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RAN Chief Tim "Shindy's Insh'Allah Success Story" Barrett blinged with Singapore Sling

Remember when the small but perfectly formed chief of army David Morrison felt his bling was underdone too?

Here he is trotting off to Singapore for a bit of theirs.


Australian hearts almost burst with pride at his acceptance speech.  He managed to fit the word 'Australia' in a massive once!  

"I am honoured to accept the Pingat Jasa Gemilang (Tentera) and I thank the people and the Government of Singapore for this recognition. I have had the privilege of working closely with the SAF throughout my career. It is a most dedicated and professional national institution and I am delighted to have been considered for this award. I will wear it with pride, certain in the knowledge that Singapore and Australia will continue to work constructively and with purpose to ensure the prosperity of both our countries and the region."

I was hoping to say "they don't make them like that anymore" but that's wishful thinking.

Here's the behind the scenes guy in the Mona Shindy success story, Admiral Tim Barrett lining up for his Singapore Sling a few weeks ago.

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Here are some reminders of the Admiral's part in Mona's Maritime Muslim Makeover. 

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Tumblr_o0r5oq1PvB1uvcrxwo1_500I'll tell you what - Tim's right up there in the full-on Allah uh-Akbar department.

Not only did he go out in solidarity with the Muslim hunger-strike for Ramadan.

Not only did he break the Ramadan fast with the Mufti who had blamed the West for the Paris Islamist terror attacks.

Not only did he host the Iftar dinner at our sacred War Memorial.

Admiral Barrett delivered his prepared speech to honour a group of very special people who've been involved in war.

It wasn't the 40 Australian soldiers recently killed in action by our Islamist enemy - their names on the Wall of Honour in bronze.  He didn't mention them.

It wasn't the thousands more wounded in action by our Islamist enemy.  

And he didn't say a word about the tens of thousands of people killed in Islamist terror attacks against us since 11 September, 2001.

Nope - Admiral Barrett wanted to honour only one group of people killed in wars.


Lest We Forget hey Admiral?

Transcript of the speech given by Vice Admiral Tim Barrett AO CSC RAN, Chief of Navy at the Royal Australian Navy's Inaugural Ramadan Iftar Dinner on 23 June 2015.

Assistant Minister for Defence, Hon. Stuart Robert, MP, Grand Mufti of Australia, Dr Ibrahim Abu-Mohamed, MP, Your Excellencies, The Hon. Dr Brendan Nelson, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.  I commence this evening, when we will be celebrating diversity, by acknowledging the traditional owners and custodians of this land on which we meet and their elders past and present.

I am delighted to be able to host this Inaugural Navy coordinated Iftar. I have fasted today in solidarity with you all, to properly immerse myself in the experience and purpose of Ramadan and to gain an appreciation of the challenges and rewards Muslims experience during this important month in the Islamic calendar.

Tribute to those lost in war
I commence my address in this place of remembrance by paying tribute to all those Muslims who lost their lives in war in service of Australia and whose names are recorded here in the cloisters of the memorial.  

This evening at the Last Post ceremony you heard from Chief Naim of the sacrifice of Lance Sergeant Bin Shalid Ma'Aruff, who was killed in action in Borneo in 1945.

He was operating with the Army’s Z Special Force and was a courageous volunteer for hazardous duty as a commando operating behind enemy lines. One of his brothers-in-arms in Z Force was Corporal Abu Kassan.

Australian Muslim sailors, soldiers and airmen volunteered, fought and died doing their duty in defence of this country and its freedoms. Many others survived the heat of battle and returned home to lead productive lives and head families. These valiant men were members of what has come to be known as the ‘Heroic Generation’, the last members of which are now passing. We remember them all with gratitude.

Inclusion and diversity in the RAN

Tonight I will speak of inclusion and diversity in the service I lead - the Royal Australian Navy. I am accountable to the government for Navy’s capability. I deliver the maritime services to Government and people of Australia.

For that service to be possible I need our equipment - our ships, our submarines and our aircraft. You will have noticed that they vary in size but are almost always made of grey steel. With submarines you can have any colour as long as it is black! Equipment is our hardware.

Equally essential is our software – our people. They also vary in size, but I am pleased to say that they come in a wide range of colours and more are being added every year.

We need highly trained and motivated, self disciplined men and women to operate our hardware who come from all the corners of Australia and from every ethnicity. Colour is irrelevant; and as I will demonstrate, religious affiliation is no barrier to ADF service.

Need to recruit from all minorities and ethnicities and be representative of whole Australian demographic

It is essential that we who lead the ADF do all we can to attract and retain the widest range of talent from Australia’s multicultural communities. Muslim-Australians and the knowledge and the values they bring to the workforce are a key and essential component of a successful Team Navy.

The Defence Force aims to be entirely representative of the full diversity of the Australian demographic by 2030. We are not there yet, but we are on track and moving in that direction. Navy is more diverse that ever before. We are recruiting and retaining many more women and, as they stay for longer, we are able to promote them to higher ranks and responsibilities. We are also succeeding in recruiting and keeping Australia’s indigenous people. We are aiming to fairly represent in our ranks every ethnicity and faith community but we need to be proactive and drive this change forward.

Islamic cultural advisors and religious advisory appointments 

To commence this process the last Chief of Navy, VADM Ray Griggs, instituted the positions of Islamic Cultural Adviser and an assistant adviser in 2012. Captain Mona Shindy, who has just spoken and Chief Petty Officer Zul Naim, who organised this event, hold these positions at present.

These two adviser roles are here to stay because I, and my successors as Chief of Navy, will continue to need guidance to ensure that what should be done by Navy to meet the legitimate religious needs of those members of the Islamic faith is done. Henceforth Navy will always need advice on how to be an inclusive recruiter and employer of choice for those Australians who profess Islam.  

On 5 June the Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence appointed Sheikh Mohamadu Nawaz Saleem to the ADF’s Religious Advisory Committee to the Services.

The Minister  said: Increasing the breadth of the RACS to include the Muslim faith reflects the ADF’s pastoral care responsibilities for all its members and is entirely consistent with Defence’s commitment to cultural reform.”

Guide to religion and belief in the ADF

Last year the then Chief of the Defence Force, General David Hurley, released a document, entitled: Guide to Religion and Belief in the ADF. It brings together in one place a clear guide for all ADF commanding officers on the implications of faith as it is practised by permanent serving members and reservists when in uniform.

This guide makes clear what a supervisor or unit commander’s duties and obligations are when attending to the religious needs of those in his or her chain of command.

It provides a great deal of information on the beliefs and practices of all the religions represented in the ADF. It provides clear guidance on the following matters:

  • Religious observances at work, the facilitation of prayer and leave for religious festivals.
  • Bereavement leave
  • Uniform regulations and permissible variations in dress
  • Medical Treatment
  • Dietary needs and fasting
  • Worship and in the worst case Death in service.  

In the section of this ADF guide dealing specifically with Islam the five pillars of the faith, the daily rituals of the practicing Muslim and the significance of Friday prayers are all respectfully and carefully explained. 

Religious and service obligations are compatable in the ADF

I have spoken about this Guide at some length to underline the point that ADF and Navy has acknowledged its multi-faith future.

The Service Chiefs and the Secretary of Defence and the Government are hoping that the leaders of faith communities will now encourage members to see the ADF for what it has become and will continue to be; not what it once was.

The Navy I lead is a work place where men and women of all faiths should be able to offer service to Australia and meet their religious duties, without compromising either obligation. Please take that message with you and pass it on to those in your community who may want to know more about a career in the ADF.  We welcome and need their talent and their commitment to serve.

New capability and clever ships need clever people 

We have a huge task to prepare Navy for the new ships and capabilities which the Government is providing.  We are in for a period of profound naval recapitalization unmatched in Australia’s peacetime history.

We are building a highly trained and motivated workforce. Our people are doing a superb job of integrating the first of our new ships the LHD HMAS Canberra into the fleet and making her amphibious and aviation capabilities available to the rest of the ADF and the Government.

But the pace and size of this ‘step change’ is about to pick up. As you may have seen in the last month we gently lowered the first of our three new Air Warfare Destroyers, Hobart, into the water and we have commissioned a new Squadron of advanced Romeo Helicopters.

We are planning new classes of frigates, submarines, patrol boats and replenishment ships. The long and the short of it is we need to recruit and retain all the talented people that this clever country can provide if we are to get all this new clever capability into the water and keep it operational.

I sometimes face challenges using all the new smart apps on my smart phone but I am learning all the time and getting more capable as I practice. We learn as we go in this innovative age. These are smart ships and aircraft I am describing and we need smart people to learn to operate them and keep learning as we develop new capabilities to put in them.

Diversity and innovation through plan pelorus

We will get there. We are swiftly becoming a more agile Navy and we will meet our obligations.  But we need our innovative leadership and management practices and our inclusive approach to diversity to do it. This is not only the right way forward in a meritocratic society, it is also the only way ahead if we are to achieve our passage plan to 2018, when I will come to the end of my term as Chief of Navy, and beyond to my successors.

We need a strategy to provide our way points and our headmarks. I have devised one and called it Plan Pelorus, because a pelorus is the instrument on a ship’s bridge from which we get our bearings and can set a new course.

Pelorus builds on the tool for reinforcing that new Navy culture which is already in use and has been for the last six years. That tool is New Generation Navy (NGN).

New Generation Navy – values based cultural change

NGN is a cultural renewal programme that identifies the values and behaviours that are required of all Navy people.

It is about modernisation of our culture, our structures and the way we lead and how we release our people to be creative and to innovate

New Generation Navy led renewal is about making explicit what the Navy’s expectations are for each serving member and also stating what members are accountable for to each other. It is a values-based people strategy.

Navy values

So what are these Navy values that our people live by? They are: Honour, Honesty, Courage, Integrity and Loyalty. They have always been implicit in our culture and generations of our sailors have demonstrated them in peace and war. New Generation Navy makes them explicit.

Signature behaviours

How do we demonstrate these values in our practical day to day lives. We live out our values through ten signature behaviours.  Six of these are of particular relevance to us tonight thinking about inclusion and diversity.  

  1. Respecting the contribution of every individual
  2. Promoting the wellbeing and development of all Navy people
  3. Challenging and innovating
  4. Strengthening relationships across and beyond Navy
  5. Be the best we can be; and
  6. Making Navy proud and making Australia proud.

Tonight I know I share these values and signature behaviours with a faith community that also holds them to be true.

Through embracing the principles of respectful inclusion, living the Navy values and behaviours we can capitalise on the real benefits that diversity brings to the work environment.  Diversity enhances our overall capability and performance as an organisation, trusted, ready and able to defend our country and its interests when called upon to do so.


I am pleased and honoured to be able to host such an important event as this first Navy coordinated IFTAR reception in the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. I welcome all opportunities for education, understanding and respectful inclusion. I thank Captain Mona Shindy and Chief Naim for planning and organising this event and the Director Dr Nelson and his Staff of this great memorial for making it available.

I thank you all for your attendance. I hope that you find the remainder of the month of fasting rewarding.

You will find etched on the Navy commemorative coin each of you have been given, our Navy values. On its back you will find the sentiments I wish to leave you with.

“Ramadan Mubarak”.