//
you're reading...
Australian Current Affairs

Serious abuse at Australian Defence Academy alarms government


Defence minister Stephen Smith with Defence Abuse Response Taskforce head Len Roberts-Smith

Defence minister Stephen Smith with Defence Abuse Response Taskforce head Len Roberts-Smith

Claims of serious abuse at the Australian Defence Force Academy and HMAS Leeuwin naval base are “more widespread and persistent” than previously reported, a high-level inquiry has found.

In an interim report, the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce, headed by retired judge Len Roberts-Smith, found that abuse was evident at other recruit schools and training institutions as well.

The finding comes as soldiers from the 3rd Brigade, based in Townsville, were reportedly charged with defence discipline offences over Facebook postings that referred to women as “sluts”.

The Roberts-Smith taskforce was commissioned last year by Defence Minister Stephen Smith to investigate decades of abuse claims in the military – part of the government’s response to the 2011 “Skype affair” at the Australian Defence Force Academy.

Advertisement

In particular, the taskforce has been asked to prioritise 24 claims of rape at ADFA and abuse of cadet sailors as young as 14 at the now-closed Western Australian naval base HMAS Leeuwin.

So far, only four of the 19 complainants from the “ADFA 24” rape cases from the 1990s have agreed to have their complaints assessed by the taskforce, Mr Smith said in a statement summarising the taskforce’s interim findings.

But a further 48 complaints alleging “physical abuse, sexual abuse, harassment or bullying” at ADFA had surfaced.

“The allegations of serious abuse at HMAS Leeuwin and ADFA are more widespread and persistent than was reported in the 1971 Rapke Report and in the 1998 Grey Review respectively,” the taskforce has reported.

“The particular issues which arose at HMAS Leeuwin and ADFA can also be seen at other ADF recruit schools and training institutions.”

The number of complaints that will be assessed by the taskforce has soared to 2410 – 1535 new claims on top of the 875 uncovered by the previous review by law firm DLA Piper.

The revelations follow the announcement last week by Chief of Army David Morrison that 17 soldiers including officers and non-commissioned officers had been involved in an internet sex ring that swapped demeaning images and text about women.

The ring, calling itself the “Jedi Council”, shared footage and naked images of women with whom some of the ring’s members had had sex. The images were accompanied by offensive commentary and in some cases included encouragement for other members of the ring to seek the women out and have sex with them as well.

On Thursday, the Townsville Bulletin reported that 3rd Brigade commander Brigadier Shane Caughey had said soldiers associated with sexist Facebook pages would be charged under the Australian Defence Force Discipline Act.

The Facebook pages labelled women “sluts” and “fat chicks”. Brigadier Caughey said the Army needed to be held to a higher account than the general community.

In his statement, Mr Smith also said that analysis from the Australian Defence Force Investigative Service showed there had been on average 80 reports of sexual assault per year over the past five years.

“One case of sexual assault is unacceptable. Eighty cases is of grave concern,” he said.

Of particular concern was the fact that research had shown about four out of five victims never reported their experiences, he said.

Source: National Times – Serious abuse at Defence Academy ‘more widespread and persistent’

About Craig Hill

Teacher and Writer. Writing has been cited in New York Times, BBC, Fox News, Aljazeera, Philippines Star, South China Morning Post, National Interest, news.com.au, Wikipedia and others.

Discussion

One thought on “Serious abuse at Australian Defence Academy alarms government

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

If you liked what you just read, click "Subscribe" to become a follower of the Craig Hill site. You will receive an email each time a new post is published.

Join 15,358 other followers

An archive of all my old posts

Follow me on Twitter

Most Recent Posts Post on My Blog About China: China News

United States outmanoeuvres Russia once again? 

United States outmanoeuvres Russia once again? 

In a recent briefing, the US Director of National Intelligence (DNI), Avril Haines warned, “I would characterize it as the Russians aren’t winning, and the Ukrainians aren’t winning, and we’re at a bit of a stalemate here.” So, where is the Russia-Ukraine war heading? What is Russian President Putin planning next? Is Europe ready for […]

China is defying global order to expand power, US admiral warns

China is defying global order to expand power, US admiral warns

The Chinese Communist Party and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) are destabilizing international order in an effort to expand their global power, Adm. John Aquilino, commander of the Indo-Pacific Command, warned lawmakers during a House hearing on Tuesday. In his written testimony submitted to the House Appropriations defense subcommittee, Adm. Aquilino explained that the Department […]

China – Autocracy and decoupling technical tests

China – Autocracy and decoupling technical tests

We have noticed that the embrace with China had become suffocating in the last twenty years. The West universe of consumers and China the factory of the world. We started with modest and low value-added materials and products, to refine the trajectory and revolution to the most refined and complex technologies, such as 5G and […]

Four ways China is growing its media influence in Southeast Asia

Four ways China is growing its media influence in Southeast Asia

As President Biden welcomes leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to a special summit this week in Washington, D.C., his administration is affirming Beijing as the U.S.’s main rival and underscoring the region’s importance in U.S.-China competition. The two-day event is part of the U.S effort to woo ASEAN members caught in a […]

Confronting Russia will deter China, says Japanese defense minister

Confronting Russia will deter China, says Japanese defense minister

A strong international response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine is critical to deterring China from embarking on territorial conquests in Taiwan or the South China Sea, said Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi. “China has been carefully observing the current situation of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and they are paying particularly close attention to what […]

How Russia-Ukraine copied Finland war without lessons

How Russia-Ukraine copied Finland war without lessons

Finland is a unique country with a distinct language and culture. However, its possession was always contested between Sweden and Russia. Though Finland mainly remained under Swedish control in 1809, it was annexed by Russia. Using the end of World War I and the Bolshevik Revolution in late 1917, Finland declared its independence from the […]

China plans system to take out asteroids hurtling toward earth

China plans system to take out asteroids hurtling toward earth

China plans to develop a system for monitoring asteroids that pose a threat to earth, highlighting the nation’s growing ambitions for its space program. The country will also explore ways for taking out asteroids that endanger the planet, Wu Yanhua, deputy director of the China National Space Administration, said in a TV interview, according to […]

Russia-Japan tensions flare anew over the Kurils

Russia-Japan tensions flare anew over the Kurils

Formally, Russia is not at war with Ukraine, where it claims to be conducting a so-called “special military operation.” But with Japan, given that Moscow and Tokyo never signed a peace treaty officially ending World War II, the two Asian neighbors remain technically at war. And after Japan recently described four Kuril islands whose ownership […]

Solomon Islands has Washington in state of alarm after a security pact with China

Solomon Islands has Washington in state of alarm after a security pact with  China

A tiny island chain in the South Pacific has Western governments scrambling after it agreed to a security pact with China that the United States and its allies fear could enhance Beijing’s military power in this strategically important region.  The deal between China and the Solomon Islands, a nation of 700,000 people that had deadly […]

China says its ‘future helicopters’ will be equipped with ground-breaking technologies

China says its ‘future helicopters’ will be equipped with ground-breaking technologies

Militaries all around the world are looking at integrating modern technology into their military weapons. China, as usual, appears to be making serious efforts to prepare for the future battleground, this time, with plans to include artificial intelligence and high-speed features in its future choppers. During a recent public lecture, a prominent Chinese military helicopter […]

%d bloggers like this: