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Outserve-SLDN fifth annual conference promotes international leadership and inclusion

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Wing Commander Kathryn (Kate) Carlisle represented Air Force and DEFGLIS by sharing her experiences and views about military LGBTI inclusion at the fifth Outserve-SLDN conference in Washington DC.

Carlisle was a speaker on the foreign services panel of the Outserve-SLDN leadership and spoke about her experiences with inclusion in the military throughout her extensive career.

Her career pre-dates the removal of the ban on homosexual behaviour in 1992. She discussed how repealing the policy and extending benefits to same-sex couples in 2005 had positive impacts for many service personnel.

Joining her on the panel were representatives from the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and the Outserve-SLDN Chapter in Germany. The panel was chaired by Jeffry Priela-Tam from the United States Navy and treasurer of Outserve-SLDN.

Carlisle said that a highlight of the event was meeting Margarethe "Greta" Cammermeyer - whose story inspired the movie Serving in Silence. The movie highlights her distinguished career in the military and her discharge for admitting to being same-sex attracted.

Among the distinguished guests at the event was Staff Sergeant Eric Alva, the first US person to be seriously injured in Iraq. Alva lost part of his right leg and damaged his right hand. He is a recipient of a Purple Heart. In 2007 he came out as being gay and joined with Congressman Martin Meehan to introduce the Military Readiness and Enhancement Act that repealed the US 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' policy.

The conference is the 5th Outserve-SLDN conference. The first was held in 2011 just weeks after the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell. Outserve-SLDN one of the counterparts for DEFGLIS in the USA.

Carlisle is a logistics officer in the Royal Australian Air Force who is currently posted to the USA as an exchange officer to the United States Air Force Headquarters in the Logistics Strategy Branch.

Photos are (c) Copyright Jonathan Gatz Imagery

Pictured above (left to right): Joe Cox (Outserve-SLDN Germany Chapter Lead), Wing Commander Kathryn Carlisle (Royal Australian Air Force and DEFGLIS), Captain Hannah Winterbourne (British Army), Graeme Fields (Co-Chair, New Zealand Overwatch), and Corporal Hemi Fries (Royal New Zealand Air Force and New Zealand Overwatch)


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