Formal comment by the Australia Defence Association: 2018-19
Some discussion about how to find suitable Governor-Generals has been sidetracked by desired diversity outcomes being advanced in isolation from longstanding key issues. Particularly by not acknowledging the skill sets needed and the effects this requirement can have in limiting the pool of qualified and available candidates. Moreover, it doesn't help broaden and diversify the pool of talent by complaining about a retired general (especially one who has been a successful and popular state governor) becoming Governor-General, without acknowledging why judges and generals have often been considered so suitable. Understanding what makes judges and generals particularly suitable in terms of non-partisanship, and replicating and institutionalising such strengths and cultural influences in other professions and backgrounds, is surely the best path to achieving real diversity.
Calls to promote General Sir John Monash posthumously to field marshal are invalid because they ignore the real context of his undoubted achievements. They are also yet another symptom of so many Australians being wedded to emotive and mythological beliefs about our military history that this hampers objective discussion and sustainment of Australia's current and future strategic security requirements.
Some commemorations of the 100th anniversary of World War I ending continue to suffer from Anzackery.
The ADF's institutional, cultural, professional and practical non-partisanship must never be compromised for party-political expediency. The fact and public perception of our defence force's political neutrality must be preserved, and preserved consistently, for the enduring benefit of the whole Australian community. And at all times, not just during election campaigns. In summary, to keep the "gun out of our politics" our constitutional system - and its supporting conventions and practices - has necessarily evolved over centuries to ensure that "politics is kept out of the gun".