Former founding Managing Director of the LGBTQ+ Ledward Centre, Patron of the Davison Young Musicians Foundation and motivational speaker
Duncan’s passion for diversity and inclusion was evident early in his naval career when as a young Sub Lieutenant, he challenged the lack of ethnic minority representation in the Armed Forces and initiated changes in advertising and recruitment policy. Later in his career when working as Admiral’s Secretary he persuaded the Armed Forces to investigate expanding full career opportunities for women.
In 1995 he was dismissed from the Royal Navy when his sexuality was discovered. He then led the campaign to end the ban on LGBTQ+ personnel in the Forces and was one of the four test cases in the European Court of Human Rights which resulted in changing the law throughout Europe and further afield. He returned to sea in Command and rose to the rank of Commodore.
Duncan continued his work in equalities in his many senior roles in business and NGOs and succeeded in two further legal changes when in 2016 he persuaded the removal of anti LGBTQ+ legislation in the 1994 Criminal Offences Act and the following year removal of similar legislation in the Merchant Shipping Acts. In 2020 he worked with English Heritage to secure better representation of people of colour in the Blue Plaque Scheme.
Senior naval officers describe him as “one of the most influential naval officers of the last 50 years.”
Duncan says: “I am delighted to be a vocal champion of Pride 365. Supporting our LGBTQ+ communities is not achieved by paying lip service over one Pride weekend. It is a commitment which a wise employer makes each day of the year.”