The Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, AO, CSC, RAN met with the Grand Mufti of Australia, Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohamed in Sydney this week to discuss opportunities to assist the Royal Australian Navy and wider Australian Defence Force in the understanding of the Islamic tradition and culture.
Discussions between the two leaders covered the broadening engagement with the Muslim community as well as the importance of increased cultural understanding since the Navy, on an almost daily basis, engages with many regional navies with large Muslim populations.
Vice Admiral Ray Griggs said Navy is committed to inclusive practices across Navy and addressing all aspects of diversity.
“We achieve our most important outcomes by drawing on the different strengths, attributes and characteristics of the many individuals who make up our teams.
“Diversity fortifies our working Navy and completely underpins our fighting ability, our professionalism and our effectiveness in serving the nation.
“By creating and embedding a culture of inclusion in Navy we can attract a wide range of people to a Service career and importantly retain a highly skilled, diverse workforce.
Navy’s engagement with the Australian Islamic community via Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohamed is a key step in the implementation of initiatives aimed at improving understanding of the Islamic culture and beliefs. Breaking down barriers and misconceptions can only occur through engagement and knowledge.
“A deeper understanding will also improve cooperation with many of the predominantly Muslim navies we work with on the international stage on a regular basis, ultimately forming stronger ties and enabling more effective execution of our mission.”
“The Australian Defence Force has broad policies which are inclusive of religious difference,” said Vice Admiral Griggs.
During the meeting CN outlined the range of initiatives that have been implemented including the appointment of a Strategic Advisor on Islamic Affairs, changes to uniform policy to allow the wearing of Islamic headdress, new operational procedures designed around recognition of people of Islamic faith and the establishment of a new Naval Cadet unit in Western Sydney.
“I think Dr Ibrahim understood how serious we are in showing our commitment to being an employer for all Australians,” said Vice Admiral Griggs.