Chief of Navy Speeches: Navy White Ribbon Re-Accreditation Ceremony

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1 November 2017

Chief of Navy Address at the Navy White Ribbon Re-Accreditation Ceremony,
HMAS Stirling, WA

Good Morning.

Today, I am grateful to acknowledge the re-accreditation of Navy as a White Ribbon organisation.

And I am pleased to have the chance to speak against the domestic violence.

Some people think this is merely a politically correct agenda item.

They could not be more wrong.

Eliminating domestic violence is central to the capability of our Navy, and critical to the partnership of our Navy with our Nation.

For Navy to serve and to defend the Nation we must recruit from amongst the best and the most talented Australians.

We must retain and develop these people, since we depend upon their talent and their teamwork.

We must not allow our people to be abused, and we must not tolerate abusive behaviour.

In our Navy, we must foster the sort of character, which can be trusted to exercise violence tempered by justice, tempered by reason, and tempered by regret that violence is necessary at all.

We train to use force, which is well-ordered, disciplined, and justified only in the national defence.

The misuse of force contravenes all the conventions and traditions of war.

At home, violence is numbered amongst the most serious crime.

The people who would abuse their loved ones at home are not the people I trust with instruments of deadly force in the trying circumstances of an operation.

The people I trust are those who can determine right from wrong, people who are committed to safeguard the innocent, and the vulnerable.

The people I trust are not people who would stoop to do violence to women.

As a White Ribbon accredited workplace, Navy is determined to put an end to domestic violence. We share our commitment with Army, with Air Force and with the Department.

In our Nation, in our Defence Force, and in our Navy there is no place for violence against women; whether the abuse is physical or sexual, verbal, or social and emotional.

In the Navy, we are committed to the continuing institutional reform and development, which is conducted under the banner of New Generation Navy.

We are committed to the rehabilitation of those who have perpetrated violence against women, and the recuperation of those who have been hurt.

We will not stand idly by, when by standing up and speaking out we can stop domestic violence.

Sustained change takes time and perseverance.

We have come a long way, but we have a long way to go.

I am proud that we will continue our journey in partnership with White Ribbon.

Thank you.