Defence Force promises new strategies to deal with sexist culture and behaviour

On the same day one of its senior Commanders is facing a court martial over an alleged indecent assault, the Defence Force has launched an operation to try and tackle inappropriate sexual behaviour in the organisation.

Lieutenant General Tim Keating. Source: 1 NEWS

The Defence Force wants to recruit more women but says it needs to deal with the underlying culture in the Defence Force first.

"New research we've commissioned shows that being a woman in our Defence Force is still harder than it should be," says Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant General Tim Keating.

"There continue to be pockets of people that think it acceptable to belittle, ridicule and at its worst, harass and even assault their colleagues."

"That's unacceptable. We have a Defence Force we can be proud of," he went on to say.

"Any actions like this diminish us both in the eyes of our personnel and in the eyes of the public, who rightly demand we have the highest standards."

The Defence Force is promising to bring in new strategies to deal with sexist culture and behaviour, a new way to report sexual assaults and a team to deal with assaults.

It comes as a Commander is facing court martial for one charge of indecent assault against a lower ranked woman.

The complainant alleges he groped her on the buttocks four times at a social function at the Devonport Naval Base. His name is suppressed.