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March to reform awarded

by SBLT Bianca Wise for Air Force News

Squadron Leader Vince Chong received a VCDF commendation on May 22 in recognition of his efforts as Chairman of the Defence Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Information Service (DEFGLIS).

It was SQNLDR Chong's efforts that resulted in a milestone decision allowing ADF personnel to march in uniform at the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade in SYdney earlier this year.

VCDF AIRMSHL Mark Binskin presented the award at a dinner at the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA), held to mark International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia and to celebrate the launch of ADFA's new Lesbian Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) support network.

AIRMSHL Binskin said he was proud of the steps Defence had taken to support a more inclusive culture most evident in this year's uniformed march in the Mardi Gras.

"SQNLDR Chong's influence had a positive impact on Defence's cultural reform agenda, but more specifically on Defence members themselves," he said.

"Vince worked tirelessly to promote and support a diverse network, which culminated in an award-winning performance at Mardi Gras, and continued with LGBTI support events around the country."

SQNLDR Chong said he was proud to be part of the Mardi Gras milestone, and DEFGLIS' activities to achieve broader goals within Defence.

"Our goal is to increase diversity to greater reflect the community we serve," SQNLDR Chong said.

Photo: Commonwealth of Australia - AIRMSHL Mark Binskin presents VCDF Gold Commendation to SQNLDR Vince Chong

Published in Air Force News - 6 June 2013 - Page 22 - Reprinted with permission

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