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Saturday 10 October 2015

Meet the new elected leaders of OverWatch

Posted in: Our Communities
By Daily News staff - 2nd October 2015

The New Zealand Defence Force Overwatch group have announced a new Chair and Deputy Chair ahead of their AGM on Monday 5 October.

Overwatch provides peer support and networking to LGBT people serving in the NZDF as well guidance to Command and Commanders.

Debbie Francis NZDF Chief People Officer speaks of this as a turning point for Overwatch and says; “Those who have blazed the trail to date have done a terrific job of raising awareness and improving inclusivity and support. From this excellent base we can now really stretch for some ambitious new targets and go where no Force has gone before.”


Elected Chair, Graeme Field has almost 15 years experience in the Human Resources field with experience in a number of fields within HR, across the private, public and charity sectors, he has worked as a Remuneration Specialist with the NZDF since January 2014.

Graeme has had previous experience with equality and diversity roles, both formally as well as informally through internal committees/support groups.  This has involved a range of focus areas such as reporting and statistics, representation, technical advice and work on addressing key issues. As the newly appointed Chair of OverWatch, Graeme is looking forward to driving engagement to all within the NZDF.

Graeme says: “The new challenge is to take all the good work the previous Chairs have done by building networks, creating visibility and promoting OverWatch, and adding value back to the NZDF by bolstering inclusion across the organisation.”

“A big focus over the 12 months will be to engage with those at the ‘grassroots’ of the NZDF and ensure they are supported and comfortable in performing the tasks and responsibilities required of both military members and civilian employees.  With the inclusion of a senior executive sponsor and a senior enlisted sponsor, OverWatch aims to deliver at all levels of the NZDF.”


Flying Officer Emily Ward has been announced as the new Deputy Chair and is based in NZDF headquarters, currently working in Mechanical Systems and Propulsion within the Directorate of Aeronautical Engineering at Air Staff.

“I started getting involved with OverWatch in 2013, after recognising there was going to be a few extra challenges being gay in the military,” she says. “Initially I did not see myself as a rainbow flag waver, however I also recognised the hard yards people have put in ahead of me to get to where we are and I felt the need to pay it forward.” Daily News staff - 2nd October 2015

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