Defining ‘Right’: What are the ADF’s Ethics?


Andrew Stokes

How Australia’s ethical failures with Timor-Leste should inform a future shaping strategy for the Indo-Pacific

Australian military planners are grappling with a grey-zone Chinese shaping strategy that threatens to disrupt[1] ‘stability, security and sovereignty’[2] in the Indo-Pacific. China’s strategy utilises a whole-of-government approach to influence competitors and potential partners through all means short of war.


The Peril of Extremes: on moral relativism and ethnocentrism

‘If only one person in the world held down a terrified, struggling, screaming little girl, cut off her genitals with a septic blade, and sewed her back up, leaving only a tiny hole for urine and menstrual flow, the only question would be how severely that person should be punished, and whether the death penalty would be a sufficiently severe sanction. But when millions of people do this, instead of the enormity being magnified millions-fold, suddenly it becomes ‘culture’, and thereby magically becomes less, rather than more, horrible…’

Vedran Maslic

The New ADF – the way to the inclusive future

What follows is a short opinion piece that covers off on the most effective way for the ADF to become relevant to the young people of this nation. It speaks to our existing culture and makes suggestions for improvement.

Jason Gardner

Assistive AI

Nights on the vehicle checkpoint outside the regional hospital were turning into a real drag. The city had been liberated two months ago and the insurgency driven out. The majority of attacks were now skirmishes on the outskirts of town. The key roads leading into the city had been destroyed by the orbital kinetic bombardment system, leaving massive craters where key roads had once existed. Now there were only three heavily guarded choke points accessible to vehicle traffic which the enemy would need to capture if they had any hope of taking the city.

Samuel Hatcher

Soldiers Breaking Windows

In the rush to provide an organisational response to allegations of violent war crimes committed by its soldiers, the Australian Defence Force (ADF) risks applying an educational solution to a behavioural problem. This essay proposes instead to examine the triggers and contributing factors behind the behaviour, and to transform the practical training landscape to better prepare soldiers for the intangible pressures they face on the battlefield.

“In many ways the Digger is a study in contradictions.”

John Wellfare

The Aviator – A Story of Death Intertwined with Observations of Cultural Change

By all accounts, my father was what they call a top bloke. A Flight Engineer on C-130 Hercules, he was tall, funny and loved motorbikes, rugby and surfing. He was as active and manly as the Marlboro Man. He was married with two young children, worked in a job he loved, and had more friends than he could count.

Jessica Salih

Twitter Girl

Attention ladies! Did you hear?
You can be a musketeer!
Wear a beret, fight like men,
just be sure to hide your femme.

Fire a rifle, hump a pack,
steady girls prepare for flak.
Doesn’t matter what you do,
‘cause Twitter-sphere’s got a view.

Prove your worth and earn your place,
makes no diff’rence for the case.
Token female, yes that’s you,
cheap shots thrown, there are a few.

Claire Pearson

The Ethical 'Rubik's Cube'

The Jamie Cullens Writing Competition 2020 - Essay winner

This essay will argue that experiential learning through realistic and confronting scenario-based activities is the primary method soldiers and officers can be effectively prepared to meet ethical challenges in combat.


The Call of the Sinbagi

Technological advances affecting cyber security and the use of drones and automated weapons systems are likely to have a significant impact upon ADF operations in the years to come. Consider these issues from either a leadership, ethical or cultural perspective.

Rich Morris

“Hackerman”: How diverging cyberspace portrayals influence the ADF’s perception of cybersecurity and the cultural ramifications of these judgements

The Challenge of Organisational Cybersecurity

In a modern warfighting environment, the cyber domain is growing as an ever-present and pervasive threat to military systems. For the ADF, the degradation of those systems has the potential to devastate mission assurance and operational capability. Subsequently, cybersecurity is perceived by people involved in these processes can have significant influence over planning and management.

FLGOFF Theresa Sob

Responding to the Next 'Unprecedented' Event; The Case for Compassion and Emotional Intelligence in Leadership

Summer of 2019-20 was marked by unprecedented bushfires; the likes of which changed the Australian national psyche. California-based psychotherapist Diane Ross-Glazer, herself a bushfire survivor, attests that regardless of personal impact, the whole nation would grieve.[1] Not a couple of months later, the nation would again face an unprecedented threat. The impact of coronavirus has changed the way ordinary citizens exist forever more. It was, and indeed still is, the enemy that knows no bounds of nationality, ethnicity or gender.

SQNLDR Jenna Higgins