There appears to be strong support for the decision to allow women in the Australian Defence Force to be involved in combat situations.

The Defence Minister Stephen Smith has announced that women who meet the standards for combat will soon be able to fight on the front line.

Jayd Mahady reports.


The announcement yesterday allowing women to be involved in front-line combat has been widely welcomed by the defence force and women’s groups.

Stephanie Carter, National Ccouncil for Women Qld: “We think that if these women are found to be mentally and physically able and they meet the physical requirements, then if it’s their choice to be on the front line then Australia should support that choice.”

Fiona Hewson, RAAF Wing Commander: “I think the fact that all roles in the Australian Defence Force wil be available to all people is a really positive and welcomed decision and that the ADF is now truly an employer of choice.”

And many people think it’s the right way to go.

Vox 1: “Yeah why not, bit of equality never hurt anyone.”

Vox 2: “Obviously women play a very vital role, it’s great that they sort of have equal status now.”

But some say it should remain a male only zone.

Vox 3: “I kind of think it’s probably in their best interest to stay back in case they get captured.”

John Hunter Farrell, Defence Commentator: “That brotherhood has enabled them to defeat enemies that everybody said that they couldn’t and I would not go and upset that now in a time of war to simply satisfy gender politics.”

The Australian Defence Force currently employs 8,000 women who make up fourteen and a half per cent of its full time workforce.

Defence Minister Stephen Smith says women will only be deployed to the front line if they are willing and physically capable.

This decision will be implemented over the next five years.

Jayd Mahady, QUT News.