Home' Navy News : October 25th 2012 Contents Director
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SERVING AUSTRALIA WITH PRIDE NEWS
October 25, 2012
HELP AVAILABLE: Commander Joint Health RADM Robyn Walker talks about mental health
to VCDF group members in Canberra.
Photo: CPL Nick Wiseman
Day for recognition
CPL Nick Wiseman
THE inaugural ADF Mental Health Day was marked
on October 10 with a viewing of the DVD Dents in the
Soul and regional activities aimed at promoting aware-
ness of mental health.
By raising awareness it is hoped more people will
find the courage to come forward and seek help for
problems they may be facing from their military ser-
CDF GEN David Hurley said one of the biggest
hurdles in dealing with this issue was changing the
way we think about mental health.
"We all have to learn to look beyond the stereo-
types and see mental health issues, including PTSD, as
we do any other illness," he said.
"Reaching out for help is a sign of strength, not
VCDF AIRMSHL Mark Binskin and Commander
Joint Health RADM Robyn Walker addressed VCDF
group members at a morning tea followed by a view-
ing of the DVD and group discussions as part of
activities in Canberra.
RADM Walker said events like ADF Mental Health
Day were important to promote awareness and better
educate members about mental health injuries.
"The reality is that any one of us could be affected
at any time and it's about how we are treated that mat-
ters," RADM Walker said.
She said there were many stigmas and barriers sur-
rounding mental health.
"There is a fear that ADF members won't be able
to deploy. Well, we wouldn't want to deploy someone
with a broken leg because they're not fit to do their job
but we also don't want to deploy people that are unfit
with a mental health problem. But it doesn't mean
you can't be treated and then be fit to deploy at a later
"It is not a bad thing to say you have a problem.
If days like today can get us talking a little more and
understanding better then we're helping the commu-
nity not just the ADF."
AIRMSHL Binskin said mental health issues could
affect anyone and for any reason.
"Everyone suffers from anxiety, depression or just
feeling down at some point in their life, which is all
part of your mental health," he said. "It is important
to recognise that mental health issues can come from
"Experiences on deployment do not necessarily put
you at risk of a mental health condition. People who
have not deployed experience mental health issues at
similar rates to those who have deployed."
SERVING women can transfer to
combat roles next year after a plan
opening front-line jobs to females was
signed by Senior Service Officers in
Canberra on October 11.
Defence Science and Personnel
Minister Warren Snowdon joined
VCDF AIRMSHL Mark Binskin (rep-
resenting the CDF), CA LTGEN David
Morrison, DCN RADM Trevor Jones,
DCAF AVM Leo Davies and Head
People Capability MAJGEN Gerard
Fogarty to sign the plan.
From 2013 female sailors may
apply for clearance diver and other
combat positions with civilian women
able to join in front-line roles by 2016.
The change will coincide with the
start of the new Physical Employment
Standards (PES) in January next year.
The lifting of restrictions is part
of a wider strategy that started in July
2011 with a planning phase and moved
to a preparation phase in September
2012 that will change training docu-
ments and policies, educate sailors
along with updating facilities and
AIRMSHL Binskin said that with
women already submariners, pilots
and engineers, the opening of all jobs
"Today, women perform roles
which several decades ago may have
seemed impossible, but are now a tan-
gible reality," he said.
"The removal of all gender restric-
tions is a logical next step. Opening all
the employment categories to all ADF
members is a significant step -- and it's
not just for women; it's for everyone in
"The senior leadership is commit-
ted to policies that are based on inclu-
sion that enable all ADF members to
build their careers, with provisions for
professional development and career
management that focuses on encourag-
ing people to grow professionally."
Minister Snowdon, who has played
a significant role regarding gender
equality issues within the ADF since
2008, welcomed the plan.
While attending a graduation parade
at HMAS Cerberus, Mr Snowdon met
the young woman who was awarded
the course student of merit and she told
him it was her goal to become a clear-
ance diver. "I told her to just hang on
for a couple of years," he said.
"But I now want to tell her that as
of next year she can apply."
Following the full integration of
women in combat roles, new fitness
standards will be developed for testing
potential Navy recruits.
Female Navy members can express
interest to their career managers
with internal transfers beginning in
PRICES at ADF clothing stores will
be standardised across the three ser-
vices when a new costing policy is
introduced on November 1.
The Director of the Clothing
Systems Project Office, COL Haydn
Kohl, said under the new policy, prices
for similar items across the ADF
would be the same regardless of ser-
vice, gender or size.
"However, in some cases where
there is a clear difference between the
garments, such as heavyweight and
lightweight trousers, the prices will
remain different," he said.
Although this approach has largely
been the case in the past, the new pol-
icy cements standardisation in future
pricing of Defence clothing.
COL Kohl said the new policy will
take effect on November 1 with the
price of many items set to be updated.
"This is the first time that prices
have been updated since 2008, so
when members next go to a clothing
store they should expect to see that
prices have changed.
"Defence makes no profit from
the clothing it sells nor does it seek to
recoup distribution, transportation or
storage costs," he said.
"This new policy only applies to
non-combat clothing sold through
clothing stores. It does not affect com-
bat clothing or protective equipment."
Future price updates will now
occur each July and clothing stores
will advise members of price changes
as they happen.
For more information on the new policy
contact CPO Jane Lapa on (03) 9282 6178.
Doors open to women in combat roles
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