Served 32 years.
Colonel, Infantry Officer.
Medals and citations: Member of the Order of Australia (Military Division) for leading the Australian military component of the Whole of Government intervention into the Solomon Islands in 2004 and Timor Leste in 2007.
Postings: Timor Leste.
Primary job: Leadership roles (infantry battalion and two operational task forces overseas) and Training roles (teaching young officers).
“It doesn't matter where you live, everyone just wants to live their life free of any threat and to make a better life for their children. The cost of that freedom is the sacrifice that those who serve make every day.”
Best advice/skill received: Look after your soldiers and they will look after you. Be true to yourself. Continue to learn something new every day.
What do you want people to remember about your service? That I made a difference to others lives by setting a good example.
What was the best and worst 'military' food you were served, and why? Best: Christmas lunch in 2007 (shared with my soldiers on operations overseas). Worst: Cooked liver in a hotbox meal (having eaten ration packs for three weeks our first fresh meal was liver).
What effect did your military experience have on your life? Importance of sharing experiences with others and having strong relationships to deal with the good and bad times. Appreciation of how good life in Australia is compared to other countries in the world.
Funny recollection during time of service:
During the Basic Parachute Course on my first static line jump, I landed quite suddenly, and my instructor walked over and said ‘Sir you did not land you arrived! Now do it again’.