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March 14, 2013
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SERVING AUSTRALIA WITH PRIDE NEWS
ON February 7, I spoke to about 700
Navy people in Canberra as I launched
our new strategy to guide the develop-
ment of New Generation Navy (NGN)
over the next four years.
By now, many of you who weren't
at that launch will have been briefed
by other members of the Senior
Leadership Group, however, it is
important that I re-emphasise some of
the key points of the new strategy.
NGN is the mechanism used by Navy
to deliver Defence's broader cultural
change program, Pathway to Change.
To set the scene, we need to look
at what we have achieved so far in the
Since the program's launch in 2009
we have made substantial progress.
There has been a visible and posi-
tive shift in attitudes and behaviours
across Navy and we have moved
towards a value and principles
approach to the way we do things.
This has been achieved through
successful programs such as our lead-
ership development workshops and
crucial performance conversation
In 2009, I didn't think we had a
statement that captured what we need to
do in Navy. I believe that the key state-
ment we now have as part of the new
strategy is a very simple way to articu-
late what it is we are striving to be.
A navy trusted to defend Australia
and its interests by being ready to fight
and win at sea. A navy proven to deliv-
er seaworthy and mission-ready forc-
es. A diverse navy, respectful always,
where we live our signature behaviours
and values every day.
This statement contains key words,
which align with Pathway to Change,
captures the breadth of the new strat-
egy and signals that NGN is a much
broader program than it once was.
I have set 2017 as the next focus-
point for NGN, as it aligns with Navy
strategy, which aims to realise our
amphibious capability that we will test
in Exercise Talisman Sabre 17.
In order to fully realise the amphib-
ious capability we need all of our other
roles, such as the protection of our
ability to trade, to be operating effec-
Our focus for NGN remains under-
pinned by three pillars, which have
been redefined to reflect current and
future challenges and opportunities for
Pillars of NGN
The first pillar, warfighting and sea-
worthiness, links the cultural aspects
of our essential warfighting and sea-
I think our warfighting ethos needs
to be regenerated. We need a contem-
porary warfighting culture, one that
depends on a strong esprit de corps
that underpins our ability to fight.
It also relies on our resilience at the
individual and organisational level.
A contemporary warfighting cul-
ture is compatible with our signature
behaviours, where everyone in Navy
understands what we do and what we
might be asked to do.
We have also put an enormous
effort into the development of the sea-
worthiness management system.
Technical integrity of our platforms
is absolutely critical to our ability to
A seaworthiness culture under-
pins seaworthy ships that can achieve
Navy's mission to fight and win at sea
when they are required.
We can't be caught out by not
being ready and we must get our main-
tenance and sustainment processes
right and develop a 'fight to fix' atti-
The second pillar centres on
improvement and accountability.
The Australian Government has an
expectation that Navy can and will
deliver on capability we are funded to
provide. We are accountable for the
delivery of that capability.
THE key message about the NGN
Strategy to 2017 was welcomed by
more than 500 sailors from the Fleet
and Sydney-based establishments.
For the first time, Army and Air
Force personnel, who will form part
of the crew of HMAS Canberra when
she comes into service, joined sail-
ors at Garden Island on February
14 to hear about the reframing of
Navy's cultural reform program from
COMAUSFLT RADM Tim Barrett.
COMAUSFLT said working
together to deliver a positive and con-
structive culture supported Navy's
mission to fight and to win at sea,
while demanding leaders at all levels
lead in a sophisticated and contempo-
RADM Barrett reinforced the NGN
strategy and discussed its new direc-
tion, which will cover the introduc-
tion of Canberra-class LHDs and the
"Critical to Navy is a culture
that embraces seaworthiness, that
understands the importance of tech-
nical integrity and its relationship
to warfighting and that entrenches
a 'fight to fix' approach to mainte-
nance," he said.
RADM Barrett said NGN had
achieved a great deal since it began
in 2009, but there was still more work
"NGN has evolved to address a dif-
ferent set of challenges and opportu-
nities to those we faced in 2009," he
"NGN will provide the cultural
basis to allow Navy to continue to
reform; it is how Navy will implement
the Pathway to Change program."
Looking to the future
Sharing a vital message
Accountability is not about sacking
people or running them in, it's about
everyone understanding that they have
a responsibility for whatever their job
is. It is healthy to call people to
account for their decisions, however,
we must have a just culture where we
ask 'why did this happen?' first rather
than 'who is to blame?'.
We also need to improve our col-
laboration with other areas within the
I appreciate that we often work
within the confines of our own ship
and as such we can sometimes become
a little insular. However, our operating
environment demands that we collabo-
rate across the ADF and beyond into
the rest of government.
The third pillar, values-based, peo-
ple-centred leadership, will continue to
be driven by our signature behaviours.
This is at the core of NGN. We
must all continue to work on the sig-
nature behaviours and make assess-
ments on what we get right or wrong
and then work out how to improve
Work also continues in reshaping
the divisional system, which is central
to how we manage our people.
We will shortly run a pilot program
using the manpower analysis and plan-
ning system to assist in reinvigorating
the system. This work is among the
most exciting I have seen in recent
years and will make our divisional sys-
tem stronger and more effective.
We are continuing to modernise our
customs and traditions, starting with
making our traditional toasts more
It is a small change but an impor-
tant one, as most view us as tradition-
alists rooted in the early 1800s.
I don't believe this is the case as I
think we are flexible and adaptable and
as such we will continue to make sensi-
ble changes where they are appropriate.
Diversity is also an area where we
have made a lot of progress, however,
it has generally been focused on one
area -- gender.
We need to address other areas
including race, religion, age and sexual
orientation. To that end, I have recent-
ly appointed strategic advisers for both
indigenous and Islamic matters to help
me improve understanding and repre-
sentation in Navy.
This new strategy broadens NGN to
cover all key aspects of our culture.
To be successful we all have to be
a part of this process, there is no room
for bystanders and we can't sit and
watch it happen.
We have many challenges to deal
with and we all have an important role
to play in confronting those.
An effective culture is critical to
enable us to answer the call if asked
and allow us to fight and win at sea.
For more on the NGN program visit: http://
Comments and ideas on delivering NGN
can be emailed to: NavyNGN@defence.
TEAM EFFORT: SGT Nathan MacKenzie and CPO Christopher Swift
stand with other personnel, who will form part of HMAS Canberra's crew,
at Fleet Base East.
Photo: ABIS Cassie McBride
NEW VISION: CN VADM Ray Griggs
briefs Canberra-based personnel on the
latest updates to the New Generation
Photo: John Carroll
The next phase of New Generation Navy was launched in February. CN VADM Ray Griggs
explains the new strategy.
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