International Women's Day at Army HQ
The CA said numbers of female soldiers were almost at the target he set during a similar address for International Women’s Day in 2012.
“We will close in on 12 per cent by the time I finish as the Chief at midnight on the 3rd of July this year,” he said. “That will be something of great pride personally for me but also as a leader.”
The CA thanked Army personnel for getting behind the increase in women for the “right” reasons.
“It is only the first of many steps that need to be taken,” he said. “Because the underlining premise to all of this is that it’s about being a more capable Army.
“It’s about providing a fighting force for this nation for now and into the unforeseeable future,” he said. “And I know very well now that a better balanced, more inclusive and diverse workforce will deliver that for this country.
“If we don’t do this, we will not be the force we need to be.
“We’ve come a long way in the Army in two years but we haven’t come far enough.”
RMC Commandant Brig Dianne Gallasch also spoke at the function.
She was one of the last to go through the Women’s Royal Australian Army Corps School in 1984, just before it closed and all initial entry training was integrated.
“In the beginning of my Army career, being male or female made a significant difference in where and how you worked and in some cases how you were treated,” she said.
“I feel encouraged about the experience the young men and women who are coming up through RMC and Kapooka gain, and have gained since 1985.
“They will journey through their careers learning many jobs and experiencing many different workplaces across the organisation. The difference now is they will find a collegiate workplace is not just an idea or an expectation – it is a given.”
Commanders speak up
"Our Army is becoming more ready and relevant for future challenges because of our widening employment of women. As a recent commander on operations I have witnessed the important role played by women as part of a balanced force. On this International Women's Day I am proud to be part of an Army that is setting an example and proving the importance of wide employment of women in the workforce."
Major General Stuart Smith, Commander 1 Div
"There are many women doing high quality work across Forcomd. Today is an appropriate time to reflect on their skills, professionalism and commitment. Their contribution to Forcomd is real and valuable."
Major General Mick Slater, Commander Forcomd
"SOCOMD relies on a wide variety of perspectives, views and ideas to develop and deliver unconventional solutions. Our women have always been an integral part of the team and they provide unique perspectives that strengthen our capability outputs."
Brigadier Dan McDaniel, SOCAUST