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Who says I can't serve?

The New Zealand Navy might be small, but it’s known for punching above its weight.

The Achilles, on loan from the Royal Navy at the time, was involved in one of the first naval encounters at the outset of World War Two. Since then, New Zealand has contributed various parts of its humble fleet to peace keeping operations around the globe.

And if you really want proof that size isn’t everything, the New Zealand Navy prides itself on being somewhat progressive – even in matters considered taboo in other defence jurisdictions.

In this Radio New Zealand contribution to the 2011 Global Perspectives series, producer Mike Gourley features the story of a gay naval officer, Lieutenant-Commander Kevin Sanderson. Along with other gay and lesbian Defence personnel, Kevin Sanderson is able to serve his country, thanks to an enlightened approach to what the Navy calls ‘sexual diversity’.

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This article is part of the RNW archive. RNW is the former Radio Netherlands Worldwide or Wereldomroep, which was founded as the Dutch international public broadcaster in 1947. In 2011 Dutch government’s decided to cut funding and shift RNW in 2013 from the ministry of Education, Culture and Science to the ministry of Foreign Affairs. More information about RNW’s current activities can be found at http://www.rnw.org/about-rnw