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THE LONG HAUL
4 Defence Issue 1 2016
Minister for Defence Senator Marise Payne is looking forward
to the challenges and changes that lie ahead
WITH THE MINISTER
You’ve said that 2016 is shaping as a
milestone year for Defence. Can you tell us
what some of the major projects are and
some of the things that you are focused on?
What can we expect?
We have a very significant program ahead
of us, not the least of which is the release
of the Government’s Defence White Paper,
accompanied by the Integrated Investment
Program and a Defence Industry Policy
They are really watershed moments for
Defence, and have been historically.
This White Paper is no different; it is a
significant statement about where Defence will
go in the next 20 years in terms of capability, of
operations, strategic engagement and so on.
We’ll also set forth our challenges in the
workplace, both in the ADF and in the civilian
workforce. They’re important priorities for me.
On top of that we have a significant
acquisition program ahead of us. The
organisation is acutely aware of the important
decisions coming up in relation to submarines,
to future frigates and to offshore patrol vessels,
just to name a couple.
Then we have all of our ongoing work, the
work that our teams are doing internationally in
Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria and more broadly
around the world where we have Australian men
and women of the Defence Force placed. Their
work is very much at the forefront of my mind
as we go into 2016.
We know that Defence is undergoing some
significant reform programs with Pathway
to Change and the First Principles Review.
How do you think those programs are
going and what’s the importance of those
They’re very significant priorities for me – both
of them. The cultural reform that Pathway to
Change represents is something to which I’m
very committed to pursuing personally and
collaboratively with the organisation.
I think it’s important for our professional
development and professional standing that
we ensure that the important recommendations
and initiatives set out in Pathway to Change are
pursued actively. I know I have the support of
the leadership of the organisation in doing that.
Similarly, the First Principles Review,
particularly in a corporate and business sense,
will really change the way we are able to
operate and change the way we are able to do
business with business.
Those recommendations are well under way
I speak regularly with the Chair of the
Oversight Committee and members of the
I speak regularly with the Defence Secretary,
Dennis Richardson, and the CDF, Air Chief
Marshal Mark Binskin, on these matters and
I look forward to seeing those develop quite
progressively throughout 2016.
Last October you launched the Defence
Reconciliation Action Plan. You’ve had
a long interest in this area. What are
your thoughts on Defence’s Indigenous
strategies and its goals to increase
Indigenous participation rates in both the
ADF and APS workforce?
I was really pleased to have the chance to
launch the latest iteration of the Defence
Reconciliation Action Plan, which is the
2015-2018 plan. It is something which I’ve
had an abiding interest in for my entire
Indigenous engagement is very important to
Australia’s future and the ADF is absolutely no
exception to that.
I want us to be as inclusive and as engaged
as we can possibly be. I want Defence to set the
standard for Indigenous participation.
I’ve met with a number of senior members
of the organisation and discussed this in those
I look forward to doing more in this space
this year and beyond and meeting as many
Indigenous members of the ADF and the APS as
I possibly can to get a feel for how they find the
organisation and see what more we can do.
“I THINK IT’S VERY
THAT WE ENSURE THAT
THE VERY IMPORTANT
INITIATIVES SET OUT IN
PATHWAY TO CHANGE ARE
SENATOR MARISE PAYNE,
MINISTER FOR DEFENCE
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