This report presents the most comprehensive review of the treatment of women in the Australian Defence Force ever undertaken, and makes 21 recommendations.
The Terms of Reference were developed by the Australian Human Rights Commission after consultation with the Australian Defence Force (ADF). The Terms of Reference requested the Review Panel, led by the Sex Discrimination Commissioner, to review, report and make recommendations on:
a) The treatment of women at the Australian Defence Force Academy with a particular focus on the adequacy and appropriateness of measures to: promote gender equality, ensure women’s safety, and to address and prevent sexual harassment and abuse, and sex discrimination.
b) Initiatives required to drive cultural change in the treatment of women at the Australian Defence Force Academy, including the adequacy and effectiveness of existing initiatives and of approaches to training, education, mentoring and development.
c) The effectiveness of the cultural change strategies recommended by the Chief of the Defence Force Women’s Reference Group in the Women’s Action Plan including the implementation of these strategies across the Australian Defence Force.
d) Measures and initiatives required to improve the pathways for increased representation of women into the senior ranks and leadership of the Australian Defence Force. e) Any other matters the Panel considers appropriate that are incidental to the above terms of reference.
Additionally, 12 months after the release of the Panel’s report (the Report), the Terms of Reference require a further independent Report to be prepared which:
• audits the implementation of the recommendations in the Panel’s Report by the Australian Defence Force Academy and the Australian Defence Force more broadly
• makes any further recommendations necessary to advance the treatment of women at the Australian Defence Force Academy and in the Australian Defence Force.
The Panel was asked to consult widely in conducting the Review.
In preparing the Report the Panel may have regard to the evidence and available outcomes of the additional reviews announced by the Minister for Defence in April 2011.
The Panel may release interim reports addressing different elements of the terms of reference ahead of the completion of the Report.
The Review has been divided into two Phases. Phase One previously addressed objectives (a) and (b) in the Terms of Reference and Phase Two addresses objectives (c) to (e).
This Report addresses Phase Two.