An inquiry into unacceptable behaviour in defence has been released, finding a number of changes are needed at recruit training.
An inquiry into unacceptable behaviour in defence has been released, finding a number of changes are needed at recruit training.

ADF watchdog releases inquiry into unacceptable behaviour

An inquiry into unacceptable behaviour in defence has been released, finding a number of changes are needed at recruit training.

The report was released by the Commonwealth Ombudsman, whose role as watchdog for the ADF was introduced in 2016 following reports of systematic and serious abuse.

It followed six independent reviews in 2011 following a female ADFA cadet was secretly filmed having sex and broadcast live over Skype.

The latest report analysed if recruits were being appropriately prepared for the ADF, looking specifically at courses delivered by Army, Navy and Air Force recruit schools around education in relation to required behaviours.

The report found that training frameworks failed to include specific training to recruits explaining their rights and responsibilities as ADF members, and inconsistencies between each service, as well as a lack of collaboration overall.

In his executive summary, Commonwealth Ombudsman Michael Manthorpe PSM said his five recommendations aimed to improve course content and delivery in a way that would help prevent 'serious abuse issues'.

"While training alone cannot eliminate all instances of abuse, appropriate training and education is one of the primary preventative tools available to Defence, to reduce the likelihood that serious forms of abuse will continue to occur, while also building a culture where incidents are reported and dealt with appropriately," Mr Manthorpe said.

Recommendations included the need for instructors to be regularly assessed on what they were teaching recruits, an evaluation of the content and that it be done externally to defence.

Mr Manthorpe noted that the healthy relationships and sexual ethics training package should be evaluated as a priority.

Other recommendations called for better use of data analysis to improve governance across all services.

The Defence Department supported all five recommendations.

Originally published as ADF watchdog releases inquiry into unacceptable behaviour



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