Home' Navy News : March 3rd 2011 Contents NAVY NEWS
Chief of Navy VADM Russ Crane has called on all RAN members to
focus on widespread cultural change following the release of the
Commission of Inquiry (COI) report into allegations of unacceptable
behaviour aboard HMAS Success. CMDR Fenn Kemp explains.
Last year, the Chief of the Defence Force,
ACM Angus Houston, appointed the
Honourable Roger Gyles to conduct the
COI into incidents of unacceptable behav-
iour among Success' ship's company between
March and May 2009. The findings, recommen-
dations and conclusions of Part One of the report
have been accepted in full by CDF and CN.
Defence Minister Stephen Smith said the report
made for very sorry and confronting reading.
Mr Gyles' conclusions go to culture, leadership,
alcohol misuse and behaviour ashore.
Mr Smith said the report outlined unacceptable
behaviour that fell beneath community standards.
CN agreed. "Such behaviour will not be toler-
ated by CDF or by me and it will certainly not be
tolerated by the Australian community," VADM
"I, like everyone else reading this report, was
upset and extremely disappointed with the very poor
behaviour demonstrated by a number of individuals.
"It is apparent a number of the ship's company
behaved in a manner which is clearly contrary to
our values and Signature Behaviours. These people
also failed to maintain the high standards demanded
of them from the Australian community."
An action plan has been developed to address the
issues identified in the report. CDF has established
a specialist HMAS Success Implementation Team,
headed by RADM Allan Du Toit (HNPAR), to
ensure all the necessary reforms are instigated. The
team will report to CDF, through CN, quarterly on
CN said the New Generation Navy (NGN)
program would lead the way in reforming Navy's
"The NGN program is designed to transform the
Australian Navy in a way never before attempted,"
"NGN seeks to empower all of our people to
make them better leaders. It aims to transform Navy
into a more forward thinking organisation. NGN
seeks to improve Navy's culture by targeting unac-
ceptable behaviour in any form. It seeks to empower
every member of every rank to make them step up
to the responsibility wearing this uniform entails."
The ADF is also partnering with the Australian
Drug Foundation to develop a long-term cultural
change strategy to prevent the misuse of alcohol.
CN warned of 100 per cent breath testing on all
RAN ships if necessary to stamp out the misuse of
alcohol. He also signalled that he would introduce
a complete ban on drinking alcohol in some ports if
Navy members failed to lift their game.
"Whether at sea or ashore, Navy people are
ambassadors for this nation," CN said.
"Those who behave unacceptably will be dealt
with through disciplinary regulations. They let
themselves down, they let the Australian people
down and they let down their ship-mates."
Such sentiments were echoed by CDF.
"I have made it clear that my highest priority as
CDF is the welfare of our people and the unaccep-
table behaviour that occurred on this deployment is
deeply disappointing to CN and me," ACM Houston
"And that's why we are taking decisive action."
CN said further disciplinary and administrative
action was very likely.
"What is more important, however, is that the
people of Australia know and understand that their
Navy has no tolerance for the types of negative
behaviour demonstrated in this report," he said.
"We as a Navy are working hard through our
NGN program to stamp out that behaviour. This
report has reinforced our already strong commit-
ment to NGN."
The redacted version of Part One of the Commission of
Inquiry report can be downloaded at www.defence.
HMAS Success at anchor in Jervis Bay.
Photo: ABIS Justin Brown
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