Mark Drummond Australian Human Rights Commission

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					                        Submissions for phase one:
                   Review into the Treatment of Women in the
                       Australian Defence Force Academy

Submission Number           19


Submitter’s Name            Mark Drummond




 Part B: Submission responding to the Terms of Reference


  You must address at least one of the Terms of Reference. We are keen to hear your
  personal experiences.

  Which term(s) of reference does your submission address? (eg. TOR A.1/ TOR B.4)


   A. The treatment of women at the Australian Defence Force Academy:
     1. the adequacy and appropriateness of measures to promote gender equality;
     2. the adequacy and appropriateness of measures to ensure women’s safety; and/or
     3. the adequacy and appropriateness of measures to address and prevent sexual
        harassment and abuse, and sex discrimination.


  It's clear that some impressive policy frameworks are now in place to promote gender
  equality and prevent sexual discrimination, harassment and abuse at the Australian
  Defence Force Academy (ADFA) and throughout the ADF. It also seems clear that the
  proportion of ADFA females experiencing harassment and abuse is much lower now in
  2011 than it was when I attended the Defence Academy from 1986 to 1988 as a
  Midshipman and from 1992 till 1996 as a Lieutenant teaching mathematics and
  studying mechanical engineering. I'd add that ADFA seemed much less anti-female
  from 1992-1996 than it was in 1986-88, and I understand that it became much less
  anti-female again following the appropriately strong actions taken following Bronwen
  Grey's comprehensive review of ADFA culture and practice in the mid to late 1990s.

  In 1988 I had a surreal set of experience as a fourth year Midshipman, living in ADFA's
  Officers' Mess, which began one night I was ADFA's out of hours Duty Officer checking
  the Officers' Mess bar takings for the night as a routine part of my duty. When
  checking the takings with the young female army soldier who worked serving at the bar
  that night, I couldn't help noticing a poster of a fully naked woman on the wall in the
                        Submissions for phase one:
                 Review into the Treatment of Women in the
                     Australian Defence Force Academy

area where this young lady worked this night and many other nights and days. So I
asked this young soldier something to the direct effect of, "would I be right in guessing
that you'd probably prefer you didn't have to work with this thing up on the wall in front
of you all the time?", to which she replied something like, "yes, I find it disgusting, and
wish it wasn't there". So what did I do? Well I should have just torn the damned thing
down and stuck it in the nearest bin. But silly me – optimistic and trusting, and aware
of the need to go through the chain of command, I raised my concerns about this
naked woman poster with this young female soldier's boss and was told that I should
put my request for the removal of the poster to the ADFA Officers' Mess President,
which I did, unsuccessfully as it turned out as the Mess President wrote back to me
rejecting my request to have the offending poster removed. Anyhow, I'd sincerely
hope that offensive posters would now in 2011 be prohibited from work areas inhabited
by females and males alike both at ADFA and throughout the ADF. That would be real
progress!

Experiences like my failed attempt to have this naked woman poster concern taken
seriously certainly damaged my respect for the military chain of command, due
processes, and the handling of serious ethical and equity type issues throughout my 14
year Navy career from 1985-1999, though the many proximate accounts I received of
females and males being sexually harassed and assaulted at ADFA in 1986 and 1987,
with little or nothing ever done by the responsible authorities about such seriously
criminal behaviour, were of course vastly more upsetting and undermining of my
respect for the ADF senior hierarchy's attention to matters of integrity, ethics, equity
and due process. I'll return to some further centrally relevant historical insights later in
my submission here.

Of the numerous media reports that have followed the ADFA Skype incident and
associated actions, some indicate that ADFA still has a long way to go, though my
strong belief is that the ADFA boarding school model – however good for some ADFA
entrants and graduates it may seem to be – is vastly inferior to other models that could
be used to produce high quality officers for an ADF the core mission of which is to work
with the Australian government and the Australian people at large to maximise
Australia's national security. For as long as ADFA exists in its current initial officer
training boarding school form, Defence will carry the risk of ownership of very young
people who in significant proportions are bound to do highly inapt and sometimes
seriously criminal things, with this ADFA Skype case being just the latest prominent
example and a rare case that wasn't covered up before the media got hold of it. Why
carry that risk of ownership of high risk youngsters when it would be so easy to adopt
the vastly superior option of recruiting more mature, psychologically settled and proven
university graduates off the shelf at a tiny fraction of the financial cost of ADFA?

An 18 June 2011 Canberra Times article titled 'ADFA's decade of sex claims', by
                       Submissions for phase one:
                 Review into the Treatment of Women in the
                     Australian Defence Force Academy

Edmund          Tadros         and         Markus          Mannheim          (online  at
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/local/news/general/adfas-decade-of-sex-
claims/2199398.aspx?storypage=0), begins by stating that: "Australia's military
university has filed at least 29 formal reports of alleged sexual offences over the past
decade, including claims a female cadet was king-hit and raped while unconscious.
But the records, obtained under freedom of information law, may represent a mere
fraction of all reported assaults at the Australian Defence Force Academy." This
extract speaks for itself, and I'd urge your review to obtain the documents referred to
here to ensure that it is aware of facts that are clearly relevant to your review.

A 29 June 2011 Daily Telegraph report titled 'Australian Defence Force Academy
'Skype sex' scandal cadet sues', by Ian McPhedran, includes the statement that "it is
understood [name removed], who has a family member in an elite defence role, has
the support of defence heirachy to continue his military career", and an extremely
accurate online comment by "Lisa of Brisbane" as follows (see at
www.news.com.au/national/adf-sex-scandal-cadet-sues/story-e6frfkvr-
1226083850490) in relation to this "support of defence heirachy to continue his military
career": " Just this statement shows why this organisation will never commit to real
change. Conduct unbecoming should be a fast ticket out no matter who your family
are".

Back to some essential history, I urge your review to closely examine two extremely
important dictionaries of cadet language covering the period 1983 to 1987 that
straddled across the commencement of ADFA at the start of 1986: (1) Bruce Moore's
1993 book titled 'A Lexicon of Cadet Language: Royal Military College, Duntroon in the
Period 1983 to 1985' (Australian National Dictionary Centre, Canberra), and (2) Bill
Cowham's equally significant late 1987 booklet titled 'Lego Lingo: The Cadet's
Language' (introduced by {individual’s name removed}, of ADFA's English Department
at the time) which covered ADFA's first two years 1986 and 1987. These documents
are both available in the ADFA and National Libraries, and both are just dripping with
evidence that extreme misogyny and depravity against females was close to the very
core of cadet culture both at ADFA in its early years of 1986 and 1987, and also at
Duntroon – which ADFA took over from in 1986 for army cadets – in the years 1983-85
just prior to the commencement of ADFA. This depraved anti-female culture wasn't
followed by all male cadets, but it was certainly followed by a large enough fraction of
male cadets to constitute a dominant deviant sub-culture that could never validly be
considered isolated nor in any sense befitting of officers in the ADF, or ADF personnel
of any rank.

See especially the definitions of women on pages 433 and 434 of Bruce Moore's book,
and in Bill Cowham's booklet please note that a very large fraction of the words defined
are strongly anti-female. See, for example, as follows from {individual’s name
                        Submissions for phase one:
                 Review into the Treatment of Women in the
                     Australian Defence Force Academy

removed} and Bill Cowham:

* "At some stage later, when the hangovers had cleared, I told Bill that I thought the
recording of Duntroon/ADFA folk culture – slang, stories, traditions, customs etc. – was
a matter of urgent national importance, more important even than Chemistry. With the
integration of the three services, the culture which Bill had experienced as a Fourthie
[i.e. first year cadet] at Duntroon would change rapidly, and much would probably be
lost for ever. So male-centred a culture would be further transformed by the presence
of female cadets at ADFA. There was no time to lose if a significant part of Australia's
cultural heritage was to be saved for posterity. ... jargon is the specialised language of
sub-cultures" ... ({individual’s name removed}, in Cowham 1987, page xv)

* "Here, as elsewhere, language reflects the conditions of the cadets' life. Nor should it
come as a shock that many such expressions, reflecting a male dominated community,
should fall into a class which might be denounced as male chauvinist or sexist. Quite
correctly, Bill makes no apology for the inclusion of such words. They are an integral
part of Legoland culture, and to censor them out would give a "cleaned-up" and thus
distorted picture. The language recorded here represents a male view of women; in
the future, as their number increases, it is likely that the female cadets will evolve a
vocabulary which expresses their view of men. We are fortunate to live in an age
where frankness has routed prudery and pretence; nobody should take offence at
attempts to describe the ways things are." ({Individual’s name removed}, in Cowham
1987, page xviii)

* JUMP UP A person who arrives at the Academy who is given advanced standing
because they've done a year at a civvy uni. A jump up gets all the privileges of second
year without any of the hardships of being a FOURTHY [i.e. a first year], so they have
to be very diplomatic if they don't want to be rejected by both years." (Cowham 1987,
page 12)

* "SQUID A term for female cadets. Called squids because they're flabby, they smell
of fish, are easy to get into, enfold you with their tentacles and squeeze the moral life
out of you. If a female cadet is called a squid in passing, she should not take offence,
however if she is referred to as a "Dirty fucking squid" then she should get the hint that
she's not liked." (Cowham, page 19)

* "SQUIDWOMAN The sworn enemy of KAPTAIN KORDIE, Squidwoman is the
creature that threatens to morally destroy the Corps. So great was the danger of her
succeeding in 1986, that KK had to come back from the Middle East to save the
situation, and look what happened in the Middle East since then." (Cowham, page 20)

In two 2006 emails to the then Chief of the Navy and Chief of the Defence Force, and
                         Submissions for phase one:
                  Review into the Treatment of Women in the
                      Australian Defence Force Academy

the office of a politician who took military justice seriously, I attempted to describe the
reality reflected by Bill Cowham's definitions of "SQUID" and "SQUIDWOMAN" as
above, as follows, as an immune response analogy:

* "... Bruce Moore's 1993 book titled 'A Lexicon of Cadet Language' and a 1987
document titled 'LegoLingo' ... lay bare the extraordinary extent of misogyny and the
manner in which females were seen as invaders of an all-male domain who called for a
massive response akin to an immune system response to an invading toxin etc." (email
dated 16 May 2006)

* "Note especially the references to "jump up", "squid", "squidwoman" and "Kaptain
Kordie" in Bill Cowham's LegoLingo document here. ... Of towering significance is the
fact that [names removed] received a doubly concentrated amount of adversarial
attention ... on account of being BOTH a "squid" (i.e. female intruder into all male
domain - which generated an "immune response" type reaction, etc. etc.) AND "a jump
up". (email dated 22 June 2006)

These key documents by Moore and Cowham, and the manner in which history has
repeated itself all too often in relation to military justice failings, show that the question
of "where are they now" must always be considered relevant to reviews like the one
being conducted here. Where, now, are the misogynists, and those who have sexually
harassed and assaulted, going back many years? How many are still serving within
the ADF, and how much influence do they continue to exert within the ADF in relation
to matters of gender, ethics, honesty, procedural due process, group cohesion,
propensity to cover things up, and so on?

{Individual’s name removed}, a Flinders University sociologist who served for several
years as a solider in the Australian Army, supports the immune response theory
touched on above by describing females as at best "guests" in what is still, according
to {individual’s name removed}, a male-dominated military culture.

I urge your review to take very seriously the significant historical insights, cultural
perspectives and reform efforts provided by Bruce Moore, Bill Cowham, Bronwen Grey
and {individual’s name removed}, as above, and many others who've also tried very
hard to bring uncomfortable truths out into the open and bring about long overdue
reforms against extremely stern covering up and denying resistance.

As a final point, one could only say that females are being treated properly at ADFA
and in the ADF generally when all females are being treated properly irrespective of
their status in terms of ethnicity, religion, sexuality and otherwise, including and
extending beyond standard bases for human rights and anti-discrimination laws and
policies. Accordingly, I strongly urge your review to specifically investigate current
                        Submissions for phase one:
                 Review into the Treatment of Women in the
                     Australian Defence Force Academy

policies and practices designed to protect and support minorities among females (and
males), such as those falling within the full range of categories of ethnicity, religion,
sexuality, and so on. Many ADFA entrants have attended schools run by religious
organisations which are exempt from anti-discrimination laws, including on grounds of
gender, religion and sexuality, and the ADF needs to be mindful of the psychological,
sociological and operational implications of such influences at the levels of individuals,
groups, ADF units, the whole of the ADF, the ADF-civil society interface, and foreign
and global affairs involving the ADF. To be fair to the ADF, and optimistic moving
forward, it's clear to me that the ADF is well ahead of at least some other powerful
institutions in terms of opening up positions of leadership to females, and at least trying
to eliminate anti-female bias and discrimination and other forms of bias and
discrimination through its policies and practices.

B. The adequacy and effectiveness of existing initiatives and approaches at the Australian
     Defence Force Academy to drive cultural change in the treatment of women in
     relation to:
   1.   training;
   2.   education;
   3.   mentoring; and/or
   4.   development.


Please see submission for TOR A above, consider relevant to TOR B also here.

				
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