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Collaboration for Cultural Reform in Defence

Discrimination Sex Discrimination

The Australian Human Rights Commission (the Commission) and Defence have engaged in a collaboration to meet the intent of cultural reform across Defence.

The Commission is collaborating with Defence to provide advice and support on the progress of cultural reform as described in Pathway to Change. This includes identifying areas where reform progress is lagging or requires acceleration so that it can be targeted for increased focus and examination. Further, any new issues not previously identified can also be examined and addressed.

The Commission will focus on gender, race and diversity, sexual orientation and gender identity, and other matters addressed under Pathway to Change, such as alcohol and social media.

The Commission is uniquely positioned to work with Defence to advise on issues relevant to the cultural reform agenda. The Commission is an independent body with particular expertise in human rights and anti-discrimination policy. It has already engaged with thousands of Defence personnel across all Services, ranks and locations and has also closely examined Defence policies, processes and workforce data and developed strong working relationships with personnel.

In consultation with Defence, the Commission has developed a work program which includes a range of visits to bases and some longer term projects. Visits to bases include discussions with Command, interviews and focus groups with personnel, analysis of data and some observation of activities. Personnel are encouraged to participate openly and frankly with the Commission to ensure that the visit is tailored to their needs and experiences, and to maximise the benefits of collaboration.

For further information, please visit the Cultural Reform website at