Morrison in Canberra in July 2012
|Born||24 May 1956|
Cairns, Queensland, Australia
|Years of service||1979–2015|
|Commands held||Chief of Army (2011–15)|
Commander Forces Command (2008–11)
Deputy Chief of Army (2008)
Australian Defence College (2006–07)
3rd Brigade (2002–04)
2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (1997–98)
International Force for East Timor
|Awards||Officer of the Order of Australia|
Commander of the Legion of Merit (United States)
Meritorious Service Medal (Singapore)
Officer of the Legion of Honour (France)
Australian of the Year (2016)
|Relations||Major General Alan Morrison (father)|
Lieutenant General David Lindsay Morrison AO (born 24 May 1956) is a retired senior officer of the Australian Army. He served as Chief of Army from June 2011 until his retirement in May 2015. He was named Australian of the Year for 2016.
Early life and education
The son of Major General Alan "Alby" Morrison, Morrison attended St Edmund's College, Canberra and the Australian National University, where he studied arts and law. In 1979, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree and joined the Australian Army. He then graduated from the Officer Cadet School, Portsea into the Royal Australian Infantry Corps.
In 1992, Morrison attended the Army Command and Staff College, Queenscliff, and was then appointed as the Brigade Major of the 3rd Brigade, based in Townsville, Queensland. During that time he took part in Operation Lagoon, acting as chief of staff for a multinational force that provided security to the peace conference held in Bougainville during 1994. The following year he was promoted to lieutenant colonel.
In 1997 he was appointed commanding officer of the 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (2 RAR), holding that position until the end of 1998, when he was posted as the Chief Instructor for the Command, Staff Operations Wing at the Army All Corps Promotion Training Centre in Canungra.
Upon promotion to colonel in October 1999, Morrison was appointed as colonel of Operations, Headquarters International Force for East Timor (INTERFET). On his return to Australia, he was posted to the Deployable Joint Force Headquarters (DJFHQ) as chief of staff. He left that position at the end of 2001 to attend the Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies, Canberra, where he graduated in 2002 with a Master of Arts in Strategic Studies.
Morrison was promoted to brigadier in November 2002, and commanded the 3rd Brigade from December 2002 until December 2004. He was then appointed as Director-General Preparedness and Plans – Army (DGPP-A) and held that position until his promotion to major general in December 2005.
Morrison took up the appointment of Deputy Chief of Army in February 2008, replacing Major General John Cantwell. He served in this position until December, when he was appointed Land Commander Australia (LCAUST). Following a re-structure in July 2009, the post of Land Commander Australia was re-designated as Commander Forces Command. Morrison was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day Honours List of 2010 for distinguished service to the Australian Army in the fields of training and education, military strategic commitments and force structure and capability; in particular, as Commander Australian Defence College, Head Military Strategic Commitments and Deputy Chief of Army.
Army veterans who fought a "decisive ambush against far superior forces" at Thua Tich in Vietnam in 1969 have complained that Morrison argued against their recognition in 2008, which was subsequently approved by Labor defence support secretary Dr Mike Kelly.
Morrison was promoted to lieutenant general on 23 June 2011, and assumed the post of Chief of Army in a ceremony the following day. On 4 April 2014, it was announced that Morrison's term as Chief of Army had been extended for twelve months, to June 2015.
In 2013 Morrison, in supporting diversity, authorised the combining of a rainbow flag with the Rising Sun badge. In that year, Morrison also permitted defence personnel to march in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. These decisions have been criticised.
On 25 January 2016, Morrison was made Australian of the Year in a ceremony in Canberra attended by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Morrison listed his three priorities as Australian of the year: "action on a republic, domestic violence and gender equality". Morrison's priorities were criticised.
Women in the military
In June 2013, Civilian Authorities were going to announce the mishandling of serious investigations by the ADF. As a result, Morrison ordered an investigation into several emails sent from Army accounts over a three-year period that were highly demeaning to women, which became known as the "Jedi Council scandal." At a 13 June press conference, Morrison announced that he had suspended three members of the Army, ordered action to consider the suspension of five others, and suggested as many as nine more could face disciplinary action. He described the emails as "explicit, derogatory, demeaning and repugnant," and suggested that the alleged conduct was even worse than the "Skype scandal" of 2011. In a video posted on the Army's official YouTube channel, a visibly irate Morrison described the alleged behaviour as a "direct contravention" of the Army's values. He added that he had been committed ever since becoming Chief of Army to making the Army an inclusive force. "If that does not suit you," he said, "then get out!" He also told anyone not willing to work with women and accept them as equals, "There is no place for you amongst this band of brothers and sisters."
Morrison's speech was written by his speech writer, Lieutenant Colonel Cate McGregor, who is transgender. Morrison, as one of her strongest supporters, refused to accept her resignation from his office when she came out. Seven months after his speech, Morrison attributed "one of the most quoted phrases" in his anti-misogyny speech, "the standard you walk past is the standard you accept," to General David Hurley.
Morrison's aggressive response was widely hailed by Australian and American media, in particular comparing it to the relatively guarded response of the U.S. military to similar accusations.
In June 2014 Morrison formed part of the Australian delegation to the Global Summit To End Sexual Violence in Conflict in London, to which he delivered a speech arguing that armies that separate themselves from civil society, value men over women and celebrate violence "do nothing to distinguish the soldier from the brute".
Since the "Jedi Council scandal," information was received by media outlets, that the army, under the control of Morrison, had previously investigated the individuals involved and had failed to find any evidence of the allegations and cleared those involved of any wrongdoing. However, Morrison recommended that the commanding officer be dismissed.
Contrasts have been drawn regarding the differing responses to allegations of sexual misconduct by subordinates, in case of a lieutenant colonel, in the case of Governor-General Peter Hollingsworth, and Morrison.
In February 2016, Senator Jacqui Lambie made a speech in the Senate in relation to cases involving former soldiers who claim to have suffered abuse, calling for an inquiry into coverups and Morrison's involvement. The Prime Minister has also agreed to support a general mediation process for those involved.
Post military career
In May 2015 Morrison retired from the army and in September 2015 was appointed chairman of the Diversity Council Australia, a not-for-profit workplace diversity advisor to business in Australia, and as a gender diversity adviser to Deloitte Partners. He is also a motivational speaker.
As an advocate for gender diversity, Morrison campaigned against the use of gender-neutral terms such as ‘guys’. In response, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said the use of generic words such as 'guys' should not cause offence.
Morrison participated in a "Walk a Mile in their Shoes" event demonstrating against family violence. In September 2016 Morrison equated the legacy of domestic violence victims with fallen servicemen and women, proposing an Anzac Day-like memorial for women who have been killed by their partners. The ABC Fact Check has determined that men, women and children can be both victims and perpetrators of domestic violence. Morrison says, "it's not about the statistics... we are all, as a society, the victim."
Honours and awards
|Officer of the Order of Australia (AO)||26 January 2010|
|Member of the Order of Australia (AM)||26 January 1999|
|Australian Active Service Medal|
|International Force East Timor Medal|
|Defence Force Service Medal with 4 Clasps||(35–39 years of service)|
|Australian Defence Medal|
|Commander of the Legion of Merit (United States)||February 2012|
|Meritorious Service Medal (Singapore)||19 September 2013|
|Officer of the Legion of Honour (France)||July 2014|
|Australian of the Year||January 2016|
- Tillet, Andrew (30 January 2016). "David Morrison: The Quiet Man who Changed an Army". The West Australian.
- "Chief of Army – Lieutenant General David Morrison, AO". Australian Army. Archived from the original on 4 August 2013. Retrieved 13 August 2013.
- Member of the Order of Australia (AM), 26 January 1999, It's an Honour
- Officer of the Order of Australia (AO), 26 January 2010, It's an Honour
- Benns, Matthew (9 February 2016). "David Morrison: Veterans slam Australian of the Year over his $1000 an hour job". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 9 February 2016.
- "Army Celebrates Leadership". Defence Media Release MECC 263/11. Australian Department of Defence. 24 June 2011.
- AAP (4 April 2014). "Air Marshal Mark Binskin has been announced as the new head of the Australian defence force". SBS News. Special Broadcasting Service. Retrieved 4 April 2014.
- Brendan Nicholson (26 October 2012). "More cuts a 'risk' to soldiers' lives, says army chief David Morrison". The Australian.
- Geoffrey Barker (22 November 2012). "Army Chief's outcry tests boundaries". Australian Financial Review.
- McCormick, Joseph (4 December 2013). "Australia: Defence Department defends production of pride flag cufflinks". Pink News. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
- Devine, Miranda (5 March 2017). "The Army should be non-political. So why is it at Mardi Gras?". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
- Tucker, Rebecca. "Deakin Alumni Lieutenant General David Morrison a fine choice for Australian of Year". Deakin University Newsroom. Deakin University. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
- Smith, Dan (25 January 2016). "Australian of the Year: David Morrison, former Army chief, given top honour for gender equality work". ABC News. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
- "Australian of the Year David Morrison pulls no punches in first speech". News Ltd. 26 January 2016. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
- Greene, Andrew (29 January 2016). "David Morrison: War veterans attack 'sickening' Australian of the Year choice". ABC News. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
- Luck, Geoffrey (28 January 2016). "David Morrison is another hectoring activist of the year". The Australian. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
- Devine, Miranda (27 January 2016). "Sorry David, but it's the wrong fight". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
- "David Morrison's Australian of the Year award brings many complaints". The Australian. 24 October 2016.
- Ovadia, Robert (1 February 2016). "Part One: The scandal that made General David Morrison famous". Yahoo News. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
- Ovadia, Robert (1 February 2016). "Part Two: Part of the Jedi Council speaks out". Yahoo News. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
- Ovadia, Robert (1 February 2016). "Part Three: 'It's run by a kangaroo court'". Yahoo News. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
- Ovadia, Robert (1 February 2016). "Part Four: The man in the middle of the 'Jedi Council' scandal". Yahoo News. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
- "Australian military investigates 'explicit emails'". BBC News. 13 June 2013.
- Transcript Archived 18 June 2013 at the Wayback Machine of Morrison's press conference on 2013 email scandal, 13 June 2013, www.army.gov.au
- on YouTube
- "Transgender Lieutenant Colonel Cate McGregor speaks out about abuse and support". News Ltd. 5 July 2013. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
- Aston, Joe (26 January 2016). "Behind Australian of the Year race: David Morrison versus Cate McGregor". Australian Financial Review. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
- Aubusson, Kate (2 February 2016). "David Morrison defends Australian of the Year honour on Q&A". The Age. Retrieved 2 February 2016.
- Sean Power (11 June 2013). "Sexism in the Australian Defence Force". Mama Mia. Archived from the original on 16 June 2013.
- Julia Baird (8 June 2013). "A Timely Halt to the War Within". Sydney Morning Herald.
- Harold Maass (13 June 2013). "Australia's army chief demonstrates how you address sex abuse". The Week.
- Mary Elizabeth Williams (13 June 2013). "This is how you talk about military sex abuse". Salon.com.
- Gearin, Mary (14 June 2014). "Army chief Lieutenant General David Morrison labels gender inequality in militaries a 'global disgrace'". ABC News. Retrieved 14 June 2014.
- Lion, Patrick; & Marszalek, Jessica (14 June 2013). "Anger and disgust at army sex scandal as 'Jedi Council' emerges". Retrieved 28 June 2016.
- "Sacked colonel wants answers from Morrison". Townsville Bulletin. 21 October 2016.
- "It's not too late to say sorry, David Morrison. Many are still waiting to hear a few simple words". Daily Telegraph. 23 October 2016.
- Eastgate, Ross (7 February 2016). "David Morrison must take responsibility over army sexual abuse allegations and resign as Australian of the Year". The Courier-Mail. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
- Coletta, Frank (3 February 2016). "'Bound, bagged and sexually abused': Ex-SAS soldier claims he was tortured during training and senior officers - including new Australian of the Year - did nothing". Daily Mail. Retrieved 5 February 2016.
- Wroe, David (3 February 2016). "Jacqui Lambie calls on David Morrison to resign over military abuse cases". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
- "Lambie meets with PM over defence claims". Seven News. 3 February 2016. Archived from the original on 14 February 2016. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
- Sibthorpe, Claire (3 September 2015). "Former Army Chief David Morrison new chairman of Diversity Council Australia". Canberra Times. Retrieved 2 February 2016.
- "About DCA". Diversity Council Australia. Retrieved 2 February 2016.
- Markson, Sharri (4 February 2016). "Australian of the Year David Morrison's $15,000 speaking fee". The Australian. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
- Smith, Michael (2 August 2016). "David Morrison in Perth Thursday. Tickets still available. Lots and lots and lots of tickets". Retrieved 3 November 2016.
- Shepherd, Tony. "Australian of the year David Morrison: Stop calling people 'guys'". The Advertiser. Retrieved 26 July 2016.
- "Morrison 'guys' ban receives mixed reaction". Sky News. 2 June 2016. Retrieved 26 July 2016.
- "David Morrison promised a lot as Australian of the Year, but he's fighting the wrong battles". News Ltd. 3 June 2016. Retrieved 5 August 2016.
- Blackwell, Eion (15 July 2016). "Stop Saying Guys And Watch Your #WordsAtWork: David Morrison". Huffington Post. Retrieved 5 August 2016.
- "Walk a mile in their shoes: Stiletto-clad men and women march for domestic violence charity walk". 9 News. 2 September 2016. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
- Edwards, Jean (2 September 2016). "Former Army chief David Morrison says no to domestic violence". ABC News. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
- Burke, Liz (28 September 2017). "Former army chief David Morrison calls for national day for domestic violence victims". News Corp News. Retrieved 28 September 2016.
- "Fact file: Domestic violence in Australia". ABC News. 15 April 2016. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
- Official High Resolution Photo, www.defence.gov.au Archived 27 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine
- High Resolution Photo, images.defence.gov.au Archived 28 August 2012 at the Wayback Machine
- Australian Army chief receives Singaporean military award, Australian High Commission Singapore
Lieutenant General Ken Gillespie
| Chief of Army
Lieutenant General Angus Campbell
as Land Commander Australia
| Commander Forces Command
Major General Jeffrey Sengelman
Major General Mark Kelly
| Land Commander Australia
as Commander Forces Command
Major General John Cantwell
| Deputy Chief of Army
Major General Paul Symon
Rear Admiral Mark Bonser
| Commander Australian Defence College
Brigadier Brian Dawson (acting)
|Awards and achievements|
| Australian of the Year