Ian Langford - Ensuring true societal representation
I think it's less about substituting one for the other. It's more now about giving pride and confidence to both. So you can be a proud indigenous person and be a proud member of the Australian Army. And they're never, and nor should they have ever been one a substitution for the other.
And that's also true of other minorities in terms of encouraging them into service because, again, if we don't represent our constituency, if we don't represent the community, then how can we represent our country in the context of armed violence. We need to reflect community values, we need to uphold the standards and norms and behaviours that they will expect. And you can't do that if you don't reflect, you know, the demographics, the culture, the experience, the challenges of living in Australia as part of normal life, you know, we are not an outcast from society, we are part of it.
And the difference is that we wear a uniform, we are subjected to some degree to a higher calling through the nature of service but that doesn't make us better, it just makes us more obligated and more responsible to understand that which we represent and to do our best effort in making sure that we represent them effectively.