This chapter was contributed by the Australian Government Department of Defence (November 2009).
The Australian Defence Organisation is made up of over 90,000 personnel across the Australian Defence Force permanent forces, Reserve forces, and civilian employees. The operational tempo of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) has been high over the past year, with a peak contribution of over 3,500 personnel serving on 18 deployments around the world. The skill, courage, and integrity of our service men and women has been exemplary, evoking the finest traditions of the ADF. The awarding of the Victoria Cross to Trooper Mark Donaldson in January 2009, the first Australian in almost 40 years to receive the award, was a fitting recognition for his outstanding bravery and courage.
This chapter provides an overview of the roles and activities of Defence. In particular, it focuses on the strategic environment, current operations and capability. The chapter also shows trends in Defence spending, and looks at the composition of the workforce.
The information contained in this chapter was the most recent available at the time of preparation. Where available, further and more up-to-date information can be found on the Defence website, <http://www.defence.gov.au> or from the references listed in the bibliography at the end of this chapter.