Home' Navy News : March 28th 2013 Contents 11
March 28, 2013
CPL Max Bree
CADETS from the Royal Military
College won Defence’s first Inter-
national Women’s Day tug-of-war
at Defence Headquarters in
Canberra on March 7.
The RMC team beat teams
from Army, Navy, Air Force,
Defence People Group, ADFA,
Australian Command and Staff
College and the Centre for De-
fence and Strategic Studies.
The cadets proved too strong,
outmuscling the Navy team in a
hotly contested final.
Event organiser GPCAPT Dee
Gibbon said the tug-of-war was
a light-hearted tribute to military
fitness with teams encouraged to
dress in costume.
“There is healthy competition
between the three services. Each
team had equal numbers of men
and women and showcased how
everyone in Defence, whether
military or civilian, works together
towards common goals,” she said.
“Today was a lot of fun but
also highlighted the importance
Defence places on days like
International Women’s Day and
the teamwork inherent within our
Two prizes were presented
after the event: one to the win-
ners and one to the best-dressed
The best-dressed prize was
awarded to a mixed team of pub-
lic servants and military members
representing the Defence People
CDF GEN David Hurley pre-
sented the prizes to the teams.
“This was a great event to
mark International Women’s Day.
I congratulate the winners on
their skill and participation, and
for making time to recognise this
great cause,” CDF said.
CAPT Jay Ellul
CMDR Jennifer Wittwer has played
a key part in the Joint Task Force 633
International Women’s Day event to
recognise the contributions women
have made to the ADF.
The Navy’s women’s strategic
adviser, who joined the International
Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Joint
Command in Kabul in January as the
gender adviser, was a guest speaker at
the International Women’s Day event
at Al Minhad Air Base on March 8.
CMDR Wittwer said she was hon-
oured to speak to her colleagues about
the fantastic work being done by ISAF
to promote Afghan women’s equity
and to include considerations for gen-
der issues in the operational planning
She reinforced the importance of
continuing to reach for global equity.
“Be proud of your contribution to
this mission and all that it has achieved
thus far,” CMDR Wittwer said.
“Continue to support your sisters
across the globe because we all want
and deserve the same treatment.
“Recognise that both men and
women have a role to play in every
aspect of society, from governing to
“Try each day to inspire others to
achieve great things and mentor others
to rise even above you.”
As the gender adviser, CMDR
Wittwer relishes her job and under-
stands and appreciates the impor-
tance of helping to build a better
She explained her primary role was
to ensure rigour was applied across all
lines of operation in terms of consid-
erations for gender perspective.
“I provide advice to staff on gen-
der-related topics and training on gen-
der awareness to ensure they are famil-
iar with Afghanistan’s gender policies
relating to women’s empowerment and
gender equity,” CMDR Wittwer said.
“It is also my responsibility to
establish and maintain contacts with
national and international organisa-
tions supporting the gender equity
effort in Afghanistan.”
International Women’s Day gave
CMDR Wittwer the chance to recog-
nise and celebrate the achievements
of women who have contributed to the
social conditions and full equity that
women enjoy today.
“International Women’s Day pro-
vides a timely reminder of the ISAF
and Afghan efforts to ensure full inclu-
sion of women and girls in the devel-
opment of Afghanistan,” she said.
“Women and girls must have
access to, and participate in, govern-
ance, judiciary, security, education and
“Only when Afghan women are
recognised for their contributions
and supported by all tiers and arms
of the government will full equity be
She said the most measurable
change in the ADF regarding the treat-
ment of women occurred in the 1990s
when women began to serve on war-
ships, in peacekeeping operations and
overseas deployments alongside their
CMDR Wittwer said equal partici-
pation was needed from both genders
if true equity was to be achieved.
“There is one common factor that
will define success in terms of equity –
male buy-in,” she said.
“This applies to the leadership,
support, development and implementa-
tion of policies to ensure total gender
She provided a recent anecdote of
how the status of women had changed
in the ADF.
“A ship’s CO was asked a question
about how many women he had on
his ship after women were witnessed
conducting bowline duties with men,”
“The CO replied ‘actually I don’t
know, I only have sailors on board my
ship doing their job’.”
Support your sisters across
the globe, says commander
Defence’s show of
support and strength
– CMDR Jennifer Wittwer
both men and
women have a role
to play in every
aspect of society,
from governing to
March 28, 2013
Wittwer at Al Minhad
Photo: SGT William Guthrie
FITNESS FUN: Members of HMAS Kuttabul and Fleet HQ in Sydney
ready themselves to walk to Mrs Macquarie’s Chair. Photo: ABIS Jesse Rhynard
Kelly leads the
Photo: CPL Max Bree
members of HMAS
Melbourne celebrate on
Photo: ABIS Chantell Bianchi
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