Air Vice-Marshal Tracy Smart becomes most senior lesbian officer in Defence
Tracy Smart has become the most senior lesbian officer to serve openly in the Australian Defence Force, after being promoted to Air Vice-Marshal.
Smart, otherwise referred to informally as ‘Warriordoc’, takes on the role of Commander of Joint Health Command, and Surgeon-General of the Australian Defence Force.
In her new role, Smart will be responsible for the delivery of health services to Defence personnel, and the medical readiness of the Defence team for operations.
As Surgeon-General, she will be responsible for providing strategic health advice and technical oversight of operational health services.
Above: Air Marshal (Leo) Davies, Chief of Air Force, promotes Tracy Smart to Air Vice-Marshal Commander of Joint Health Command and Surgeon-General of the Australian Defence Force. Image by Department of Defence
“I am passionate about providing high quality health care to the men and women of the ADF - ie helping those who serve our country - and that's really what I focus on when I come to work each day,” Smart said.
“I’m very proud of the work of our men and women and I am keen to deliver effective health services for ADF personnel at home and when deployed.”
Smart was promoted to Air Commodore – one-star air officer rank – in 2009 just under 7 years ago where she has been involved in a major revolution in health care delivery services in a time of increasing demand.
She has been a visible role model for the LGBTI workforce and has led the Defence contingent in Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade three times since 2008.
Above: Image 4 of 4(L-R) Air Marshal (Leo) Davies, Chief of Air Force, Air Vice-Marshal Tracy Smart - Commander of Joint Health Command and Surgeon-General of the Australian Defence Force and her partner Lisa Padenski. Image by Department of Defence
Yet, despite being among very few women to reach the two-star rank, and being the only lesbian to do so, Smart says her gender and sexual orientation is immaterial to her ability to do her job.
“Everyone has a sexual orientation,” Smart said. “Mine has no material effect on the decisions I make or how I command.
“I think Defence people are far more interested in the type of leader that you, and the environment that you create in your command. If you have that right, then inclusive and respectful behaviour simply become ‘business as usual’ and expected.”
Top image: Newly promoted Air Vice-Marshal Tracy Smart - Commander of Joint Health Command and Surgeon-General of the Australian Defence Force. Image by Department of Defence