After serious allegations of inappropriate behaviour that occurred in HMAS Newcastle in 2011 were raised, and following investigation by the Australian Defence Force Investigative Service, the Directorate of Military Prosecutions determined to charge four sailors with a range of offences under the Defence Force Discipline Act.
Those charges are now under scrutiny in the Court Martial proceedings which will provide due process.
Deputy Chief of Navy and Head of Navy People and Resources, Rear Admiral Michael van Balen, RAN, reiterated Navy’s position on allegations of this nature.
“Be assured that allegations of unacceptable behaviour have been, and will continue to be investigated when they come to light. Navy remains committed to an inclusive and professional culture, that promotes teamwork, cohesion and respect,” he said.
“I encourage any member of Navy who has been subjected to or witnessed unacceptable behaviour to report it to their Command so that action can be initiated and appropriate support can be provided to all involved.”
The open Court Martial is another step to ensure that people both within Navy and in the broader community are aware that behaviour such as is alleged is not tolerated in the Royal Australian Navy nor the Australian Defence Force.
The matter is currently the subject of legal proceedings scheduled to conclude on 3 October.
Press Release, September 16, 2014; Image: Australian Navy