DEFENCE LIVES MATTER

Many Australian Defence Force members have been subjected to professional employment failures during service, causing them irrevocable reputational HARM and mental trauma. 

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Petition EN2256 - Apply ADF Policy Reforms to include corrective action

Petition Status

The petition has been presented to the House

Petition Reason

Reforms to the Redress of Grievance and Defence inquiry processes are urgently needed. Currently they are seriously flawed, and often result in significant mental trauma and reputational harm to serving ADF members. Defence Inquiries are not bound by rules of evidence or legal technicalities. Witnesses can and do provide false testimony that is then protected by legal privilege. Defence Inquiry officers are not constrained by the fundamental concepts of justice and equality. Most are not legally trained and some have only ever undertaken four days of non-mandatory training in how to conduct an inquiry. These processes are supposed to be timely but most cases drag on for years, prolonging the mental trauma to the ADF member. Their anxiety is compounded by feeling victimised. Those who succeed in arguing their case, find their situation unchanged because too much time has passed and there is no policy for corrective action. ADF members will carry unresolved grievances into life beyond service which will impact the Government's efforts to realistically reduce the number of suicides currently plaguing the ADF veteran community.

Petition Request

We therefore ask the House to support changes to the Defence (Inquiry) Regulations 2018 so that Defence Inquiries are subject to legal technicalities, rules of evidence, principles of open justice and common law; Defence Inquiry officers undertake legal training; witness testimony taken under oath/affirmation; introduce an appeal process outside the Chain of Command and corrective action policy to ensure procedural fairness, and access to genuine mediation for ADF members to resolve workplace complaints.

Signature count:3015

Closing date for signatures:10 February 2021 11:59 PM (AEST) (Closed)

What are Professional Employment Failures? 

Discrimination  |  Bullying  & Harassment  |  Unacceptable Behaviour  |  Sexual Abuse  | Maladministration  | Defective  Administration  

We called upon the ADF to reform some of its practices, in order to help ADF commanders improve current best practice within the ADF, and to help maintain good relations in the ranks, by dealing with workplace complaints at an early stage, and through genuine mediation.

HISTORICALLY IMPORTANT REFORM TO THE ADF WORKPLACE

 

WHY WE CALLED FOR REFORMS?

Reforms to the Redress of Grievance and Defence inquiry processes are urgently needed. Currently they are seriously flawed, and often result in significant professional employment failures that create mental trauma and reputational harm to serving ADF members.

 

If WORKPLACE REFORMS are not addressed then Australian Defence Force (ADF) members will continue to carry unresolved grievances into life beyond service. This impacts efforts to realistically reduce  LEGAL redress claims, SUICIDE risk and SELF-HARM, currently plaguing the ADF veteran community.

WHAT WE ASKED FOR?

  1. for changes to the Defence (Inquiry) Regulations 2018 so that Defence Inquiries are subject to legal  technicalities, rules of evidence, principles of open justice and common law;

  2. that Defence Inquiry officers undertake legal training;

  3. that witness testimony is taken under oath/affirmation;

  4. for an introduction to an appeal process outside the Chain of Command;

  5. for access to genuine mediation for ADF members to resolve workplace complaints,  

  6. for a corrective action policy to be put in place to ensure procedural fairness; and 

  7. for a reparation policy to include: acknowledgement that violations were committed against the ADF member, to repair the damage done by these violations, and to identify the root causes of the violations to prevent them from occurring again in the future.

It is time to do better... to mitigate the risk of suicide and self-harm, and professional employment failures!

Retain the Meritorious Unit Citation awarded to Task Force 66 (SOTG IV-XX) 26th of Jan 15

 

The Chief of the Defence Force (CDF) has recommended to the Governor General of Australia (GG) to revoke the Meritorious Unit Citation (MUC) in support of the Inspector General Australian Defence Force (IGADF) Afghanistan Inquiry.  This recommendation can not be made without a 'conviction'. The GG has the Constitutional Power to deny this recommendation; reference, Australian Defence Medal Regulations 8A(2)(a). This recommendation unjustly dis-embellishes all members awarded the MUC causing immense mental anguish as vast majority of honourable Defence personnel are treated as if guilty. 

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I created this petition to ask that the Governor General of Australia protect the rights and reputation of the thousands of members of the multiple SOTG rotations who gave Meritorious service to our Nation.

These brave men and women were being punished as a collective by military Commanders who created a false narrative around their service. The majority of ADF personnel who deployed on those “multiple” rotations served with great distinction and honour.

I believed it was a flawed decision to strip the MUC and clearly Defence Minister Peter Dutton agrees. 

June 9, 2021: Defence Minister Peter Dutton overruled senior officials by allowing special forces troops to keep their meritorious unit citations from Afghanistan despite credible allegations of war crimes.  (Read Article)

Story telling is important to our nation. As Australians, we do this through our honours and awards system. We award medals to athletes to celebrate their sporting achievements and to those who have excelled in academia and community service. We award bravery medals to everyday citizens who risk their lives for others. We honour Defence families with a remembrance pin. Yes, we also award medals, citations, clasps and commendations to Australian Defence Members & First Responders.

 

These tell the story of where they served and for how long. But of those Killed-In-Service both overseas and at home, in response to emergencies, conflict and disaster, we do not officially personalise their sacrifice or conclude their record of service.

 

All ADF personnel wounded, injured or killed in service, deserve recognition for their service and their death. May they Rest In Peace.

Acknowledging their Personal Sacrifice is the Right thing to do! 

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Got our petition officially approved. We are driving all the traffic to our good mates over at Forsaken Fighters Australia Inc. We are collaborating to help generate as much support as we can for an endangered group of Afghan people.

https://www.aph.gov.au/e-petitions/petition/EN2764

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