|David Lindsay Morrison|
Morrison orating at Canberra in July 2012
|Born||1956 (age 59–60)|
|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)
|Relations||Major General Alan Morrison (father)|
Lieutenant General David Lindsay Morrison AO (born 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 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 in 2008, Morrison vetoed their entitlements, which were 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.
On 25 January 2016 he was made "Australian of the Year" in a ceremony in Canberra attended by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. With his three priorities being, "action on a republic, domestic violence and gender equality". Morrison's priorities were criticised.[by whom?]
Women in the military
In June 2013, Morrison ordered an investigation into several emails sent from Army accounts over a three-year period that were highly demeaning to women. 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 transgender speech writer, Lieutenant Colonel Cate McGregor. Morrison, as one of her strongest supporters, refused to accept her resignation from his office, when she came out. 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 wrong doing.
Morrison, in his first speech on the matter, said he was informed on a certain date, however the senior officials in his office had been made aware of the investigation several months earlier. Several high ranking ADF personnel were also said, "we need to put a lid on this". Reports assert that the ADF hindered the investigations of police and tried to hide evidence claiming "National Security", however once the staff in Morrison's offices realised the seriousness of police investigations, they made major efforts to "play catch up" and get ahead of the story, before it broke. Morrison was to later strip a Lieutenant Colonel of his command, for failing to remain aware of issues that affected him, his unit and the army. The former Lieutenant Colonel, who has been medically discharged from the Army, was interviewed on Radio station 2GB. The journalist who initially investigated the matter, Robert Ovadia, has allegedly been denied an interview by Morrison, however interviews have been granted to the ABC News, which have failed to raise the issues raised by Ovadia.
Contrasts have been drawn regarding the responses to allegations of sexual misconduct by subordinates, in case of defence force personal (with a Lieutenant Colonel sacked), in the case of Governor-General Peter Hollingsworth (who resigned), 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.
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|
- "Chief of Army – Lieutenant General David Morrison, AO". www.army.gov.au.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- Devine, Miranda (3 February 2016). "Brave military men left to fight in the dark". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
- "Ben Fordham – The Dark Side Of David Morrison". 2GB. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
- Eastgate, Ross (7 February 2016). "David Morrison must take responsibility over army sexual abuse allegations and resign as Australian of the Year". Courier Mail. Retrieved 9 February 2016.
- Devine, Miranda (7 February 2016). "If David Morrison had any honour, he’d resign". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 9 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. 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.
- Official High Resolution Photo, www.defence.gov.au[dead link]
- High Resolution Photo, images.defence.gov.au[dead link]
- Australian Army chief receives Singaporean military award, Australian High Commission Singapore
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