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A recent workplace review within the Australian Border Force’s (ABF) marine unit has uncovered alarming findings of widespread sexual harassment and discrimination. The Commissioner, Michael Outram, issued an apology to female staff members following the revelations, emphasizing the urgent need for immediate intervention to ensure a safe working environment for women in the unit.

Survey results conducted among staff within the marine unit painted a concerning picture, with every woman surveyed stating they had either witnessed or directly experienced sexual harassment or discrimination. The Australian Human Rights Commission is actively investigating ABF’s workplace culture as part of a comprehensive five-year project, with a particular focus on the marine unit.

The report generated from the review has made 13 recommendations, including measures to enhance accountability among ABF leaders, promotion criteria requiring leadership skills, and offering flexible working arrangements. Commissioner Outram has expressed a resolute commitment to driving cultural change within ABF, aiming to foster a workplace that is safe, equitable, diverse, and inclusive for all employees.

The findings of the report have underscored the need for a significant shift in organizational culture, with ABF leadership acknowledging the responsibility to address cultural issues head-on. The leadership has pledged to take defined actions to rectify the identified problems and create a more positive and respectful work environment moving forward.


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Article Title: Commissioner apologises after Border Force review finds widespread sexual harassment and discrimination among marine ranks
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