General Morrison at the UN

Some time before the Chief of Army fixed the camera with a steely gaze to condemn misogyny in the Australian Army he gave a speech at the United Nations in New York. The occasion was International Women’s Day and the General spoke, among other things, about Anzac. The Anzac spirit or tradition is a pillar of ADF culture, he said; it helps attract male recruits. But he had misgivings about an

Anzac legend – as admirable as it is – [which] has become something of a double-edged sword. Many Australians have an idealised image of the Australian soldier as a rough hewn country lad – invariably white – a larrikin who fights best with a hangover and who never salutes officers, especially the Poms. This is a pantomime caricature. Every soldier is Mel Gibson in Gallipoli and frankly it undermines our recruitment from some segments of society and breeds a dangerous complacency about how professional and sophisticated soldiering really is.

A later interview after about 9.00.

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