Home' Navy News : August 1st 2013 Contents 2 NEWS
www.defence.gov.au/news/NAVYNEWS August 1, 2013
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SERVING AUSTRALIA WITH PRIDE NEWS
WO2 Andrew Hetherington
A NEW approach for responding to
and supporting those who have been
affected by sexual misconduct in
the ADF was launched by Defence
Minister Stephen Smith, CDF GEN
David Hurley and Australian Sex
Elizabeth Broderick on July 23.
The new Sexual Misconduct
Prevention and Response Office
(SeMPRO) has been established to
coordinate timely responses, support
for victims, education policy, practice
and reporting for any misconduct of a
Mr Smith said the formation of
SeMPRO was a "deeply significant
milestone" in the work of the ADF's
leadership to ensure zero tolerance to
inappropriate conduct in Defence.
"SeMPRO will allow for the restrict-
ed and confidential reporting of allega-
tions of sexual misconduct or inappro-
priate sexual behaviour to be made by
Defence Force personnel outside the
chain of command," Mr Smith said.
"This is to ensure every man and
woman in the ADF can feel confident,
comfortable and safe in making com-
plaints of sexual misconduct or sexual
SeMPRO will focus on those affect-
ed by sexual misconduct and GEN
Hurley said there were two primary rea-
sons for taking this approach.
"First we know that a significant
number of incidents go unreported,
which means there are a significant
number of people who have been sub-
jected to sexual misconduct, but are not
receiving any assistance," GEN Hurley
"The health and welfare of our peo-
ple is my highest priority and I want to
establish a safe and confidential means
for people who have experienced sexual
misconduct, to seek support and advice.
Response office launched
SHE has sailed all over the world,
but as far as destinations go,
Australia is number one for the crew
of the USS Blue Ridge.
The US 7th Fleet flagship arrived
in Darwin on June 29 for a week-
long scheduled port visit before
heading south before her participa-
tion in Exercise Talisman Saber.
US 7th Fleet Chief of Staff
CAPT Paul Stader said the last time
he visited Australian shores was
more than 20 years ago, as a lieuten-
"You ask any US sailor what is at
the top of his list and where he wants
to go -- Australia is at the top of the
list, every time," CAPT Stader said.
It's a significant year for Blue
Ridge, with 2013 marking the 70th
anniversary of the founding of the
7th Fleet in 1943.
The US warship was an impres-
sive sight with the crew manning the
rails as she made her way through
Darwin Harbour before eventually
docking at Fort Hill Wharf.
CAPT Stader said the port call
offered an opportunity to pay a visit
to its long-standing ally while pro-
moting peace and stability through-
out the Indo-Pacific region.
"Australia and the US have a
long, celebrated relationship," CAPT
"Our alliance is as strong as ever
and remains one of the most impor-
tant in the world.
"A strong relationship between
our militaries and our countries is
essential, for maintaining maritime
security and keeping the seas safe."
From Darwin, Blue Ridge head-
ed to Sydney and docked at Garden
Island on July 13.
Commander US 7th Fleet VADM
Scott Swift said the visit showed the
Australian and US alliance remained
"I am encouraged by what our
nations accomplish together every
day," VADM Swift said.
"Our visits and exercise reaffirm
that we are aligned in our view that
a strong relationship between our
militaries and countries is essential
for maintaining maritime security
throughout the region."
COMSUBFOR CDRE Jonathan
Mead said the Blue Ridge visit was a
taste of things to come, with the first
of the RAN's LHDs scheduled to
arrive later this year.
"Displacing at close to 20,000
tonnes, measuring 30m wide and
almost as long as two football fields,
the Blue Ridge is only slightly small-
er than NUSHIP Canberra," CDRE
"Our LHDs come in at an
impressive 230m, displace close to
28,000 tonnes when unloaded and
the flight deck stands 27m above the
"It's great to welcome our
American friends to Sydney."
Blue Ridge is a command and
control ship and is forward deployed
to Commander Fleet Activities,
Yokosuka in Japan.
Fifteen crew members from
Canberra received an up-close look
at Blue Ridge when she was docked
Blue Ridge puts
"Second, I want our people to feel
empowered and confident that they
are in control. Unlike our previous
approach, the victim, not the system,
will decide if and when to report a mat-
ter for investigation."
Ms Broderick said the establishment
of SeMPRO was one of the most signif-
icant recommendations to come out of
her review into the treatment of women
in the ADF.
"During the review's interviews and
focus groups last year with more 2000
members of the ADF, both here and
in deployed environments, it became
apparent to me and my team that vic-
tims of sexual assault and sexual mis-
conduct were not reporting incidents
and as such were not getting the support
they needed," Ms Broderick said.
"SeMPRO will empower those who
have felt powerless, it will restore resil-
ience and it will give confidence to those
who have suffered trauma, often alone."
During the launch, Ms Broderick's
audit report on the implementation of
her review into the treatment of women
at ADFA was made public. It said the
Academy had made significant progress
in implementing recommendations of
her review. "There is clear evidence
ADFA is working to improve its culture
and build a more inclusive organisation
for all its members," Ms Broderick said.
"The ADFA Residential Support
Officer program is one example of
pogress. The program provdes better
support and supervision of particularly
first year midshipmen and cadets.
"ADFA has also expanded its equi-
ty and diversity network and imple-
mented a sexual offence support per-
However, Ms Broderick said there
were areas in ADFA which still needed
attention and improvement.
"In particular, ADFA needs to con-
tinue to develop and implement with
an expert provider, an evidence-based
sexual ethics program," she said.
The full audit report of the review can be
viewed at www.humanrights.gov.au/pub-
AUSTRALIAN TOUR: The crew of USS
Blue Ridge man the rails as she arrives
in Darwin (top).
Photo: Gemma Haines
SMOOTH SAILING: USS Blue Ridge
enters the picturesque Garden Island for
docking (above). Photo: LSIS Brenton Freind
LEARNING THE ROPES: Some of the
crew of NUSHIP Canberra tour Blue
Photo: ABIS Chantell Bianchi
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