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Family - Joining Defence - Ex-Service Members

Advice provided is general in nature and does not consider your personal circumstances. You should consider the advice in the context of your personal circumstances, or seek professional advice before deciding on any course of action.

Joining Defence

NathanWhiteInformation about Defence Jobs

All Defence Force Job enquiries should be DEFENCE JOBS or call 13 19 01. DEFGLS is unable to provide you with guidance or advice regarding choosing a career that is right for you.

We are however always happy to talk about what it is like to be LGBTI in Defence — we're proud to talk about how we are contributing to the Defence of Australia. You can ask us questions online as well if you'd like to stay anonymous. 

Speaking to a LGBTI Person in Defence

We know that sometimes you want to get in touch with someone with is LGBTI and serving in the Defence Force. We can put you in touch with LGBTI Defence Force personnel who can talk generally about their experience. You might also prefer to join our private Facebook group, where you will meet the online community of LGBTI Defence personnel and their families. Please e-mail us with your request, including your service and the type of jobs you are interested in.

ArmyJust remember, that we can't answer any questions about choosing a job in Defence. Any information provided is general in nature, and you should consider it in the context of your own personal circumstances.

Joining Defence as a Transgender Person or with Gender Dysphoria

The Defence Health Directive on Gender Dysphoria for serving members is currently being progressed through the Health Policy Process. The initial entry standards in HLTHMAN Vol 1 are being progressed through that process concurrently to better reflect current clinical considerations.

In the meantime Defence Force Recruiting is assessing each transgender applicant on a case-by-case basis to ensure consistency with inherent requirements of service and legislation requirements (especially national anti-discrimination legislation).

You should be aware that there can be times where your personal privacy is very limited, particularly during your initial training, on exercise or operations. 

If you think you are being unfairly treated, or unfairly discriminated against through the recruiting process, please contact us, so we can assist with having your case reviewed by appropriate staff in Defence Force Recruiting and Joint Health Command. We will do our best to facilitate fair treatment, but we are not able to advocate on your behalf.

Does Defence allow Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual People to Serve?

NavyMarchingThe Defence Force has a diverse workforce and supports the inclusion of all sectors of the population, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons.  Each year, the Defence Force celeberates diversity and showcases inclusion by participating in the Sydney Mardi Gras Parade.

So you shouldn't worry about your sexual orientation but you definitely should spent time making sure that you choose the career that is right for you, and take up the right opportunity within the Defence Force or Defence Australian Public Service.

What about the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy?

Don't Ask Don't Tell was a US Government Policy which was repealed in 2011.  Australia has never had such a policy.  The ban on same sex-attracted personnel serving in the Australian Defence Force was removed in 1992.

Are there gay-friendly professions?

You should make sure that you spend time choosing the profession that is right for you.  As a Defence member, you will be expected to work within a very diverse workforce, and you will be posted to different units throughout your career.  The demographic and personality of Defence units are very different and people can find varying exeriences with respect to how they are treated. It is important that you are able to work well with others to produce results, and that you have the moral courage to live up to Defence values.
Defence does somewhat mirror the general community, so if you might expect to have a higher concentration of LGBTI personnel in a particular profession, it wouldn't be unreasonable to expect similar within the Defence environment. Its important to remember, that critical skill within Defence is an ability to work effectively with everyone to get the job done. There is a requirement and expectation that you behave in an inclusive manner, the same standard of behaviour that would you would expect to receive from others in Defence.

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