Home' Air Force News : October 29th 2009 Contents NSW Military Health
Symposium 2009 >>
Saturday 14 November 2009
HMAS WATERHEN, Waverton
Tri-Service personnel of all ranks as
well as Defence Civilian Health
workers are welcome
REGISTRATION Registration is FREE
Registration closes 6 November
ENQUIRIES Mr David Talakovski
Telephone: 02 8335 5269
Many interesting subjects will
be discussed at the symposium.
Updates will appear as
available on www.raamc.com
NSW Military Health
is proudly sponsored by
Defence Reserves Support.
For further information:
Call 1800 803 485 or visit
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call 1300 13 23 28 or
visit your local ADCU branch.
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AIR FORCE October 29, 2009
By Barry Rollings
DR IAN Watt, the relatively
new Secretary of Defence, has a
succinct message for the naysay-
ers who question his department's
ability to change to meet govern-
ment expectations -- it can do it, it
Dr Watt was responding to
recent media comment which asked
whether, in all the planning, any-
thing really would change in the
face of the government's require-
ments for reform, budget cuts and
implementing the White Paper.
"The media is asking the wrong
question," Dr Watt said.
"The question that should
be asked is 'Can Defence deliver
the White Paper and the Strategic
Reform Program (SRP), without
changing?' The answer is, it cannot.
"Defence has to change. I know
many people will say 'it has been
said often before and Defence
hasn't changed' but I see a Defence
organisation that has already
changed a great deal.
"More than seven years ago, it
seemed that Defence struggled to
do many things. It delivered on its
operations well, but it often strug-
gled in things such as projects and
personnel that had an administra-
tive catch to them."
Defence has changed almost
universally for the better since then.
"It has to keep doing that," he
said. "Defence is core government
business. We have to change as the
government demands changes from
"Very few organisations have
the opportunity to do something
like this government has handed to
Defence. In setting the White Paper,
a 20-year budget and the SRP, the
Government has given Defence the
tools to change itself and I think
"It has given us the clearest
possible signal that we can have of
what we have to do.
"The government has set these
parameters for us, and told us to
get on and do it. That will involve
change. We will do it. We can't
do what we have to do without
Dr Watt said he believed strong-
ly that the new Defence Ministerial
team would make a big difference
to the organisation.
"I thought Defence had laid the
foundations for change already.
The new Ministerial team had great
promise to build on those founda-
tions and I thought that I could help
in the change process."
While he saw no "magic for-
mula" for Defence reform, Dr
Watt said it was paramount that the
organisation and its people desired
"That doesn't mean everybody
has to be signed on but you have
to have the senior members of the
organisation and a lot of people at
all levels willing to countenance
change and sign on. That's what I
see in Defence -- strong senior lead-
ership with an appreciation of and
desire for change and reform across
Dr Watt's work philosophy will
be one of engagement, travelling to
see and talk to people. "I am used
to an organisation where you can
get round and talk to everyone in it.
You can't do that in Defence but I
intend to meet as many people with
whom I work as I can."
Dr Ian J Watt was
of Defence on
August 31, 2009.
2002 and April
2009, he served
as Secretary of
the Arts and then
of Finance and
He served as a
Secretary and then
in the Department
of Prime Minister
and Cabinet until
He is a Harvard
We can do it,
says Dr Watt
' Defence has
to change. It
has the terrific
chance to build
it wants to be.
GETTING TO KNOW YOU: Defence Secretary Dr Ian Watt and XO of the 3CRU
Detachment, SQNLDR Peter Jansen, have a chat over mornos during a recent
visit by the Secretary and Defence Minister John Faulkner to RAAF Base Tindal.
Photo: LAC Casey Smith
TIME FOR CHANGE: Below, Dr Watt spells out his vision. Photo: CPL Ricky Fuller
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