Australian Defence Force affirms men are not excluded from any roles

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The Australian Defence Force has clarified on Thursday that all ADF roles are open for men and women to apply. It comes amid reports that men are losing out on jobs in the ADF in favour of more women in its ranks.

Staff was reportedly instructed to only recruit women, including in frontline combat roles. But the ADF stated in a media release that while it is maintaining targets to encourage greater participation of females, candidates are selected based on merit and their ability to do work, not on their gender.

The ADF maintained that all candidates should meet the required standards and that men are not excluded from any roles. They still represent the majority of all ADF applicants at a ratio of 2:1.

Females account for 51 percent of Australians and are a significant part of the talent pool. However, women are still significantly under-represented in the ADF.

The ADF has set goals for female participation rates of 15 percent for the Army. It seeks to accomplish 25 percent for the Navy and Air Force by 2023.

Furthermore, the ADF has launched initiatives to draw the best talent from the widest possible talent pool. The entry standards for recruitment have not been reduced.

This means every entrant must meet the army’s entry standards of a shuttle run score of 7.5 and 45 sit ups 15 push-ups for males and eight push-ups for females prior to commencing the army, according to the media release issued by the Ministerial and Executive Coordination and Communication, Department of Defence. It also stressed that no ADF employment categories are open exclusively to females.

In other news, the ADF has completed its contribution to Papua New Guinea’s 2017 National Elections earlier this month. The Australian Task Group was part of the broader support from the Australian government provided in response to an official Papua New Guinea Government request.

According to Vice Admiral David Johnston, the ADF support provided the extra airlift needed to help Papua New Guinea conduct the election."The steep terrain and island nature of Papua New Guinea means airlift was essential in the dissemination of voting materials and personnel,” he said in a press release.

Johnston added that cooperative effort between the two countries had other benefits other than providing support to the recent elections. He said the deployment was valuable in deepening Australia’s relationship with the Papua New Guinea Defence Force.

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