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October 13, 2011
Moving with the times
From page 1
"The first implementation report will come to the
Government in the first quarter of next year."
The new policy will remove gender restrictions on
the remaining seven per cent of ADF trades in which
women were excluded on the basis of gender.
This includes air defence guards in the Air Force,
and infantry, armour and artillery combat or frontline
positions within the Army.
The statement by Mr Smith and Mr Snowdon
said Defence would now draw on the experience
gained from opening more positions to women over
the past two decades to implement the new policy.
Additional research will be undertaken to enable
the implementation of the Government's position.
Mr Snowdon said women had a long and proud
history of service with the ADF.
"This decision is a positive step, enhancing equal-
ity among the men and women who proudly wear the
uniform," Mr Snowdon said.
"Defence is committed to creating a work envi-
ronment where all personnel are treated fairly and
with respect -- developing the implementation plan is
central to this."
Mr Snowdon said work currently underway with-
in the Defence Science and Technology Organisation
in partnership with the University of Wollongong
would ultimately determine the physical capacities
required to do a particular job.
"That's how people will be judged -- their physical
and psychological capacity to do the work, not their
gender," he said.
"That will make a significant difference in open-
ing up these trades to women and it will mean that in
the future we may well see women leading, for exam-
ple, infantry companies."
Women have long
served in ships and
submarines but may
now also serve in
combat roles, like
clearance diving, if
they meet the criteria
for the job.
WHAT DO SAILORS THINK?
ABBM Nicole Bell: "I think if a
woman is up to the standard, then
she should get the opportunity to
serve anywhere in the ADF. Women
should at least have the option if they
meet the requirements."
ABWTR Kathleen Clifford: "I'm all for
this as long as the standards are not
changed. Females should be able to
go for it. But the requirements should
not be changed...because this would
compromise the standards."
ABBM Kenny Merkovski: "If women
can physically match it with the men
and achieve the same standard, then
they should be allowed the opportuni-
ty to serve in all branches of the ADF,
including combat roles."
ABBM Kyle Webb: "The removal of
the gender restrictions is a good initia-
tive. Some of the women I work with
are very tough and strong. I think they
could match men physically. Some
could clean up the guys on this ship."
PHYSICAL EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS PROJECT
THE Physical Employment
Standards Project, due for com-
pletion by the end of this year,
will review current standards and
introduce a gender neutral selec-
tion process to determine suitabil-
ity to perform military essential
tasks and roles.
While the project will define
standards that can be used to
demonstrate that a person is
physically capable of performing
certain tasks, it is not examining
specifically the role of women in
The results of the project will,
however, offer a future expanded
role for women in the ADF where
they will be able to work in any
position in which they have the
ability to meet all of the demands
of the role, including physical
Number of women in the perma-
nent ADF -- as of August 1, 2011
Navy -- 2596 women (18.5 per
Army -- 2930 women (9.9 per cent)
Air Force -- 2480 women (17.1 per
ADF -- 50,042 men (86.2 per cent),
8,006 women (13.8 per
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