The need for a new model of wellbeing support in Defence

Si Gladman / 09 June 2022

Demographics are shifting rapidly in the Australian Defence Force (ADF). The majority of service personnel now identify as not religious. Yet the frontline wellbeing support provided for Navy, Army and Air Force personnel remains religious-based chaplaincy.

The former head of Navy chaplaincy, Collin Acton OAM, is leading the push for reform. Shortly before retiring, the ex-Christian, who became a humanist during his time in the military, successfully spearheaded the introduction of a non-religious welfare officer position in Navy’s Chaplaincy Branch.

It was a small but necessary step toward Navy providing better support for its people. But, with Army and Air Force so far failing to follow suit, retired Principal Chaplain Acton believes the continued dominance of religious-based chaplaincy risks becoming increasingly divisive and irrelevant.

In this RSA webinar, retired Principal Chaplain Acton will outline the need for reform and share his vision for a new secular wellbeing support capability.

Also joining the webinar will be Phillip Hoglin CSC, a former Colonel in the Australian Army and Defence statistician, who will share his insights into the changing demographics of the ADF.

All the more reason.