Cadets at the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) claim they felt pressured to wear purple on Friday to avoid the appearance of a protest against defence support for Wear It Purple Day.
ADFA cadets told the ABC that they received instruction to either wear purple or civvies on the day.
No one is to wear uniform!
“Please remember it is Wear It Purple Day tomorrow and the dress is civilian attire. No one is to wear uniform!
“Please ensure personnel remember this as wearing of uniform tomorrow will be seen as an active protest against LGBTQIA+, which is not in line with Defence policy.”
The apparently official instruction additionally described anyone wearing uniform as choosing to disobey a direct command.
“Guidance from XO [executive officer] is that wearing uniform will be considered a protest against WIPD, which does not align with the ADF value of respect.
“You are very welcome to wear civvies with absolutely no purple if you wish!
“This will be viewed as a neutral stance rather than an active protest and that is absolutely okay.”
An ADFA spokesperson told the ABC that personnel voluntarily participate in diversity and inclusion events. The spokesperson said the ADFA asked students and staff to wear civilian attire “and, if they wished, to wear something purple in recognition of ‘Wear it Purple Day’.”
Shadow Defence Minister Andrew Hastie described the ADFA’s support of the day as “coercive behaviour.”
“The ADF leadership should only be insisting on adherence to its values: service, courage, respect, integrity and excellence.
“To go beyond those values and ram home a political agenda — as they have with Wear it Purple Day — is to trample on our diggers and their freedom of conscience.”
Hastie fills a position occupied by his current leader during the Libs’ last term of government.
As Defence Minister, Peter Dutton then ordered an end to things like staff wearing colourful clothing to morning tea breaks to signify support for diversity and inclusion. After all, you never know when those sneaky bloody Kiwis might invade.
Wear It Purple Day over the years:
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