Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston

How the Defence Minister Stephen Smith and others cover up the sexual abuse of women

The cover-up of sexual abuse of women in the Australian Defence Force is starting to come out in a major way with an 18 year old girl blowing the whistle.  (Click here to read her story) Others are starting to come out now, including allegations of a rape cover-up at the Defence Academy. (Click here to read the full story).

Below is an email chain that adds a lot of light on what is really happening in relation to sexual abuse of women in the Australian Defence Force and who is really covering it up.

While many are starting to point the finger at various people in the Defence Force, make no mistake that the Defence Minister Stephen Smith MP and the previous Defence Minister Senator John Faulkner are up to their neck in the cover-up. The cover-up goes up to the highest levels in the Australian Defence Force including the Chief of Defence, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston and the General Counsel for Defence Dr David Lloyd.

It paints a scary picture when you put my allegations together with the fact that Defence and the Federal Police are clearly attempting to cover up what happened to the girl until Matt Moran ran the story on channel 10, the rape allegation today and then also look at the artical in the Sydney Morning Herald today were it says:

“The criticism came as an army legal officer who has trained hundreds of Defence personnel on sexual assault and alcohol issues accused high-ranking officers and politicians of ignoring warnings about the toxic culture within the Defence Force.”

”What amazes me is despite the fact that there will be regular incidents that occur in relation to sexual assaults, the irresponsible use of technology, fights, drink-driving and drugs, the ADF continues to provide lip service,” Mr Donaldson said. He said he was talking as a civilian lawyer, rather than in any Defence-related role.” (Click here to read the full story)

The key part in email chain below is the response that I received from David Lloyd who is the General Council for Defence and my follow-up questions which they failed to respond to.


From: Shane Dowling []
Sent: Wednesday, 28 July 2010 12:11
To: Lloyd, David DR; Cunliffe, Mark MR
Subject: Gyles Inquiry

Dear Mr Lloyd

I have not had any response or communication from your office in relation to the telephone conversation we had on Monday 21st June at 5pm which is some five weeks ago.

In that conversation I raised Roger Gyles corrupt and criminal history. I also said words to the effect that it looks like the Defence Force has brought Roger Gyles in to do a hatchet job on the inquiry which you refuted.

Can you respond ASAP telling me what action if any you have taken?

Yours Sincerely

Shane Dowling

From: Lloyd, David DR []
Sent: Wednesday, 4 August 2010 11:04 AM
To: Shane Dowling
Cc: Cunliffe, Mark MR
Subject: RE: Gyles Inquiry [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]


Dear Mr Dowling,

As I stated in our telephone conversation the Hon. Roger Gyles AO QC was highly recommended to Defence as an appropriate person to undertake a full and open inquiry into the Success matter.  He is a respected former Judge of the Federal Court of Australia who, since retiring from that court, also served as an acting Judge of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, Court of Appeal.  Defence remains of the view that he is an appropriate person for this role.

In confirming this position Defence raised your issues with Mr Roger Gyles.  I also obtained and reviewed your book which you directed me to in our conversation.  I do not consider that the book raises any matters which would warrant Defence taking any further action.

For the record, I wish to confirm that Defence entirely rejects your imputations regarding the motives for the inquiry.


Dr David Lloyd

Defence General Counsel

IMPORTANT: This email remains the property of the Department of Defence and is subject to the jurisdiction of section 70 of the Crimes Act 1914. If you have received this email in error, you are requested to contact the sender and delete the email.

From: Shane Dowling []
Sent: Thursday, 12 August 2010 10:41 AM
To: ‘’; ‘’; ‘’; ‘’; ‘’; ‘’; ‘’; ‘’
Cc: ‘’; ‘’; ‘’; ‘’; ‘’; ‘’; ‘’; ‘’; ‘’; ‘’; ‘’; ‘’
Subject: FW: Gyles Inquiry [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

Dear Air Chief Marshal Houston and Senator Faulkner

I am writing to the both of you with the allegation that Roger Vincent Gyles has been appointed by at least one of you if not both to sweep the sexual misconduct in the Defence Force under the carpet. The prima facie case to support this is has gotten a whole lot stronger in what can only be described as very disconcerting correspondence with Dr David Lloyd General Council for Defence (see the 2 emails below).

Roger Gyles is a well known hatchet man and has a long history of judicial misconduct such as hearing matters when there is perceived bias, actual bias (remember the Royal Commission he headed up into the building industry in the early 1990″s) and having a sexual relationship with a party to a preceeding where he is the Judge.

It is not lost on me that the reason Gyles is conducting this inquiry into the sexual misconduct etc on the Navy Ship Success is because the first internal inquiry by Defence had to be disbanded because of actual bias. And we all know actual bias equals corruption. Defence was clearly caught out trying to do a hatchet job on the internal inquiry. So what does Defence do? They bring in one of the dodgiest former judicial officers there is, Roger Vincent Gyles QC.

I had a telephone conversation with David Lloyd on Monday the 21st of June. I said the Dr Lloyd that on the face of it, it looks like Defence is doing a hatchet job on the inquiry. Various issues were raised by me about Gyles’s history. This included his running the Royal Commission in the 1990’s into the building industry when he was a director of a construction company, the fact that he had a sexual relationship with Gail Hambly and heard a matter where she was a respondent and acted perversely and the fact that he was an alternate judge in the NSW Court of Appeal (he was only there from September 2008 to November 2008. Probably worth asking Gyles about his corrupt decision in the Tristar matter he handed down in August 2008 when he was a Federal Court Judge). David Lloyd raised Gyles’s handy work on the recent Storm Financial Inquiry as proof as Gyles good work (there is now a massive class action against the Commonwealth Bank).

After some five weeks I had not had a reply from David Lloyd and had to send the follow email below to get a response which took him another week to respond to. This raises a number of issues:

1. One would have thought he would have responded within the week given the severity of the allegations. Or at maximum 2 weeks, not six weeks after a follow up by me.

2. In Mr Lloyd’s email response below he says Defence raised my issues with Mr Gyles, but it does not say how the issues were raised or what issues were raised with Gyles or what his response was. Given the severity of the allegations against Defence and Gyles the only proper way to handle this would have been for Defence to write to Gyles and ask for a written response. Can you please supply me with of copy of the letter that Mr Lloyd sent Gyles and a copy of the letter Gyles sent in response. If not why not? If there are no letters it looks like a clear cover up.

3. Nowhere does he mention he raised the allegations with the counsel representing all the parties at the inquiry so they had the opportunity to have there say. If this has not happened it is absolutely scandalous.

4. He says he reviewed my book. Well there is a clear prima facie case to have Gyles charged at the very least for breaching section 34 of the 1914 Crimes Act given that he had a personal interest in a case he was hearing and acted perversely.

5. In my telephone conversation with Mr Lloyd I never got into every piece of evidence in relation to Gyles corrupt and criminal history nor did Mr Lloyd want it.

There are obviously a lot of people involved in the inquiry who are hoping to see justice set right. Can you please reply in ASAP with the relevant documents supporting what Mr Lloyd has and hasn’t done. E.g Notes, file notes, emails, letters and faxes etc.

One would surmise the correct action to take would be to put a stop to the inquiry until the issues that I have raised are investigated in full and in public.

We all know “it is not merely of some importance but is of fundamental importance, that justice should not only be done, but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done”. Lord Hewart – R -v- Sussex Justices, Ex parte McCarthy ([1924]


Shane Dowling

From: Shane Dowling []
Sent: Sunday, 5 December 2010 10:57 PM
To: ‘’; ‘’; ‘’; ‘’; ‘’; ‘’; ‘’; ‘’; ‘’; ‘’; ‘’
Cc: ‘’; ‘’; ‘’; ‘’; ‘’; ‘’; ‘’; ‘’; ‘’; ‘’; ‘’; ‘’
Subject: FW: Gyles Inquiry [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

Dear Air Chief Marshal Houston and Senator Faulkner

I have still not had a response to the below email.

As we all know “In a court of law any inference that can be reasonably drawn from the primary facts has to be taken at its highest. (See the decision of J Gyles in Choundary v Capital Airport [2006] FCA 1755 at 3 and 23).” See page 24 in my book “Love Letters from the Bar Table”.

I am sure you can guess what inferences that I am drawing from your failure to respond.

Can you please explain why I have not had a response (especially given that gravity of my allegations) and when can I expect a response. If you fail to respond to this email ASAP I will have no choice but to take it further.

Anyone who is not up to date with where we are at please read the Senate website at:

It explains things like Gyles was meant to hand down his report by June 30, 2010 which he has missed to my knowledge (just like his handiwork during the Royal Commission in the early 1990’s) and also how Defence tried to intimidate witnesses at the Senate inquiry into the same matters etc.

Yours Sincerely


Shane Dowling

From: Shane Dowling []
Sent: Sunday, 27 March 2011 11:30 PM
Subject: FW: Gyles Inquiry [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

Dear Mr Smith

I have not received any response nor a response from your office in relation to the below correspondence which was sent on the 5th of December 2010. Although I did receive a response from Senator Faulkner on the 13/12/10 saying “On your behalf I have forwarded your email to Minister Smith, asking that he address the issues you have raised and respond to you directly.” (see attached email re: Gyles Inquiry)

As of last Thursday it came to my attention that you have received Gyles’s report and tabled it in Parliament.

I am also aware that in the last couple of weeks that there has been calls for you by the opposition to sack the head of the Navy for lying to you about the battle readiness of various Navy ships. Maybe that was at least one notch to low, maybe two.

Given that you have already tabled Gyles report in parliament I find it rather disturbing that you have not responded to the issues that I raise. One would have thought that you would have done that first.

Can you please send me a response by the end of the week or is it your policy to sweep serious allegations under the carpet.


Shane Dowling

From: Butterworth, Michael (Sen J. Faulkner) []
Sent: Monday, 13 December 2010 10:38 AM
Subject: re: Gyles Inquiry

Dear Shane

Thank you for your email regarding the Gyles Inquiry dated August 12, 2010.

Your email was sent during the period of the Federal Election and as such, the Government was in “caretaker” mode which limits the conduct and actions of the Government and its Ministers.

Prior to the election campaign I announced I would not be seeking a cabinet position should the Gillard Government be re-elected.

Following the election the Hon Stephen Smith MP was appointed the Minister for Defence.

On your behalf I have forwarded your email to Minister Smith, asking that he address the issues you have raised and respond to you directly.

Yours sincerely



I spoke to Denise Taunton in Stephen Smith’s office today (Thursday 7th April 2011) at 1pm and asked her why they had not responded to my correspondence. She said that they had not received my email dated the 27th of March.

She said the last email was from Senator Faulkner sent on the 13th of December. I pointed out to her that all that email said was that Senator Faulkner had passed it on to Stephen Smith to reply and that I had not had a response.

She asked me to forward the email on to her again.

I asked her when I would get a response and she said she did not know.

I mentioned that there were new allegations today of a rape being covered up at the Defence base and that there needs to be a Royal Commission. She didn’t seem keen on the idea and said that Royal Commissions are very expensive.

I said I thought it was a joke that Stephen Smith had tendered Roger Gyles report to parliament and had not responded to my allegations.

She said that it was only Gyles’s initial report and he would be completing a full report later this year.

Looks like Gyles is bludging off the tax payer even more. As it says above he was meant have finished his report June 2010.

I was going to wait for a few days to do a longer posting but I believe the above needs to be published now and I will do longer postings in the near future.

There is no ifs, buts or maybes there has to be a Royal Commission and I find it disgusting that no Federal Politician at the moment is calling for one.

I think it worth repeating the quote from the beginning of this post:

“The criticism came as an army legal officer who has trained hundreds of Defence personnel on sexual assault and alcohol issues accused high-ranking officers and politicians of ignoring warnings about the toxic culture within the Defence Force.” (Click here to read the full story)

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