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A majority of female learners at the Australian Defence Force Academy state the organisation is a protected and giving location, despite a high profile investigation that determined approximately three quarters have been victims of low-level sexual harassment.
Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick said there have been significant improvements over the treatment of women since the Grey Review but more was needed.
”ADFA today is a vastly improved institution with a culture that has evolved significantly since the 1990s,” she continued, ”[However] our review found widespread, low-level sexual harassment, inadequate levels of supervision, particularly for first year cadets, an equity and diversity environment marked by punishment rather than engagement and cumbersome complaints procedures.Ms Broderick was queried to investigate the treatment of women at ADFA in April after a sex scandal involving Skype.
Members of her group have expressed themselves to 300 of the 1100 cadets. The commissioner’s inquiries into the behaviour against women are continuing.
Ms Broderick made 31 recommendations and stated that the Government and Defence required recommitting to ADFA as a ”centre of tri-service excellence” as a issue of urgency. The organisation had suffered and there was ambiguity over its role.Ms Broderick said the high incidence of low-level harassment did not involve lawless individual acts.
Sexual tales, sexy antics, sexy comments and inquiries about people’s personal lives all assisted to a sexualised environment.
Broderick stated that the vulnerability of women at ADFA to such misconduct was recognized by investigators showed by a previous cadet.That cadet had indicated in her proposal there was a strong trend of the commodification of women, especially as sexual objects. Female cadets were treated as sexual objects rather than professional colleagues.
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