Chapter 10: Minimising Risk, Managing Incidents and Ensuring the Safety of the Workplace (Recommendations 22-31)

10.1 Education

Key findings of Review

  • ADFA provided undergraduates with limited education about healthy and respectful relationships, issues regarding consent, the meaning and appropriateness of sexist language and behaviour, and issues regarding controlling and threatening behaviour.
  • The 2011 Unacceptable Behaviour Survey indicated that incidents of inappropriate conduct and inappropriate attitudes towards women were present at ADFA.
  • An education program, run by an external expert in gender relations, sexual ethics, and healthy and respectful relationships, could be an effective primary prevention tool against unacceptable behaviour and sexual misconduct.
  • Training on complaint policies and procedures should be tailored to the different roles, skills and level of responsibility of different groups within ADFA.

The Review made two recommendations about training and education.

In summary, the findings of the Audit indicate that:

  • Progress on designing and implementing a sexual ethics and healthy relationships training package has been slow and an integrated, expert program was not in place in 2012.
  • The program taught in 2012 did not meet the intent of the Recommendation.
  • The design of the 2013 sexual ethics program looks promising, but as at March 2013 the Audit has not been provided with any course materials to assess.
  • ADFA plans to deliver the sexual ethics program internally, without the assistance of an external expert facilitator.
  • ADFA has reformed its complaints reporting response and management training, and focussed different modules at different parts of the undergraduate population.
  • Complaints training remains part of ‘equity and diversity’ training, and a separation of these areas could provide numerous benefits (see Recommendation 7).
  • The number of complaints made in 2012 and 2013 has increased, but there is still a stigma attached to using the equity adviser system.
  • Ongoing training and evaluation on making complaints is needed to ensure that complaints processes are effective.

The Audit’s findings in respect of each recommendation follow.

Recommendation 22: ADFA, in collaboration with an expert educator, provide cadets with interactive education on:

  1. respectful and healthy relationships, and sexual ethics
  2. the meaning, inappropriateness and impact of sexist language and sexual harassment
  3. the meaning of consent
  4. the appropriate use of technology
  5. stalking, controlling and threatening behaviours

and evaluate the effectiveness of this education every two years with an external evaluator and assess it against key indicators that measure attitudinal and behaviour change.

 

Intent of Recommendation

Issues surrounding gender relations, sexual ethics, consent, sexist language and behaviour, and controlling and threatening behaviour are not well understood in parts of the undergraduate population. Interactive, expert training would be an effective primary prevention tool against unacceptable behaviour and sexual misconduct, and aid in the development of a more mature understanding of sexual ethics.

Implementation actions

In 2011 and 2012, ADFA and the RIT examined options for the design, development, delivery, evaluation and refining of a sexual ethics program. They concluded that ADFA did not have the in-house expertise to deliver this program, and identified Professor Moira Carmody, an interdisciplinary scholar of education in the areas of gender, sexuality and sexual ethics, as the most appropriate person to undertake this task.1

The development process started promisingly. The RIT identified that:

‘[t]he introduction of a Sexual Ethics Program is a high priority. It is a critical element in the ADF’s response to the Review, and one of the key elements by which the ADF will be held publicly accountable by the Minister of Defence.’2

ADFA and the RIT also consulted widely, corresponding with (or studying the work of) Professor Carmody, Canberra Rape Crisis Centre, Sexual Health and Family Planning ACT, Sexual Assault and Prevention Response (US Department of Defense) training, AHRC bystander approaches, National Association of Services Against Sexual Violence, Defence LGBTI information service organisation and various ADFA and Defence educators.3

However, after several months of negotiation and development, outstanding cost and intellectual property issues remained, and the prospective partnership between ADFA and Professor Carmody was abandoned on 24 April 2012.4

ADFA concurrently contracted Dr Patricia Weerakoon, former director of Sexual Health at the University of Sydney, to deliver a two-hour ‘sexual ethics’ lecture to first years in 2012. Dr Weerakoon’s session formed part of an interim program developed by ADFA entitled Healthy Relationships and Sexual Ethics. The 2012 interim package included the following modules:

  • Sexual ethics (first years, two-hours)
  • Human behaviour (motivation and coping, first years, 50 minutes)
  • Confident communication (communication, negotiation etc, first years, 100 minutes)
  • Unhealthy attractions (identifying problem behaviours, all years, 50 minutes)
  • Barriers to care (third years, 50 minutes)
  • Battlesmart (performing under stress, first years, 100 minutes)
  • Keep your mates safe (alcohol risk minimisation, first years, 150 minutes).5

In October 2012 ADFA staff met with Sexual Health and Family Planning ACT (SHFPACT) staff with a view to developing a sexual ethics program for 2013. SHFPACT provided information on their five day course, which ADFA has been modifying into a shorter program.6 An outline of prospective courses and modules was provided to the Audit in December 2012, and is reproduced below:

  • Explain sex and the law
    • Explain the biology of sex
    • Explain the legal context of sex (consent, sexual offences, sexual harassment)
    • Explain sex & law regarding technology (sexting, capture and transmission of sexual images, cybersex)
  • Demonstrate respect in personal and professional relationships
    • Define self-respect, peer respect, organisational respect and respect within interpersonal relationship (sexual and non-sexual)
    • Demonstrate interpersonal communications (negotiation of sexual consent, understand meaning and impact of sexist language and sexual harassment)
    • Understand unhealthy relationships including fatal attractions, stalking
    • Understand relationship dynamics
    • Understand peer group influence
      • Explain the characteristics of a respectful relationship
  • Apply bystander ethics
    • Understand who is a bystander
    • Understand why you should act as a bystander
    • Understand when you should act as a bystander
      • Understand how you should act as a bystander
  • Act in a sexually ethical manner
    • Define ethics
    • Define sexual ethics
    • Explain ethical relationships
    • Understand how to negotiate sexual consent.7

At the completion of the Audit no course or module outlines for any of these items had been received, and they appear to still be in design phase. The Audit understands however that the intention is to deliver the courses using in-house ADFA resources.

With specific regard to Recommendation 22d) (‘the appropriate use of technology’), in addition to the module above that will aim to ‘explain sex & law regarding technology’, ADFA has engaged the AFP to provide ‘Social Media and Reputation Management’ training to all undergraduates in 2013.8 It has also developed a social media decision tree that has been placed around ADFA and provided to all first year undergraduates as part of their individual leadership journals.9

In addition to the programs developed in 2012 and 2013, ADFA continues to run some healthy lifestyles and equity and diversity briefs that are related to this Recommendation. These will be briefly examined at the end of the Audit findings below.

Audit findings

Progress in implementing a response to this Recommendation has been slow. The sexual ethics package delivered in 2012 was limited in scope, and its ad hoc nature meant that it was not a carefully designed and integrated package that addressed the intent of Recommendation 22. The 2013 package looks more promising, but it is not yet complete. There are outstanding questions about its content and delivery.

The Audit considers that a robust sexual ethics training program, as envisaged by the Review’s Recommendation, is critical to accelerating progress towards a healthy, inclusive and respectful culture at ADFA. The development and delivery of such a package must be a priority for ADFA.

The 2012 program was a combination of new modules that addressed parts of the Recommendation (e.g. ‘sexual ethics’ and ‘unhealthy attractions’) and other continuing modules with more of a broad pastoral aim (e.g. ‘confident communication’ and ‘battlesmart’).

Dr Weerakoon’s sexual ethics lecture covered the topics:

  • ‘What is sex?
  • Why do we have sex? and
  • What is good and bad sex?’10

Such a lecture may provide a starting point for education in the area, but would not of itself meet the intent of the Recommendation.

There were mixed reactions from undergraduates and staff about the 2012 sexual ethics lecture. The lectures were interactive, and undergraduates were encouraged to text questions and comments to the facilitator. Some spoke positively about this, but others felt that the way this lecture played out made light of an important topic. One undergraduate said that:

I think they should have been a bit more serious. A lot of the material affected me and a few others and it’s just hard when you’re sitting in that class and a lot of people laugh about stuff that you don’t find funny at all. That’s just really hard to take. People have to realise that there’s certain material that isn’t funny and should be presented a lot more seriously than it was.11

This view was reinforced by several staff members who attended these lectures. One told the Audit that the mode of interaction gave undergraduates:

the opportunity to be anonymous and crass, and as 17 and 18 year olds will they took that opportunity, and it detracted enormously from the value of the presentation.12

Another said that the interaction was ‘a bit of a free for all [because] they could write whatever they wanted and they got a bit stupid.’13

The ‘unhealthy attractions’ lecture was provided to all years and sought to:

provide an understanding of how obsessive interpersonal attraction develops, how to identify problem behaviours and how to intervene to prevent this behaviour becoming worse.14

Responses about the ‘unhealthy attractions’ presentation were generally positive.15

The reactions noted above highlight the need for a well-designed, integrated, and expertly delivered program in this important area. Unfortunately, the Audit cannot comment on whether the 2013 ‘sexual ethics’ program meets these needs, as it did not receive module materials or have the opportunity to attend any presentations prior to the completion of the Audit.

The Audit has received the 2013 program outline (noted above) which appears sound, but questions remain about the scope and content that will be delivered, and who the facilitators of the modules will be.16

The Audit understands that the package will be delivered by a combination of chaplains, equity and diversity staff, psychologists, Divisional officers and squadron commanders,17 however the ADFA Report called for the program to be delivered by ‘an external expert in gender relations, sexual ethics and healthy and respectful relationships, in collaboration with ADFA.’18 The Audit heard that, in part, the need to deliver the package with internal staff is due to logistical issues – that is, facilitating many sessions over a period of time to fit in with AMET and university commitments. However, sexual ethics training must be a priority. The Audit appreciates the timetabling constraints at ADFA however sexual ethics is a very sensitive and sometimes confronting topic. A high degree of expertise and sensitivity is required to address the issues, and possibly disclosures, which can emerge during or after these sessions.

There remain questions about how well the ADFA staff tasked with delivering these modules will satisfy the Recommendation for an ‘expert educator’, and how approachable they will be for undergraduates dealing with sensitive matters. However, the Audit acknowledges that the 2012 program, delivered by a civilian, encountered issues of discipline, which may have been on account of its administration by an ‘outsider’.

Various other modules (newly developed and pre-existing) can also play a part in addressing Recommendation 22.

For example, ADFA has begun delivering its ‘Social Media and Reputation Management’ brief, with AFP facilitators, and this module will help address Recommendation 22d). The Audit attended a ‘Social Media and Reputation Management’ session on 19 February 2013, as part of YOFT. This media presentation conceptualised safe and responsible social media use at the nexus of privacy management, reputation management and relationship management.19 This presentation dealt with online conduct and security generally, listing some examples of unethical behaviour, and strategies to avoid these.

The Audit also attended the YOFT briefings on ‘Gender Differences and the ADF’, ‘Equity and Diversity – Types of Unacceptable Behaviour’ and ‘Equity and Diversity – Sexual Offences’. None of these dealt wholly or explicitly with sexual ethics or the other elements of Recommendation 22, but each had elements which could contribute to education in this area.

The Audit found the Gender Differences briefings to be generally positive. Undergraduates were split by gender, so the women’s and men’s lessons were structurally different on account of demographics. The women’s sessions had about 30 participants in each, allowing for smaller breakaway groups and the interaction and engagement only possible with small groups. The men’s groups had over 100 participants in them. These presentations did not have the opportunity for the smaller group interaction, but were relaxed and contained an extended question and answer period. Both sessions discussed relationships, body image, sources of support and the realities of ADF and enforced the idea that ‘the reputation you create for yourself at ADFA will follow you for the rest of your career’.

The ‘Equity and Diversity – Types of Unacceptable Behaviour’ brief was more descriptive, and outlined the Defence definition of unacceptable behaviour, along with six categories:

  1. Harassment
  2. Workplace bullying (an aggressive form of harassment that is persistent or unreasonable)
  3. Sexual harassment (unwelcome or offensive harassment of a sexual nature)
  4. Discrimination (distinction, exclusion or preference; direct or indirect)
  5. Abuse of power (attributed to rank or position)
  6. Conflict of interest and inappropriate workplace relationships

The ‘Equity and Diversity – Sexual Offences’ brief captured many of the key issues relevant to sexual offences, such definitions, the meaning of consent and penalties. A list of myths regarding sexual offences was also provided which usefully identified many of the misconceptions surrounding victims, perpetrators and consent. However, there was little reference to SeMPRO (Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Office) which will be Defence’s key support in this area.

All of these YOFT sessions (and any similar training provided to other years) will provide support for the sexual ethics training package, but do not lessen the need to have a well-designed, integrated and well-presented sexual ethics package facilitated in collaboration with an expert in place as soon as possible.

Given the status of this training program, no evaluation process is, as yet, in place.

Recommendation 23: ADFA review the training on making complaints of unacceptable behaviour (including sexual harassment and abuse and sex discrimination), with specific attention to creating specific modules tailored to different groups within ADFA – namely first-year cadets, more senior cadets and staff – to reflect their different responsibilities in relation to complaint/incident reporting, response and management.

 

Intent of Recommendation

An inability to effectively manage complaint processes acts as a potential barrier to reporting of complaints or incidents of sexual harassment, abuse, assault or discrimination. Training on complaint policies and procedures should be tailored to the different roles, skills and level of responsibility of different groups within ADFA, including new undergraduates, more senior undergraduates, designated contact/complaint officers (equity and diversity) and the chain of command.

Implementation actions

The Audit has been informed that a review of training on making complaints of unacceptable behaviour has been conducted.20 The scope and content of this review has not been provided, but the Audit is aware that changes have been made to complaints training and management, as well as the complaints management process.21

ADFA has also reviewed and restructured the formal equity and diversity training provided to undergraduates, and much of this training now examines different aspects of the complaints process. Modules include:

  • Dispute Resolution Options – Self Resolution
  • Understanding the Equity Adviser Network
  • Understanding the Complaint Management Process.22

Equity and diversity training will be examined in more detail below.

In September 2012, the COMDT circulated a directive that outlined reporting and management expectations for Commanding Officers/Unit Heads and all personnel.23 It also instructed Commanding Officers/Unit Heads to brief all personnel on their obligations under the directive.

As will be discussed in Recommendations 27-29, ADFA has also updated its complaints reporting processes. There is now a centralised point for administering and facilitating Quick Assessments (QA) of all incidents, and all officers completing a QA are now provided with a small folder containing the relevant directives and guidance papers, as well as the materials required to complete the task.

Audit findings

The Audit has not been provided with any review materials regarding complaints training, however it notes that ADFA has reformed the training on making complaints of unacceptable behaviour (including sexual harassment and abuse and sex discrimination).

As noted in Recommendations 6-10, ADFA’s training on making complaints of unacceptable behaviour (including sexual harassment and abuse and sex discrimination) is conducted under the banner of ‘equity and diversity’. The Audit understands that there are policy connections between unacceptable behaviour and equity and diversity in the ADF, but has suggested that decoupling these links would provide benefits to ADFA.24 This should be kept in mind when future evaluation and reform is undertaken.

ADFA’s equity and diversity training continuum lays out the modules that undergraduates complete during their time at ADFA as follows:25

  • Understand Types of Unacceptable Behaviour (YOFT)
  • Understand Sexual Offences & Sexual Offence Support Network (YOFT)
  • Dispute Resolution Options – Self Resolution (First year, session 1)
  • Understand the Equity Adviser Network (First year, session 1)
  • Understand the Complaint Management Process (Second year, session 1)
  • Equity and its Strategic Focus in Defence (Second year, session 2)
  • Participate in the Equity Workshop for Commanders, Managers and Supervisors (Third year, session 1).

Although only one of these modules has the complaint management process as its central focus, all touch on different aspects of the complaints and incident reporting, response and management systems. The YOFT lessons (attended by the Audit) are descriptive and focus on unacceptable behaviours and offences, with brief discussions of dispute resolutions and support options. The first year sessions discuss different aspects of low-level resolution, and the Equity Adviser Network. The second year lessons provide more complex examples of unacceptable behaviour scenarios and the complaints process, and the strategic implications of equity and diversity. The third year lesson aims to give undergraduates a perspective of what is required of managers with regards to equity and diversity in the workplace.

In addition, all staff continue to receive the mandatory annual Equity Workshop for Commanders, Managers and Supervisors, delivered by Fairness and Resolution, and undergraduates continue to receive the standard one hour mandatory equity and diversity training as directed by the CDF.26

This diversity of training indicates that ADFA has sought to address the Recommendation and tailor modules to specific groups. The increase in the number of QAs completed in 2012 (55) and 2013 to date (ten in the first seven weeks), compared to the number completed in 2011 (four) also suggests that the complaints processes are functioning better in 2012 and 2013.27 However, evaluation and review of any new programs is essential in order to make sure they are delivering what is required. This will be particularly important after SeMPRO (the ADF’s Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Office) begins active duty in mid-2013.

Finally, the Audit heard positive views about the reformed training from undergraduates. One said that in 2012 there was:

a much bigger focus on training [on the complaints process]. It was stock standard lecture last year [2011]. It was ‘we have to give you this as part of the ADF policy’ but it seemed this year it was more like they actually wanted you to know about this and to know the options available to people.28

The Audit encourages ADFA to continue its training in order to ensure that complaints processes are as effective as possible. In some interviews and focus groups with undergraduates the Audit identified a reluctance to make a complaint or to approach an equity adviser. While there has been an increase in the use of the QA process, one staff member told the Audit that there are still sections of the undergraduate population who:

have a problem bringing stuff ‘across the road’. What happens in the lines, they like to keep in the lines because they do not like involving the staff. Whether they know something is blatantly wrong or not, they are averse to bringing in staff because there is this false sense of camaraderie that reporting someone to staff is a mateship issue.29

This should be addressed in future evaluation and development of training on the complaints process.

Conclusion

The 2012 ‘sexual ethics’ program did not meet the intent of Recommendation 22. Part of the reason for this was that negotiations with Professor Carmody were not concluded in time to develop a comprehensive program in 2012, and in place of this ADFA administered an interim ad hoc program.

The 2013 program outline looks promising, but progress in developing courses and modules has been slow. The Audit has not been provided with any course materials, nor were any modules presented for the Audit to attend prior to the completion of the Audit. Additionally, ADFA plans to deliver the sexual ethics program internally, without the assistance of an external expert facilitator. The Audit acknowledges ADFA’s timetabling constraints, however, given the sensitivity and importance of this area, the Audit urges ADFA to collaborate with an expert educator in the design, delivery and evaluation of this program. The Audit also strongly suggests that ADFA consult with SeMPRO on this program.

Ongoing or supporting lessons, such as ‘Social Media and Reputation Management’, ‘Gender Differences and the ADF’, ‘Equity and Diversity – Types of Unacceptable Behaviour’ and ‘Equity and Diversity – Sexual Offences’ will be good support for the sexual ethics package, but they do not mitigate the need for the provision and evaluation of a more focussed and integrated package of lessons that addresses Recommendation 22.

ADFA has reformed its complaints reporting response and management training, and focussed different modules at different parts of the undergraduate population. The number of QAs is up, and the complaints systems are much improved (see Recommendations 27-29). Further evaluation and reform is needed in order to separate the concepts of complaints management and equity and diversity, destigmatise the idea of complaint making, and address any other issues identified.


  1. LEUT B Butler, ‘Decision Brief for Director RIT re Sexual Ethics Program’, 30 January 2012, provided to the Audit by N Miller 28 September 2012.
  2. LEUT B Butler, ‘Decision Brief for Director RIT re Sexual Ethics Program’, 30 January 2012, provided to the Audit by N Miller 28 September 2012.
  3. Information package provided to the Audit by N Miller 28 September 2012.
  4. C Turner email to B Butler, 24 April 2012, provided to the Audit by N Miller 28 September 2012;email exchanges between B Butler and C Turner, April 2012, provided to the Audit by N Miller 28 September 2012; LCDR S.L. Harris, ‘Brief on the Interim Sexual Ethics and Healthy Relationships Package 2012’, 16 March 2012, provided to the Audit by N Miller, 28 September 2012; Interview 40, CHAP Sarah Gibson, 19 November 2012.
  5. LCDR S.L. Harris, ‘Brief on the Interim Sexual Ethics and Healthy Relationships Package 2012’, 16 March 2012, provided to the Audit by N Miller, 28 September 2012.
  6. S Longbottom, email to the Audit, 13 December 2012.
  7. ADFA ‘ADFA Citizenship Package (progress as at Dec 2012)’, provided to the Audit by S Longbottom, 14 December 2012.
  8. LCDR N.J.H Cook, ‘Minute, ADFA Citizenship Status’, 10 December 2012, provided to the Audit by N Miller, 19 February 2013.
  9. LCDR N.J.H Cook, ‘Minute, ADFA Citizenship Status’, 10 December 2012, provided to the Audit by N Miller, 19 February 2013.
  10. ADFA, ‘Rec 22 – Weerakoon Program’, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 28 September 2012.
  11. Focus group U14, Mixed Service, male and female, first years, 18 October 2012.
  12. Interview 12, Army staff male, 15 October 2012.
  13. Focus group S5, Mixed Service staff female only, 16 October 2012.
  14. ADFA, ‘Rec 22 – Weerakoon Program’, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 28 September 2012.
  15. Focus group U3, Mixed Service undergraduate women, 17 October 2012; Interview 34, RAAF undergraduate female, 15 October 2012.
  16. S Longbottom, email to the Audit, 13 December 2013.
  17. S Longbottom, email to the Audit, 13 December 2013.
  18. Australian Human Rights Commission, Review into the Treatment of Women at the Australian Defence Force Academy (2011), p 96. At http://www.humanrights.gov.au/defencereview/index.html, viewed 26 February 2013.
  19. Australian Federal Police, ‘Social Media and Reputation Management: Cyber Crime Prevention, High Tech Crime Operations’, Powerpoint presentation provided to the Audit by AFP, 28 February 2013.
  20. RIT, ‘Broderick Audit Summary Final 280912’, p.27, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 28 September 2012.
  21. See recommendations 27-29.
  22. ADFA, ‘Training Overview – Equity and Diversity: CLO 17: Apply E&D Principles’, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 28 September 2012.
  23. CDRE BJ Kafer, ‘Minute, Commandant’s Directive 21/12 – Active Management of Allegations/Incidents’, 24 September 2012, provided to the Review by Dr N Miller, 21 November 2012.
  24. See discussions in Recommendations 6-10.
  25. ADFA, ‘Training Overview – Equity and Diversity: CLO 17: Apply E&D Principles’, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 28 September 2012.
  26. ADFA, ‘Training Overview – Equity and Diversity: CLO 17: Apply E&D Principles’, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 28 September 2012.
  27. Interview 50, senior ADFA staff, 19 February 2013.
  28. Focus Group U9, Army, male and female, undergraduates, 18 October 2012.
  29. Focus Group S8, Mixed Service, staff, 16 October 2012.

 

10.2 Advice and Referral

Key findings of Review

  • Options for making a complaint were numerous and complicated.
  • Some undergraduates felt ostracised, stigmatised or victimised for lodging a complaint.
  • A dedicated, ADFA-specific, seven day, confidential toll-free hotline for all cadets, staff, families and sponsor families should be established and promoted to streamline the process and give cadets appropriate advice and referral on complaints of unacceptable behaviour.
  • Referrals could be made to internal or external supports and services.

In summary, the findings of the Audit indicate that:

  • ADFA has developed helpful resources, in the emergency and support contacts posters, and the ‘Useful contacts’ cards, but these only partially meet the intent of the Recommendation.
  • ADFA still lacks a triage-style service to assist with accessing support.
  • If the resources to establish an ADFA-specific hotline do not exist, ADFA should examine other ways that it can meet the intent of this Recommendation, such as extending specific training in this area. ADFA should also ensure that effective links are built between its Sexual Offence Support Person (SOSP) Network and the Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Office (SeMPRO).

Recommendation 24: ADFA establish and promote a dedicated, ADFA-specific, 24 hour, seven day, toll-free hotline for all cadets, staff, families and sponsor families. The expert operators will provide advice and referral about the most appropriate mechanism or service (ADFA, ADF or external) to deal with the complaint. In establishing the line, ADFA should draw on the protocols and policies of the Army Fair Go Hotline.

 

Intent of Recommendation

A number of submissions to the Review, as well as interviews, indicated deficiencies in complaints processes. While undergraduates might be aware of the processes, they can also be ostracised, stigmatised or victimised for lodging a complaint. The Review found that ADFA needed a dedicated, simplified confidential advice line that is easily accessible and has the ability to refer undergraduates and staff to appropriate internal and external supports and services.

Implementation actions

ADFA suggested to the Audit that it could meet the intent of this Recommendation by utilising and promoting current ADF hotlines offering 24 hour support and advice.1

ADFA has compiled lists of contact numbers, and produced posters and business cards containing this information.2 Contacts listed on these resources include the ADF All-Hours Support Line (a mental health triage service), emergency services numbers (i.e. Police, Fire and Ambulance), and contacts for alcohol and drug services, domestic violence support, gambling help, men’s health, women’s health, mental health, the Defence Whistleblower Scheme, and relationship support.

The posters were placed in ADFA training and accommodation areas, and the cards were distributed to all undergraduates.3 An electronic copy of the poster will also be displayed on the ADFA intranet.4

Audit findings

The emergency contact numbers list is a welcome development and a resource that the Audit imagines will be very useful to many undergraduates. Although it does not meet the full intent of Recommendation 24, the landscape in this area has changed with the creation of SeMPRO, and the intent could be met by ADFA’s utilisation of SeMPRO’s resources.

Recommendation 24 sought to create a triage-style service that could advise undergraduates, staff, families and sponsor families about the best way to deal with their particular complaint.

Undergraduates demonstrated good awareness of the new resources:

‘[The card has] got all the numbers on it that I could possibly want and then on the other side I’ve just written my DOs number and my POs number.’5

‘There’s a big poster in our Division with the whole list of numbers.’6

Reactions to the contacts poster and card were generally positive, however some undergraduates noted that there was no central contact or triage-style service. One undergraduate told the Audit that:

there’s a massive poster on our wall, but it’s mainly stuff like a sexual harassment hotline or a suicide hotline. But there’s no ‘if you’re having problems at ADFA call this number’. You’d get a lot of very good phone calls [to such a line] because it’s hard to go to your chain of command with everything.7

ADFA should consider improving or expanding complaints training to draw upon the relationships that ADFA is developing with each of the organisations listed on its contact resources.8 ADFA should also review and evaluate the contacts to gauge their usefulness and appropriateness to undergraduates, and update the list as required.

When SeMPRO is operational in mid-2013, it should be added to the list and undergraduates should be briefed about its role. It is critical that ADFA facilitate strong linkages between its SOSP Network and SeMPRO, and widely advertise SeMPRO and its functions, including its support line. This will go a long way to meeting the intent of Recommendation 24.

Conclusion

The contact posters and cards are useful and welcome initiatives. They are convenient and accessible resources which will require regular updating. However, they do not meet the intent of Recommendation 24.

The establishment of SeMPRO provides an opportunity for ADFA to fully meet the intent of this Recommendation. It is critical that ADFA widely advertise SeMPRO and its functions, including its support line, and facilitate strong linkages between its SOSP Network and SeMPRO.


  1. RIT, ‘Broderick Audit Summary Final 280912’, p 28, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 28 September 2012.
  2. ADFA, ‘Emergency and Support Contact Numbers’, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 28 September 2012; ADFA, ‘Emergency and Support Ready Reckoner Card’, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 28 September 2012
  3. RIT, ‘Broderick Ph1 Review Implementation Progress Spreadsheet’, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 28 September 2012.
  4. LCDR N Cook, email to Dr N Miller and S Longbottom, 18 December 2012, provided to the Audit by S Longbottom, 20 December 2012; Dr N Miller, email to the Audit, 12 December 2012.
  5. Interview 18, Air Force undergraduate female, 16 October 2012.
  6. Interview 26, Navy undergraduate male, 16 October 2012.
  7. Interview 34, Air Force undergraduate female, 15 October.
  8. Interview 1, CDRE BJ Kafer, 12 September 2012.

 

10.3 Data

Key findings of Review

  • ADFA’s data systems were complex and confusing, and the information that they were providing was patchy and difficult to access.
  • ADFA’s record keeping regarding complaint management processes required improvement and regular review to ensure appropriate responses to incidents.
  • The Unacceptable Behaviour Survey administered in 2011 was methodologically flawed, and had not been administered annually in the recent past.
  • There was no set process for instigating a strategic organisational response to findings of Unacceptable Behaviour surveys.

In order to better understand, track and respond to complaints and incidents, the Review made five recommendations that called for better surveying processes at ADFA and a rollout of these at comparable Defence and tertiary establishments, reformed data systems, better reporting mechanisms, and the establishment of quality assurance mechanisms.

In summary, the findings of the Audit indicate that:

  • Progress has been made on all of these recommendations. Further work is required in a small number of areas.
  • The Directorate of Strategic People Research (DSPR)1 and ADFA have improved the Unacceptable Behaviour Survey, and the new instrument was administered for the first time at ADFA and RMC Duntroon in late 2012.
  • DSPR is preparing to administer versions of the Unacceptable Behaviour survey in other Defence and tertiary institutions throughout 2013, in order to benchmark, share information and provide comparisons where possible.
  • ADFA’s complaints and incidents registers are much improved. More information is being collected in a more organised and systematic way, and regular reports are being provided to ADFA’s leadership.
  • An annual quality assurance process would improve the integrity of the system. While there are currently some inbuilt checking mechanisms, a more formal annual process would offer more stable long term assurance.
  • A strategic follow up to the survey had not occurred prior to the completion of the Audit. Providing swift feedback and follow up will help inform and engage the ADFA population and develop targeted strategies to address areas of concern.

The Audit’s findings in respect of each recommendation follow.

Recommendation 25: ADFA develop and annually administer a survey in order to more accurately measure the level of sexual harassment and sexual abuse among cadets. This survey should be followed up with a strategic organisational response by the Commandant, with feedback provided to cadets and staff to ensure that they have an investment in any reform arising from the survey results.

 

Intent of Recommendation

DSPR noted in the 2011 Unacceptable Behaviour Report that additions and changes made to the survey instrument over time had made it unwieldy and compromised its value.2 This Recommendation was intended to improve the quality of data gathered in the surveying process, as well as the way that this information was deployed.

Implementation actions

ADFA and DSPR have redesigned and administered the Unacceptable Behaviour Survey that ADFA and the ADF have been using in various formats since the 1990s.3

From late 2011, DSPR conducted a literature review, consulted with ADFA’s COMDT, DCOMDT (now DAU), senior equity adviser and other staff, and examined other Defence surveys.4 A working group was formed, and a new survey was designed with the aim of addressing the issues that had been identified in previous versions of the survey. The redesigned Unacceptable Behaviour Survey received ethics approval on 19 September 2012, and was administered at ADFA shortly thereafter.5

The Audit received the 2012 ADFA Unacceptable Behaviour Survey Report on 21 December 2012.6 This report is further discussed below.

DSPR has provided feedback to the leadership team at ADFA, and intends to provide a fact sheet that leadership can use to inform the broader undergraduate and staff bodies about the survey results.7

Audit findings

The 2012 ADFA Unacceptable Behaviour Survey Report appears to be a better designed instrument than previous versions of the survey. The new survey will provide a good basis for comparisons over time, and be adaptable for use in other settings.

DSPR’s research identified five main issues with the 2011 Unacceptable Behaviour Survey, and made five major reorganisational changes in the 2012 survey. This was done with the aim of obtaining more accurate prevalence data, giving better context to the information gathered, offering respondents a greater degree of anonymity, and collecting a greater range of follow up information.

The issues identified in the 2011 survey were:

  1. The multiple approaches used to measure prevalence
  2. Inability of the survey to account for context8
  3. Critiques of the Sexual Experiences Questionnaire component
  4. Perceived lack of anonymity on account of demographic information collected
  5. Lack of ability to capture detailed follow up information.

The changes made to the 2012 survey were:

  1. Grouping the items from the 2011 (approximately 50) survey into 13 broad categories9
  2. Explicitly adding context notes (e.g. ‘that made you feel offended’) to each item
  3. Addition of behaviour domain items, to identify where unacceptable behaviour was occurring
  4. Removal of demographic items, so only gender, Service, academic year and age group are now collected.
  5. Follow up questions about each unacceptable behaviour (rather than just one), and less of them each time (11 as opposed to 25 in 2011).

The 2012 survey appears to be an improvement on the 2011 survey in a number of areas. The substantial methodological and structural changes made mean that the 2012 data cannot accurately be compared to previous versions.10

2012 ADFA Unacceptable Survey Results

The 2012 ADFA Unacceptable Behaviour Survey found that:

  • Three-in-five women (60.9%) and one-in-three men (34.5%) have experienced behaviour that they found ‘unwelcome, inappropriate or offensive’ at ADFA in the last 12 months.
  • One-in-four women (27.4%) and one-in-fifteen men (6.8%) experienced sexual harassment ‘that they found unwelcome, inappropriate or offensive’ in the last twelve months.11
  • One-in-twelve women (8.2%) and one-in-thirty men (3.3%) experienced a sexual offence behaviour in the last twelve months.12
  • Female respondents reported experiencing most categories of unacceptable behaviour at much higher rates than men (see figure 1 below).
  • Unacceptable behaviour was most likely to be reported as occurring in the residential accommodation (45.3% women, 19.8% men) and ADFA military training domain (38.3% of women, 17.8% of men).
  • Women were more likely than men to have found their reported experience of unacceptable behaviour to be offensive or intimidating.
  • Both women and men were more likely to report multiple experiences of harassment as opposed to it being a one off.
  • A majority of respondents who had experienced unacceptable behaviour did not seek any advice or support. Just 27.1% of women and 6% of men who reported experiencing sexual harassment/offence behaviours sought advice or support.
  • A majority of respondents who had experienced unacceptable behaviour did not make a complaint about the behaviour to anyone.
  • The 2012 results about opinion are difficult to interpret on account of changed methodology, but they indicate a possible decline in positive attitudes. For example in 2012 41.7% of women and 22.3% of men agreed that people who harass others at ADFA usually get away with it, while in 2011 only 15.8% of women and 12.1% of men agreed.

 

Figure 1:
Prevalence of different categories of unacceptable behaviour by gender

 

Figure 1: Prevalence of different categories of unacceptable behaviour by gender

DSPR briefed the leadership teams of ADFA and intends to provide a fact sheet about the results, which can be distributed and used as a basis for developing and communicating the organisational response. Regrettably, prior to the completion of the Audit this had not happened. The Audit believes that providing swift and informative feedback is a vital part of informing and engaging the population who complete these surveys, and should be a regular part of the administration of the Unacceptable Behaviour surveying process. However, rather than waiting on the fact sheet from DSPR, the Audit encourages ADFA to undertake its own analysis of the data, develop its own communications about the results and actively engage in the development of strategies to address areas of concern.

Recommendation 26: To provide meaningful comparisons, ADFA develop this survey in consultation with other Group of Eight Universities’ Residential Colleges and Halls, applicable to cadets as both military in training and university students. ADFA should consider including other single service training establishments in the development of this survey.

 

Intent of Recommendation

To date, there has been very little comparative work done on unacceptable behaviour in different organisations. The aim of this Recommendation was to offer ADFA a basis for comparison with other tertiary and training establishments, and to use the work done by ADFA and DSPR for a wider national benefit.

Implementation actions

The RIT held discussions with a number of stakeholders in the development stage of the new survey. Specifically, discussions were conducted between RIT members and university representatives at the ‘Linking with Universities’ forums in November 2011, March 2012 and June 2012.13

DSPR subsequently developed two different versions of the Unacceptable Behaviour Survey that were similar to the ADFA Unacceptable Behaviour Survey, but applicable to other universities and ADF training establishments. DSPR received ethics approval to run a pilot of the training establishment survey in September 2012 and discussions continue about other universities.14

The training establishment survey was piloted at RMC Duntroon in September 2012. While there are some complicating factors when making direct comparison,15 the results broadly suggest that:

  • Unacceptable behaviour is more prevalent at ADFA than RMC Duntroon
  • The residential domain at RMC Duntroon is not an issue to the degree it is at ADFA
  • The number of people seeking support and making complaints is low at both sites, but even lower at ADFA than RMC Duntroon
  • Opinions about unacceptable behaviour suggest there is less tolerance for unacceptable behaviour at RMC Duntroon than ADFA.16

Factors underlying direct comparisons between ADFA and RMC Duntroon include comparative age and gender breakdowns, and the differences in the physical layout at RMC Duntroon. However, results such as these legitimise the focus and efforts that the ADF has made at ADFA.

Plans to administer the survey at other training establishments and universities have advanced with mixed results. DSPR is currently finalising plans to administer the survey to all personnel at training establishments in 2013, and negotiations are continuing with other universities about administration.17

DSPR expects to provide survey results to Defence leadership, and fact sheets to individual research participants and their organisations for all surveying completed.18

Audit findings

Much effort has gone into meeting the intent of this Recommendation. DSPR, ADFA and the RIT have developed a survey that appears to be transferrable from ADFA to other Defence establishments and civilian university settings. They have also pursued the rollout of the survey, and sought innovative solutions to complex problems that presented themselves along the way. The Audit commends the RIT, ADFA and DSPR on the leadership role they have taken.

Universities

DSPR and the RIT originally envisaged surveying a number of Group of Eight (Go8) residential colleges, as these would provide the best comparators to ADFA, however there have been issues with making this happen. Many colleges initially expressed interest at being involved in the project, but to date have not made a formal commitment. At this stage, the ANU alone has committed to the process, and this is expected to happen in mid-2013.

On account of the reluctance of individual colleges to agree to surveying, DSPR and the RIT are negotiating for voluntary university wide administrations of the survey, to happen in late 2013.

Other Defence establishments

DSPR has developed a program to administer the Unacceptable Behaviour survey annually to:

  • All ADFA and RMC Duntroon personnel
  • All ADF and APS members who have been at Defence for less than one year
  • 15-20% of all Defence members who have been in Defence for over one year.

This will allow it to administer the surveys once a year, and collect information relating to initial recruit training establishments, initial employment training establishments, and whole of Defence.

DSPR notes that this approach will allow it to:

  • Make comparisons at a certain point in time (i.e. ‘in the 12 months up to October 2013...’)
  • Consider aggregate levels (e.g. all IRT or perhaps all training establishments vs. whole of Defence)
  • Tailor comparisons to the domains in common between establishments (e.g. focusing the comparisons at residential domains)
  • Build datasets relating to a particular unacceptable behaviour for all Defence establishments and (if sufficient data) undertake more sophisticated analysis on the response and reactions to that behaviour
  • Compare each establishment over time.19

This is a very welcome development and the Audit congratulates DSPR on these efforts.

Recommendation 27: In order to record, track and manage complaints and incidents, ADFA develop and maintain, through the ADF information system, a comprehensive, accurate and up-to-date online incident database. This database should identify all relevant information relating to individual complaints and incidents of unacceptable conduct, including sexual harassment, abuse and assault and sex discrimination, including:

  1. name of complainant(s)
  2. name of respondent(s)
  3. date, details and nature of complaint/incident
  4. all steps taken in responding to and managing the complaint/incident, including the Quick Assessment Brief and all other documentation and reports required under the relevant Instruction (e.g. reports to Defence Fairness and Resolution)
  5. response/resolution option adopted
  6. timeframe to resolution/closure
  7. feedback from complainant(s) and respondent(s)
  8. any further issues arising from monitoring the implementation of the response/resolution.

Intent of Recommendation

At the time of the Review, there were a number of data systems in use and the information that they provided was patchy and incomplete. This Recommendation was intended to clarify incident data management at ADFA, and provide an authoritative source able to track complaints, incidents and outcomes, and hence ensure better organisational outcomes.

Implementation actions

ADFA has improved its record keeping procedures by centralising processes, and encouraging more reporting about possible incidents.

At ADFA, incident reports are catalogued within the Quick Assessment (QA) system, a basic fact gathering process.20 When any potentially significant incident, allegation or problem occurs, a QA must be done within 24 hours.21 The QA records a basic account of the incident, as well as ‘complainant’s wishes’, ‘actions taken to date’, assessments and recommendations, among other information.22 This forms the basis of the complaints management system.

Over the past year, increased quality control guidelines have been put in place for staff completing QAs. These include a central organisation point, supporting materials, and staff dedicated to the management of this task.23 Now, when a QA is ordered by the XO Cadets or other appropriate staff member, the Adjutant provides the appointed QA officer with a small folder containing the relevant directives and guidance papers, as well as the materials required to complete the task. A completed QA comes back to the Adjutant who files it, and enters basic details on a central QA register.24

The QA register captures most of the specific information requested in Recommendation 27. It is not an online system, for privacy reasons. While the QA register omits some information requested in Recommendation 27, it is linked to other documents that provide these details.

The QA register now forms part of a broader database that has consolidated several different tracking systems, and provides a greater depth of information about incidents at ADFA in one central location. The ‘Commandant’s monthly return register’ was set up in October/November 2012, and encompasses the QA register, incident management tracking register (anything from the QA register that may be an incident of unacceptable behaviour including investigations or inquiries), administrative leave restrictions register (leave restrictions that can be imposed through Academy Standing Orders), discipline officer statistics register (a system of seven minor offences, including absences, negligence) and the remedial training register. This five tab document is accessible to senior management and pastoral staff, and snapshots are provided to the COMDT monthly.25

In addition to the COMDT’s monthly return register, ADFA’s senior equity adviser keeps a report of all unacceptable behaviour complaints, and the XO’s branch maintains a squadron level breakdown of incidents and issues.26 Both draw on the original QAs and the COMDT’s monthly return register. The senior equity adviser’s database is used to ensure that all QAs that deal with unacceptable behaviour are entered into Comtrack (the external Defence online tracking system), and the squadron databases allow for more consistent management of issues at a lower level than the COMDT’s office.

At the time of writing, the ADF is preparing to launch the dedicated Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Office (SeMPRO), which will become a central point for all complaints and issues regarding sexual misconduct in the ADF, including ADFA. ADFA should incorporate SeMPRO into its complaints and reporting processes when it becomes fully operational.

In addition to these systemic improvements, the series of Commandant’s Directives have clarified aspects of the discipline and reporting systems, and increased education and support has been provided with the aim of increasing appropriate reporting of incidents.27

Audit findings

The complaints and incidents management system in place at ADFA in 2013 is a vast improvement on what existed during the Review. It captures more information, and organises it into more user friendly databases.

The ‘COMDT’s monthly return register’ satisfies the majority of what was requested in Recommendation 27. Where it does not, in most cases there are reasonable justifications and other arrangements in place to satisfy the intent of the Recommendation. For example, the names of the complainant and respondent are not kept on the QA register for reasons of privacy, but a reference to the original QA is noted, so those with adequate permission are able to access this information when required. Where there are ongoing actions and tracking is required, staff can cross reference documents from the original QA register entry, and look at the incident management tracking register (or other registers as appropriate). The database is not online, but is kept in soft copy in a secure Defence file, again for privacy reasons.

The one area that is not specifically captured on this database is the feedback from complainant/respondent about the process. ADFA should examine whether keeping such information would strengthen the system and assist in processes of continued improvement and quality control. It may also be worthwhile for the senior equity adviser and the Adjutant to examine whether any aspects of their respective systems are being duplicated and could be streamlined.

Recommendation 28: Reports from this database are to be reviewed by the Commandant on a monthly basis to ensure timely and appropriate actions. The Commandant should also report monthly to the Commander, Australian Defence College, on incidents, trends and identifiable concerns arising from the data.

 

Intent of Recommendation

This Recommendation was intended to ensure that the ADFA and ADC leadership remained aware of all incidents of concern at ADFA, and are provided with metadata about the numbers and types of incidents occurring, so as to be able to identify and act on concerning or systemic issues.

Implementation actions

Improved record keeping procedures have allowed for a better flow of information about incidents to the COMDT and the Director ADFA Undergraduates (formerly the DCOMDT).

A snapshot of the COMDT’s monthly return register is provided to the COMDT at monthly meetings. Australia’s Federation Guard and ADFA’s postgraduate department provide similar records using the same template so that the COMDT is aware of the any issues across all of the ADFA campus.28 The meetings are chaired by the COMDT, and attended by Director ADFA Postgraduates, Director ADFA Undergraduates, XO Undergraduates, the Adjutant, the Academy Legal Officer, Senior Psychologist and a Chaplain.29

Further to the official monthly reports that go to the COMDT, the XO’s branch has created its own squadron level databases for management and pastoral purposes. These are examined weekly by a committee comprised of the XO, key staff and a Chaplain. This provides a link in the chain of command by which information can be passed up or down outside of the monthly meetings.30

The COMDT does not provide the entire report that he receives to the Commander, ADC, but he does report on all attempts at suicide, significant attempts at self-harm, significant allegations of unacceptable or criminal behaviour, and all ‘notifiable incidents.’31

Audit findings

The reforms to the records management systems have improved the data collected, and improved the processes by which this system can be reviewed by the chain of command up to the COMDT.

The senior leaders of ADFA, including the COMDT and XO Undergraduates have expressed confidence in the amount and type of information that the new system is providing, and the ability of it to meet the requirements of the Recommendation.32 The new system is in its infancy, but it appears to have strengthened the processes previously in place.

Part of Recommendation 28 sought ‘timely and appropriate’ responses to incidents, but the Audit understands that the broader Defence processes can mitigate against this. For example, during the course of the Audit, the team was made aware of certain incidents that had been under external investigation for months, to the frustration of the undergraduates concerned.33 There is some evidence that the length of time external investigations take is a source of frustration throughout Defence, and one about which individual units or bases can do little without more systemic reform.34 ADFA is attempting to manage these frustrations through its squadron level tracking, and provide feedback to those concerned as investigations continue.

Recommendation 29: In order that standards of reporting, recording and resolving incidents are properly met, ADFA should ensure the database undergoes annual quality assurance testing to determine:

  1. whether all complaints and incidents are being entered on the database and all required fields in the database are adequately completed
  2. whether the record keeping and reporting standards in the Management and Reporting of Unacceptable Behaviour, Management and Reporting of Sexual Offences (including Forms AC 875-1 – AC 875-3) and Quick Assessment Instructions are being met in relation to all individual complaints of unacceptable behaviour or sexual offences.

 

Intent of Recommendation

The aim of this Recommendation was to ensure that the correct processes were followed in compiling databases as a means of quality control.

Implementation actions

The new incidents register was only months old at the completion of the Audit, and so annual quality assurance testing has not yet been undertaken. Discussions with staff indicate a belief that the broader reforms to the reporting and database management systems include processes that ADFA considers will meet the intent of this Recommendation.

Audit findings

ADFA’s new database management process has provided some level of quality assurance, but there is not a formal annual quality assurance testing process in place yet.

The IGADF military justice audit will continue to be conducted, but this is not an annual process. The Audit team understands that ADFA is currently investigating another mechanism to conduct internal audits on their administration systems but that this is not in place yet.35

While there is not a formal annual test in place, the way that the new system has been designed provides for some internal checking mechanisms. For example, individuals completing a QA are given a folder with directives and guidance that assists in the QA process, and completed QAs are checked by the Adjutant when entering them on the QA register. Further, when monthly reports are prepared for the COMDT, the databases must be complete and consistent, and are checked by a legal officer before being passed up the chain of command.36

Nevertheless, these checks are only a short term solution that depend on individuals’ skills, and the continued smooth functioning of the system. A mandated annual quality assurance mechanism would offer more stability in the longer term.

Conclusion

The intent of Recommendation 25 appears to have been met. At the completion of the Audit, ADFA was waiting for a fact sheet from DSPR around which it could base its strategic organisational response to the Unacceptable Behaviour survey (conducted in September 2012). DSPR is a small organisation with a large body of work to complete. If it is unable to provide a formal fact sheet in a timely way, ADFA should draw from the entire report provided to it, and especially the executive summary, in order to give some feedback to staff and undergraduates, and to develop a response to issues of concern. Regular administrations of the survey and meaningful follow ups are necessary in order for ADFA to be able to create benchmarks, measure progress and ensure effective organisational responses.

ADFA and DSPR have developed a series of surveys and research proposals with the aim of collecting a wider range of comparable data across Defence and external to it. They have done this with minimal resources and without the authority to compel outside parties’ involvement. The Audit commends ADFA and DSPR on these efforts.

The new complaints and incidents systems viewed by the Audit in early 2013 satisfy the intent of Recommendation 27. The systems have met the intent of the recommendations as well as possible within privacy constraints. Improvements have been driven by better education, a series of COMDT’s Directives outlining aspects of the discipline regime, and a reorganisation of ADFA’s resources. These changes have meant that ADFA has had the knowledge and capacity to collect information and organise its systems in a more transparent and usable way.

Better clarity of information and processes to provide reports to the COMDT and other senior staff are promising developments. These processes were only months old at the completion of the Audit and should be monitored for effectiveness and any necessary adjustments should be made.

The design of the new incidents management systems provides for some level of internal checking, but a formal annual quality assurance mechanism is still required for the longer term integrity of the system.


  1. DSPR was known as DSPPR until recently. Most reports cited are attributed to DSPPR, but the new name is used in the text.
  2. Directorate of Strategic People Policy Research, Australian Defence Force Academy 2011 Unacceptable Behaviour Survey, DSPPR Report 5/2011, Department of Defence (2011), p 2.
  3. Australian Human Rights Commission, Report on the Review into the Treatment of Women at the Australian Defence Force Academy, 2011, p 32. At http://www.humanrights.gov.au/defencereview/index.html (viewed 13 February 2013).
  4. Directorate of Strategic People Policy Research, Australian Defence Force Academy 2012 Unacceptable Behaviour Survey Report, DSPPR Report 18/2012 Department of Defence (2012), p 122.
  5. MAJGEN J Rosenfeld, ‘Australian Defence Human Research Ethics Committee (ADHREC) Protocol 675-12 – ADFA 2012 Unacceptable Behaviour Survey’, 19 September 2012, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller 28 September 2012.
  6. Directorate of Strategic People Policy Research, Australian Defence Force Academy 2012 Unacceptable Behaviour Survey Report, DSPPR Report 18/2012, Department of Defence.
  7. Meeting with DSPR, 19 February 2013.
  8. For example ‘sexual stories or offensive jokes’ shared ‘among friends joking outside of the workplace’ may not be thought of as unacceptable but may be recorded as such in the 2011 survey. Directorate of Strategic People Policy Research, Australian Defence Force Academy 2012 Unacceptable Behaviour Survey Report, DSPPR Report 18/2012, Department of Defence (2012), p 121.
  9. The categories are:
    • work-related harassment
    • person-related harassment
    • physical-related harassment
    • bullying
    • discrimination
    • abuse of power
    • crude behaviour
    • unwanted sexual attention
    • sexual coercion
    • acts of indecency
    • sexual assault (minor)
    • sexual assault (major)
    • other acts/harassment.
  10. Directorate of Strategic People Policy Research, Australian Defence Force Academy 2012 Unacceptable Behaviour Survey Report, DSPPR Report 18/2012, Department of Defence (2012), p 122.
  11. The sexual harassment total was obtained by grouping:
    • crude behaviour (sexually suggestive comments, gestures or jokes that made you feel offended; sexually explicit pictures, posters or gifts that made you feel offended; sexually explicit emails, social media messages, or SMS/MMS that made you feel offended)
    • unwanted sexual attention (inappropriate staring or leering that made you feel intimidated; intrusive questions about your private life or physical appearance that made you feel offended; repeated or inappropriate advances on email, social networking websites or internet chat rooms; repeated or inappropriate invitations to go out on dates; unwelcome touching, hugging, cornering or kissing)
    • sexual coercion (requests or pressure for sex or other sexual acts).

    See Directorate of Strategic People Policy Research, Australian Defence Force Academy 2012 Unacceptable Behaviour Survey Report, DSPPR Report 18/2012, Department of Defence (2012), pp 103-4.

  12. The sexual offence total was obtained by grouping:
    • acts of indecency (exposed themselves in a way that made you feel offended; watched or recorded you without your consent while you were in private, which made you feel offended; any other unwanted sexual behaviour or touching without your consent)
    • sexual assault (minor) (inappropriate physical contact) and
    • sexual assault (major) (actual or attempted rape or sexual assault).

    See Directorate of Strategic People Policy Research, Australian Defence Force Academy 2012 Unacceptable Behaviour Survey Report, DSPPR Report 18/2012, Department of Defence (2012), p 105.

  13. RIT, ‘Broderick Audit Summary Final 280912’, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 28 September 2012.
  14. MAJGEN J Rosenfeld, ‘Australian Defence Human Research Ethics Committee (ADHREC) Protocol 675-12 – Australian Defence Force Training Establishments 2012 Unacceptable Behaviour Survey’, 19 September 2012, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 28 September 2012.
  15. For example, ADFA is larger, more diverse (in terms of Service and gender) and undergraduates are there for longer in comparison to RMC. This is reflected in the respondents demographics from the respective surveys:
     
    ADFA
    RMC
    Respondents (% of total site population)
    627 (72.5%)
    295 (69.6%)
    Female respondents (% of respondents)
    128 (20.4%)
    28 (9.5%)
    Army respondents (% of respondents)
    295 (47.4%)
    269 (91.2%)

    In addition, ADFA respondents were split relatively evenly among first (37.7%), second (35.2%) and third year (27.1%) undergraduates, while respondents at RMC were most likely to have been at the college for less than one year. DSPR note that this affects comparability, as the unacceptable behaviour surveys ask about the previous 12 month period. Most ADFA respondents would be able to refer to an entire 12 month period while most RMC respondents would not.
     
  16. Directorate of Strategic People Research, Royal Military College Duntroon 2012 Unacceptable Behaviour Survey Report, DSPR Report 1/2013, Department of Defence.
  17. J Vaile, email to the Audit, 16 January 2013.
  18. J Vaile, email to the Audit, 7 February 2013.
  19. DSPR, ‘Proposed option for Unacceptable Behaviour data collection in Defence’, provided to the Audit by J Vaile, 16 January 2013.
  20. The scope of a QA is outlined in Department of Defence, Defence Instructions (General) ADMIN 67-2, Quick Assessment, 7 August 2007.
  21. Interview 50, senior ADFA staff, 19 February 2013; CDRE BJ Kafer, ‘Commandant’s Directive 14/12 – ‘Quick assessments and “serious or complex incidents’’, 24 September 2012, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 21 November 2012.
  22. QA Report Template in CDRE BJ Kafer, ‘Commandant’s Directive 14/12 – ‘Quick assessments and “serious or complex incidents”, 24 September 2012, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 21 November 2012.
  23. Interview 50, senior ADFA staff, 19 February 2013.
  24. The QA resister captures QA number, subject, description of incident, start date, finish date, assessor’s details, recommended action, decision, file, security classification, record of implementation.
  25. Interview 50, senior ADFA staff, 19 February 2013
  26. Interview 51, SQNLDR A Fullick, 19 February 2013.
  27. CDRE BJ Kafer, ‘Commandant’s Directive 14/12 – ‘Quick assessments and “serious or complex incidents”’’, 24 September 2012, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 21 November 2012; CDRE BJ Kafer, ‘Commandant’s Directive 15/12 – Operation of the Discipline Officer Scheme’, 24 September 2012, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 21 November 2012; CDRE BJ Kafer, ‘Commandant’s Directive 16/12 – The Reporting and Management of Notifiable Incidents’, 24 September 2012, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 21 November 2012; CDRE BJ Kafer, ‘Commandant’s Directive 17/12 – ‘Mandatory Discipline and Administrative Appointment Training’, 24 September 2012, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 21 November 2012; CDRE BJ Kafer, ‘Commandant’s Directive 18/12 – ‘Substances which may be used to produce or cause an intoxicating, stupefying or hallucinatory effect’, 24 September 2012, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 21 November 2012; CDRE BJ Kafer, ‘Commandant’s Directive 19/12 – ‘Reporting and Management Requirements When a Defence Member is Absent’, 24 September 2012, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 21 November 2012; CDRE BJ Kafer, ‘Commandant’s Directive 20/12 – ‘Authority to Impose Conditions and/or Restrictions on Leave’, 24 September 2012, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 21 November 2012; CDRE BJ Kafer, ‘Commandant’s Directive 21/12 – ‘Active management of allegations/incidents’, 24 September 2012, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 21 November 2012; Interview 51, SQNLDR A Fullick, 19 February 2013.
  28. Interview 50, senior ADFA staff, 19 February 2013.
  29. CDRE BJ Kafer, email to the Audit, 22 February 2013.
  30. Interview 50, senior ADFA staff, 19 February 2013.
  31. Notifiable incidents are incidents that are reported to ADFIS, have been reported to ADFA by police or internal mechanisms such as the ADF Whistleblower scheme, or those which would warrant a Hot Issues Brief and/or a Ministerial Submission.
  32. Interview 47, senior ADFA staff, 19 February 2013; CDRE BJ Kafer, email to the Audit, 22 February 2013.
  33. Focus group U14, Mixed Service 1st year undergraduate male and female, 16 October 2012.
  34. Interview 47, senior ADFA staff, 19 February 2013. Such investigations are separate from ADFA’s internal processes, and involve finding an available investigator, organising the instruments of appointment, conducting the investigation and legal review.
  35. Interview 47, senior ADFA staff, 19 February 2013.
  36. Interview 47, senior ADFA staff, 19 February 2013.

 

10.4 Injury, Health and Wellbeing

Key findings of Review

  • While ADFA has mechanisms in place to address injuries, and health more broadly, there was limited sensitivity to the fact that women are physiologically different from men and may therefore experience different health or physical concerns.
  • While women comprise about 20% of the undergraduate population, according to ADFA statistics female undergraduates have suffered approximately one third of all injuries since 2006.
  • Undergraduates and staff attach enormous importance to physical wellbeing and there is significant stigma which surrounds injury at ADFA.
  • Given the different nature of injuries that female undergraduates may suffer, and their higher injury rates, negative consequences of and attitudes towards injury are often felt more heavily by female undergraduates.
  • Undergraduates face a number of barriers to accessing services and reporting incidents of unacceptable behaviour. These include cumbersome processes and insufficient support for a range of health and wellbeing issues, including sexual and personal abuse and violence at ADFA.

In response, the Review made two recommendations to help ADFA better manage the wellbeing, health and injury risks present, with a sensitivity to any particular gender issues that may contribute to these.

In summary, the findings of the Audit indicate that:

  • ADFA has undertaken extensive work in the approach to injury management.
  • Although some measures have focused on female undergraduates, ADFA could further increase its focus on measures to alleviate the disproportionate injury rate of females compared to males.
  • ADFA has commenced recording injury statistics differentiated by gender, type and cause of injury in a format which lends itself to regular analysis of incidents and trends. After a preliminary analysis by ADFA, female undergraduates have been found to sustain a disproportionate number of gradual onset and sporting injuries. It is vital to ensure that injury patterns are regularly monitored and that management strategies are put in place to effectively respond and prevent further injury.
  • ADFA has implemented a number of substantial improvements to physical training, remedial training and rehabilitation programs.
  • The stigma associated with injury is being addressed through the removal of physical signs of medical restrictions, education programs and improved rehabilitation, however stigma still endures.
  • To enhance access to support services for undergraduates, posters with the contact details of internal and external emergency and support services have been displayed throughout training and accommodation areas.
  • ADFA has undertaken steps to develop partnerships with external service providers to assist in providing a holistic approach to undergraduate health, wellbeing and safety. The Audit was not provided with substantial information on the nature of the partnerships developed and the collaboration which is intended. ADFA should ensure that these partnerships are developed and that the services are utilised.

The Audit’s findings in respect of each recommendation follow.

Recommendation 30: ADFA undertake a detailed evaluation to determine whether female cadets are more likely to become injured than male cadets and, if so, identify the causes and additional mechanisms to be put in place to manage this risk. Following this evaluation, strategies should be developed to:

  1. improve injury and health management
  2. actively promote health and wellbeing with reference to best practice in comparable residential settings
  3. recognise the physical capabilities of individuals commensurate with their respective roles
  4. eliminate stigma associated with medical restrictions.

 

Intent of Recommendation

This Recommendation arose after a finding that there was a disparity between male and female injury rates and little awareness of the reasons for this. While there were some mechanisms in place to address health and injury related issues there was a strong need to supplement these to more adequately address the risks associated with gender differences. This is of particular importance in the ADFA context in which undergraduates and staff place an enormous emphasis on physical ability.

Implementation actions

ADFA has commenced recording injury statistics differentiated by gender, type and cause of injury in a format which lends itself to regular analysis of incidents and trends. The statistics are compiled monthly with a Master Rehabilitation Database produced three times per year.1 The preliminary data has been used to determine the prevalence of male and female injuries and to identify the types and causes of injuries with reference to gender.2

The ADFA approach to injury management has changed substantially. The RMC Physical Conditioning Optimisation Review has been examined in order to assist in making changes to the ADFA approach.3 A comprehensive rehabilitation program has been developed and a dedicated injury management cell has been established. There have also been amendments to the physical and recreational training programs, involving personalised fitness programs as part of ‘the new periodised, graduated Physical Training Program.’4

Related to ADFA’s preliminary finding that female undergraduates suffer disproportionate gradual onset and sporting injuries, ADFA has in place the following:

  • A research application for ethics approval to undertake a study to determine the relationship between running technique and the incidence of Chronic Exertional Leg Pain, which represents up to 30% of presentation to Duntroon Health Centre.5
  • Following findings that many undergraduates are joining ADFA with insufficient fitness levels, which puts them at high risk of gradual onset injury, ADFA has incorporated information on initial fitness requirements into the ADFA annual ‘Roadshow’. The ‘Roadshow’ provides information on life at ADFA to potential undergraduates around Australia.6
  • The ADF has developed the ‘ADF Active’ iPhone application which provides personalised fitness programs for a range of fitness levels. The training programs, which include instructions and video demonstrations, have been developed by qualified ADF personal trainers.7
  • Sports screening, in which individuals are screened to determine whether they can meet the required fitness and ability to participate in sporting activities, including extra-curricular sports.8

As part of the approach to eliminate stigma associated with medical restrictions, ADFA has removed the requirement that undergraduates in remedial or rehabilitation programs must wear visible apparel denoting their special status.9 The Audit has been advised that the unacceptability of stigmatising is also emphasised during undergraduate training.10

Audit findings

ADFA has undertaken extensive work in the approach to injury management. The Audit encourages ADFA to continue to pursue these developments with particular focus on strategies to address female injuries.

The injury databases for remedial and rehabilitation statistics were revised in 2012 to differentiate injuries by gender and cause. In line with the Recommendation, this allows a comparison between the number and causes of male and female injuries.11

The master documents clearly show the number of male and female injuries and the nature and cause of the injuries.12 The April 2012 Master Rehabilitation Database indicates that there were 61 injuries, of which 33 were female and 28 were male. According to the July 2012 Master Rehabilitation Database, 39 female undergraduates were injured compared to 31 males. These figures are concerning given that there are 189 female undergraduates compared with 703 male.13 The monthly compilation of statistics and the production of a Master Rehabilitation Database three times per year will assist in ADFA’s management of female health and injury.

In line with the Recommendation, ADFA has undertaken an investigation into whether females are more likely to become injured and in a preliminary manner has identified the main types and causes of injuries to female undergraduates. The Audit was advised that although military training injuries do not show a significant difference:

females seem to be suffering a higher rate of injuries in sport with rugby a stand out. The small data sample suggests that females have significantly more gradual onset injuries than males. This observation needs to be followed up as more data becomes available.14

The Audit encourages ADFA to continue to monitor gender differences to develop a more precise understanding of female injuries and the relevant risk factors. A strategic management response must then be developed by executive, management and physical training (PT) staff, to ensure these issues are regularly monitored and effectively addressed.

Improve injury and health management

ADFA has implemented a number of steps to improve health and injury management.

The Audit has been advised that a full time rehabilitation post has been established to facilitate a more active and faster injury recovery programs.15 The injury brief provided to the Audit comments that the physical and rehabilitation programs now reflect the latest concepts and methods, including individual remedial training and a ‘state of the art’ rehabilitation program.16 The Audit has been advised that the rehabilitation training program is based on an overseas model and has suitably qualified instructors.

This represents significant improvement to the injury and health management at ADFA compared to previous years. As one undergraduate noted:

Last year the rehab program...didn’t have a lot of substance to it, there wasn’t really anything there.17

The improvements to the rehabilitation program were recognised by other undergraduates, who commonly commented on the positive aspects of the program:

As far as the management has gone, it’s much better this year. The rehab program has really improved. I spent a fair bit of time in rehab in my first year and it was pointless and it was lousy and I wasn’t well managed at all. And this year they’ve all got programs, they’ve got to sign in each day, they’re actually doing more during hours than most of the fit people at the Academy...it’s actually really improved.18

I know that the guys running the rehab...have really picked up that ball and run with it this year. Last year it was pretty much people would rock up to PT if you were on a chit or on a restriction...and do whatever you can do, whereas now they’ve... probably got about ten folders on the desk, from ankles, lower leg, hip injuries, back injuries, all the different sorts of injuries that cadets come in with and they have programs set out in there for each of them that are injured and run those programs under supervision on a weekly basis. So every time that div rocks up for PT those on restrictions go up and find their relevant folder, sign in, read through what they’ve got to do and then do it under supervision of the PTI’s.19

These comments from undergraduates and staff demonstrate the positive impact of improvements to health and injury management.

Other examples of measures taken to address the intent of this Recommendation include:

  • A communications strategy in which potential recruits are better informed of the fitness requirements prior to arriving at ADFA. This is in response to research which indicates that low fitness levels are linked with injury.20
  • The ‘ADF Active’ iPhone application is also intended to assist men and women increase their overall fitness levels and to help them pass the ADF’s fitness tests.21 This may have a positive effect on injury rates.
  • A proposal to conduct research to determine the relationship between running technique and the incidence of Chronic Exertional Leg Pain (currently awaiting ethics approval). This is pertinent in light of the injuries analysis which found that female undergraduates suffer a higher number of gradual onset injuries than male undergraduates.22

Comparable residential settings

Part b) of the Recommendation required ADFA to promote health and wellbeing with reference to best practice in comparable residential settings. The documents provided to the Audit state that ADFA has analysed the RMC Physical Conditioning Optimisation Review and that amendments to the ADFA remedial training process and rehabilitation program reflect the findings of the RMC Review.23 The Audit has been provided with examples to this effect.24

The Audit notes that ADFA has taken steps to apply successful methods from comparable settings, namely RMC Duntroon, and this is encouraged. However, the injury brief received from the RIT only discusses RMC Duntroon as a comparable setting,25 while other documents provided to the Audit refer to other settings, such as RAAF Officer Training School and HMAS Creswell, which could be analysed. The Audit has not received any evidence that these other settings have been examined.26

Stigma

The Audit has been advised that the approach to eliminating stigma is threefold, involving the removal of physical signs of medical restrictions,27 the education of undergraduates28 and through the improved rehabilitation program.29 This represents a comprehensive approach to a pervasive problem.

The removal of the physical signs, such as vests, track suits and sashes,30 is an important step towards eliminating stigma. These articles of clothing create a further barrier between undergraduates on medical restrictions and other undergraduates by making the difference more visible. The removal of these signs is supported by the Audit.

The documents provided to the Audit indicate that stigma is also being addressed ‘through E&D, leadership, and Instructional Programs.’31 As noted in these documents, ‘the unacceptability of stigmatising...has been emphasised’ during undergraduate training.32 This approach is important in supplementing the removal of physical signs, and in creating a lasting impact on the way undergraduates view injured undergraduates.33

The Audit was advised by the RIT that:

the Rehabilitation Training Program seems to be returning injured cadets faster to normal activities. It is expected that less time on the sidelines and improvements to injury management will contribute to a reduction in the stigma associated with medical restrictions.34

The Audit encourages the continued use of data to ensure that these expectations and perceptions are evidence based.

In respect of the improvements to injury management the Audit heard the following:

I think one of the benefits of the management of it now is that those that aren’t on restrictions see those on restrictions still working. So it’s not like they’re turning up to PT for example with their chit and then just going away and walking on the treadmill watching TV for forty minutes. They’re actually doing a supervised activity under the PTI. That sort of management goes a long way in getting rid of stigma in terms of, if you’re on a chit, you’re still won’t get an easy pass, you’ve still got to work hard. That’s where a lot of the stigma comes from. If I’m not on a chit and they are then I’ve got to run fifteen k’s and they just get to tread water in the pool or do something pretty easy then it’s a bit hard not to be a little bit angry with them and resent them a little bit. So I think having the management of the restrictions and those that are injured probably helps their cause a lot more as well.35

While these actions will have a bearing on stigma, it was apparent from consultations with undergraduates that this is an enduring issue and one which will not change quickly. This is of particular importance because injury rates are proportionately higher for female undergraduates and therefore the problem weighs more heavily on them.

Undergraduates responded to questions on whether female undergraduates were involved in more incidents of ‘non-genuine’ injuries by commenting that there was ‘no difference between guys and girls.’ However, during consultations the use of examples of ‘faked’ injuries most often involved female undergraduates, not males. For example, the Audit heard:

It’s when you get the girls that play ping pong and they’ve got chronic shin splints, you just go, no!36

It’s the instances where people turn up with a chit to not participate in PT and that night will go play netball.37

The persistent use of examples with female subjects, suggests that perceptions of females being more likely to ‘play the system’ and fake injuries has endured.38 This was recognised in the YOFT female Healthy Lifestyles (Gender) brief. Female undergraduates were informed that if they were genuinely sick or injured they should seek help. However, using sickness or injury as an excuse to avoid training would be inappropriate and would result in loss of respect.39 This focus was not a feature of the YOFT male Healthy Lifestyles (Gender) brief.40 The Audit does not take exception to the fact that these issues are treated differently in the male and female briefs, but rather notes that these gendered differences in perceptions continue to endure.

On the whole, the response to eliminating stigma has been comprehensive and the intention of the Recommendation has been met by the actions undertaken. It does appear however that stigma continues to exist. The Audit recognises that this type of cultural change will take time. ADFA should ensure that the new measures are accompanied by ongoing education which continues to address this cultural shortcoming.

Suicide at ADFA

During the 2013 staff induction41 and YOFT presentations,42 sessions were held on suicide awareness at ADFA. The underlying context of the presentation is an attempt to remove the stigma associated with mental health, and encourage undergraduates to seek assistance and support if required. The sessions discussed signs of suicidal behaviour and outlined strategies and supports available.

The session was presented by the senior ADFA psychologist who commented that ADFA was one of the rare environments where female suicide and attempted suicide rates are higher than for males.43 ADFA’s records indicate that women have been involved in about half of all suicide attempts that required medical intervention over the past four years.44 Given that women constitute about one-fifth of the undergraduate population, this figure indicates that proportionally, women are much more likely than men to be involved in a suicide incident at ADFA.

In the broader ADF, the proportion of women who attempted suicide (0.5%) was about the same as the proportion of men (0.4%).45 In the Australian community (where the population is more evenly split) women make up about one-quarter of the number of suicides annually.46 These figures indicate that ADFA is an area of particular risk for undergraduate women. This is reflected in a staff suicide awareness program.47

This issue is of particular importance at ADFA as undergraduates are at the peak age of onset of mental health issues.48 Cultural and environmental factors are critical in managing and responding to the issues which can be presented by such a population and have a great bearing on the outcome. The Suicide Awareness presentation was interactive and participants were highly engaged. ADFA is to be commended for its focus and explicit discussion of these issues, for providing information on the supports which are available and the protocols it has in place in order to respond to such an event. ADFA may, however, consider seeking expert advice as to the timing of this session, i.e. whether it is appropriate for the second day of YOFT training or whether it might be better delivered later in YOFT.

Recommendation 31: In order to provide cadets with a range of support options regarding health and wellbeing, sexual or personal abuse and violence, ADFA:

  1. provide and/or display in plain view in residential and academic premises, information on key internal and external support services to cadets, including but not limited to the proposed ADFA Toll-free hotline (rec. 24), Women’s Health Services, Mensline, the Rape Crisis Centre, Lifeline and drug and alcohol counseling
  2. develop partnerships with key external service providers, including those that are predominantly utilised by women, to ensure that ADFA provides a holistic response to cadets’ health, wellbeing and safety needs.

 

Intent of Recommendation

This Recommendation arose after a finding that undergraduates may face barriers in seeking assistance or reporting incidents of unacceptable behaviour. There was a strong need to provide additional options to supplement existing support avenues which would allow undergraduates to more easily seek assistance internally or externally.

Implementation actions

ADFA has updated and displayed posters in training and accommodation areas with contact details of internal and external emergency and support services. In addition, undergraduates have been provided with wallet size cards containing the information contained in the posters.49

The Audit has been advised that a meeting was held at ADFA on 27 June 2012 ‘to develop partnerships and identify collaboration opportunities with Canberra-based emergency and support agencies.’50 In addition, according to documents provided to the Audit these agencies have agreed to meet annually.51

The establishment of the Sexual Offence Support Person (SOSP) Network is also relevant to this Recommendation and is discussed in more detail under Recommendation 9. In addition, dialogue with SeMPRO should also inform strategies in this regard.

Audit findings

ADFA has undertaken steps to address both parts of the Recommendation. The Recommendation has been largely implemented, however part b) requires some additional work.

The actions undertaken demonstrate commitment to satisfy the intent of part a). The poster developed contains contact details for the support agencies referred to in the Recommendation, in addition to other organisations. The information is provided in a clear way, with the organisation’s category, name, contact details and hours of availability displayed. The Audit trusts that ADFA will continue to use these posters and cards in years to come and will regularly update and amend information as required.

However, in the case of an emergency, such as where an undergraduate is under immediate threat in their accommodation, it was unclear to the Audit which number should be called (e.g. police/duty officer/other). When the Audit sought clarification the response was that this was ‘a very difficult question to answer’ and ‘it depends’.52 The Audit is strongly of the view that there can be no confusion in an emergency situation and this must be clarified immediately.

The Audit has been advised that the posters have been displayed:

throughout the Academy, with the focus on key areas where Midshipmen and Officer Cadets congregate. Specific areas covered are all accommodation blocks, the Cadets mess, Military and Admin buildings, ADFA Indoor Sports Centre, Library and academic centres on campus.53

In addition to the physical display, an electronic copy of the poster will be displayed on the ADFA intranet.54 The display of the information is complemented by the issue of cards to undergraduates. This will further increase the ease with which undergraduates will be able to access the contact details. However, undergraduates also need to be encouraged to access these services and any stigma associated with their use addressed.

In response to part b), the Audit has been advised that partnerships with support agencies have been established and that the agencies have agreed to meet annually. The Audit has been informed that:

In addition to internal support, ADFA has formed working relationships with a wide range of external emergency and support agencies (e.g. beyond blue, Lifeline, Canberra Rape Crisis Centre, Relations Australia, Services Assisting Male Survivors of Sexual Assault, Women’s Information and referral Service).55

This range of organisations provides a holistic response to undergraduate needs. While the Audit has been advised that partnerships have been developed the Audit has been largely unable to clarify details on the nature of these partnerships, what work is actually being done and what has been communicated to undergraduates.56

The development of these partnerships and the agreement to meet annually are important mechanisms in providing a holistic response however ADFA should ensure that these partnerships are actively pursued. As the COMDT commented:

It’s a bit of a work in progress, but it’s valuable and we learnt a lot from the liaison that we had with those people...It’s...in the formative stages now. We’re just starting to develop relationships with each of those.57

The Audit encourages ADFA to ensure these relationships continue to be developed for the benefit of undergraduates.

Conclusion

ADFA has made significant improvements to injury management. ADFA has commenced recording injury statistics differentiated by gender, type and cause of injury in a format which lends itself to regular analysis. A number of substantial changes to physical training, remedial training and rehabilitation programs have been implemented and undergraduates are aware of the improvements. ADFA should continue to address injury risks associated with female undergraduates and develop measures to combat these risks.

The stigma associated with injury is being addressed through the removal of physical signs of medical restrictions, education programs and improved rehabilitation. While this is a comprehensive approach, ADFA must continue to monitor and address this enduring stigma which is culturally based and continues to undermine women.

Recommendation 31 has been largely implemented, however, part b) is still in the developmental stage. ADFA has updated and displayed posters in training and accommodation areas with contact details of internal and external emergency and support services. This information is supplemented with cards provided to undergraduates. Clarification of which number to call in the event of an emergency or imminent threat is required.

ADFA has commenced developing relationships with key external service providers and has secured an agreement to meet annually. These partnerships do not appear to have been fully developed yet.58 The nature of these relationships is unclear and further action is required to ensure that these partnerships will meet the support needs of female undergraduates.


  1. RIT, ‘Brief for Broderick Review Audit – Recommendation 30 and 31: Injury, Health and Wellbeing at ADFA – RFIs 77-87’, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 17 January 2013.
  2. RIT, ‘Broderick Ph1 Review Implementation Progress Spreadsheet’, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 28 September 2012; RIT, ‘Broderick Audit Summary Final 280912’, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 28 September 2012; RIT, ‘Brief for Broderick Review Audit – Recommendation 30 and 31: Injury, Health and Wellbeing at ADFA – RFIs 77-87’, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 17 January 2013.
  3. RIT, ‘Broderick Ph1 Review Implementation Progress Spreadsheet’, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 28 September 2012; RIT, ‘Broderick Audit Summary Final 280912’, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 28 September 2012; RIT, ‘Brief for Broderick Review Audit – Recommendation 30 and 31: Injury, Health and Wellbeing at ADFA – RFIs 77-87’, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 17 January 2013; LTCOL B Kilpatrick email provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 20 February 2013.
  4. ‘Physical and Recreation Training (P&RT)’, provided to the Audit, 8 February 2013. The Audit is advised that the philosophy of physical conditioning at ADFA changed in 2011. This involved a move from the objective of reaching high levels of physical condition in the first year at ADFA to a graduated approach in which undergraduates are conditioned over the time spent at ADFA so that in their final year they are able to meet the physical requirements after ADFA. This is accompanied by the use of ability based training in which undergraduates work at the same intensity with less regard paid to external measurements. RIT, ‘Cultural Change Management at Australian Defence Force Academy’, provided to the Audit by N Miller, 28 September 2012.
  5. Department of Defence, HLTHMAN, volume 23, ‘Research Protocol Submission for Scientific and Ethical Approval’, provided to the Audit on 8 February 2013.
  6. RIT, ‘Brief for Broderick Review Audit – Recommendation 30 and 31: Injury, Health and Wellbeing at ADFA – RFIs 77-87’, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 17 January 2013]. This involves CDRE BJ Kafer emphasising the importance of fitness levels in the annual Roadshow.
  7. Defence Jobs, ‘ADF Active iPhone App’, http://www.defencejobs.gov.au/women/iphone.aspx (viewed 13 May 2013).
  8. RIT, ‘Brief for Broderick Review Audit – Recommendation 30 and 31: Injury, Health and Wellbeing at ADFA – RFIs 77-87’, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 17 January 2013.
  9. RIT, ‘Brief for Broderick Review Audit – Recommendation 30 and 31: Injury, Health and Wellbeing at ADFA – RFIs 77-87’, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 17 January 2013.
  10. RIT, ‘Brief for Broderick Review Audit – Recommendation 30 and 31: Injury, Health and Wellbeing at ADFA – RFIs 77-87’, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 17 January 2013.
  11. RIT, ‘Brief for Broderick Review Audit – Recommendation 30 and 31: Injury, Health and Wellbeing at ADFA – RFIs 77-87’, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 17 January 2013.
  12. ADFA, ‘Master 2012 Rehab Stats – as at 18 Apr 12’, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 28 September 2012; ADFA, ‘Master 2012 Rehab stats – As at 31 July 2012’, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 28 September 2012.
  13. ADFA, ‘Master 2012 Rehab Stats – as at 18 Apr 12’, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 28 September 2012; ADFA, ‘Master 2012 Rehab stats – As at 31 July 2012’, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 28 September 2012.
  14. RIT, ‘Broderick Audit Summary Final 280912’, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 28 September 2012.
  15. SGT Magill, ‘Minute, Rehabilitation of Mech Downgraded Cadets & Midn’, ADFA/OUT/2012/304, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 28 September 2012.
  16. RIT, ‘Brief for Broderick Review Audit – Recommendation 30 and 31: Injury, Health and Wellbeing at ADFA – RFIs 77-87’, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 17 January 2013.
  17. Focus group U1, Mixed Service 2nd year undergraduate male and female, 17 October 2012.
  18. Focus group U7, Mixed Service undergraduate female, 17 October 2012.
  19. Interview 32, Army staff male, 16 October 2012.
  20. This is done through the ADFA ‘Roadshow’. A video to demonstrate the requirements had been planned however was cancelled due to low priority. The basis for this strategy is ADFA’s finding that individuals with fitness levels below that required to pass the ADFA basic fitness test are at a high risk of sustaining a gradual onset injury. In combination with the finding that gradual onset injuries make up a high proportion of injuries at ADFA, this strategy is intended to address one of the causes of such injuries. This approach is summarised in an internal ADFA email as ‘in short, arrive fit and healthy.’ Email correspondence between LCDR B Butler and Dr N Miller, 19 July 2012, provided to the Audit 28 September 2012; Dr N Miller, email to the Audit, 12 February 2012.
  21. Defence Jobs, ‘ADF Active IPhone App’, http://www.defencejobs.gov.au/women/iphone.aspx (viewed 13 May 2013).
  22. Another example of a targeted response was provided to the Audit, a Report on Defective or Unsatisfactory Material (RODUM). This aims to address the dangers of undergraduates with shorter back lengths carrying the standard Field Pack. As noted in the RODUM, ‘100% of these members are female.’ While a solution has not been found yet, ‘in the meantime, a specially purchased smaller pack (not service issue) is currently being trialled.’ Department of Defence, submitted by W Frazer, ‘Report on Defective or Unsatisfactory Material- Land (RODUM), provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 28 September 2012.
  23. RIT, ‘Brief for Broderick Review Audit – Recommendation 30 and 31: Injury, Health and Wellbeing at ADFA – RFIs 77-87’, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 17 January 2013; RIT, ‘Broderick Ph1 Review Implementation Progress Spreadsheet’, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 28 September 2012.
  24. In addition to the rehabilitation and remedial programs, the injury brief comments that a key intervention resulting from this analysis is to screen undergraduates to determine whether they can demonstrate the required levels of fitness and ability to participate in sporting activities. The basis for this strategy is that ‘the majority of injuries incurred by female midshipmen and officer cadets are gradual onset and sporting injuries.’ Further, in 2013 the competitive rugby for females is to be restricted such that they will not compete against teams in the wider community. While these mechanisms do address a major cause of injury for female undergraduates, the Audit has concerns about the overall impact of this on females at ADFA, particularly given the importance of these activities to ADFA life and the mentoring opportunities that the sporting teams offer. RIT, ‘Brief for Broderick Review Audit – Recommendation 30 and 31: Injury, Health and Wellbeing at ADFA – RFIs 77-87’, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 17 January 2013.
  25. The injury brief states that ‘there are few, if any, comparable residential settings” and then addressed RMC as the applicable setting.’ RIT, ‘Brief for Broderick Review Audit – Recommendation 30 and 31: Injury, Health and Wellbeing at ADFA – RFIs 7787’, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 17 January 2013.
  26. For example, the following is listed as a key action in another document ‘check best practice in comparable residential settings (e.g. RMC, Cerberus, Creswell).’ This document contains both Cerberus and Creswell however the Audit has not been provided with any evidence of reference to best practice in these other settings.
  27. RIT, ‘Brief for Broderick Review Audit – Recommendation 30 and 31: Injury, Health and Wellbeing at ADFA – RFIs 77-87’, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 17 January 2013; RIT, ‘Broderick Audit Summary Final 280912’, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 28 September 2012.
  28. RIT, ‘Brief for Broderick Review Audit – Recommendation 30 and 31: Injury, Health and Wellbeing at ADFA – RFIs 77-87’, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 17 January 2013.
  29. RIT, ‘Broderick Audit Summary Final 280912’, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 28 September 2012.
  30. RIT, ‘Broderick Audit Summary Final 280912’, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 28 September 2012.
  31. RIT, ‘Broderick Audit Summary Final 280912’, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 28 September 2012.
  32. RIT, ‘Brief for Broderick Review Audit – Recommendation 30 and 31: Injury, Health and Wellbeing at ADFA – RFIs 77-87’, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 17 January 2013; RIT, ‘Broderick Ph1 Review Implementation Progress Spreadsheet’, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 28 September 2012.
  33. The Audit has not seen the actual content of this approach and therefore supports the concept with the caveat that such programs must meet the intent of the Recommendation. The Audit has been provided with slides from the injury management presentation during YOFT however the approach referred to is not present in the slides.
  34. RIT, ‘Broderick Audit Summary Final 280912’, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 28 September 2012.
  35. Interview 32, Army staff male, 15 October 2012.
  36. Focus group U1, Mixed Service 2nd year undergraduate male and female, 17 October 2012.
  37. Focus group U1, Mixed Service 2nd year undergraduate male and female, 17 October 2012.
  38. ADFA should also be concerned about the dangers of such stigma not just to the culture of equal treatment of women, but to the risk that injuries will not be properly managed. Where injured undergraduates are at risk of being considered ‘malingerers’ by fellow undergraduates there is a risk that injured undergraduates ‘don’t want to be one of those’ and therefore will avoid medical restrictions even when required. Focus group S5, Mixed Service staff female, 16 October 2012.
  39. ADFA, ‘Healthy Lifestyles, gender briefing’ (female), YOFT, 8 February 2013; ADFA, ‘YMHL13 – Female Gender Brief’, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 21 March 2013.
  40. ADFA, ‘Healthy Lifestyles, gender briefing’ (male), YOFT, 8 February 2013; ADFA, ‘YMHL13 – Male Gender Brief’, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 21 March 2013.
  41. Capt Dolce, psychologist, ‘Suicide Awareness’, Mandatory Training for staff, presentation 21 January 2013.
  42. Anne Goyne, Senior psychologist, ‘Suicide Awareness’, YOFT, presentation, 27 January 2012.
  43. Capt Dolce, psychologist, ‘Suicide Awareness’, Mandatory Training for staff, presentation 21 January 2013.
  44. Ann Goyne, email to Dr N Miller, 14 February 2012, provided to the Audit, 14 February 2013.
  45. Department of Defence, Mental Health in the Australian Defence Force: 2010 ADF Mental Health Prevalence and Wellbeing Study, p xi. At http://www.defence.gov.au/health/DMH/i-MHRP.htm#MHRP (viewed 6 March 2012).
  46. National Mental Health Commission, A Contributing Life: the 2012 National Report Card on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, 2012, p 128. At http://www.mentalhealthcommission.gov.au/media/39273/NMHC_ReportCard_Lo-... (viewed 6 March 2013).
  47. Capt Dolce, psychologist, ‘Suicide Awareness’, Mandatory Training for staff, presentation 21 January 2013.
  48. P McGorry, A Parker and R Purcell, ‘Youth Mental Health Services’, InPsych (August 2006). At http://www.psychology.org.au/publications/inpsych/youth_mental_health/ (viewed 8 March 2013).
  49. RIT, ‘Broderick Audit Summary Final 280912’, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 28 September 2012; ADFA, ‘Emergency and Support Contact Numbers’, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 28 September 2012; ADFA, ‘Emergency Contact Ready Reckoner Card’, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 28 September 2012; RIT, ‘Broderick Ph1 Review Implementation Progress Spreadsheet’, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 28 September 2012.
  50. RIT, ‘Broderick Ph1 Review Implementation Progress Spreadsheet’, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 28 September 2012.
  51. RIT, ‘Broderick Ph1 Review Implementation Progress Spreadsheet’, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 28 September 2012; RIT, ‘Broderick Audit Summary Final 280912’, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 28 September 2012.
  52. LTCOL B Kilpatrick, email to Dr N Miller, 30 January 2013, and email from Dr N Miller to Audit, 30 January 2013.
  53. LCDR N Cook, email to Dr N Miller and S Longbottom, 18 December 2012, provided to the Audit by S Longbottom, 20 December 2012.
  54. LCDR N Cook, email to Dr N Miller and S Longbottom, 18 December 2012, provided to the Audit by S Longbottom, 20 December 2012; Dr N Miller, email to the Audit, 12 December 2012.
  55. RIT, ‘Communication Plan: Communicating Cultural Change’, Annex L, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 12 November 2012.
  56. The exception to this is the relationship with Sexual Health and Family Planning ACT in which the Audit is advised that ADFA is working with this organisation to develop a Sexual Ethics Program. This provides an important part of the response to undergraduate needs. This program is further discussed in respect of Recommendation 22. RIT, ‘Broderick Ph1 Review Implementation Progress Spreadsheet’, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 28 September 2012.
  57. Interview 1, CDRE BJ Kafer, 12 September 2012.
  58. There is concern that because the Recommendation is marked as ‘Implemented’ the implementation might not be carried through. RIT, ‘Broderick Audit Summary Final 280912’, provided to the Audit by Dr N Miller, 28 September 2012.