Chief of Army addresses allegations of unacceptable behaviour

Published on Jun 12, 2013

Message from the Chief of Army, Lieutenant General David Morrison, AO, to the Australian Army following the announcement on Thursday, 13 June 2013 of civilian police and Defence investigations into allegations of unacceptable behaviour by Army members.


Chief of Army addresses allegations of unacceptable behaviour

13 June 2013 | Media Release

The Chief of Army, Lieutenant General David Morrison, AO today announced the suspension of three members of the Australian Army and that action had been initiated to consider the suspension of another five Army members, pending the outcome of civilian police and Defence investigations into allegations of unacceptable behaviour.

The investigations relate to evidence that a group of officers and non-commissioned officers of the Australian Army allegedly produced and distributed highly inappropriate material demeaning women, across both Defence computer systems and the public internet.

The production and distribution of the material dates back to 2010 and also appears to make veiled reference to drug use.

“There is no place for this behaviour in our Army, and in a Defence Force that prides itself on teamwork, courage and respect, and where women and men work alongside each other as colleagues and professionals,” Lieutenant General Morrison said.

“It brings the Australian Army into disrepute and betrays all those whose service has established its enviable status among our citizens.

“I am, of course, cognisant of the need to keep an open mind and to let the evidence speak in regard to how these men are dealt with, but I view the allegations that are being made in the gravest light.”

The three Army members already suspended are the subject of an ongoing investigation by New South Wales Police.

The Army today initiated action to consider the suspension of another five members who are the subject of a parallel Australian Defence Force Investigative Service (ADFIS) investigation into a number of alleged Service offences. The ADFIS investigation is also ongoing.

Pending the outcome of the ongoing ADFIS investigation, the Army may consider further suspension decisions against nine others if the circumstances warrant.

ADFIS is also investigating a further 90 individuals who have been identified as peripheral to the group’s email exchanges. These 90 individuals are predominantly Army members.

Where any serious case is proven, the Chief of Army is resolved to take every step available to remove the individual responsible from the Army.

“If proven, these allegations could lead to the imposition of punishment, to these individuals being discharged from the Australian Army,” Lieutenant General Morrison said.

“After the significant effort we have made to encourage women to enlist and remain in the Army, I am extremely concerned at what appears to have been uncovered.

“In the wake of the ADFA ‘Skype’ case, and the series of inquiries and reviews into various aspects of the ADF culture and military justice over the last 20 years, the leadership of the ADF no longer accepts the ‘bad apple’ argument when one of these incidents occurs.

“These behaviours are symptoms of a systemic problem and we will continue to address them in a comprehensive manner, through Defence’s Pathway to Change strategy.”

Army and Defence are engaging with and providing support to those women who have been affected by these allegations.

Defence is also providing support to those personnel who are the subject of these allegations.

Media note:
A transcript of today’s media conference will be available at

Images from the media conference will be available at

Media contact:
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999


White House Releases Updated Title IX Guidance on Campus Sexual Assault


White House Releases Updated Title IX Guidance on Campus Sexual Assault

As part of the “It’s On Us” campaign to end campus sexual assault by changing campus culture, the White House has released guidance to assist with enforcement of institutional Title IX policies.

The documents released include a “Guide to Drafting a Sexual Assault Policy,” “Definitions of Key Terms in Sexual Misconduct Policies,” the “Role of Title IX Coordinator,” and how to include “Interim and Supportive Measures for Victims.”

All education institutions in the United States that receive federal funding must adhere to Title IX policies. One of these policies includes having at least one employee in charge of coordinating efforts to comply with Title IX, the federal law prohibiting sex discrimination in school programs or activities. The Title IX coordinator can also be the person who implements the school’s sexual misconduct policy and responds to misconduct allegations.

The White House guidance also includes a definition of consent as something that is “informed, voluntary, and mutual, and can be withdrawn at any time.” The definition explains, “There is no consent when there is force, expressed or implied, or when coercion, intimidation, threats, or duress is used. Whether a person has taken advantage of a position of influence over another person may be a factor in determining consent. Silence or absence of resistance does not imply consent. Past consent to sexual activity with another person does not imply ongoing future consent with that person or consent to that same sexual activity with another person.”

The guidelines also include a checklist for how to properly develop a sexual misconduct policy, information for reporting sexual misconduct, how to support a survivor of sexual assault, and specific definitions that go along with these policies.

“Our society still does not sufficiently value women,” President Barack Obama said during the unveiling of the campaign. “Unless women are allowed to fulfill their full potential, America will not fulfill its full potential [Laws] won’t be enough unless we change the culture that allows assault to happen in the first place.”

Vice President Joe Biden has emphasized that men must be involved. “Violence against women is not a women’s issue alone, it’s a men’s issue,” said Vice President Joe Biden said. “To all the guys out there: Step up. Be responsible. Intervene.”

According to a White House report released early this year, 1 in 5 women are sexually assaulted during their time in college and only 12 percent report the crime. Currently over 70 colleges and universities are under investigation for mishandling sexual assault cases.

It’s On Us is an ongoing part of the “Not Alone” campaign and pushes for students to recognize sexual assault for what it is, identify warning signs, intervene when it seems consent cannot or has not been given, and change their campus cultures so that survivors are supported and sexual assault is seen as unacceptable. Individuals can participate in It’s On Us by going to and taking the pledge, or by going a step further and downloading the free toolkit to help implement the campaign in their school or community.

Media Resources:;; Feminist Newswire 9/19/2014, 5/16/2014; Washington Post 9/14/14; The White House Council on Women and Girls 1/2014


Oct. 17-Campus Sexual Assault Panel Discussion- PRE-REGISTRATION FORM Below and Details in Attached PDF





Pre-Registration Form details

Please fill out this form and return to Emma Sipperly at the U.S. Attorney’s Office by October
10th to be pre-registered for the event and have a seat held for you.
By email: or fax to 203-696-3044.
Last Name _________________________ First Name____________________________
Email address ___________________________________
Organization __________________________________ Title ______________________
Number of People Attending From Your Organization ____________________________


Campus SExual Assault


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