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accompanied by SOTG colleagues, a cortege
of vehicles including a patrol vehicle bearing
Sergeant Till’s flag-draped casket, passed solemnly
along a route lined by members of the MRTF and
representatives from coalition forces in Oruzgan.
On the dusty airstrip at Tarin Kowt, his casket
was carried by eight of his mates into the RAAF
C-130 Hercules aircraft that would shortly begin
the journey home to Australia.
In his address at the ceremony, the
Commanding Officer of the SOTG, said Sergeant
Till’s death was not in vain.
"Without question, Brett’s work on the day he
died saved the lives of his mates.
"He was a man who, with his team, would
deliberately place himself directly between
dangerous and unstable high explosive devices
and the soldiers of SOTG on a daily basis, in order
to ensure that they could carry out their important
mission to make this country a safer place. I have
the highest personal and professional regard for
this selfless and dedicated Australian soldier".
Brett's wife of almost one year, Bree,
described her husband as a beautiful man whose
smile would crack the frowns off a hundred faces.
"Brett, gorgeouso, I miss your cuddles, I know
you're there, I hear you, I feel you. Know that your
kids will be reminded everyday of the man you are.
I guess I will have to change a nappy after all."
Group on women
The under-representation of women in
the ADF was on the agenda at the Chief
of Defence Force’s Reference Group on
Women in Canberra on 12 February.
Minister for Defence the Hon. Joel Fitzgibbon
MP and Minister for Defence Science and
Personnel the Hon. Warren Snowdon MP met
with members of the Chief of the Defence Force’s
Reference Group on Women, which included Sex
Discrimination Commissioner and Commissioner
responsible for Age Discrimination, Elizabeth
Broderick; Vice Chancellor of Royal Melbourne
Institute of Technology, Margaret Gardner;
Corporate Adviser and Board Director, Sam
Mostyn; and Company Director, Elizabeth Proust.
Air Chief Marshal Houston convened the
Reference Group in May 2008 to help confront the
challenges in recruiting women to the Australian
Defence Force (ADF) and find innovative ways of
encouraging them to serve for longer periods.
Mr Fitzgibbon said women were under-
represented in the ADF and it was essential that
Defence create a more supportive environment
that will improve recruitment and retention
outcomes for women.
“This change can only be driven by strong
leadership, underpinned by initiatives such as
mentoring programs and career management
practices that can better accommodate individual
needs and deliver greater workplace flexibility,”
Mr Fitzgibbon said.
Mr Snowdon said the Reference Group
members had met informally with serving women
to hear their experiences and had now presented
their initial conclusions to the Chief of the Defence
Force and the Service chiefs for further discussion.
“The Services have already started work on
a range of initiatives to improve the employment
of women and though some of the issues such as
cultural change are quite complex, it is essential
that Defence gives top priority to these matters,”
Mr Snowden said.
in full swing
Defence is currently working to develop the
new Defence Collective Agreement (DeCA)
which will replace DeCA 2006-2009.
Defence Workplace Relations (DWR)
commenced employee and management
consultation in mid-2008. DWR has listened to the
suggestions and feedback and developed a series
of proposals for the new DeCA. These proposals
are designed to simplify and create flexibility in
pay and conditions for Defence Australian Public
Service employees and their supervisors.
Proposals are currently being discussed
at negotiation meetings held with unions.
These negotiations are headed by senior
level management from Defence and national
representatives from the relevant unions. Subject
matter experts and union delegates are also
involved in the meetings.
aBOVe: from left – chief of the Defence force air chief Marshall angus Houston, Professor
Margret gardner, sam Mostyn, Minister for Defence science and Personnel the Hon. Warren
snowdon MP, elizabeth Proust, elizabeth Broderick and Minister for Defence the Hon. Joel
fitzgibbon MP. Photo: Steve Dent
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