We get the term regimented from the military, and it’s no secret the Australian Defence Force has one of the most ingrained, change-resistant cultures of any organisation.
So it was startling yesterday to hear the chief of the ADF David Hurley talking about the “intensely personal” experience of undergoing a review by Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick, and the need for “the spirit” of her recommendations about the place of women in the military to be implemented.
While Hurley and Defence Minister Stephen Smith were yesterday all embracing of a new “core value” for our military being the “equal treatment of women”, Broderick has gone much further than “equal treatment” and specifically called for in some cases special treatment.
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It’s a pretty special set of circumstances when a tax-payer-funded body releases a series of reviews exposing decades of cultural problems, including 775 allegations of sexual assault, and the Minister is the one facing questions over why he won’t apologise for standing down one of the people in charge.
Last night on the ABC’s 7.30 Defence Minister Stephen Smith was asked in numerous ways why he wouldn’t apologise to Australian Defence Academy Commandant Bruce Kafer, who has been reinstated this week, 11 months after being stood down over the so called “Skype” scandal.
When the scandal broke, involving an 18-year-old woman cadet being filmed without her consent having sex, and the vision broadcast via the internet to some of her classmates, Smith went in pretty hard and fast.
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