Appendix A – Brief Description of ADFA

Stated purpose of ADFA

ADFA is one of the ADF’s training establishments.

Its stated purpose is to:

  • provide military education and training for midshipmen and officer cadets for the purpose of developing their professional abilities and the qualities of character that are appropriate to officers of the Defence Force
  • provide midshipmen and officer cadets with a balanced and liberal university education within a joint military environment.[442]

It is the only tri-Service military establishment in Australia.

Overview of ADFA’s history

In 1959, investigations began into the desirability and feasibility of integrating training for the three parts of the Australian Defence Force: the Navy, Army and Air Force. A specific plan was formalised in 1970 and in July 1977 the Australian Government agreed to establish ADFA in Canberra, adjacent to the Royal Military College, Duntroon.

In May 1981, the Australian Government and the University of New South Wales (UNSW) signed an agreement that UNSW would establish a College within the Australian Defence Force Academy.

ADFA began providing undergraduate education and military training to cadets in 1986.

Since 2001, ADFA has been placed within the Australian Defence College (ADC) command. The Commander, ADC, is also responsible for the command of the Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies and the Australian Command and Staff College, in addition to the Capability and Technology Management College (also located at ADFA), the Centre for Defence Leadership and Ethics (located at ADFA), the Defence International Training Centre (in Melbourne), the Defence College Chaplains College (near Albury but under direct command of Commandant ADFA) and the Joint Warfare, Doctrine and Training Centre (at Williamtown near Newcastle). Australia’s Federation Guard is located at ADFA and is under the command of the Commandant of ADFA.

In 2009, the Australian Government and UNSW entered into a renewal of their agreement which extends the contractual agreement to 2023.[443]

Military college and academic institution

ADFA is both a military college and academic institution. Through its agreement with UNSW, it provides cadets with an opportunity to gain an undergraduate university degree, while also undertaking military training with the ADF. Prospective cadets must apply to both UNSW and the ADF for admission to ADFA.

Cadets may choose from three- and four-year undergraduate university degree programs in Arts, Business, Science, Engineering and Information Technology. Cadets must complete an entire three-year undergraduate program, or three years of a four-year undergraduate program. There are very few undergraduate civilian students at ADFA; of 1030 undergraduate students at UNSW@ADFA, only six are civilians.[444] Of UNSW@ADFA’s 1568 postgraduate students, 684 are civilians.[445]

Cadets must complete Academy Military Education and Training (AMET). This is undertaken each year and covers topics such as leadership, military communication, equity and diversity, military law, physical and recreational training and weapon training. Its framework has three key components: military skills (foundation military skills training), leadership philosophy (aimed at developing the character of cadets through theory lessons, practical exercises and experiential opportunities) and defence studies philosophy (the purpose of which is to develop an understanding of and pride in ADF history, customs and traditions).

AMET is an evolving program and its content is the result of input from a range of staff members over time. The AMET program development has also experienced problems with development and delivery due to staff shortages or frequency of staff turnover. Prior to 2009, the Chief Instructor had been filled only on 12 months tenures and the Officer Commanding Training and Management Section position had been vacant for a period of time. Since 2009, work has been undertaken to stabilise, document and provide a framework for the AMET Program. The Review recognises that there is current development work in progress which is in the conceptual stage only. Staff selection, adequate staffing and tenure stability will ensure that the AMET Program is able to be developed, delivered, assessed and adjusted to achieve the ADFA stated purpose.[446]

Cadets also undertake ‘single service training’ (SST), which is outlined below.

Structure of ADFA[447]

 

Tri-Service

As a tri-Service institution, ADFA offers training to cadets from the Army, Navy and Air Force. Of the 1071 cadets attending ADFA in April 2011, 503 (47%) were members of the Army, 358 (33.4%) were from the Air Force and 172 (16.1%) midshipmen were part of the Navy.[448]

In addition to the academic studies and AMET outlined above, cadets must undertake SST. This generally occurs in blocks at the beginning, middle and end of each year.[449] This training is undertaken at various locations, depending on the service and the nature of the training. For example, Army cadets may undertake SST at RMC Duntroon and other army locations; Navy cadets at shore establishments and on ships; and Air Force cadets at Sale, Victoria.[450]

Pathways into/out of ADFA

The majority of cadets enter ADFA directly following school or a ‘gap year’.

All Navy midshipmen complete the Navy Officer Year One Program (NOYO) prior to commencing at ADFA. The first part of NOYO, the New Entrant Officer Course (NEOC), is a 22-week induction course which teaches cadets basic mariner and military skills. Following NEOC, midshipmen undertake further training throughout the fleet, the nature of which depends on the primary qualification that they will study at ADFA.

Following ADFA’s three-year program, most cadets (Navy, Army and Air Force) undertake further training with their own service. For cadets from the Army, this involves training at RMC Duntroon. Cadets from the Navy and Air Force complete specialisation training. Cadets studying four-year engineering degrees remain at ADFA for a fourth year to complete their qualification. During this fourth year, they are part of the ‘advanced student squadron’.

Demographics

In April 2011, a total of 1071 cadets were attending ADFA. Cadets at ADFA are generally aged between 17-23 years old and the average age of first-year cadets is 18 years.[451]

The vast majority of cadets come to ADFA from New South Wales (27%) and Queensland (26%), followed by Victoria (17%). Approximately two-thirds of cadets were living in a metropolitan centre before attending ADFA, with the remaining third coming from country/rural areas.

Prior to attending ADFA, 53% of cadets attended a private school and 41% attended a public/state school. Previous surveys of first-year cadets have found that around three quarters attended co-educational schools and the vast majority had been day students rather than boarders.[452]

All ADFA cadets are paid a salary package between $35,661 and $50,344 per year. Cadets do not have to pay tuition fees and the cost of most textbooks is covered.

Women’s presence

Of the 1071 cadets attending ADFA in April 2011, 225 were women (21% of the total cadet population). This figure has remained broadly constant over the past six years, with women cadets making up between 21-22% of the total cadet population, with the exception of 2010 (28%). There were also higher intakes of female cadets in 2002 (36%) and 2003 (28%).

In 2011, of the full-time permanent 105 military staff positions at ADFA, 14 were filled by women (approximately 13%). This represents a low over the past four years, as the male to female military staff ratio at ADFA has remained relatively static in the preceding three year period 2008-2010 at 17%, 19% and 18% respectively.[453]

Over the past five years, the senior leadership roles at ADFA were largely occupied by men. Of the four executive positions (Commandant, Deputy Commandant, Executive Officer and Chief Instructor) within the organisation, a woman has held the position of Commandant once (2009) and there was a female Chief Instructor at ADFA in 2009 and 2010.[454]

At the next management level of Officer Commanding and Divisional Officer, representation of women has been much greater: 81% and 35% respectively over the last five years. On the data available for this period, however, ADFA has not had a female Academy Sergeant Major or a Squadron Sergeant Major. Around 14% of Divisional Senior Non-Commissioned Officers have been females, notably lower than the 21% female cadet population.[455]

According to figures from the Defence Census 2007, the rank of Officer Cadets had the highest percentage of females of all the rank bands. In contrast, commissioned and non-commissioned officers had the highest percentage of males: 92% for Senior Officers and 90% for Senior Non-Commissioned Officers/Warrant Officers.[456]

Senior staff positions at ADFA by gender

Position
M/F
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
Total
Commandant
M
1
1
0
1
1
4
F
0
0
1
0
0
1
Deputy Commandant
M
1
1
1
1
1
5
F
0
0
0
0
0
0
Executive Officer of Cadets
M
1
1
1
1
1
5
F
0
0
0
0
0
0
Chief Instructor
M
1
1
0
0
1
3
F
0
0
1
1
0
2
Officer Commanding(including CC P&RT, OPSO, OC TD and OC LMSS)
M
6
4
6
5
6
27
F
4
6
4
5
3
22
Divisional Officer
M
Data Unavailable
16
17
17
18
68
F
Data Unavailable
7
6
6
5
24
Academy Sergeant Major
M
1
1
1
1
1
5
F
0
0
0
0
0
0
Squadron Sergeant Major
M
Data Unavailable
7
7
7
7
28
F
Data Unavailable
0
0
0
0
0
Divisional Senior Non Commissioned Officer
M
Data Unavailable
20
15
21
14
70
F
Data Unavailable
1
1
1
7
10

 

Diversity

In relation to cultural/ethnic diversity, only a small minority of ADFA’s first-year cadets have a non-English speaking background. However, this percentage has increased over the years.[457]

Around 10% of first-year cadets have a parent from a non-English speaking background and only around 3-5% of first-year cadets reported speaking a language other than English as their first language. These figures include cadets who were from overseas military organisations.[458]

Less than 1% of first-year cadets in any year have identified as being Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander; the most was three cadets in 2009. In 2011, no cadets identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.[459]

Staffing and turnover

There has been significant leadership turnover at ADFA in recent years. Since February 2006, there have been six Commandants (including two acting Commandants).

The average tenure of military staff at ADFA over the last five years is 1.49 years (or 18 months).[460] One ADFA Personnel Officer estimated that the staff turnover rate has been 43% per year over the past five years.[461]

Since 2008, the number of established full-time military staff positions at ADFA has been 105. In 2011 and 2010, all military positions were filled and in 2008 and 2009, 99 staff were placed, resulting in a shortage of six positions in both years. The ratio of military staff to cadets in 2011 was 1:10.[462]

Accommodation

Midshipmen and cadets generally live in purpose-built on-site accommodation at ADFA.

There are 23 accommodation blocks at ADFA. Each multi-story block houses one division, comprised of up to 47 cadets. All divisions are tri-Service. Each Divisional Building is built around ‘sections’ of eight cadets. Each floor has multiple corridors with clusters of four individual rooms running in each corridor. The design of these buildings has been described as ‘cluster-plex’ accommodation.[463]

Cadets have their own rooms, and share bathroom, laundry and recreation facilities with other cadets. First-year cadets live in single-sex corridors, with living arrangements integrated in second and third years.

Each division’s block includes an office for a Division Senior Non-Commissioned Officer (DSNCO). Divisional Officers (DOs) also have offices, although these are not located in accommodation blocks.

ADFA facilities are currently being refurbished. This involves mainly cosmetic changes to accommodation buildings, including some increase in common area space, and does not include any structural changes to cadets’ accommodation.

The cadets’ mess, which is located near their accommodation, seats 1000 people.[464] It comprises kitchens, dining areas, bars, recreation rooms and a shop.[465] The ADFA campus also has a library, bank, bookshop, hairdressing salon, cafè, dry cleaning agency, florist, indoor sporting facilities and sporting grounds.[466]

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[442] Australian Defence Force Academy, Academy Standard Operating Procedures (2011), chapter 1, para 1.2.

[443] Australian Defence Force Academy, Our History – The Australian Defence Force Academy, www.defence.gov.au/adfa/about/our_history.html(viewed 26 August 2011); RADM J Goldrick, The Australian Defence Force Academy’, Presentation, provided to the Review, 6 May 2011.

[444] One ‘civilian’ and five ‘Defence civilians’ undergraduate students: LTCOL N Fox, Email to Review, 16 August 2011.

[445] 381 ‘civilian’ and 303 ‘Defence civilians’ postgraduate students: LTCOL N Fox, Email to Review, 16 August 2011.

[446] Confidential interview.

[447] RADM J Goldrick, The Australian Defence Force Academy’, Presentation, provided to the Review, 6 May 2011.

[448] An additional 39 (3.6%) ADFA cadets are from overseas. Percentage figures may not total 100% due to rounding: RADM J Goldrick, ‘The Australian Defence Force Academy’, Presentation, provided to the Review, 6 May 2011.

[449] The Australian Army, ADFA Army Single Service Training, www.army.gov.au/rmc/ADFA_Army_Single_Service_Training.asp (viewed 22 August 2011); Australian Defence Force Academy, Single Service Training, www.defence.gov.au/adfa/training/single_service.html (viewed 22 August 2011).

[450] Australian Defence Force Academy, Single Service Training, www.defence.gov.au/adfa/training/single_service.html (viewed 22 August 2011); LTCOL N Fox, discussion with Review team, 10 August 2011.

[451] ‘ADFA Cadet Demographic Raw Data’, provided to the Review, 12 August 2011.

[452] ADFA Attitude Survey data relating to cadets during YOFT from 2005-2009: DSPPR, Australian Defence Force Academy Attitude Survey 2004 – Summation of Key Findings, DSPPR Brief 4/2004, Department of Defence (2004); DSPPR, Australian Defence Force Academy Attitude Survey 2005 – Main Report, DSPPR Research Report 30/2005, Department of Defence (2005); DSPPR, Australian Defence Force Academy Attitude Survey 2006 – Main Report, DSPPR Research Report 26/2006 Department of Defence (2006); DSPPR, Australian Defence Force Academy Attitude Survey 2007 – Main Report, DSPPR Report 20/2007, Department of Defence (2007); DSPPR, Australian Defence Force Academy Attitude Survey 2008 – Main Report, DSPPR Research Report 43/2008, Department of Defence (2008); DSPPR, Australian Defence Force Academy Attitude Survey 2009 – Main Report, DSPPR Research Report 37/2009 Department of Defence (2009).

[453] ‘110822 Broderick Review Task 34 ADFA MIL and APS staff totals’, provided to the Review by LTCOL N Fox on 22 August 2011.

[454] ‘110817 Broderick Review ADFA staffing levels by gender 2007 – 2011’, provided to the Review by LTCOL N Fox, 17 August 2011.

[455] ‘110817 Broderick Review ADFA staffing levels by gender 2007 – 2011’, provided to the Review by LTCOL N Fox, 17 August 2011.

[456] Department of Defence, Defence Census 2007 – Public Report (2009), p 6. At www.defence.gov.au/dpe/defencecensus/public_report_2007.pdf(viewed 23 August 2011).

[457] DSPPR, Australian Defence Force Academy Attitude Survey 2004 – Summation of Key Findings, DSPPR Brief 4/2004, Department of Defence (2004); DSPPR, Australian Defence Force Academy Attitude Survey 2005 – Main Report, DSPPR Research Report 30/2005, Department of Defence (2005); DSPPR, Australian Defence Force Academy Attitude Survey 2006 – Main Report, DSPPR Research Report 26/2006 Department of Defence (2006); DSPPR, Australian Defence Force Academy Attitude Survey 2007 – Main Report, DSPPR Report 20/2007, Department of Defence (2007); DSPPR, Australian Defence Force Academy Attitude Survey 2008 – Main Report, DSPPR Research Report 43/2008, Department of Defence (2008); DSPPR, Australian Defence Force Academy Attitude Survey 2009 – Main Report, DSPPR Research Report 37/2009 Department of Defence (2009).

[458] See note above.

[459] See note above.

[460] ‘110822 Broderick Review Task 34 ADFA MIL and APS staff totals’, provided to the Review by LTCOL N Fox, 22 August 2011.

[461] D Durrington in LTCOL N Fox, Email to Review, 23 August 2011.

[462] ‘110822 Broderick Review Task 34 ADFA MIL and APS staff totals’, provided to the Review by LTCOL N Fox, 22 August 2011.

[463] A Devlin, S Donovan, A Nicolov, O Nold, G Zandan, ‘Residence Hall Architecture and Sense of Community – Everything Old is New Again’ (2008) 40(4) Environment and Behaviour 492.

[464] Australian Defence Force Academy, Academy Cadets Mess, www.defence.gov.au/adfa/cadet_life/cadets_mess.html (viewed 22 August 2011).

[465] Australian Defence Force Academy, Academy Cadets Mess, www.defence.gov.au/adfa/cadet_life/cadets_mess.html (viewed 22 August 2011).

[466] Australian Defence Force Academy, The ADFA Campus, www.defence.gov.au/adfa/cadet_life/ADFA_campus.html (viewed 22 August 2011).