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PATRONS:

Vice Admiral David John Shackleton Chief of Navy (1999 - 2002) David Shackleton was born in Leeds, UK on 2 March 1948, and joined the RAN in 1966. He served almost continuously at sea from 1967 to 1979 in a range of HMA Ships, as well as undergoing training in the United States and on exchange service with the Royal Navy. He saw service in Vietnam on board HMAS Perth while qualifying as a seaman officer, and subsequently qualified as a warfare officer, specialising in combat systems and aircraft direction. While in command of HMAS Brisbane in 1992 he led a major RAN Task Group deployment to Southeast Asia. His shore and staff postings have included being a member of the Directing Staff of the RAN Staff College, Project Director for acquisition of the Maritime Intelligence Centre, Director of Operational Requirements for the JORN radar system, and the inaugural Chief Staff Officer C3I to the Maritime Commander. In 1993 he was appointed Director General, Naval Policy and Warfare, responsible for development and coordination of strategic policy for the RAN. Commodore Shackleton joined the Defence Acquisition Organisation in September 1996 as Director General, Information Management. Following the Defence Reform Program, in July 1997, he become the first Director General, Command and Support Systems, responsible for development and acquisition of all of Defence's major command and intelligence information support systems and major operational headquarters. On promotion to Rear Admiral in July 1998, he took up the position of Head, Capability Development, with responsibilities for sponsoring all new major capital equipment requirements initiatives for the Australian Defence Force. He was promoted Vice Admiral and appointed Chief of Navy in July 1999. Vice Admiral David Shackleton retired from the Royal Australian Navy on 2 July 2002.
Rear Admiral Raydon William Gates Commander Australian Fleet (2002 - 2004) Raydon Gates entered the Royal Australian Naval College in 1972 as a senior entry Midshipman and graduated in 1974. His early career was spent primarily at sea serving in more than 15 ships with two postings to the United Kingdom for specialist warfare training. His sea service culminated with the command of the guided missile frigates HMAS Canberra in 1991-93 and HMAS Adelaide 1995-97. He was awarded the Conspicuous Service Medal (CSM) for his command of Canberra during an operational deployment to the Middle East, enforcing United Nations sanctions against Iraq. He was awarded the French Order of Maritime Merit for his command of Adelaide during the Southern Ocean rescue of the stricken Vendee Globe yachtsman, Thierry Dubois and Tony Bullimore. His shore postings have included operational and personnel positions in Sydney and Canberra in various headquarters. Rear Admiral Gates has been awarded a Masters Degree in Business Administration, a Graduate Diploma in Strategic Studies, and a Diploma of Company Directorship. He is a graduate of a number of strategic leadership management programs from Mt Eliza Management College, Australian Graduate School of Management, Oxford University and Harvard University. He was promoted to Rear Admiral in January 2001 and appointed as the inaugural Commander of the Australian Defence College in Canberra, responsible for joint staff training of officers from O-1 to the O-6 rank levels. He was Maritime Commander Australia July 2002 to June 2004 responsible for the entire Australian Fleet. He commanded the Fleet during the Iraq War and the continuing Global War on Terror. He was appointed an Officer in the Order of Australia in the 2005 Australia Day Honours List for his distinguished service as a Flag Officer. Rear Admiral Gates was accredited as the Australian Defence Attaché and Head Australian Defence Staff (Washington) from August 2004 to July 2008. He was awarded the United States Legion of Merit for meritorious service as the Defence Attaché. Rear Admiral Gates retired from the Royal Australian Navy in November 2008 after a career of 37 years.