Home' Air Force News : March 28th 2013 Contents 8
March 28, 2013
AIR Force marked International
Women's Day on March 8 with
a range of events and activities
designed to acknowledge the contri-
bution of women to Air Force and
Units across the country cel-
ebrated the achievements of women
as well as their valuable contribu-
tion to Defence and the wider com-
ADF men and women in
Canberra found a novel way to
mark the occasion, with a fancy
dress tug-of-war competition at
Russell Offices, while in the MEAO,
prominent women in operational
positions were guest speakers at an
event at Al Minhad Air Base in the
United Arab Emirates.
This included Base Commander
WGCDR Lee de Winton, who said
she was honoured to speak to her
colleagues about the importance of
International Women's Day and its
significance to her.
At the event she delivered her
most important point to all of her
"The key message I would pass
on being a woman in Defence
is please don't forget you are
still a woman," WGCDR de
"You don't have to think and act
like men in order to achieve success
in the ADF. Being yourself is impor-
tant -- don't give that up.
"Air Force certainly has the atti-
tude that if the best person for the
job happens to be a woman, then
that woman is the one to get the job.
"I can see that attitude all over
the ADF these days."
Back at home, students and
staff at the RAAF School of
Administration and Logistics
Training at RAAF Base Wagga
marked the day by hearing about
some of the challenges and oppor-
tunities for women in the ADF from
GPCAPT Dee Gibbon, Director of
the ADF Review into the Treatment
of Women Project.
In her address, GPCAPT Gibbon
said her advice to women in the
ADF was simple.
"Be yourselves -- you don't need
to change who you are to be success-
ful in the Air Force. Always stick
up for your mates, both men and
women, don't ever accept unaccep-
table behaviour and support each
other," she said.
"And my advice to men in the
ADF is that all of
the women in your workplaces
are somebody's wife, girlfriend,
daughter, aunty, granddaughter or
sister -- so if you respect the women
in your workplaces the way you'd
like the women in your own family
to be respected, we won't have a
At RAAF Base Glenbrook,
a morning tea was held at
Headquarters Air Command,
attended by more than 100 people,
including Air Commander Australia
AVM Mel Hupfeld.
WGCDR Karen Breaden opened
the event by explaining the history
of International Women's Day and
why it needed to continue, after
which ACAUST gave a short history
of women in the Air Force.
AVM Hupfeld said it was only
in 1979 that women were granted
equal pay to men.
"It is disappointing that the
increase in the number of women
in the ADF has only increased by 3
per cent in the past 24 years, and the
Air Force increase is only slightly
higher," AVM Hupfeld said.
"We still have a long way to go
but a lot has changed for the better
and continues to improve with poli-
NOW: Above right,
SQNLDR Mel Grayson,
of HQAC, and MAJ
Dawn Anderson, of the
USAF, enjoy a coffee
after the presentations
at an International Day
morning tea at RAAF Base
Glenbrook, along with, above,
from left, Sarah Woodsell,
Lou Hupfeld, SQNLDR
Irene Leurs, Raelene Hards,
SQNLDR Del Gaudry and
front row, FLTLT Bec Sharp.
Right, GPCAPT Dee Gibbon
addresses students and staff
at RAAFSALT. Photos courtesy
HQAC and RAAFSALT
TOUGH TEAM: The Air Force tug-of-war "Toganauts" team
celebrates its win over the Army team.
Photo: Cathey Kelly
for women's day
CPL Max Bree
AIR Force may not have won the
first International Women's Day
tug-of-war at Russell Offices in
Canberra on March 7, but they gave
a strong showing.
Donned in purple togas, the
"Toganauts" team of male and
female Air Force members from
across Canberra knocked out Army
in the first round, much to their
Cadets from the Royal Military
College took the overall title after
beating teams from Navy, Defence
People Group, ADFA, Australian
Command and Staff College and the
Centre for Defence and Strategic
Event organiser GPCAPT Dee
Gibbon said the tug-of-war was
a light-hearted tribute to military
fitness with teams encouraged to
dress in costume.
"People said it was one of the
most enjoyable, team events they
had participated in for a long time,"
"The spirit of fun and competi-
tion across the ADF was really cap-
tured by this event -- showcased by
teams of equal numbers of men and
women, working together, towards
a common goal.
"It was a lot of fun but also
highlighted the importance Defence
places on days like International
Women's Day and the teamwork
inherent within our working envi-
GPCAPT Gibbon said some
people thought a tug-of-war was
too "masculine" as an event to
celebrate the day, which she found
"Who says women aren't strong,
competitive and capable?" she said.
"This event showed just how
competitive and tough women
warriors can be, especially the awe-
some women in the Air Force team,
some of whom are still bearing
the bruises of their massive and
much-celebrated win over the Army
Two prizes were presented after
the event, one to the winners and
one to the best-dressed team.
The best-dressed prize was
awarded to a mixed team of APS
and military members representing
Defence People Group.
CDF GEN David Hurley pre-
sented the prizes. All proceeds from
gold coin donations collected on
the day were donated to UN Women
"This was a great event to mark
International Women's Day. I con-
gratulate the winners on their skill
and participation, and for making
time to recognise this great cause,"
GEN Hurley said.
show support with
strength and spirit
TEAMWORK: FSGT Martin Johns,
below, and the Air Force tug-of-
war team, coached by WOFF
Mick Bonasia, far left, compete in
Photo: CPL Max Bree
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