Collaboration for Cultural Reform in Defence

Since July 2014, the Australian Human Rights Commission has worked collaboratively to assist Defence to embed cultural reform across the three services: Navy, Army and Air Force.

The Commission is engaged to examine issues around gender, race and diversity, sexual orientation and gender identity and the impact of alcohol and social media on the cultural reform process. This work is led by Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins.

About the collaboration

The Commission’s collaboration with Defence resulted from former Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick’s Review into the Treatment of Women in the ADF (2011 – 2014).

The Commission continues to collaborate with Defence to provide advice and support on the progress of cultural reform as described in Pathway to Change. This includes identifying areas where reform progress is lagging or requires acceleration.

As an independent body with particular expertise in human rights and anti-discrimination policy, the Commission is uniquely placed to work with Defence and provide advice on issues relevant to the cultural reform agenda.

Defence’s cultural reform journey is driven by a capability imperative. Diversity is a force multiplier that increases capability, as well as widening the talent pool for recruitment.

Since the collaboration started, the Commission has consulted with more than 2000 ADF members to develop strategies to enhance cultural reform and diversity.

Our public reports are available for download on this website.

Further information

If you have any queries or would like to contact the Cultural Reform team please email us at

If you would like to contact a member of the Cultural Reform team please call the Commission on TTY 1800 620 241.

Photo of ADF members, 5 females and 2 males