The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) has been named as the winner of both the All-Accor Progress Award, and the overall Supreme Award, at the Rainbow Excellence Awards for continuous progress in relation to the inclusion of rainbow communities.
Chief of the New Zealand Defence Force Air Marshal Kevin Short said he was proud of the strides the organisation has made.
“We want our rainbow communities to feel welcome, safe and valued. This award symbolises how far we have come as an inclusive Defence Force that recognises the strengths that a diverse and inclusive workforce brings,” he said.
In the past year, the NZDF has hosted a Pride in Defence conference that aimed to inspire, educate and celebrate rainbow communities and allies within the Defence Force, and partnered with Pride Pledge to show the organisation’s continued commitment to supporting rainbow communities. The Defence Force was also reaccredited the Rainbow Tick, rolled out training workshops with Pride Pledge, and supported the Big Gay Out event.
“The NZDF is committed to being an inclusive organisation and we welcome anyone who wants to serve. We still have work to do, but this win serves as a powerful reminder that the efforts we are putting in are making a difference, not only within our ranks, but also across Aotearoa New Zealand,” Air Marshal Short said.
“I would like to extend my thanks to all of our people who have been the driving force behind this positive change. We should be proud of how far we have come and the progress we continue to make.”
The Rainbow Excellence Awards were held in Auckland on 27 September. Air Vice-Marshal Tony Davies, the Vice Chief of the Defence Force, represented the NZDF at the awards.