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The factual accuracy of this article may be compromised due to out-of-date information

This page provides at one time provided access to information about current senior Australian Defence Organisation personnel, but is currently out-of-date.[1]

The Australian Defence Organisation (ADO) consists of both the uniformed military, known as the Australian Defence Force (ADF), and the civilian Department of Defence, which includes a number of civilian support organisations. Within the "civilian" organisations, there are designated uniformed positions; within the uniformed organisations, civilians are not unusual, particularly in strategic, policy, personnel, finance, acquisition and intelligence focussed areas.

Nominally, the Chief of the Defence Force (CDF) heads the ADF, and the Secretary (of the Department of Defence) heads the civilian organisations, but in fact, they jointly manage the Australian Defence Organisation under a "diarchy", and both report directly to the Minister for Defence. The ADO diarchy is a governance structure unique in the Australian Commonwealth Public Service.

Like most modern militaries, Australia has the possibility of five-star officers, but these are not active ranks, and are usually reserved for special circumstances.[2] The highest active rank in the Australian Defence Force is reserved for the CDF. This is a four-star rank and the CDF is the only Australian officer at that level. As a result of the diarchy, the Secretary of the Department of Defence is of an equivalent level.

As stated above, this page provides access to information about current senior ADO Leaders. This includes the parliamentarians, and those (both civilian and military) at the equivalent four-, three-, and, where useful, two- and one-star levels. About half of the raw data appears on the Australian Government "Defence leaders: high profile senior personnel" page <>. Rather than being merely a copy of that page, this page adds value by allowing the reader to organise (sort) the data by a number of criteria, and provides cross-references to people, positions, ranks, organisations, photographs and biographies.

Parliamentary level

Under the current (September 2013) Liberal Government, there are three politicians associated with "Defence", (plus the Minister of Veterans' Affairs) :

  • The Minister for Defence;
  • The Assistant Minister for Defence; and
  • The Parliamentary Secretary for Defence.

Five-star level

In Australian circumstances, the five-star level is not an active rank; however, HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, ceremonially holds the ranks of Admiral of the Fleet, Field Marshal, and Marshal of the Royal Australian Air Force.

Four-star level

At present there are two positions at the four-star level: the Chief of the Defence Force (CDF)[3] and the Secretary of the Department of Defence (SECDEF). The SECDEF is a civilian position which is of equal status to the military's four-star ranks.

Three-star level

Abbreviations: DEPSEC - Deputy Secretary[4]

People at the three-star (or equivalent) level are:

The Vice Chief of the Defence Force (VCDF)[3]

Chiefs of the branches of the armed services:

The Chief of Joint Operations (CJOPS)

Senior Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) Leaders:[5]

  • CEO of the DMO[6]
  • General Manager Systems
  • General Manager Programs
  • General Manager Corporate

Heads or Chiefs of the various support organisations:

  • Capability: Chief Capability Development Group (CCDG)
  • Finance: Chief Finance Officer (CFO)
  • Information: Chief Information Officer (CIO)
  • Intelligence: DEPSEC Intelligence and Security
  • Personnel: DEPSEC People Strategies and Policy
  • Reform and Governance: DEPSEC Strategic Reform and Governance
  • Science & Technology: Chief Defence Scientist (CDS), (Head of the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO))
  • Strategy: DEPSEC Strategy
  • Support: DEPSEC Defence Support

Two-star level

Abbreviations: FAS - First Assistant Secretary[7]

Capability Development

  • FAS, Capability Investment and Resources
  • Head, Capability Systems (HCS)



Intelligence and Security


  • Commander, Border Protection
  • Commander, Joint Logistics (CJLOG)

People Strategies and Policy

  • Head, Defence Personnel Executive (HDPE)
  • FAS, Personnel

Reform and Governance

  • Deputy Head, Strategic Reform and Governance

Strategy and Coordination

  • Head, Strategic Policy
  • FAS, International Policy
  • FAS, Ministerial Support and Public Affairs


  • Head, Defence Health
  • Head, Personnel Services
  • Head, National Operations
  • Head, Defence Legal
  • Head, Infrastructure
  • Chief Operating Officer (COO)



Air Force


  • Assistant Chief of the Defence Force (Reserves) and Head Reserve and Employer Support Division

Special Counsel to CEO DMO[5]
DMO Systems:[5]

  • Head, Aerospace Systems Division
  • Head, Electronic and Weapon Systems Division
  • Head, Maritime Systems Division
  • Head, Helicopter Systems Division
  • Head, Land Systems Division
  • Head, Explosive Ordnance Division

DMO Programs:[5]

  • Program Manager - AEWC
  • Program Manager - NACC
  • Head, Industry Division

DMO Corporate:[5]

  • General Counsel
  • Chief Finance Officer - DMO
  • Head, Human Resources and Corporate Services


  • Judge Advocate General (JAG)[3][8]
  • Inspector-General ADF[3][9]
  • Inspector-General[10]

One-star level

Srategy, Coordination and Governance

  • Director-General Public Affairs

Sortable table of current Senior ADO Leaders

Note that nearly all of the people in this table are on fixed term contracts. Extensions of appointments are very rare.[11]



Name Sort by
Position/Title Level Org Start End bio photo
Stephen Smith MP Smith Minister for Defence 6 Parliament 2010 2014 bio photo
Warren Snowdon MP Snowdon Minister for Defence Science and Personnel 6 Parliament 2008 2014 bio photo
Jason Clare MP Clare Minister for Defence Materiel 6 Parliament 2008 2011 bio photo
Senator David Feeney MP Feeney The Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Support 6 Parliament 2010 2014 bio photo
HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh Duke of Edinburgh Admiral of the Fleet, Field Marshal and Marshal of the Royal Australian Air Force 5 Constitution 1960s
Duncan Lewis Lewis Secretary of Defence (SECDEF) 4 DoD 2009 bio photo
GEN David Hurley Hurley Chief of the Defence Force (CDF) 4 CDF 2011 2014
AIRMSHL Mark Binskin Binskin Vice Chief of the Defence Force (VCDF) 3 VCDF 2011 2014
RADM James Goldrick Goldrick Commander, Joint Education, Training and Warfare Command; Commander, Australian Defence College 2 VCDF 2008 bio photo
AVM Margaret Staib Staib Commander, Joint Logistics (CJLOG) 2 VCDF bio photo
MAJGEN Greg Melick Melick Assistant Chief of the Defence Force (Reserves) and
Head Reserve and Employer Support Division
2 VCDF 2007 bio photo
Dr Stephen Gumley Gumley CEO of DMO 3 DMO 2004 [12] bio photo
Simon Lewis Lewis DEPSEC Defence Support 3 Support 2006 bio photo
Brendan Sargeant Sargeant DEPSEC Strategic Reform and Governance 3 SRG 2010
AVM Ian Smith Smith Deputy Head Strategic Reform and Governance 2 SRG 2010
Peter Jennings Jennings DEPSEC Strategy 3 S 2010 bio photo
Rebecca Skinner Skinner Head, Strategic Policy 2 S 2009
Niel Orme Orme FAS, Ministerial Support and Public Affairs 2 S
BRIG Alison Creagh Creagh Director-General Public Affairs (DGPA) 1 S 2010 bio photo
LTGEN Ash Power Power Chief of Joint Operations (CJOPS) 3 JOC 2011 2014
Vacant Vacant Deputy Chief of Joint Operations (DCJOPS) 2 JOC 2010 2011
MAJGEN John Cantwell Cantwell Commander of Australian Forces in
the Middle East Area of Operations
2 JOC 2010
VADM Peter Jones Jones Chief, Capability Development Group (CCDG) 3 CDG 2011 [] []
AVM Jack Plenty Plenty Head, Capability Systems (HCS) 2 CDG 2008
Dr Paul Taloni Taloni FAS, Capability Investment and Resources 2 CDG 2008
Steve Merchant Merchant DEPSEC Intelligence and Security (I&S) 3 I&S
MAJGEN Richard Wilson Wilson Director, Defence Intelligence Organisation (DIO) 2 I&S 2009 photo
Greg Farr Farr Chief Information Officer (CIO) 3 CIOG 2007 bio photo
MAJGEN Richard Treacy Treacy Judge Advocate General (JAG) ADF 2 2007 photo
RADM Robyn Walker Walker Surgeon-General - ADF 2 2011
Phillip Prior Prior Chief Finance Officer (CFO) 3 CFO bio photo
Professor Robert Clark Clark Chief Defence Scientist (CDS) 3 DSTO 2008
Phil Minns Minns DEPSEC People Strategies and Policy 3 PS&P 2008 bio photo
Steve Grzeskowiak Grzeskowiak FAS, Personnel (FASPERS) 2 PS&P
VADM Ray Griggs Griggs Chief of Navy (CN) 3 Navy 2011 2014
RADM Trevor Jones Jones Deputy Chief of Navy (DCN) 2 Navy 2008
RADM Steve Gilmore Gilmore Commander Australian Fleet (COMAUSFLT) 2 Navy 2009 2012 bio photo
LTGEN David Morrison Morrison Chief of Army (CA) 3 Army 2011 2014
MAJGEN Paul Symon Symon Deputy Chief of Army (DCA) 2 Army 2009 2012 bio photo
LTGEN David Morrison Morrison Commander Forces Command 2 Army 2009 2012 bio photo
MAJGEN Rick Burr Burr Commander, 1st Division 2 Army 2011
MAJGEN Craig Williams Williams Commander, 2nd Division 2 Army 2009
MAJGEN Tim McOwan McOwan Special Operations Commander, Australia 2 Army 2008 bio photo
AIRMSHL Geoff Brown Brown Chief of Air Force (CAF) 3 RAAF 2011 2014 bio photo
AVM Gavin Davies Davies Deputy Chief of Air Force (DCAF) 2 RAAF 2011
AVM Mark Skidmore Skidmore Air Commander Australia (ACAUST) 2 RAAF 2008 bio photo
AVM Tony Austin Austin Head, Defence Health 2 Support bio
Neville Tomkins Tomkins Head, Personnel Services 2 Support
MAJGEN Elizabeth Cosson Cosson Head, National Operations 2 Support 2007 bio photo
Mark Cunliffe Cunliffe Head, Defence Legal 2 Support
John Owens Owens Head, Infrastructure 2 Support
Kieran Gleeson Gleeson Chief Operating Officer (COO) 2 Support
Kim Gillis Gillis General Manager, Systems 3 DMO
AVM Clive Rossiter Rossiter Head, Aerospace Systems 2 DMO bio
Shireane McKinnie McKinnie Head, Electronic and Weapon Systems 2 DMO
RADM Peter Marshall Robinson Head, Maritime Systems 2 DMO 2010 bio
MAJGEN Tony Fraser Fraser Head, Helicopter Systems 2 DMO 2006 bio photo
Colin Sharp Sharp Head, Land Systems 2 DMO
Anthony Klenthis Klenthis Head, Explosive Ordnance Division 2 DMO bio
Warren King King General Manager, Programs 3 DMO
AVM Chris Deeble Deeble Program Manager - AEWC 2 DMO bio
AVM John Harvey Harvey Program Manager - NACC 2 DMO bio
Mark Reynolds Reynolds Head, Industry Division 2 DMO 2009 bio
Vacant General Manager, Corporate 3 DMO
Gillian Marks Marks General Counsel 2 DMO
Steven Wearn Wearn CFO - DMO 2 DMO
BRIG Peter Lambert (ret'd) Lambert Head, Human Resources and Corporate Services 2 DMO

References and notes

  1. Information about previous senior leaders can usually be found on the pages about the positions the current leaders occupy, or on pages pointed to by those pages.
  2. For example, Australia has had only three Field Marshals, two of which were honorary. None of them were appointed to Field Marshal to fulfill a military role, and the Duke of Edinburgh's appointment is purely ceremonial - he has never worn the uniform of an Australian Field Marshal.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 These positions are Statutory Appointments.
  4. Note that "Deputy Secretaries" are generally civilians - career senior public servants at "SES Band 3" level. "Chiefs" are generally three-star military personnel.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 DMO Leadership Team
  6. The CEO DMO is directly accountable to the Minister for DMO's performance, but is also accountable to the Secretary and CDF.
  7. Note that "First Assistant Secretaries" are generally civilians - career senior public servants at "SES Band 2" level. "Heads" and "Commanders" are generally two-star military personnel. Note, however, that is not always the case.
  8. Reports directly to the Minister of Defence.
  9. Directly responsible to CDF
  10. Reports directly to the Secretary and CDF
  11. Notable recent exceptions to the extension of contract are Peter Leahy, Chief of Army (Australia) 2002-2008, and Angus Houston, Chief of the Defence Force (Australia) 2005-2011. The Politicians are, of course, under a different regime.
  12. Gumley's fixed term contract was due to expire in February 2009. However, on 2 May 2008, in Ministerial Press Release 033/2008, The Minister for Defence, the Hon. Joel Fitzgibbon MP, and the Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Procurement, the Hon. Greg Combet MP, announced the ongoing employment of Dr Stephen Gumley as Chief Executive Officer, Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO). As approved by the Secretary of Defence, Mr Nick Warner, under the Public Service Act, Dr Gumley's employment status has moved from a fixed term to ongoing Australian Public Service (APS) employee status.

See also

External links

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