– Defence’s mission statement on diversity states the department seeks ‘to provide support and increase consideration for the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Intersex and Transgender community, complementarily with the Australian Defence Organisation and established Defence and civilian support organisations.
– The same sex relationships of ADF personnel now benefit from the same conditions as other de facto relationships. According to Air Force news, changes mean benefits will now include ‘Defence housing assistance, removals on posting, leave travel and location allowances when posted to remote localities, reunion travel when separated and education assistance’ for openly gay personnel.
– The ADF is currently reviewing transgender policies, reports SX News. While educational seminars for military personnel recognize that discrimination is far from eradicated, openly gay personnel from the unofficial Defence Gay and Lesbian Information Service (DEFGLIS) which supports Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT) serving members of the ADF have said there is ‘not a lot more they can ask for.’
In an interview with the Star Observer, DEFGLIS founder Stuart O’Brien said that where the previous US ban on serving openly was concerned, Australian personnel have often picked up the slack.
“A young US solider approached me … and was pretty happy he had met some Australians he could talk freely to, because his partner was killed in Iraq and he had no one he could talk to.
“We obviously sat with him for quite some time and helped him with his grieving and offered him counselling and support from our chaplain to help him through”, he told the paper.