Former Army Chief David Morrison new chairman of Diversity Council Australia
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Former Army Chief David Morrison new chairman of Diversity Council Australia

Retired Lieutenant General David Morrison will take his leadership experience and passion for inclusion and respect to the Diversity Council Australia (DCA), where he has been appointed as the new chairman.

The DCA has been encouraging diversity in the workforce for 30 years, including employment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Retired Australian Army Chief David Morrison continues fight for diversity as new chairman of Diversity Council Australia

Retired Australian Army Chief David Morrison continues fight for diversity as new chairman of Diversity Council Australia

Throughout his four years as Chief of the Australian Army, Mr Morrison publicly advocated for gender equality, cultural diversity and LGBTI-inclusion.

Most noticeably is his famous YouTube video during the 2013 Jedi Council Scandal when he said "no one has ever explained to me how the exploitation or degradation of others enhances capability or honours the traditions of the Australian Army".

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But he said it's not only the army culture that needs to change.

"Let's face it - human beings, unless approaching these matters sensibly and sensitively, can find the most confined measures in their own mind to discriminate against people.

"So discriminating against men and women in terms of their race or ethnic heritage or sexual orientation is ridiculous and it means we deny in society the talent that is on offer by everybody."

The ANZ Women's report, Barriers to Achieving Financial Gender Equality, concluded gender pay gaps exist in every state and across every industry in Australia.

It also found starting salaries for bachelor degree graduates and postgraduates are higher for men than for women with the same qualification.

Since retiring from the army in May 2015, Mr Morrison has been speaking to various corporations about decreasing workforce gender gaps and educating school students about respect.

"I've been incredibly impressed with the attitude I've seen with younger Australians, it does give us a great deal of cause for hope," he said.

Mr Morrison said the challenges he has faced, while being chief but also throughout his 36 years serving in the army, have given him a better understanding of inclusion and respect.

"It has made me a better person and, if I can contribute to the DCA and through them to society, then that's a fantastic thing to do in my post-military life," he said.

"I thought it was a great privilege that they would think of me... I did ask them if they're sure they want an Anglo-Saxon male to be the chairman but I'm delighted they did because I couldn't be more committed to what the Diversity Council Australia aspires to."

The DCA board believes diversity and acceptance increase employee satisfaction, which improves productivity and profitability.

​Mr Morrison has a clear vision for the future.

"My ideal society would be one where everybody is given the chance to realise their potential to contribute to build a global society that works for the betterment of all.

While that sounds aspirational, the journey that we've been on in the last 30 years indicates men and women of good intent can make a lasting contribution to the quality of our lives now and into the future."

Clare Sibthorpe is a reporter for The Canberra Times