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We encourage policy reforms to accord ADF members realistic opportunities to resolve their grievances and advance towards a fairer, more just and mentally robust workplace. 

Update 23 Nov 2023 - IGADF Twenty Year Review
by Dr Kay Danes OAM

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On 21 November 2023, I took the opportunity to submit my insights and recommendations to the Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force (IGADF) Twenty Year Review. This important review presents a significant opportunity to advocate for much-needed reforms in the ADF workplace. As someone deeply invested in the well-being and success of our ADF members, I have passionately highlighted the pressing need to safeguard their professional status and reputation, as well as their mental health. 

In my submission, I have put forth a comprehensive set of recommendations aimed at addressing the existing challenges and concerns faced by ADF members and veterans [and their families].

One of the key issues I have addressed is the inherent flaws in the current system of arbitration that is applied to ADF grievances. It is widely acknowledged that this system not only fails to effectively resolve grievances but also exacerbates the situation by generating even more grievances. This vicious cycle not only affects the mental health and well-being of ADF members but also has the potential to impact their families who provide them with unwavering support. By shedding light on these critical issues, I hope to ignite a meaningful conversation and spark the necessary changes in the ADF workplace. It is essential that we establish a fair and effective mechanism for addressing grievances that not only provides resolution but also promotes mental well-being and fosters a supportive environment for our ADF members and veterans. Only through such reforms can we truly honor their dedication and service. 

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Personal Submission to The Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide. “Reflections: an oversight entity to promote the wellbeing of ADF serving members, veterans and families.”

"Often overlooked is the fact that many ADF members have been subjected to significant professional employment failures during service that has caused them irrevocable reputational harm. The risk of suicide and self harm is not just a consequence of war. It is now commonly accepted that there is a link between institutional abuse and abnormal suicide risk among serving members."

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. 

As the Former President of Army Families (WA) Inc, a Member of SASR Ladies Auxiliary, and the Former President of the 1st Commando Regiment Auxiliary, Dr. Danes has exhibited exemplary leadership within military communities. Dr. Danes’ key governance and policy reform recommendations have informed numerous welfare initiatives for Defence families. She has advocated on a national ‘Uniform Justice Campaign’ to support survivors of military sexual assault and helped develop in-house training programs for Defence personnel deploying on operations overseas. Her ongoing contributions to Defence Inquiry Reviews, Royal and Interim Commissions, and Senate inquiries demonstrate a positive engagement aimed at advocating policy reforms. Dr. Danes strives to build a fairer and more robust workplace for serving Defence personnel, addressing issues affecting Veterans and their families.

Resolute Ready International Ambassador (Click here)

Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide 

Proposed new entity to promote the wellbeing of Defence members and veterans

Interim National Commissioner for Defence and Veteran Suicide Prevention 

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On 15 September 2021, the interim National Commissioner for Defence and Veteran Suicide Prevention, Dr Bernadette Boss CSC, handed her report to Government detailing the findings from her Independent Review of Past Defence and Veteran Suicides. The report was tabled in Parliament on 29 September 2021.

Dr Bernadette Boss, 2021, 'Preliminary Interim Report', Interim National Commission for Defence and Veteran Suicide Prevention, Commonwealth of Australia.

List of Recommendations made by Dr Bernadette Boss (Click here)

Australian first – public defence and veteran suicide prevention symposium

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)

Relevant Publications

Danes, Kay (2023) “Reflections: an oversight entity to promote the wellbeing of ADF serving members, veterans and families.” Personal Submission. 10 DEC 2023.

Danes, Kay (2023) 'A Conflict Resilient Workplace: Transformative best practice in the Australian Defence Force workplace.’ (Submission to the Inspector‐General of the Australian Defence Force (IGADF) Twenty Year Review | 21 Nov 2023)

Coleman, Nikki (2023) “Moral Courage: When the ‘Line in the Sand’ Demands a Response.” The International Journal of Ethical Leadership: Vol. 10, Article 4.

Tory Shepherd (2023), "ADF leadership ‘protected’ air force chaplain’s abuser, royal commission hears." The Guardian. 

Danes, Kay (2021) 'Pleading Positive Reform: An analysis of suicide risk, self-harm and reputational peril impacting serving ADF members.' 


Danes, Kay. 2021. 'Stand Tall for ADF PTS Reforms.'

Kolomeitz, Glenn and Grierson, Doug (2021). 'DEFENCE LEGISLATION AMENDMENT (DISCIPLINE REFORM) BILL 2021

Danes, Kay (2020) 'How dare the ADF Leadership tarnish our 1st Commando Regiment.' 

Danes, Kay (2020) 'Defence Lives Matter... call for Senate Inquiry' CLArion.

Hanscombe, John, (2020) ‘Gerroa lawyer Glenn Kolomeitz blasts Defence culture in wake of war crimes report.’

Kolomeitz, Glenn and Rorris, Arthur, (2020) ‘A fish rots from the head: why is ADF top brass still here?’

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.

Dollisson, Trish (2013). 'Work Shouldn't Hurt!'

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