspx (viewed 6 September 2011); T Stockwell, R McLeod, M Stevens, M Phillips, M Webb and G Jelinek, ‘Alcohol consumption, setting, gender and activity as predictors of injury: a population-based case-control study’ (2002) 63(3) Journal of Studies on Alcohol 372, pp 372–379. At espace.library.curtin.edu.au/R?func=search-simple-go&ADJACENT=Y&REQUEST=EPR-152 (viewed 6 September 2011); National Health and Medical Research Council, Alcohol and health in Australia, www.nhmrc.gov.au/your-health/alcohol-guidelines/alcohol-and-health-australia (viewed 6 April 2011).
 M Kuo, H Weschler, P Greenberg and H Lee, ‘The marketing of alcohol to college students: The role of low prices and special promotions’ (2003) 25(3) American Journal of Preventive Medicine 204-211.
 Public submission Burnham.
 Confidential submission 19.
 Public submission COL Petersen.
 Confidential interview.
 N Funnell, Interview, 8 August 2011.
 VicHealth, Preventing violence before it occurs: A framework and background paper to guide the primary prevention of violence against women in Victoria (2007), pp 35, 58. At http://www.vichealth.vic.gov.au/Publications/Freedom-from-violence/Preventing-violence-before-it-occurs.aspx(viewed 6 September 2011).
 VicHealth describes ‘primary prevention’ as ‘Primary prevention strategies seek to prevent violence before it occurs. Interventions can be delivered to the whole population (universal) or to particular groups that are at higher risk of using or experiencing violence in the future (targeted or selective). Some primary prevention strategies focus on changing behaviour and/or building the knowledge and skills of individuals. However, the structural, cultural and societal contexts in which violence occurs are also very important targets for primary prevention. Strategies that do not have a particular focus on violence against women but address its underlying causes (such as gender inequality and poverty) are also primary prevention strategies.’ VicHealth, above.
 M Flood, ‘Changing Men: Best Practice in Sexual Violence Education’ (2005-2006) 18 Women Against Violence 26, p 29.
 Cadet focus group.
 Cadet focus group.
 Australian Defence Association, Defence Brief, No 144 (June 2011). At www.ada.asn.au/defence_brief/Brief144(June2011).pdf (viewed 23 August 2011).
 National Union of Students, Safe universities Blueprint: Talk About It Survey Results and Recommendations, 2011; N Funnell, ‘Claims on uni rape need proper research,’ Sydney Morning Herald, 17 June 2011, at http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/claims-on-uni-rape-need-proper-research-20110616-1g5t1.html, viewed 17 June 2011.
 Acting Commonwealth and Defence Force Ombudsman, Australian Defence Force: Management of Complaints about Unacceptable Behaviour,Report No 04 (2007), para 2.69.
 Acting Commonwealth and Defence Force Ombudsman, above, para 2.70.
 Acting Commonwealth and Defence Force Ombudsman, above, para 2.65.
 Acting Commonwealth and Defence Force Ombudsman, above, page 22.
 Acting Commonwealth and Defence Force Ombudsman, above, para 2.65.
 ‘ADFA AC 563 summary for period 2006 – 2011’ provided by LTCOL Fox, 22 September 2011.
 Public submission Brooks.
 Staff focus group.
 Confidential interview.