GLOSS Issue 19 DEC 2014-JAN 2015 - Page 25

As someone with close ties to the military - both male and female - I wanted to know what he feels Australia’s view is of Army now, at the end of 2014, as perhaps compared to 2011? “Progressive and capable – I do think that any army that isn’t progressing and being adaptive and trying to find the competitive advantage can’t call itself an army in my view. The competition is, of course, life and death. An army has to be progressive to do its job. But you can turn those phrases on their heads, and I can say that I think Australians see us as progressive on gender and trying to tackle matters within our culture – for example, the number of women who are joining our Army. In terms of capability – my bottom line has never been about altruism, but about harnessing the talents of different races, of different sexual orientations, sexual beliefs and genders – because not only are we greater than the sum of our parts, but of different perspectives as well. The nature of military operations that we are engaging upon – we are recognising in a particular way now, that we have to operate within the human dimension, and [as mentioned before], 52% of most populations are female.” ADF personnel as part of the International Stabilisation Assistance Force’s (ISAF) Female Engagement Teams I am certain that General Morrison would deny this, but there is no doubting that there is something of a cult of personality when it comes to wanting to act on what he says. Why? Because this isn’t lip service. He lives and breathes what he says; it is evident in his actions and his passion for what he talks about. There is a sharp, sharp intelligence there, and anyone who underestimates it is a fool. I do wonder though, does he feel that, having implemented the changes within Army - when he finishes his tenure as Chief in May next year, will the impetus continue? “I honestly believe that when I do finish in May next year, that the momentum for progressive change will be unstoppable. I am no longer starting the conversation – it’s started for me. Not for one second do I set myself up as successful as eradicating poor behaviour – but it’s on the way... And the momentum to improve culture [has been] made.” This June saw General Morrison sharing the stage with world leaders and luminaries such as Angelina Jolie (in her role as Special Envoy for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees), at the Global Summit To End Sexual Violence In Conflict. He gave the address to the closing plenary session, where his words included the argument that armies that separate themselves from civil society, that value men over women and celebrate violence “do nothing to distinguish the soldier from the brute”. As a country