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AIR FORCE November 26, 2009
By FLTLT Eamon Hamilton
AFTER almost half a century, the story of
Air Force Caribou operations will be com-
pleted by the end of the year.
Our oldest remaining Caribou, A4-140,
is slated to be the final Caribou task when it
arrives at Defence Establishment Fairbairn.
The aircraft was part of the initial three
Caribous which were delivered to Australia in
It will be handed over to the Australian
The second oldest Caribou, A4-152, will
be handed over to the Air Force Museum at
RAAF Base Williams, Point Cook.
By Leila Daniels
ALL members will benefit from
increased workplace choice and flex-
ibility in balancing their work and
family life under a new action plan
released in Canberra on November
19.Building on initiatives already in
place, The Chief of the Defence Force
Action Plan for the Recruitment and
Retention of Women will introduce
new measures to increase the options
within, and attractiveness of, an ADF
career for women.
Speaking at the launch alongside
CDF ACM Angus Houston, Minister
for Defence Personnel, Materiel and
Science Greg Combet said the ADF
wanted to be more representative of
the community it served.
"While much has been done to
improve the recruitment and participa-
tion rates of women, there is more to
do," Mr Combet said.
"The action plan is a very signifi-
cant initiative that gives a sharper focus
to the vital contribution that women
make in the ADF and the contribution
we want them to make in the future."
The action plan targets six priority
areas: enlistment, workplace flexibil-
ity, career management, accountability,
mentoring and communication.
Some of the initiatives include the
The women's action plan will provide
me with more choices; choices that
will assist me to balance my profes-
sional and personal life.
-- WOFF Kellie Wood
The plan challenges existing
performance appraisal systems,
career training philosophies and
practices, personnel policies and
reporting mechanisms and focuses
on six priority areas:
Research and identify what
women want in their Defence
Run an alumni program for
Identify ways for women to join
Review child care options.
Improve flexibility of leave
Increase opportunities for job-
Better support members before,
during and after career breaks.
Develop an education package
for career management staff.
Make promotion and command
selection processes more trans-
Identify appropriate experience,
skill sets and characteristics for
people selected as career man-
Refine performance appraisal
and reporting framework.
Maximise the use of feedback
Conduct more targeted work-
Young Female Leaders network.
Women in Defence intranet and
Develop a communication pack-
age to educate about the pro-
gram of change.
Embed presentations in pre-
command courses to raise
Monitor applications and approv-
als for flexible working arrange-
To have the ability to network with
other women who have driven to a
T-intersection and unsure whether to
turn right or left with their military
careers is very important.
-- SQNLDR Amanda Robinson
'Defence wants to be recognised as an employer that values its members and provides them with conditions
of service that support, enable and encourage their personal circumstances whatever they may be.'
-- ACM Angus Houston
ability to purchase up to four weeks
additional annual leave, the right to
work part-time after maternity or adop-
tion leave, flexible leave arrangements
and increased opportunities for job-
ACM Houston said he wanted to
see higher female participation rates
across the three services, and the ini-
tiatives in the action plan would help
to deliver this outcome.
"The action plan is designed to
create a more flexible workplace for
all members and employees, and that
starts with a flexible mindset," ACM
"This Action Plan introduces a
new range of measures to increase the
options and attractiveness of an ADF
career. And the new range of measures
will impact on everyone in Defence, at
every level and at every workplace.
"Defence wants to be recognised
as an employer that values its mem-
bers and provides them with condi-
tions of service that support, enable
and encourage their personal circum-
stances whatever they may be."
The Action Plan combines the rec-
ommendations made by the Chief of
the Defence Force Reference Group on
Women and the findings of ministerial
round-table meetings held last year.
"Initiating change in a complex
organisation like Defence will be chal-
lenging but I have made it clear to
my senior leadership team that they
must bring their people with them to
embrace, champion and implement
the cultural change program," ACM
"The action plan and cultural
change program are vital to the suc-
cessful management of our people and
a successful defence force."
For more information on the Action
Plan, visit www.defence.gov.au/wom-
Retiring Caribous head to their final resting places
HOME TO ROOST: Three 38SQN Caribous return
to RAAF Base Townsville.
Photo: AC David Said
Full coverage next edition
The other Caribou will have been ferried to
their disposal airfields, with a decision expect-
ed soon about their fates.
It marks the end of a story which began in
February 1960 with a Caribou demonstration
tour of Australia by De Havilland Canada.
Australia's own Caribou arrived in April
1964, and have formed an iconic image for
the Air Force and the ADF at home and
Their short take off and landing skills have
taken Air Force to many isolated locations.
The Caribou were the first RAAF aircraft
deployed to Vietnam and the last to withdraw,
setting a strong work precedent for Caribou
squadrons for the next four decades.
In the final months of their service, the
Caribou has been flown hard by 38SQN.
The final training task to PNG had the air-
craft distributing aid to villages throughout the
On November 13, a four-ship flight of
Caribous acknowledged the valued support
from the Townsville community in a farewell
to the city.
IN THEIR STRIDE: Supporters of the new action plan at the official launch at Parliament House in
Canberra. From left, COL Georgeina Whelan, LCDR Elizabeth Mulder, SGT Kimberley Kiely, WOFF
Kellie Wood, AB Sally Reiffel and SQNLDR Amanda Robinson.
Photo: Bryan Doherty
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