Opinion – Diversity on the March

Written by Ross Eastgate

Sydney’s Mardi Gras parade is on  Saturday, March 4. It’s a date for your diaries, though you had better be quick if you want to reserve a place.

In the interests of maintaining the mutually co-operative relationship between the Bulletin and Defence PR, Defenders is proud to assist promoting ADF participation in a significant national event.
If you want to be involved you’ll need to be quick because the ADF has been limited to 162 places. Whatever genius decided that number is not revealed, though DEFGRAM 027/2017 released on January 23 is quite clear, that is the limit.
The ADF contingent will comprise uniformed ADF volunteers, Defence public servants, families and friends in civilian attire.
They will parade in separate contingents by service seniority, Navy, Army, Air Force with civilian camp followers last in the order of march.
ADF participation is being organised by the Defence Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Intersex Information Service, with the quaint acronym DEFGLIS.
Participation allows Defence an opportunity to promote respect for diversity and to ensure that the force better reflects the community it serves, according to VCDF Ray Griggs and Deputy Secretary Defence People Group Roxanne Kelley, who jointly signed DEFGRAM 027.
Whatever Defence People Group is, it seems more focused on the DEFGLIS agenda than the plight of those who have been adversely affected by the flawed mefloquine and tafenoquine antimalarial drug trials.
Since they are an embarrassment to Defence their pleas for help are studiously ignored.
Better they are hidden away than allowed to publicise their plight.
Never mind, DEFGLIS has more pressing needs.
DEFGRAM 027 calls for a senior officer to volunteer as parade commander.
That role was filled in 2015 by Air Vice Marshal Tracy Smart.
The picture of her with the three most senior service non commissioned officers marching behind her spoke volumes about their enthusiasm for the task.
RSM Army looked like he was willing to shove his pacestick fair up where it didn’t fit, as former army corporal now senator Jackie Lambie delicately suggested about something or other this week.
Smart’s priorities are obviously not with the antimalarial victims since she has kept all investigation of that process within close control of her ADF medical command and those who carried out the trials.
She’s probably not available to lead the march this year, but what’s to stop former army chief David Morrison, who so actively promoted ADF participation in the event from emerging from his ignominious retirement and taking the lead he wasn’t prepared to take when he was CA?
He’d be an absolute hoot in Sydney’s Oxford Street.
It would certainly demonstrate the ADF’s determination to promote diversity over individualism.
Perhaps they should then consider banning serving personnel standing for political office from displaying images of themselves in uniform.
They certainly wouldn’t want to bring the ADF into disrepute by imputing it has been concealing latent politicians within its ranks, would they?
Ross Eastgate


  1. Is this a tongue in cheek post or, has it not been proof read?

    They will parade in separate contingents by service seniority, Navy, Army, Air Force with civilian camp followers last in the order of march.

    I do believe that the terminology “Camp”was a derogitive word for Homosexuals?

    • Trevor Dixon says

      Garry, it is an article written by journalist Ross Eastgate and your observation of it being “tongue in cheek” is correct.

  2. I refuse to dignify the attendance of (Military Personnel?) in this blatant show of so called diversity with anything other that the comment “God help Australia” …if this is Defenses notion of fairness.

  3. Bill Parry ex WO2 RAINF says

    Like the schools program, that the RED LEFT are going to lay out soon…. Someone in high places who has some CDF (not worried about a posh little job after the military) MUST STOP THE MILITARY MARCHING IN THIS. Just because a few persons in the military are homos……the system want to be PC!!!!.!!! LET THESE PEOPLE MARCH IN CIVIES . Not in uniform!

    • My bloody oath Bill, I can remember not being allowed to wear our uniforms off base as it might bring some sort of detriment towards the Defence Force or stir up the civies. So what the hell is this crap doing to Def image, except bowing to the bastards that like doing anal things to each other. I think it is time to rewind the spring of the clock, only the other way and send it backwards.

  4. Mick Shave says

    Well I’m going to march in my tutu and baby boots. As camp follower to David Morrison, my hero.

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