I am aware of the change.org online petition circulating on social media in relation to the murder of Kate Malonyay. Let me say this:
I was, and remain, appalled at the brutal and violent murder at the hands of Elliott Coulson and I utterly condemn the abuse and violence that ended in her tragic death.
I acknowledge that the decision to support Elliott Coulson’s family with Navy participation in the funeral has caused distress to Ms Malonyay’s family, friends and the wider community. It was not Navy’s intent to cause this distress and, for this, I unreservedly apologise.
I will ensure that Navy’s future application of Defence policy in this area receives very close scrutiny.
I wish to make the point that this incident in April 2013 and Navy’s growing commitment to cultural reform within the Service caused Navy to seek accreditation through the White Ribbon Organisation as a tangible demonstration of our commitment within the wider community to stamp out domestic violence. This accreditation was achieved in June 2014.
Navy actively pursues its commitment to White Ribbon, through mandatory awareness training, education programs and by supporting fund raising and community awareness activities.