DEFENCE LIVES MATTER
Let's build a more fair and robust ADF workplace together.
Several policy inequities are identified in the existing Defence (Inquiry) Regulations 2018 policy that have the potential to expose ADF Commanders to the risk of making procedurally unfair decisions.
We encourage minor policy reforms, in good faith, to ensure ADF members have realistic opportunities to resolve their complaint in the workplace, to advance towards a fairer, more just and mentally robust workplace.
Kerry Danes, CSM
"I served 42 years in the Australian Defence Force (ADF), predominately with the Australian Special Forces, and obtained the rank of Warrant Officer Class One. Throughout my service, I have stood beside a number of my colleagues who were subjected to inequitable treatment that resulted in significant detriment to their career, reputation and mental health. The mistreatment of ADF personnel must stop! We need reforms that include a reparation policy that: acknowledges violations that were committed against an 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."
Dr Kay Danes OAM
"I think a critical element that is missing from the current discourse is the impact that defective administration also has on ADF members, prior to discharge. As the research reflects, many ADF members have been subjected to significant professional employment failures during service, that have caused them irrevocable reputational harm. The risk of suicide and self harm is not just a consequence of war. It is now commonly accepted, in research, that there is a link between institutional abuse and abnormal suicide risk among this cohort."
Kay earned her PhD with the School of Law and Justice at Southern Cross University, and has a Masters in Human Rights, with High Distinctions, at Curtin University.
Opinion Paper 18 October 2021
'Defence Maladministration destroys ADF lives and reputations.'
Conference Paper 23 September 2021
'Pleading Positive Reform: An analysis of suicide risk, self-harm, and reputational peril impacting serving Australian Defence Force (ADF) members.'
Other Relevant Publications
Danes, Kay. 2021. 'Stand Tall for ADF PTS Reforms.'
Danes, Kay. 2020. 'How dare the ADF Leadership tarnish our 1st Commando Regiment.'
Danes, Kay. 2020. 'Defence Lives Matter... call for Senate Inquiry' CLArion.
Danes, Kay. 2019. ‘Army ‘Regs’ lead to institutional abuse by Defence’ CLArion.
Danes, Kay. 2018. ‘Command Failings that are defence-less’ CLArion.
Danes, Kay. 2016. ‘The Moral Ethic of ADF Employment Rights,’ CLArion.
Ever Suffered a Career Detriment in the ADF?
Have you suffered a career detriment during ADF service where someone failed to uphold Defence policies and procedures, which resulted in significant professional harm to you?
Have you been involved in matters where you were called either as a witness, or called to show cause in relation to a complaint or incident, and as a consequence you were punished?
If you answered YES to either of these two questions, then we invite you to tell us your story. We are currently collecting information to press for Defence policy reforms.
The nature of your complaint needs to be articulated concisely:
Your current employment status (serving, reserves, ex-serving ADF personnel),
A brief synopsis of your complaint and any relevant violation of regulations/legislation,
What level your complaint reached (e.g., CDF, IGADF, Ombudsman, Minister, Information Commissioner etc.),
The achieved outcome or resolution.
Description of the outcome you wanted to achieve.
19 February 2021
Academics, experts and practitioners from across Australia will come together in March to look at suicide prevention and mental health through a two-day symposium in Canberra, themed ‘Prevention Through Understanding'.
Download the Full Symposium Program (Here)
Submission by Dr Kay Danes OAM
This discussion focuses on two key areas from a policy risk perspective: to examine the perceived inequities of already established dispute resolution policies that are to provide ADF members access to a fair, just, and inclusive workplace; and to explore the potential for exposure to suicide risk, self-harm, and reputational peril for those who seek to redress a grievance through their Chain of Command.
Suppose we are intent on achieving that aim. In that case, we must explore the inequities in policies failing to evolve with contemporary narratives of how everyone should think about their work and behaviour towards others. Supposing we do not consider the impact these inequities have on our ADF members professional reputations and mental health? In that case, ADF members will likely continue to carry unresolved grievances into life beyond service, assuming they do not suicide.
Submission by Dr Kay Danes OAM