Defence leadership support ongoing participation in Mardi Gras

Secretary Mr Greg Moriarty has confirmed ongoing Defence participation in Sydney Mardi Gras

Chief of Defence Force, General Angus Campbell and Defence Secretary, Mr Greg Moriarty have reaffirmed Defence Values and supported the continuation of Mardi Gras participation in a Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee hearing.

The Defence senior leadership team were questioned by Senator Janet Rice in relation to recent reporting regarding LGBTI days of significance.

“I am focused on encouraging and seeking to model and ask others to model the values that drive a high-performing organisation.” said Campbell.

Senator Rice requested confirmation about whether LGBTI people in Defence will be encouraged and supported to march in Mardi Gras.

“I understand that Defence will continue to participate in the Mardi Gras. We’ve participated in a similar way to other organisations such as the Australian Federal Police,” said Moriarty.

When asked whether Defence assessed how much LGBTI personnel valued days of significance and Mardi Gras participation, Mr Moriarty opened dialogue with the diverse sex, sexuality and gender community.

“We obviously appreciate feedback from our community,” said Moriarty.

The Chief of Defence Force General Angus Campbell expressed that Defence Values should be lived daily, in an inclusive way by people within the Department.

“I think that it’s about living your values every day and of course there are moments of achievement or celebration or recognition in a variety of ways, but it’s all our people, every day; each of them living those values.” said Campbell.

“And when we get it right, it’s an extraordinary organisation; when we get it wrong, we have work to do to improve.”

General Campbell turned the focus of inclusion in the ADF towards developing people and teams.

“I think that we focus on trying to develop all our people, and our teams, and to do it every day,” said Campbell.

The Senate committee hearing followed the launch of the DEFGLIS #standproud campaign over the weekend. In the DEFGLIS #standproud campaign launch statement, DEFGLIS spokesperson Dr Joe Monteith said that high-performing teams were a product of diverse workforces.

“The military planning process thrives on diverse perspectives. The contest of ideas requires a melting pot of viewpoints that is constantly being tested against a diverse array of perspectives,” said Monteith.

The #standproud campaign seeks to shine a spotlight on diversity in Defence, and promote visible inclusion within the department.

“The visibility of diverse communities strengthens Defence capability by building stronger and more cohesive teams. When it comes to protecting Australia’s national security interests, the most talented war-fighters are stronger together,” said Monteith.

Early this year, the Defence Values were unveiled publicly by the Defence contingent at the 2021 Sydney Mardi Gras Parade. Officer-in-charge of Parade, Squadron Leader Nathan White said Defence was invited deliver a creative concept in the middle of the Sydney Cricket Ground.

“We came up with a concept which enabled Defence to express the way we value our people; and also acknowledge and highlight all of the strengths of the Australian Defence Force and Department throughout 2020 in Bushfire Assistance and COVID-19 assistance,” said White.

White led a COVID-safe entry of 40 personnel with a series of flags that showed the Defence Values, and demonstrated the work of ADF members supporting the Australian community. The Defence Department’s 2021 Mardi Gras entry description demonstrated strong commitment to values-based inclusion.

“The Defence Department is proud to rise to the challenge of supporting Australia. Our leaders are committed to creating a Defence Force that is strong, diverse and inclusive. Our people make incredible contributions to Australia through bushfire assistance, COVID-19 support, and strong support for all people in Defence. Our values are shared, and the foundation of what makes us strong – Service, Courage, Respect, Integrity and Excellence. These are our leaders, our people, our values.”

Image courtesy of Department of Defence subject to Copyright