A petition to reform redress-of-grievance and inquiry frameworks in Defence will be looked at in the Federal Parliament committee system.
FILE PHOTO: Dr Kay Danes and her husband, former SAS WO1 Kerry Danes, with Alan Jones at a speaking event in Brisbane to promote their petition. Photo supplied.
Despite having only 52 signatures (as at 12.50pm 14 January 2021)(and possibly affected by the technical difficulties encountered by CONTACT in attempting to sign), the petitioners were notified today that the Standing Committee has approved their petition for distribution.
Launched by former Regimental Sergeant Major of the Special Forces Training Centre WO1 Kerry Danes and his wife Kay, the petition calls on “the House to support changes to the Defence (Inquiry) Regulations 2018 so that Defence Inquiries are subject to legal technicalities, rules of evidence, principles of open justice and common law; Defence Inquiry officers undertake legal training; witness testimony taken under oath/affirmation; introduce an appeal process outside the Chain of Command and corrective action policy to ensure procedural fairness, and access to genuine mediation for ADF members to resolve workplace complaints“.
Petition EN2256 – Apply ADF Policy Reforms to include corrective action can be found on the Parliament of Australia Petitions List, here.
Kay Danes said the petition was needed because redress-of-grievance and Defence inquiry processes were seriously flawed, often resulting in significant professional employment failures that created mental trauma and reputational harm to serving members.
“Genuine workplace reforms are needed,” Dr Danes said.
“If these issues are not addressed, then ADF members will continue to carry unresolved grievances into life beyond service which will impact the government’s efforts to realistically reduce the number of suicides currently plaguing the ADF veteran community.”
She urged interested parties to sign and share the petition before its official closing date on 10 February 2021 (11.59pm AEST).
After the close of the signature period, the petition will be presented in the House.
WO1 (retd) Kerry Danes served for 42 years in the ADF, mainly in special operations.
His wife, Dr Kay Danes is a human-rights and social-justice advocate.