TABLE 1: Timeline
DATE OCCURRENCE DOC REF
10 Feb 2014 Boulton re-enlists in Aust Regular Army
25 Jul 2014 Boulton sends email about unwelcome touching to
16 Oct 2017 Boulton emails Chief of Defence Force (CDF) Air
Chief Marshall Mark Binskin & Chief of Army
(CA) Lieutenant General (LTGEN) Angus
Campbell) to report problems.
20 Oct 2017 Boulton emails Chief of Staff, AHQ, Brigadier
Jane Spalding to formally report Mick Ryan’s
behavior. Boulton is admonished for not using
chain of command, even though, doing so would
have been unjust for Mick Ryan, as he was in her
Chain of Command, and it would have exposed
him unfairly to a wide variety of people.
26 Oct 2017 Chief of Staff, AHQ informs an inquiry will
occur, which will consider my complaints but also
allegations against me. The eventual TOR
considers a wide range of administrative issues
related to my employment contract, my medical
status, my own alleged unacceptable behavior, and
everything except the key issue I raised.
13 Mar 2018 Inquiry commences.
7 Nov 2018 Inquiry Prelim Findings released
7 Dec 2018 Boulton submits response to Prelim Findings
16 July 2019 Inquiry complete
(Letter dated 1 July; Boulton debriefed 16 July
2019) Inquiry recommends Unit Commander take
administrative action against Boulton
8 August 2019 Boulton submits PhD
30 August 2019 Boulton issued a termination notice. 6A
1 Sep 2019 Boulton submits response to Termination Notice
6 Nov 2019 Army final decision to proceed with termination. 6B
Extreme bushfires, ADF support civil response to
climate impacts. Boulton mental health collapse.
30 Jan 2020 Medical review begins, for change to medical
discharge, on mental health grounds.
17 Apr 2020 Boulton receives excellent PhD examiner reports,
PhD passed & advises Unit Commander.
13 May 2020 Discharge Date
5 Jun 2020 Boulton awarded PhD.
RESPONSE TO AHRC QUESTIONS
[Yellow highlight – documents not available as they are Defence property, and I am
concerned about breaching laws about the handling of classified defence documents.]
Whether you wish to name the Australian Defence Force as a respondent, in addition
to LTGEN Angus Campbell and Michael Ryan.
YES. I would like to name the Australian Defence Force as a respondent as
You say that Brigadier Ryan hugged you in February 2014, as well as made
comments about your physical appearance, queries about your private life and
requested that you report only to him. Can you please clarify what these comments
and queries were, when they were made and in what context?
Attachment 1 – My formal reporting of this incident to AHQ; the Inquiry;
via a Defence Incident Report and finally, to the Military Police, the day
before discharge. [Pending Defence legal approval to release these
Attachment 2 – Additional details: Ryan comments & behavior
You say that you emailed Brigadier Ryan at the time about your sensitivity to
unwelcome touching but were then given the cold shoulder. Please provide a copy of
this email and clarify what you mean by ‘cold shoulder’, that is, what he did, when he
did it and why you believe it was in response to your email.
Attachment 3 – Email to Ryan regards ‘unwelcome touching’
o Attachment 1 – Boulton formal reporting
o Attachment 4 – Additional details: ‘Cold shouldering’
You say that LTGEN Campbell ordered an inquiry. What was the inquiry for, when
did it commence and when did it conclude?
What was it for? – See Terms of Reference (Attachment 5).
Inquiry commenced – 13 March 2018
Inquiry concluded – 16 July 2019
Please provide a copy of your termination notice.
Attachment 6A & 6B.
You say you reported the problem to LTGEN Campbell – what problem did you
report, when did you report it and what was their response.
I reported problem on 16 Oct 2017. (Attachment 7)
Campbell & staff Officer responses. (Attachment 8)
AHQ Chief of Staff advises inquiry to be held (Attachment 9).
You say that the ‘bullying and exile’ got worse after you reported the problem. Please
provide more information on this, that is, what happened, when it happened, who was
involved and why do you think it was connected to your report.
Attachment 10 – Additional details: Bullying increased after reported
I understand you put in a response to your termination. What was the result? Did you
lodge any further appeal against your termination? If so, to whom did you lodge it
with, when did you lodge it and what was the result.
Attachment 6B – Termination upheld.
I didn’t appeal the termination, as after 6 years, 6 fact-findings and so much
exhaustive effort, plus my prior unsuccessful attempts to obtain help from
the IGADF and the Defence Ombudsman, I had no hope that any
Whether you wish to raise concerns of disability discrimination in relation to your
Yes. I had some minor mental health issues, and I believe I was treated in a
hostile way because of this.
Also, as my mental health declined, I faced greater hostility and ridicule,
plus attempts to ‘break me further’ rather than help me.
In my annual “Career Advisors’ meeting, where future postings are
discussed, IN my CA RACT. (See
See Attachment 11 – Example incident – Bullying by Cultural Change Team
(CCT) I had reported being distressed and impacted and was severely bullied
the following day by the Cultural Change Team, and subsequently
afterwards much further by the entire work team.
As you may be able to see, the endless requirements for documentation, of which this
is a continuation, became a punishing and awful part of the problem. The entire burden of
proof was upon me. This is perhaps the 20 th time I have documented to story to no avail. I had
to document, record everything, assemble all the legal arguments and virtually take on an
entirely new profession and line of work to attempt to get justice. Further, now I am unable to
provide any such documentation as all Defence emails etc are considered Defence property,
and I had to sign a range of documents acknowledging that it is a crime for me to release any
inquiry documentation to anyone except the Defence Legal Officer allocated to me at the
All inquiry documentation is classified “sensitive – personnel.”
I am struggling to complete this request for information, because I simply can’t stand
to “re-explain” everything in a new format. It is retraumatising. What would be fairer, rather
than placing the burden upon me to redocument EVERYTHING is for Defence to authorise
me to provide the relevant documents, or for Defence to provide them to you.
It disadvantages me as, again, instead of working on publishing my PhD or doing
productive work, I am again bogged down doing all the administrative leg work to establish
fair systems in the workplace, while unpaid.
There is an extraordinary disproportionate power imbalance in that the ADF has
teams of paid lawyers, investigators, and staff officers to prepare their responses, while I had
to do everything on top of trying to do a PhD and other work. It became an enormous JOB to
explain, document and counter many untruthful aspects said about me in what eventually was
a 1000-page Inquiry Report, which in my view was fiction and bogus in many areas.
Application of Universal Human Rights
I have reflected upon what occurred, and upon extraordinary efforts to destroy my
reputation and effectively ‘cancel’ me, and I think what occurred needs to be considered
through a human rights lens. I was denied a fair hearing; I have been denied the capacity for
human expression; denied capacity to earn livelihood and participate within my area of
expertise; the loss of my entire military social ‘family’; I have faced being humiliated and
attacks upon my dignity and finally I lost my mental health, which has many ramifications.
ion and attacks upon my dignity. The impacts of hidden actions and decisions taken against
me, have had disproportionate, devastating, unjust and cruel impacts upon my capacity to
live, well beyond what could ever be considered reasonable within a legal process. Yet I can
only provide evidence of what occurred, not who decided what.
Attachment 12 is a list of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, of 1948. In this
I have highlighted sentences I believe can be applied to the new phenomena of being
‘cancelled’ and #Metoo related backlash, including the loss of social participation and the
destruction of one’s livelihood and reputation. I have added some explanatory comments to
some of the Articles.
In my situation, where I am (1) unable to match the misappropriate documentation
and lawfare capacity of the ADF, nor (2) able to provide documentation and evidence to
AHRC, I believe AHRC need to review the ‘process’ of how to achieve a just consideration
of my complaint.
I am aware this submission is somewhat repetitive and disjointed. I am sorry, but I do
find it traumatic to re-visit this, which limits my capacity to edit the document, and order my
List of Attached Documents:
- Boulton formally reports Ryan. (To AHQ; Inquiry ‘timeline extract’; raising an
incident report and a Military Police Report).
- Additional details: Ryan comments and context
- Email correspondence Boulton / Mick Ryan regards ‘unwelcome touching’
- Additional details: Ryan ‘Cold shouldering’
- Inquiry Terms of Reference. (TOR for the Inquiry; my queries about TOR, and
Inquiry Officer’s response to queries).
- Termination notice. (6A – initial 30 Aug 2019; 6B – final 6 Nov 2019).
- Initial complaint. (Boulton Email to CDF and CA)
- Response to initial complaint. (Emails CA / AHQ to Boulton).
- AHQ Chief of Staff advises inquiry to be held
- Additional details: Bullying increased after reporting problem to LTGEN Campbell.
- Disability discrimination. Example incident Cultural Change Team. See Boulton
letter to DCA
- My treatment in the context of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
DETAILS OF MICK RYAN’S COMMENTS, BEHAVIOURS & CONTEXT
In this section, I will provide a context for my claim(s) by outlining pertinent details
of Mick Ryan’s actions and/or inactions.
Decisions that I reported directly to him and had no other involvement with the
This was in complete contradiction to how the role was explained to me on re-enlistment,
where it was explained, I’d be part of creating a diverse team, and an creating an
‘intellectual edge’ among Army’s people and taking a lead policy/advice role in the
climate area. He had said he wanted me involved in workshops etc on various ADF
problems, where I could bring a new perspective and this was part of his approach to
complex problem solving, to bring different thinkers together etc. This occurred when I
was invited by him to a workshop and seminar in 2013, prior to my re-enlistment, so I
assumed this was what my future involvement would continue to be like; but such
inclusion never occurred again.
Flattery at one-on-one meetings held approx. every 3 weeks.
o Involved excessive flattery even though he barely knew me. I can’t recall exact
phrases, but along the lines of, “oh we are very lucky to have a thinker like
you…” or “you are too smart for those bozo’s out there, that’s why I have you
work to me, they wouldn’t know what to do with someone of your ability…”
o “Oh, you are amazing and wonderful as always Liz”
o “An absolute delight to see you Liz…’
o “Oh women are always better at strategy than men.”
Remarks that I was his “pleasure” of the week
o He stated that meeting with me was his “pleasure” or “enjoyable part” of his work
– like a recreation or a pleasant break which helped him survive all the other
difficult and stressful tasks he had to do at work, and other people he had to deal
Comments about my appearance
o Several times he said things like, “you look very fit” while raising his eyebrows,
giving an approving glance, and looking me up and down briefly as to indicate my
o He also said like, “you look like you keep in great shape.” “What do you do to
keep so fit?”
o I recall feeling embarrassed, uncomfortable, and self-conscious, as this was highly
unusual in the Army between different ranks and work colleagues.
Power/Hot Yoga exclamations and repeated questions
o When I advised that I went to “Power Yoga” (name of studio) which had Bikram
yoga classes or ‘hot yoga’ classes, he seemed to find this intriguing and would
often ask about it, giving a raised eyes brows expression, and raising his voice in a
funny way – as though to indicate it was some sort of ‘risqué’ activity – like pole
dancing or similar.
o “Hot yoga hey? Ohh.. hmmm!” … “How is the HOT Yoga going?”
o I felt awkward as I knew males etc generally had a view that women doing yoga
was seen as a good thing from a sexual point of view, (i.e. extra flexibility), and I
had heard males make such jokes in units and recreation rooms etc before,
associated with jeering and exclaiming noises.
Insistent upon first name basis
o He insisted I call him “Mick” rather than “Sir” which has never occurred to me
even in my 20 years Army career and is unusual between a Major and a Brigadier.
o It was obvious I was uncomfortable with this and initially I said, “I prefer Sir etc,
it’s a habit, just the normal way etc.” But he insisted and would correct me and
even slightly chastise me whenever I reverted to calling him Sir. E.G. He’d say:
“come on Liz, I told you, first name basis here…”
o This seemed intended to break down the professional barrier between us.
Topic of conversation about our similar ages
o Ryan wanted to know my age, when I began at ADFA (1990), then quite a few
times noted that we were actually very close in age. This was sometimes related to
the not calling him “Sir” discussion. “We’re the same age Liz…” “You don’t need
to call me Sir.” He would eye-roll as though the whole idea of calling someone Sir
was ridiculous or old-fashioned.
o Again, he seemed keen to break down the Professional nature of the relationship
and characterise it is as one of close collegial friends.
o These discussions occurred during the ‘work meetings’ every 3 weeks, which I
had thought would be to discuss the research and work-related aspects.
Questions to redirect conversation to my private and personal life
o Several times he sought to redirect the topic of conversation to my private life, but
I always had a vague answer, or one which showed that I didn’t wish to talk about
o “So, Liz, what else is going on in your life?” Or “Well studying and family are
great, but what else is meaningful in your life?” “What other support do you have
in your life? What do you do for enjoyment?” I can’t recall the exact phrases, but I
got the impression it was an inquiry about my personal life and I would reply, “oh
not much, happy being the nerdy Aunt, just absorbed in the study and uni life etc”.
o He wanted to know what my family thought of me re-joining ADF.
o Wanted to know all about the progress of the harassment complaint at the Bureau
of Meteorology and the details of what occurred and how the AHRC / Comcare
complaint was going. I now suspect this may have been used against me later,
where he characterised me as vindictive towards men.
Physical touching incidents x 2 and context
(Described in original complaint, 1 x full body hug, 1 x one time coming up behind
me and grabbing my upper arms and holding them to pin my arms to my side, then giving me
a vigorous shake all of a sudden.)
Both these touching incidents distressed me as they replicated the exact behaviour, I
had submitted a complaint about at the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM), and that I had told
Ryan about several times, prior to my re-enlistment. I distinctly recall a conversation where
Ryan wanted to know the specifics and in one instance when I was recalling a story where I
had explained to a man at BoM, that “I was not a touchy feely” person, and he had replied,
“OK, well you’ll no longer benefit from my mentoring and support.” When I told Ryan this
story, he exclaimed, suddenly leaned back in his chair and threw his arms up in the air and
loudly said, “That’s not mentoring!”
The second story I had told Ryan was again where I had said the exact same phrase
“I’m not a touchy-feely person” to another man, and he had screamed at me, “How dare you!
I’m a touchy-feely guy! I’m not changing my personality! Who do you think you are?” So
there had been long explanation with Ryan, that I disliked men touching me in the workforce
and how I appreciated how Army had a “No touching policy” etc.
Therefore it is VERY strange that on day 1, of my contract officially starting, after 5
months of negotiations, he decides to give me a full body hug, in the middle of the office in
front of a large group of predominantly male peers, who all would know this is inappropriate.
I was so shocked after this initial hug, I soon after said to a peer – a male called Major
Leo Purdy, “OMG, Brigadier Ryan just gave me a hug.” Perdy immediately had a look of
shock and disgust on his face and shook his head. It is well known in the Army that this is
inappropriate between ranks. In the context of the recent Jedi scandal and loud talk about the
treatment of women in the workplace, (5 major investigations into Defence culture and abuse
had just been completed) it was especially unusual and inappropriate. It was doubly
inappropriate given the context of my employment as a “diversity” hire and my current
circumstances and prior briefings to Ryan that I disliked men feeling free to just touch me or
hug me in the workplace.
So, it was highly distressing that I knew, he knew this touching bothered me, but he
was doing it anyway. Also, the fact he gave me a full body hug, on my arrival in the office on
the first day of work seemed somehow deliberate and cunning. Both times he did these
touching actions, it was done when the larger group of people in the group were milling
around. The first was when everyone was gathered in an open plan office space area; the
second was at morning tea. That he did these touching actions in front of the larger group,
seemed deliberate – easier to get away with as it appears ‘collegial’ and it is harder for me to
express dislike, as I was caught off guard, and in front of others it was harder to say anything.
I felt as though he was conspicuous in doing these actions, both times he let out a loud cry
beforehand “ahhh!” to draw attention to it, and it seemed as though he was making a point in
front of the other, predominantly men, in the group. “I get to touch her, because I’m the boss
and you don’t.” I know it sounds weird. Almost like claiming ownership of me – it didn’t
feel genuine and collegial, but more performative and controlling.
Much later, perhaps early the following year as everything was falling apart and I had
become an object of hate, he wanted to meet for coffee in the base cafeteria. There were not
many people there at the time, and on farewell in the open concrete area I initiated a small,
distanced hug and ‘air cheek’ turn. Later, as he was clearly angry at me, via cold shouldering,
I met him at the base café, and few were there, in a desperate attempt to try and repair things I
offered a slight hug ‘air cheek’ brush to say goodbye. This wasn’t because I wanted to, but by
then I sensed he was in a career destroy mode and “deeply offended’ etc and I was taking on
the blame and guilt so tried to repair things. In hindsight, this was reflection of my panic and
concern. In hindsight, he was acting surprised about the difficulties I was having as though he
knew nothing, and making general comments, “if there is anything I can do…” but I think
now this was masking behaviour to deflect blame from him.
No integration into team or Army at all
Ryan never explained who I was to the team, introduced my role, my background or
what I had done since leaving the Army. I had to explain to people who I was. People didn’t
know who I was, and this made it hard to integrate and it also left me vulnerable when
malicious rumours and the hate campaign began, as my classmates were generally more
senior, while those I worked with had no idea who I was or what I was doing there. There
was a sense that I just got to do a PhD for nothing, with no context, (not that I brought 8 years
of experience; a Masters of Climate Policy; an industry award in the area and had won a PhD
scholarship to undertake critical research.) This set me up to not have support within anyone
except himself; he had total control of the contract, my employment, and all goings on.
The Army has a strict definition of fraternisation. It involves attempts to form an
exclusive relationship with someone in the team, and favourable treatment to them. In
limiting my interaction or contact with others, or of being integrated into Army life properly,
and in the various efforts to break down professional norms between boss-subordinate
(touching; first name basis; trying to have more personal conversations, comments on body
etc; the unusual situation of a Major report direct to a Brigadier – normally a Major reports to
a Lieutenant Colonel or a Colonel, except in key “aide de camp” or Staff Officer / PA roles).
Considering all of this together, my view is that this activity, breached the fraternisation rule.
I had never had this situation with an Army boss before and it created a lot of anxiety for me.
In every meeting I had to focus on politely curtailing questions about my private life and I
was uncomfortable about the whole one-on-one thing and the collective impression it gave to
peers of favourite and exclusivity.
While Ryan flattered me endlessly, he took no professional responsibility for me at
all. No annual reports were written on me; there was no handover to the next boss explaining
my role/function, which meant when I emailed bosses in frustration in 2015, I was told that
BRIG McDaniel said to someone “who is this person?
When I set a professional boundary via the “no touching email” and didn’t reciprocate
this “cosiness’ he dropped me like a hot coal.
When Ryan made the decision to employ me, he said, “we want you because you are
a divergent thinker” and to bring some diversity to the ‘thinking sphere.’ The idea was
explained to me that “best practice’ in complex thinking means creating teams with a variety
of types of thinkers etc. However, from the start there was resentment towards me as put on
some intellectual pedestal and efforts turned to trying to tear me down, with harsh criticism
and endless resubmissions required for the first BLOG I wrote. There was no intellectual
respect for me at all, every piece work I did was ridiculed and massively red penned by peers.
This included a draft article which was later published in a peer reviewed international
journal ranked 4 th in the world. It was as though I was brought in on a pedestal with all these
promises, and then actually set up to fail, with no support and constant attack of what I was
Impact upon me
At the time I was going through a AHRC complaint with BoM which reached a dead
end when BoM denied it all, and then I went to Comcare and won the case. BoM appealed; I
won the case again. So, for Ryan to start harassing me at this time seemed a passive
aggressive way of derailing my success and sense of safety at work. He also ensured I had no
support networks, as I suddenly faced a hostility and hyper criticism, I had not experienced
before. This was directly after the “Jedi Council” saga, and the rhetoric about women being
safe and valued in the Army was deafening. So that I was disrespected physically,
emotionally, socially, and intellectually from the start, despite incredible promises and
assurances of the opposite by Ryan and the broader ADF, placed me in a high state of
anxiety, which had other negative implications.
Also, on talking about the BoM complaint, and acting in integrity, Ryan often alluded
several times to him having been involved in a nasty investigation once, and that he had won
it, and that he had had to back himself and his integrity etc. I later heard that he had
previously been accused of rape, which was not upheld. I sometimes wonder, if once he knew
I was speaking up on women’s issues, if he had some sort of motive for revenge on women
who made workplace complaints. I do now think he was predatory; he could see I had
vulnerability; was isolated and desperate for financial resources to help compete the PhD. His
behaviour towards me could be described as “grooming.” He often made comments like “you
owe me” or “when you finish, I am going to get my pound of blood out you, I will flog you
….” These types of comments seemed to suggest I was “his” rather than an Army employee;
and that he personally was doing me a favour, rather than me being a skill set that needed to
be managed on behalf of the taxpayer and ADF in general.
After I had sent the “no touching email” to him, sometime the next year after the 3
month freeze out was over, I recall him saying that he said to people, something along the
lines of, “Oh don’t mess with Boulton, don’t get in her way, or you’ll know about it” with a
horrified, wide-eyed, raised eyebrow expression, as though I was a plotting, ambitious,
ruthless, vengeful person. It was so contrary to how I am commonly known. I couldn’t
understand why he said that and started characterising me in that way. It was the first time I
heard that I was been characterised that way, and this later became a so-called “fact” with
many people saying things like, “Boulton is an extreme feminist out to get men” … “Boulton
is an Edwards Snowden insider threat.” “Boulton hates the Army.” “Boulton goes around
yelling at people all the time…. No one will work with her… “
Overall, Ryan began excessively friendly and wanting a type of close friendship that
dissolved normal work boundaries and left me dependent entirely upon being in his good
will. When I attempted to assert a small personal boundary (the email), and aside from an
immediate discussion about the email, after that there was no communication for at least 3
months. This compares to us meeting every 3-4 weeks beforehand. When I attempted to
schedule the regular check-in, his staff officer said he was too busy. While it is true that he
did travel overseas at this time, he had always been busy previously, yet still emailed and
corresponded via DM on twitter. He changed from enormous flattery and frequent insistence
to meet, to always “too busy.”
In 2015-2016, as things unravelled, for me, and I faced closed doors and
unexplainable hostility, he suddenly started to appear friendly and seemed keen to get
tangible evidence of him being helpful, such as encouraging a zoom meeting and later
meeting in a café, where he acted surprised to hear about the difficulties I was having. At no
stage did he intervene to explain to my bosses or the broader Army how I was to be
employed, or what the original concept was etc. After the email to him, he never arranged
any professional assistance to me at all, such as invitations, inclusion, or introductions despite
phenomenal activity in this area across Army and the ADF, which he was heavily involved in
and often led.
Given his initial excessive friendliness; then abrupt cold shoulder, then later
transactional meetings, combined with 100% non-inclusion, and his openly expressing dislike
when I attended Army/ADF events, I feel I was unduly penalised for confronting him, and
while I can never prove it, I suspect he helped to discredit me behind the scenes, IAW
‘mobbing’ explained in this article.
DETAILS OF COLD-SHOULDERING
MAJGEN Ryan took a lead role in Army intellectual and research activities. Except
for one year as COMD 1 BDE in Darwin, in all roles from 2014-2021 he was in charge of
Army research and training activities. He managed endless conferences, seminars, research
grants, publications, networks etc in this area and was prolific and influential on Twitter.
2014: Director Future Land Warfare Branch (DFLW)
2015: COMD 1 BDE
2016-2018: Director General Army training
2019 – 2021: COMDT Australian Defence College
Example publication by RYAN on the ADF objective to develop an ‘intellectual
edge:’ Thinking About Strategic Thinking: Developing a more effective strategic
thinking culture in Defence, by Major General Mick Ryan
Civilian role is as “Security Intellectual” – consultant and writer.
Prior to email (13 Sept 2013 – July 2014)
From Sep 2013 – 10 Feb 2014, there were multiple friendly discussions and
correspondence between Ryan/Boulton about her re-joining the ADF and terms
of my employment.
Ryan was extremely enthusiastic about my worth, endless flattery.
Ryan met with my PhD supervisor and I at ANU.
Ryan invited me to a workshop and seminar.
Ryan asked me to contribute a BLOG article for the Land Power Forum.
After email (July – Nov 2014)
There was one immediate meeting to discuss the email, where Ryan advised he
was upset, and disappointed that I had not raised the issue as a conversation
point and hurt that I had put it in writing.
After that, August through to November, no further work meetings occurred at
all. On contacting his staff officers, I was told he was too busy.
There were no emails, no correspondence, etc at all.
I was extremely worried and, in an attempt, to repair the relationship arranged
with his Staff Officer to come in on the day Ryan was doing his march-out of the
unit, which I think was in November 2014 (?). I was able to have a 10-minute
discussion with him then, when I gave him a Christmas present and
congratulated him, on his appointment at Commander 1 st Brigade. He was
suddenly friendly and insisted I visited him in Darwin and keep in touch via
End of 2014 and Ryan’s formal role as Boulton’s reporting Officer
No annual report completed. (1 st time in my Army career that this occurred).
As there was a lull, between BRIG Ryan departing and BRIG McDaniel arriving,
I arranged of my own accord to report to Colonel Hocking, nothing at all had
been planned as staff management of me after Ryan’s departure.
Ryan’s handover to BRIG McDaniel may not have included me. In 2015, BRIG
McDaniel had no idea who I was or that I was even in his team.
Cold-shoulder at events
2014/5 (?). Defence Writers Guild event, Canberra. A small event of only 15
people, gathered on a Saturday to discuss writing etc and hear from some
speakers. I was invited by someone else outside Defence. He appeared irritated
that I had attended and ignored me beyond minimum response to ‘hello’ etc.
This was odd, as his publicly ignored me and didn’t seem to wish to include me,
yet this was the same time he was wanting to do zoom session and conveying
2016, Defense Entrepreneurs Forum In 2016, Ryan is heavily involved in setting
up the “Defence Entrepreneurs Forum Australia” (DEF Aus) which is “a
network of serving military personnel who debate future concepts and progress
ideas to tangible action.” Liz sees it advertised and attends event, he says hello
in passing but in a bit of stiff and cold way. “Hello, Liz.”
~March 2017, Teaming publication. Ryan wants his name taken off the
acknowledgements page of Boulton’s publication, “Teaming.”
2019. Australian Defence Strategy conference, Canberra, ~Oct 2019. At the
morning tea, Ryan was standing with a group of about 8 people in a semicircle.
Boulton joined the circle, and politely and publicly congratulated him on the
conference. Others responded to what Boulton said, mummering agreement etc,
however, he ignored Boulton completely and gave her a type of ‘death stare’ of
utter hatred. Boulton recalls being so taken aback; I thought his eyes balls
seemed entirely black. It just seemed so unnecessary. When he saw me at the
conference, there was an expression of “you’re not welcome, you shouldn’t be
2015 /6: Two subsequent meetings – a change in manner.
General. Friendly in a couple of one-on-one meetings, but not at events, and no
actual professional help or inclusion, especially as I reported things going
downhill and facing much sudden and unexplained hostility from other people.
2015 zoom meeting. In 2015, via odd emails or twitter DM, Ryan was suggested
that I visit him, stay at his house, and catch up via zoom. After the confusing
earlier “freeze out”, I was reluctant but did a zoom meeting with him, so as not
to offend. At this meeting, I introduced him to the ‘Teaming’ document and
other work I was doing. I asked him about the Teaming document, he had no real
comment except it was interesting and covered so many issues. Although he was
polite, he seemed distant, as though he were going through the motions of a
discussion, rather than it really being about mentorship and interest in
intellectual issues. It was strange that he seemed so disinterested in conversation
after he had badgered me so much about a zoom meeting. I got a sense was
doing the meeting as a box ticking thing. His showering of praise upon me, never
resulted in any actual practical support or inclusion from the time the email was
written until I discharged. (mid 2014 – 2021).
2016 café Meeting. Ryan meets Boulton and hears about problems in DFLW, is
very surprised and says he had heard nothing at all about it, which seemed odd.
At the end, he says, “if you need nay help or anything get in touch” but it seem
superfluous to ask again, as at the meeting Liz had explained the problems and
the correct thing would have been for him to have developed a plan of how he
would help then. This is the normal thing between boss/subordinate meetings
when subordinate is having problems.
Boulton finds it a bit odd that despite these verbal assurances and excessive
flattery etc that, aside from social contact, that over 2015-2016, there is no
reaching out at the professional level. EG: No introductions to anyone, Ryan is
very involved in drafting new Army approaches to managing intellectual
capacity etc, Liz not asked to offer views or anything despite the fact she’d
probably have some good insights into research space after working in research-
based organizations like CSIRO/BoM
BULLYING AFTER REPORTING PROBLEM TO CAMPBELL
In this section, I shall provide a detailed outline of the bullying I experienced
consequential and incidental to the reporting of my concerns to LTGEN Angus Campbell
(hereinafter “Campbell”). The said experiences began after I reported my concerns to
Campbell on October 16, 2017. Accordingly, herein, I shall provide a chronological outline
of the incidences of bullying. This section is divided in parts, each part containing an account
of specific incidences thereof.
Brigadier Spalding tells me off
I was immediately chastised for reporting my harassment concerns. It first began on
October 20 Oct 2017, when Brigadier Spalding (CA COS) told me off for making the said
report. Through email, BRIG Jane Spalding faulted me for not reporting the issue through the
chain of Command. In that regard, Spalding alleged that I did not follow due procedure laid
out in the ADF policy on reporting Unacceptable Behaviour (UB). He further stated that
blame lay on both sides, and that there was no hurtful evidence.
It is worth noting that the CDF had delegated the issue to Spalding, so I had assumed
that she was the contact, and I was also conscious of privacy requirements and the dignity to
be afforded to Mick Ryan by not sending a private complaint through an elongated chain of
command. Besides, it had taken me 4 years to raise my concerns about Mick Ryan. I had
therefore legitimate factual reasons, backed by pertinent evidence, to support my claims of
After the aforesaid incidences, the situation lightened up a bit for me. On November
2017, I was permitted to go to Jordan to conduct gender training which was a tremendously
reviving experience. This came about via a previous peer inviting and advocating for me,
outside my chain of command. This was the only time I was included in a way that utilised
my research and abilities.
Continuation of my isolation
After the Jordan Trip, on or about late 2017 to 2018, the isolation continued. I had
been posted to the ‘Army Knowledge Group” (AKC) in Puckapunyal under the
understanding that I would work on “Women, Peace & Security” doctrine. However, I was
not permitted to do this. I was withdrawn from those courses and for the following year was
required to report directly to the Chief of Staff. Further, I was structurally separated from
everyone else in the unit.
Security Risk Interview
On February 26, 2018, I was subjected to a security risk interview. Accordingly, I
was required to attend a 4-hour interview with Ian Dosser (hereinafter “Dosser”), an ADF
security vetting person. Dosser told me that I had been reported as a security risk. The
following comments were made about me:
Boulton hates the Army
Boulton is an Edward Snowden type “insider-threat” who will leak
sensitive ADF information.
Boulton is selfish, driven by a desire to self-promote herself.
I had to provide him documentation and evidence to establish that I wasn’t a security
threat. In the end, I was cleared for a security clearance.
On March 13, 2018, it was decided that an exhaustive inquiry would be done on my
claims. The said inquiry was protracted to last over 8 months of my PhD.
My simple original complaint to Campbell was that the original arrangement to give
me part-time work on doctrine writing had been overturned, and that I was unfairly being
pushed to resign,. I also alleged that I was essentially ‘exiled’ with no meaningful work or
inclusion despite being a member of the regular Army. I assumed the matter would be sorted
expeditiously. Notably, I needed the issue to be expedited to give me relevant part-time work
to finish the PhD. I also believed it was a chance for Campbell to reinforce the standards and
endless rhetoric on cultural change and ‘No’ to unacceptable behaviour.
Instead, what occurred was an extraordinarily long-winded exhaustive inquiry which
impacted on my schedule to complete my PhD, with 2 pages of TOR items. This required me
to submit enormous documentation and evidence and undergoing various trips to Canberra
for interviews and medical assessments. The inquiry process itself was extremely distressing.
The PhD at that stage was due on February 19, 2019. I already had an email from my PhD
supervisor saying that unless I have quiet uninterrupted time to focus upon it over those last 8
months, I would not finish. I had shown this to my boss. Then it seemed all manner of things
occurred to disrupt my concentration. It can therefore be legitimately believed that the inquiry
itself was used as a form of bullying.
Withholding of my medical support
My medical support was withheld from May 8 th to 25 th , 2018.
On May 8, 2018, I had a major psychological breakdown due to pressures of inquiry
and ongoing isolation. I was bolt awake all night, in a state of shock/nervous overload. At
times I felt vomitus at thinking about aspects of Inquiry. I went to stay at my brother’s house
to cope as I was scared and felt myself unravelling. I rang my boss (AKC COFS), who yelled
at me. Later than afternoon an Army psych nurse spoke to me on the phone. The CO rang and
I communicated that I still didn’t have an effective Support Officer in place, which is normal
in an inquiry, and he assured me they would get one for me.
Over 8 th to 22 nd May, 2018, I rang for updates but never heard any advice on the
support officer. I asked if the unit Chaplain could call me, or just anyone. There was no reply.
On May 22, 2018, I rang the Inquiry Officer to report that I still had no effective
Support Officer in place, and had so little faith in what was occurring and that I would prefer
to take my complaint to an external agency like the AHRC.
On May 24, 2018, the CO contacted me and wanted to know why I contacted the IO.
On May 25, 2018, I had a phone call from the allocated “support Officer” – 18 days
after I had a fairly serious breakdown.
On June 14, 2018, I was informed that the Support Officer was going away. I
therefore asked the unit if the Chaplain could support me in her absence.
On June 19, 2018, I got a phone call from the Chaplain, but I had to keep sending
texts and reminders and “push” to get support of any kind. At this stage, I was struggling so
much, and was so isolated that I felt under attack. I craved for just one person to say one kind
word to me, or initiate help, rather than me having to seek help to no avail.
On June 5, 2018, I was subjected to negative media publicity. See Figure. 1. My
‘Teaming’ paper, my talk back radio etc. were subjected to attack. Further, mean words, such
as lunatic, were used against me. These media articles that the subject matter herein infers
Defence commentator/ blogger: Seriously: the Army is planning for the return of
Xena (Bernard Gaynor)
2GB radio: ‘Peak insanity’: Army urged to embrace Xena the Warrior Princess
Daily mail Australia: Xena Warrior Princess and Batman to the rescue: Army
chiefs told to draw upon fantasy characters to build all-female combat units – but
former soldier slams the idea as ‘beyond lunacy’
“Herald Sun”, by Bernie Gaynor.
Bernie Gaynor, a right wing commentator, had written a blog about me, in the
Herald Sun’ New York Post; 3kGB. See Figure 2. Accordingly, the attack on me happened
on the same day as my PhD mid-term review, which was well known as a key PhD milestone
for me by my bosses and the Inquiry staff. The inquiry had adjusted its dates to accommodate
this important event where the Panel decides whether my research can proceed or not. I had
to travel to Canberra for it and deliver a presentation. I had already requested leave and
permission to travel to Canberra for this activity from my unit. After my presentation, around
lunchtime, I received an email requesting me to do a radio interview in relation to Bernie
Gaynor’s BLOG about me. This was the first I had heard about the media activity. I
immediately rang COFS and advised that I’d rather not do the interview. He directed me to
ring the CO. I immediately forwarded an email to the CO, who passed it to AHQ media
personnel. I reiterated that I’d rather not do interview.
The only response from the COFS and CO was, “I am directing you to do no media”
which felt punitive as though I had created a problem for the Army/ADF. All this happened
without anyone asking how I was.
On June 5, 2018, I noticed that the CA had posted a Twitter message on its account
early at around 7:38am.
Figure 1 : Tweet by LTGEN Campbell, 7:38am 5 June 2018
It is interesting that AHQ media obviously already know about it, yet they did not
care to warn me out or check if I’m OK or provide any media advice to me. I told the SO
about it and sent her a screen shot of the Media article. She texted back thus: “That is an
interesting take on your paper.” There was completely no support or care into how I was
Some peers told me that they were very surprised that no one from AHQ had
contacted me, or media rep rang to offer support/advice, as clearly they knew about it from
around 7am that day. They told me the normal thing was that AHQ media would have
contacted me and given support and advice.
I am aware of rumours that senior ADF/Defence people plant media stories for
various reasons. They use this to destroy people and to divert attention from other issues. The
SF war-crimes issue came to the press the next day, so potentially I was “thrown under a bus”
to try and create a media diversion from war-crimes, but also as part of a general ideological
objective by some powerful groups to attack “PC correctness’ or cultural change in the ADF.
Figure 2: Herald Sun Full page article
The aforesaid publications were accompanied by extensive commentary on twitter
and Facebook pages, where I read many strong comments calling for me to be sacked and I
was held up as an example of PC correctness gone mad. I was described as a lunatic, and
generally made to be a figure of hate by the so-called ‘right wing’ groups in society. I was
mischaracterised as my work differed from normal gender research in that I argued that
men’s studies and perspectives needed to be included.
The aforesaid characterisation of me did much to put me in legitimate target of hate,
and subsequently I had fears for my life. I was in constant fear I might be physically attacked.
I even had dreams of being violently killed. In one dream, a defence person had a meat
cleaver type weapon or a very large knife above my head and was about to cut me up into
bits, and his face showed searing hated, then I woke up. I had another dream of a woman
holding my head under water saying “die bitch” and trying to drown me. At times I‘d be
hyper alert in my house and at night I would be scared if I heard noises, and thought someone
might have got into the house.
Despite the public out-pouring of hate upon me, at no stage did any Army offer any
support, or attempt to seek clarification what my ‘Teaming’ publication was about, nor that it
has been highly successful in unit training – more so the mandated gender/equity training
I continued to ask for my major complaint to be addressed, that I be given meaningful
work. However, when every meeting was conducted, this question was avoided and at one
stage the only work found for me was stock taking. The unit was an administrative unit, so its
only physical assets were photocopiers, and tables and chairs. This was a job typically
undertaken by a soldier working in the Q store and it was an obvious humiliation to give the
“smart gal” doing a PhD a publicly demeaning brainless job. This would portray me in the
unit in a humiliating way in front of other staff to be going around stocktaking the
photocopiers. (This was akin to a Major to be virtually demoted to the level of a private
solder). This occurred at a peak bullying period. Interestingly, the MO gave me medical leave
to save me doing this work which he agreed was an attempt to publicly humiliate me. In my
Minute on Risk Mitigation, I specifically explained what would support me most and help me
get back on my feet was to be valued in the team, and be utilised to do meaningful work.
The following is a background to my employment, which background shows the shift
in my roles:
In late 2017, the discussions with CO and COFS had been that COFS would be a
temporary supervisor for me and that I would go to CAL to do those specific WPS-related
tasks in 2018, once a new CO CAL arrived. I had chats and email with Mr Geoffrey Cooper
on types of work I could do for him in 2018. He was very happy at the prospect of being
given extra research support.
In 2018, I became aware that the ‘Women, Peace and Security’ was now ready to be
done. (LTCOL Warren-Smith had cc’d me on emails about how the CA had decided there
would not be an AHQ Directive on WPS but mainstreaming (including incorporating WPS
into Doctrine) could now progress.)
Within CAL, Ross Underwood had work for me related to her WISP paper and
lessons learned activities. (COFS had had discussions with him on this in 2018. I had also
engaged in an email correspondence with him and the previous CO CAL (LTCOL Allan
Hamley on this). Additionally, Mr Geoffrey Cooper had ample work for me and had advised
often he was short on research support, plus he had skill in utilising researchers. Further, the
COFS had previously mentioned an option on me writing articles for Smart Soldier (as per
Agreed Goals in PAR).
It follows; it was never agreed at the time of my employment that I would be given
menial task that would likely involve no interaction with the wider group.
Accordingly, my impression was that the first meeting on my return from LWOP
would be to brief me in on what work I could do 1/day a week going through to Feb/March
2019, and that perhaps some options would be presented and there would be a discussion. It
was initially planned to occur between myself and COFS. MAJ Boulton asked if SO could
attend, the plan then changed to being a meeting with only CO and SO (Liz Anderson), and
the COFS would not attend.
On June 12, 2018, a Phone Meeting was held with CO and SO Liz Anderson. The
following topics were covered:
The CO quickly mentioned that I would be tasked to re-write aspects of standing
orders, no detail/discussion.
Somehow the discussion went on to the idea of me conducting 1 x presentation
on Teaming. I suggested that the Army could demonstrate that it could listen to
new ideas or assist by actually giving me a chance to talk on the report. It could
be an act of leadership demonstrating and role modelling tolerance, and
acceptance of diverse ideas. The CO thought it will interfere with my PHD. I
explain I already had my PowerPoint ready, 1 x forum sometime over the next 6
months. This discussion went on for a long time. I was a bit surprised why this
was being discussed and became the main focus of meeting as it seemed a
distraction from purpose of meeting, which I thought was about how I would be
The CO asked if Teaming was even peer-reviewed, in doing so seeming to
insinuate it is poor quality. I responded in the affirmative, that it was reviewed
by Samantha Crompvoets; and about 20 ADF peers.
The discussion also touched on Gaynor. I mentioned that others have been
surprised since no offer of support was given to me from the Army, especially
given the context of my psychologically breaking down earlier. The CO just
mentioned he didn’t know about it other than when I contacted him to advice of
radio interview request.
The CO asked about Support Officer, which I affirmed was transactional,
The CO also asked how LWOP went. I advised informed them that it was
difficult at the start – as previously advised – due to processing some of inquiry
The CO also asked about the PhD panel meeting. I informed them that they are
happy with my concepts, and that I still had much to do to write it up.
The CO further asked about my health. I informed them that I was getting better
with help from the psychologists.
At the end, I asked the CO whether Daryl Clarke was still my boss. He affirmed.
I was then tasked to send PAR Pt 2 to COFS and to do PTLWOP forms.
Lastly, the CO asked about AHRC. I informed them that the first meeting was on
Friday June 15, 2018.
It is notable that although there had been several discussions with COFS about the
value of doing meaningful work, “achievement” etc and I had also asked CO if there could be
some discussion about what I do. As part of what made me strong was to be included in the
team and to do meaningful work, where many areas where I could do so had already been
identified. Both the CO and the COFS know this is important to me. Instead, as already stated
above, they ignore my request(s) to be included and reintegrated into mainstream Army and
the team; and give me the task of re-writing standing orders, with no discussion at all.
Refusal of Permission to Speak
I was invited by the Air Force women’s group to speak at an event. It was a one-day
activity, and the air force would pay all travel and other logistics. However, I was not
permitted to attend, which is unusual in an ADF context.
Terrible annual report
To counter this, I got referee statements from about 6 people and made formal
submissions. This went back and forth over 2 months at the time of finalising the PhD. It was
just another thing to add pressure, and I knew it was another technique they were trying to
have me discharged.
On my first day back at work on June 19, 2018, I was given a bad annual report. In
two categories I was marked “less than effective and I knew that two such gradings were
grounds to have a person discharged. As I had no reporting history, this report would have a
very big impact on my future career in the Army, and on my promotional prospects.
It is worth noting that in early 2018, I had given LTCOL Clarke a large purple manila
folder which had copies of my work, and accolades from various people on the Jordan trip,
Teaming presentations, the worth of the WISP paper, and Teaming. It follows; therefore, the
report ignored all of my work, and also seemed unrelated to the Agreed Goals. Further, I
wrote to 5 people who have witnessed my work in late 2017 and asked if they could send a
sentence or two to LTCOL Clarke. (COL Buxton; GPCSAPT Paddison; CAPT Porter, RAN;
CAPT Beeton; and Dr Stuart Pearson). The said individuals sent glowing reviews; Dr
Pearson’s was particularly strong. LTCOL Clarke asked Dr Pearson to provide evidence and
specific dates to confirm aspects are within reporting period. LTCOL Clarke asked me to
submit any reportages against report by 12:30PM Tues June 25, 2018.
On June 26, 2018, which was my second work day, a PAR debrief meeting was held.
LTCOL Clarke accepted some amendments. He argued stringently regarding the WISP
paper, and Hyperthreat paper and Senate Inquiry Report, Wavell Room to not be included.
This seemed very mean spirited as the work overlapped the reporting periods.
On interpersonal skills, he stated that I was the entire problem and that I use inquiry
stress/trauma as an excuse. He further alleged that no one would want to advocate or support
me allegedly because I alienate everyone. He stated that there is a litany of examples of my
poor interpersonal skills. When I asked for specific examples, he just stated that there is a
litany of examples. It appears his views are grounded on my asking legitimate questions,
which is re-cast as me having poor interpersonal skills. Interestingly, when I mentioned
obvious good interpersonal skills involved in my work, as reported by other people’s
accolades, he dismissed this as me merely being nice to people I like, as an aberration and
that the majority of the time, my interpersonal skills were horrendous.
It is also striking that there is no positive discussion about my potential or good work,
except that he begrudgingly noted thus “I accept there were 3 professional presentations on
On work matters, there still was no briefing. LTCOL Clarke only advised that he
would call me at 9:30am the next Tuesday to give me tasks for the day. I had previously
asked if it were possible I just be sent the documents in question and tasks via email and I
would just get on with it. The idea that each workday I must attend a phone meeting with
Clarke, then report on what I had done felt like an unnecessarily monstering and controlling
and even demeaning approach.
Fortunately, I was able to see the psychologist Meredith Haines that evening and
debrief. I presented my report and also Dr Pearson’s evaluation.
LTCOL Clarke’s conversation style
Clarke almost always denigrated me by correcting my words. If I tried and spoke or
expressed myself, he raised his voice and won’t let me speak. He characterises it as
insubordination to have an opinion. Further, he ignored all my good work, my folder full of
accolades and reviews of my work in Jordan, for the WISP paper, the Hyperthreat Paper,
Watsonia and RAAF briefings. He never mentioned any of this, and only endlessly picked
fault with me and emphasised my weaknesses.
When I said I didn’t think it was fair for me to be admonished for speaking up on SO
problems, he characterised that I was unable to take criticism and I was told off again.
Without asking me, he contacted a LTCOL in Canberra who I asked not to be my support
person in Canberra. I asked him about the SO issue to consider context, to which he said “No
CO’s response to requests for issues to be raised via chain of command
On April 19, 2019, when I had my second Inquiry interview in Canberra, I rang the
CO after returning to Melbourne. This phone call was made immediately after a long Inquiry
interview on the black-banding of “Teams”. I was very upset and wanted some sort of
remedy or answer as to why the work was ignored. I felt it was okay for me to ask the
question through the chain of command. Specifically, who was the decision-maker, and
whether they could be transparent about their reasons for making the decision. Unfortunately,
I received a belittling patronising email from the CO listing websites in which my work had
been published on (which I had provided earlier in relation to Security vetting situation and
which were also on my ANU Publications page. He said that as they were on the website, I
was utterly wrong about my work being ignored. It appears the CO treated me like an idiot
for making this request.
I also asked the CO to push up the Chain of Command and that there was a problem
with the extant Support Officer and the general conflict resolution process since we did not
have a 21 st century model. I raised the said concern(s) both in an email and verbally. I was
seeing it failing, and I was very concerned about other vulnerable soldiers. I therefore had to
speak because they could not. In combined post-war/post “pathways to Change”
environment, when such good support crucially needed, it did not exist. The CO never
responded and reported if he had pushed it up the chain.
I then decided to see if A/DCA wished to know about it, but still got no response. I
then received a written order to not contact A/DCA or IO/IA and to use Chain of Command.
Accordingly, I decided to heed the direction to use the chain of Command, and again emailed
the CO to see if she would get any response to her request that the aforesaid issues be passed
up the chain, for the sake of other vulnerable soldiers/ADF members. Still, there was no
I then pursued the issue via the Chaplain, Chapin Kaus. The Chaplain utterly agreed
that the SO had no training and he passed it to the FORCOMD Chaplain. In sum, my requests
for support were stymied and ignored, advised I/IA. I received typed minute that despite her
non-responsive and hostile chain of command, she was not to circumvent chain of command.
LTCOL Clarke response to PMC Mess Bill issue
I started to work out of the Ballarat Army Depot, and thus no longer a member of the
Puckapunyal Officers Mess. However, I was still being sent a bill. On asking the Treasurer to
be taken off the Mess Membership, he advised I required an email from my boss affirming
that I was now working from the Ballarat depot. Accordingly, I emailed LTCOL Clarke (my
then boss) requesting he advise the PMC that I had approval to work out of Ballarat, cc’ing
Over 2 months and emails, polite phone calls and phone texts, Clarke never sent the
one line email to confirm that I worked out of Ballarat. There was a sense he was just making
life difficult. In the end, another Officer intervened and sent the email to the treasurer.
The hostility of Inquiry Support Officers
AS part of participating in an Inquiry, one is given a Support Officer. I came to realise
that these people are effectively ‘spies’ for the hierarchy. They are picked by the hierarchy,
and report to the hierarchy. I had extreme difficulty with 3 of the 4 of them and found them
bullying and abusive. For instance, one wrote an email to my bosses, describing everything I
had said in our initially meeting, which I had assumed was confidential and private. This was
humiliating and a breach of trust.
Another one refused to help when I reported more UB, and when others found fault
with the smallest things I did. For example, using the “DREAMS token” you could access
your Defence email from a home computer. When one of them noticed I had accessed my
emails while on medical leave, she reported this as me perhaps being deceitful about needing
to be on medical leave. My medical administrative documents were being sent via my
defence email, so I had to access them as part of life management, but this was characterised
as me being sneaky and dishonest. Another time they kept refusing to debrief me on the result
on the Unit Welfare Board. Another time I elected an option not to attend one of the Unit
Welfare Boards as I became upset to be in the same room as all the bullies, and this was seen
as bad and one SO essentially told me off for not attending, rather than seeing it as an impact
of what was going on. (I was to be discussed at the unit welfare board due to mental health
issues, and it was a 2 hour drive to attend), so my not attending was seen as a “bad Officer.”
Not someone who couldn’t cope.
In general I was not treated as someone with a mental health condition, but as a
disciplinary problem and a bad person, and the SO treated me with suspicion from the start,
which suggested that they had been pre-briefed about me as being a “troublemaker.” A
psychiatrist later told me this was called “poisoning the treatment” as then the SO had a
negative view of you before they even start being the SO.
In light of the foregoing, I aver that the entire SO inquiry system is flawed. The 1 st SO
I was allocated spent the entire time talking about her own problems and was very
disorganised. I had to chase her and organise things. I reported this (REF B) and was told off
for reporting it. The specific criticisms were: the manner in which I wrote; that I had exposed
the CO as the Inquiry team may wish to see such paperwork; and for potentially bulling the
Support officer by naming her within Ref B.
On June 25, 2018, I formally asked the CO to pass my concerns up the chain of
Command to report that the ‘Support Officer” system was broken; that the safety net’ for
vulnerable peoples’ had holes in it. I could see how it was failing me and I felt, as an Officer,
I must speak up on behalf of soldiers who would have less voice and could be at higher risk.
This was at the point that Service people’s suicide had become an issue. I couldn’t believe
given all the publicity and loud the Army’s policy on mental health, that people who were
struggling were given such terrible Support Officers, and no one seemed to care that the
system wasn’t working.
Attempts to establish a paperwork trail of “Bad Boulton”
In the second half of 2018, there was a flurry of paperwork raised upon me, which
seemed oriented towards creating a paper trail of evidence of me being a bad officer. The
paperwork was for bogus and unfair reasons, but that it all occurred at about the same time
seemed suspicious and in my near 20 years of service, I hadn’t seen paperwork praised for
such trivial matters.
On June 25, 2018, I was sent a disciplinary letter by the CO chastising me for going
outside the chain of command and speaking to people outside my unit. This included sending
a query to the IO, and a ‘congratulations’ email to a senior officer who had been appointed as
Chief of Army and had been my instructor at RMC and offered to send him ideas on
improving the Army if he wanted any new suggestions.
Further reprimanding letter
On July 10, 2018, I received a letter from CO about adequacy of Support officer
system with disciplinary advice warning that I would be charged if I contacted the IO again
and that I was to be given disciplinary counselling by the COFS.
Notably, I had contacted the IO to report problems with bullying and an ineffective
support officer, as I understood was within my rights and instructions about participation in
the Inquiry. Thus, I query the legality of this letter.
COMDT AKC disciplinary phone call
On July 10, 2018, the COMDT AKC rang me while I was on medical leave, with
only 18 minutes warning from his PA. There was no chance to ask for a witness or support
officer to join me. I was at a childcare centre waiting to pick up my nephew, as I had gone to
stay with family to try and improve my mental health. He advised me that Fact Finding into
my complaint was not upheld, and that “everything that occurred was in accordance with the
policy. His tone was veiled anger. My notes have him saying on a contemptuous, hateful
tone, “do you understand what I’m saying? You’ve been going through SO like a revolving
door.” I then questioned why I was not interviewed, to which he responded thus “It was not
necessary.” “That is all Liz, goodbye.” He later sent a stern email.
Disciplinary letter from Career Management Army (LTCOL Gerard Kearns)
On July 27, 2018, I received a disciplinary letter for late submission of a form, which
had been held up at the unit level, and had been delayed due to confusion with Inquiry
I also find fault my non-inclusion in any decisions about my career or activities.
People started to talk for me and make decisions on my behalf as though I didn’t exist. The
decisions were often the opposite of what I wanted. I basically was never “heard’ and was
treated as mental illness, a type of dehumanisation where one is ignored, and others decide
things on your behalf.
Punitive referral for a PM008 ‘Psych Assessment for suitability for ADF Service’
by LTCOL Kirstin Scudamore.
On November 7, 2018, I was issued an inquiry report and was set up for an amush
situation. It was arranged that my boss from Puckapunyal would be in my Ballarat office
when it was sent. He was on the phone a lot prior to it arriving and clearly this was being
coordinated among several people. He placed his mobile phone on the desk and sat there as I
read the result which was the 40 pages of ‘hate’ towards me. He then issued me a career
destroying annual report at the exact same time. He had me sign to say I had seen this and
that I had read the inquiry report, then wanted to go straight into an hour long debrief on my
poor performance as part of my annual report.
It seemed clear the aim was to overload me over those few hours and make me snap,
and probably for him to record it on his telephone. As he was very particular about placing
his phone on the desk between us, in what would be the best recording position. They wanted
to give me all of the and news at once, ensure I had no support and hopefully would say
something insubordinate so I could be charged. I could see that this was a set-up and so I
didn’t take the bait, however I told the boss i could see what was going on and that I though,
at the start he was affair man, when he made his own decisions. But now he was gutless for
going along with this.
It was extremely unnecessary for my boss to bit sitting in my office, 2 hours away
from where he normally worked to watch me as I received and read the Inquiry Report
preliminary findings. He may have said he was there to support me, but it was not like that at
all, it was about observation and pressure loading.
Posting to Captain Role (Demotion) in Infantry Battalion
On about March 2019, I had a meeting with the Royal Corps of Transport (RACT)
Careers advisor (CA) (CA RACT). The meeting was about my next posting. I advised him
about my mental health deterioration and if I could have a quiet staff job, which would allow
me time to recover. He had several options in mind and said that wouldn’t be a problem. The
CA Meeting notes show that he notated “MH” which means “mental health” concerns.
However, with no further discussion, in about August, I received a posting to the 3 rd Infantry
Battalion in Townsville, which was going to be “Online” in 2020.
It was a demotion to a Captain role and a posting to one of the most demanding
difficult jobs in the Army which is the logistics officer for the 3 rd Infantry Battalion, In
Townsville which was going ‘online.’ I had been a ‘logistics Captain in 3 rd Brigade in 1999-
2000, *(some 20 years prior) and knew this was an all-consuming job, with a constant
exercise and a high likelihood of deployment. It would require an exception level of fitness to
keep up with a predominantly male infantry battalion, with young men in their early 20s,
while I was in my late 40s. It also would have been a hindrance to the Battalion, as I had no
done Army logistics for 20 years and would be greatly out of date. It seemed nonsensical
posting, and it was the first time in my entire Army career that there was no consultation or
agreement on my posting.
When I rang the person who was in that role, they confirmed it was an all-consuming,
demanding job and they were wee worried that I was not up to date with my logistics
knowledge and experience and doubtful I would be able to do the job. In an email to the
Deputy Chief of Army to request a copy of the Inquiry Report, I also took the chance to
advise him of the unfairness of the justice system, and I queried the 3 RAR posting, but did
not say I wouldn’t do it. This was later used as evidence to have me terminated, as it was
claimed I was not willing to offer the Army unconditional service. I realized that again, this
was a set up. I was given that posting order, knowing I would question it, which would give
them evidence to kick me out.
As I had a officially medical mental health downgrade, it was actually against policy
for them to post me there, plus ignore my previous agreement and discussion with the RACT
CA on “MH” considerations for the posting, and thus this whole situation was a for of
bullying and went against their own policy.
While on medical leave for mental health, I was contacted and abused on the phone
by COL Galea.
The support officers turned out to be acting in a way in which they supported the
hierarchy rather than myself. This involved them reporting verbatim things I had said to them
in confidence to my superiors; (in written emails which I saw) and refusing to act to report
abuse, and in fact becoming abusive themselves.
When I became triggered or upset at the bullying, and my mental health was
deteriorating making it harder for me to cope with this relentless, multi-directional bullying, I
was severely ridiculed and attacked, and it was characterized as an idiot, unprofessional, a
horrible person etc. .
Just to highlight how bad this was, at one stage I attended a civilian healing retreat
over a weekend. It was extremely hard to get there, I could barely drive, as I was exhausted
and jittery. On arrival people were very kind. At one point, we had a cooking lesson, and a
person in the audience was talking while the instructor was talking. It was overloading my
brain and I found myself distressed, I said, “can you please not talk at the same time as the
instructor, as I can’t follow the lesson.”
At this point the women running the healing weekend could see distressed I was and
took me into a room and a bed, where I cried for hours and kept vomiting. A woman I didn’t
know just held me in the fetal position in bed as I cried for hours and I could even talk, I was
in a state of shock. I only got up to vomit and then back to bed again. This was the impact of
the stress upon me, my body juts went into a type of shock and collapse. Once I felt safe, I
could ‘let go’ and cry and vomit etc.
The relief of receiving kindness from someone, instead of attack, led me to
completely break down.
Late 2019 / early 2020. LTCOL SCUDAMORE ISSUES ME PM008.
I was issued the final termination notice by Colonel Constable and LTCOL Kirsten
Scudamore was a witness sin the office and was extremely happy about it all. I felt she was
mocking me. As we were walking out of the office, she said something like, she said
something like, “oh well that didn’t work out very well for you did it?” She was excessively
joyful and grinning from ear to ear.
I said to her, “well at least I stood in my integrity.” She took offence at this. She
asked if I wished to debrief with her and I repeatedly said no, I just need some quiet time, but
she tried to draw me into a conversation. In this conversation, I mentioned that she had not
responded to one of my emails. She suddenly aggressively started screaming at me, “are you
calling me a liar!?!” Really loud in the office. I said, no I just saying I didn’t receive it.
Somehow the conversation went into me pleaded with her to understand why I was speaking
up on women’s issues. She characterized this as me being unwell and I was referred for a
formal psych review for suitability to serve in the Army, issued a PM008),which I felt was a
I pleaded with the COL not to have to go through one of these administrative
processes again. I later had IT check if she had replied to my email and she never had, so
basically I had caught her out lying and she sent me for a psych review as retaliation.
I felt she was deliberately goading me after I got the termination notice and drawing
me intro conversation when I knew I wasn’t ready for it, as I was very upset tyo have been
given the TN; then she suddenly aggressively yelled at me. It all seemed as though she was
riding me, and was trying to get me to snap, so she could punish me further. People knew I
got triggered by this stage and they seemed to think it was a sort of cruel game to provoke
Then a Warrant Oficer, the RSM asked if he could talk to me and hep me. I spoke
from the heart with emotion about how much I love the army and I only spoke up to do the
right thing for soldiers etc. He later used this personal conversation to support LTCOL
Scudamore in recommending me for a PM008, but it was just a normal conversation with
someone upset after receiving a TN. So your trust was continually betrayed by people who
acted like they would help you, but then turned anything you said against you.
MY TREATMENT IN CONTEXT OF UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF
HUMAN RIGHTS 1
- All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with
reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
I was treated in a contemptuous hateful way, on breaking down was
mocked. This great impacted my personal a sense of dignity. My words
were twisted, malicious lies spoken, and it is likely Defence were
implicated in the Media attack on me of where I was described as a
There were efforts to degrade my intellectual capacity, such as being
demoted, given menial jobs like stock-taking and 2 pieces of work I
submitted being red-penned and asked to be resubmitted and heavily
criticized, when one article was later published in a prestigious
international journal. (i.e. criticism was not merit orientated.)
- Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without
distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other
opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction
shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country
or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing
or under any other limitation of sovereignty.
I was entitled to be asked to not be touched, and for merit-based inclusion as
a member of the Australian Regular Army; and not be penalized for asking
for these rights to be respected.
- Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
Security of person relates to requests not to be touched, and my own safety
which I believe was threatened when I became an object of mob hate. E.g.
Once a Colonel said to me, “I can’t believe how many people hate you.” At
times I was fearful for my life, and had dreams about being killed by Army
- No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in
all their forms.
- No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or
A female Army woman said to me at a conference, “they are trying to
psychologically torture you.” The decision to ostarcise me from the wider
Army, for most of 5 years and put me in isolation so long was an inhuman
- Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.
I was utterly denied fair treatment under the law.
- All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection
of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this
Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.
- Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts
violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.
The issue I raised with Lieutenant General Campbell, of my total exclusion
from Army intellectual life, was never addressed. I did participate in one
excellent activity, (conducting training in Jordan), however, this was
arranged through a previous friend and colleague, and outside of my chain of
command. A new Commander has recently been appointed for my unit, and
he was initially, fortuitously unaware of my “cancelled/hated” status and was
a ‘friend’ of my ‘friend, so this slipped through.)
- No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.
Through being cast as a ‘cancelled’ woman” I was effectively exiled from my
- Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and
impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal
charge against him.
It was clear that the inquiry process was not impartial.
At times it seemed they had no read any of my documentation, and they
ignored the majority of evidence.
- Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved
guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for
his defence. No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or
omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the
time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was
applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.
The charges against me were trumped up and exaggerated accounts of
wrongdoing. At the time, I was so distressed, I notice my responses in my
various submissions were very apologetic, and I readily acknowledged fault.
In hindsight, this effort to placate power, and stop the abuse, must be seen as
less of an admittance that these were fair crimes, but an effort to reach a
peaceful solution and end the deliberate isolation ad targeting of me.
I was arbitrarily made a criminal and the subject of the inquiry.
- No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or
correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the
protection of the law against such interference or attacks.
I am concerned about the efforts made to access my student counselling records for
the early 1990s and all of my medical history, civilian or otherwise. It seemed
excessive and not relevant to the issue of whether I was being included in the work
sphere or received unwelcome discrimination and harassment.
- Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of
each state. Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return
to his country.
- Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-
political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United
- Everyone has the right to a nationality. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his
nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.
- Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion,
have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to
marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution. Marriage shall be entered into only
with the free and full consent of the intending spouses. The family is the natural and
fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.
- Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others. No
one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.
- Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right
includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in
community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in
teaching, practice, worship and observance.
- Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes
freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart
information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
Potentially the hatred towards me, and the decision to virtually exile me
related to my having new ideas on feminism and security. I was
characterized unfairly as a leftist extremist and essentially my capacity to
express my views and independently conduct research on behalf of my
Nation was penalized.
- Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association. No one may
be compelled to belong to an association.
- Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through
freely chosen representatives. Everyone has the right of equal access to public service
in his country. The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government;
this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by
universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free
My attempts to seek help via my elected representative and other public
service means have thus far been unsuccessful.
- Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to
realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance
with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural
rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.
- Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favorable
conditions of work and to protection against unemployment. Everyone, without any
discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work. Everyone who works has the
right to just and favorable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an
existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of
social protection. Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the
protection of his interests.
I was not provided just conditions of work. I was harassed, discriminated
against and bullied. Also, to be able to complete the PhD and participate
in the inquiry and fact-findings justice procedures, I had to take leave
without pay; sell my share portfolio and live off my savings. When posted
to Puckapunyal, at one stage I was only being paid for 1 days work a week
and was effectively living below the poverty line. This was the
consequence of seeking justice, which brought such a huge workload, that
it left less time for paid work.
- Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working
hours and periodic holidays with pay.
- Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of
himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and
necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment,
sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances
beyond his control. Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and
assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social
- Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary
and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and
professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be
equally accessible to all on the basis of merit. Education shall be directed to the full
development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human
rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and
friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities
of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace. Parents have a prior right to choose
the kind of education that shall be given to their children.
- Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to
enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits. Everyone has the
right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific,
literary or artistic production of which he is the author.
My PhD work and the ‘Teaming’ publication insights were continually
repacked and I have not been given not a scrap of credit for any of this
work. It is basic IP theft.
- Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms
set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.
- Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of
his personality is possible. In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be
subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of
securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of
meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a
democratic society. These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to
the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
When I saw injustices against others and illegal actions occurring, I had a
duty to speak up and say no to wrongdoing. This relates to endless ADF
inquiries where the role of passive bystanders has been an enduring
problem, especially as occurred with the SF war-crimes and the Jedi
I stood up for these values at extraordinary person cost and rather than
being celebrated, I was hounded for doing so.
- Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group, or
person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction
of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.
ARTICLE ON MOBBING
How to recognise this extreme form of workplace bullying
Workplace mobbing may not be a new concept, but it’s on the increase. And the
trauma group bullying causes the victim is devastating.
By Gary Martin, 19 January, 2018
While many leaders and managers will be familiar with the concept of “workplace
bullying,” fewer will have heard of the most extreme type of bullying – “workplace
This new concept in workplace bullying has been described by many as “bullying on
That’s because unlike traditional bullying, which usually involves one perpetrator
going out of their way to cause emotional harm to a victim, workplace mobbing or group
bullying involves an employee enlisting the help of others to join in and act in a way that
traumatises a particular co-worker in the office.
The term workplace mobbing was thought to be first described in the late 1980’s by a
psychologist Heinz Layman from Sweden. Layman observed the effects of mobbing on an
individual and suggested that the associated trauma was akin to someone who had been at the
front lines of a battle zone.
A widespread phenomenon?
Many industry leaders agree that the incidence of mobbing is indeed on the rise. Some
go as far as to say we have an epidemic of mobbing in our workplaces. They argue that in
harsh economic operating conditions, where organisations are driven by the dollar, managers
are more likely to ignore such behaviours and focus solely on what provides a return to
shareholders – no matter what the carnage.
Others argue that it’s often a manager or supervisor who indirectly encourages
mobbing in order to force a surplus employee to resign rather than pay the costs associated
with forced redundancies.
The fact is, anyone can be mobbed – it’s not isolated to a particular type of co-worker.
But targets are usually seen to be different from the organisational norm, and are often highly
In a mobbing situation, a ringleader or “chief bully” typically incites a number of
supporters to deploy numerous strategies to ultimately force the victim out of the
organisation. Tactics include spreading vicious rumours, excluding the victim from team
meetings, and denying access to materials.
Because a group is involved, mobbing is often more subtle than less extreme forms of
bullying – but the impact is more severe because of the number of people involved. As
mobbing often manifests as a series of unrelated events, often when a victim complains, they
are labelled by others as a “chronic complainer”.
The ringleader or chief bully is usually an emotionally disturbed individual who is
threatened by or jealous of an individual. The chief bully receives intense gratification both
through encouraging others to cause emotional harm to the victim, and by observing the
impact of those actions. They often camouflage their “darker side” by interacting with the
victim in a thoughtful, caring and polite manner.
It’s important to recognise that the impact of mobbing is more widespread across an
organisation than less extreme forms of bullying. That’s because those co-workers outside the
chief bully’s group are often influenced by how the victim is portrayed in the workplace.
Once influenced, co-workers who aren’t directly involved in mobbing may shun a victim
whose reputation may have been shattered – fearing any association with that person. Such
co-workers might not be active participants in mobbing but end up adding to the victim’s
trauma through their lack of support.
The bottom line
Leaders, managers, and supervisors who turn a blind eye to mobbing in the workplace
are by default part of the chief bully’s group. That’s because they have failed to intervene to
put a stop to the mobbing.
The prognosis for victims of mobbing is poor. If there’s no early intervention in a
mobbing case, damage is quickly done – and it’s frequently impossible for a victim to stay in
Professor Gary Martin is the CEO and and executive director at the Australian
Institute of Management WA. This is an edited version of his LinkedIn article.
Learn how to identify and address bullying and harassment with AHRI’s short
course “Bullying and harassment”.
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