Senior Leadership Group

Chief of Navy

VADM Tim Barrett

Vice Admiral Tim Barrett

Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, AO, CSC, RAN joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1976 as a Seaman Officer and later specialised in aviation. A dual-qualified officer, Vice Admiral Barrett served in Her...

The Chief of Navy is the most senior appointment in the Royal Australian Navy, responsible to the Chief of the Defence Force (CDF) and the Secretary of Defence. The rank associated with the position is Vice Admiral (3-star).

Public speeches given by the Chief Of Navy are now available in PDF format.

Previous Chiefs of Navy


Deputy Chief of Navy and Head Navy People Training and Resources

RADM Michael Noonan

Rear Admiral Michael Joseph Noonan

Michael 'Mike' Noonan, joined the Royal Australian Naval College in 1984 and graduated in 1986 with a Diploma of Applied Science. He trained as a seaman officer and in due course became a Principal...

The Deputy Chief of Navy (DCN) is the second most senior appointment in the Royal Australian Navy, responsible to the Chief of Navy (CN). The rank associated with the position is Rear Admiral (2-star).

DCN/HNPTAR has two parallel sets of responsibilities. First, as the manager of Navy Strategic Command they are responsible for the alignment of accountability, responsibility, performance and resource management within the RAN. Second they are responsible for managing the Navy’s uniformed integrated workforce (both permanent and reserve personnel) and members of the Australian Public Service. Commodore Training (COMTRAIN) reports to DCN and is responsible for individual and ship level training.

Previous Deputy Chiefs of Navy


Commander Australian Fleet

RADM Stuart Mayer

Rear Admiral Stuart Campbell Mayer

Stuart Campbell Mayer joined the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) in 1984 and commenced training as a Seaman Officer. He gained his bridge watch-keeping certificates in the patrol boat HMAS Gladstone...

Commander Australian Fleet (COMAUSFLT), also referred to as Fleet Commander, is a senior appointment in the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), holding full command of all Navy combat forces and responsibility for all maritime operations within the Australian Defence Force (ADF). The rank associated with the position is Rear Admiral (2-star).

The title first came into use in 2007. Previous titles for the position since 1913 have been:

  • Rear Admiral Commanding HM Australian Fleet (1913–1926),
  • Rear Admiral Commanding HM Australian Squadron (1926–1949),
  • Flag Officer Commanding HM Australian Fleet (1949–1988, regularly abbreviated as FOCAF), and
  • Maritime Commander Australia (1988–2007 - MCAUST).

The Fleet Commander is the primary operations advisor to the Chief of Navy. Additionally CN has delegated full command of all of the RAN’s ships, submarines, aircraft squadrons, diving teams and shore establishments to the Fleet Commander, who is responsible for force generation. This includes the group and joint collective training of fleet units and overseeing the maintenance and support of ships, aircraft and other equipment, to enable the fleet to reach and maintain required levels of readiness.

The Fleet Commander exercises command of shore establishments through Commander Shore Force (COMSHORE) and delegates operational command of units to the various force commanders. Operational control of fleet units will usually be delegated to the Director General Maritime Operations (DGMAROPS), with tactical command either held by DGMAROPS or delegated to Commodore Warfare (COMWAR), a subordinate tactical warfare commander, a nominated Commander Task Group (CTG) or ship’s commanding officer, depending on circumstances.

When naval forces are needed for joint, multinational or other specific operations CDF will direct the Chief of Navy to assign those forces to CJOPS. At all other times these forces will be available for training, and other activities, as directed by the Fleet Commander. Within Fleet Command, responsibilities are delegated to a number of senior officers. These are:

  • Director General Maritime Operations (DGMAROPS)
  • Commodore Warfare (COMWAR)
  • Force Commanders.

Previous Commanders Australian Fleet


Head of Navy Capability

Rear Admiral Peter Quinn

Peter Michael Quinn CSC, RAN, joined the Royal Australian Navy as a warfare officer in 1983 from Mackay, Queensland. Following initial training at the Royal Australian Naval College HMAS Creswell, he...

Head Navy Capability is responsible for implementation of both current and future Navy capability, including all Navy programs/projects (both major and minor) from concept through to acquisition, in service use and ultimately disposal of the system. The rank associated with the position is Rear Admiral (2-star).

Previous Heads Navy Capability


Head Navy Engineering

RADM Colin Lawrence

Rear Admiral Colin John Lawrence

Colin John Lawrence joined the Royal Australian Navy in January 1986 as part of the inaugural first year intake into the Australian Defence Force Academy in Canberra. He graduated with a Bachelor...

Head Navy Engineering is responsible to CN for Naval engineering and maintenance discipline upkeep, Navy safety management governance, Fleet Support Unit strategic management; and the design, implementation and upkeep of the Defence Seaworthiness Management System. The rank associated with the position is Rear Admiral (2-star).

As Head of Navy Engineering:

  • set strategic direction, policies, standards and specifications that result in the delivery of seaworthy material;
  • articulate requirements for people, processes and organisation that support the delivery of seaworthy material;
  • define material certification requirements and policy;
  • oversee an independent function to assure the delivery of seaworthy materiel;
  • oversight the management and operations of the Fleet Support Unit (Australia); and
  • develop and promulgate guidance to ensure the wider Navy understands its role in the delivery and maintenance of seaworthy material.

As Naval Flag Administrator:

  • set strategic direction, policies, standards and specifications for the Seaworthiness Management System on behalf of the Defence Seaworthiness Authority;
  • define requirements for people, processes and organisation that support the delivery of the outcomes of Seaworthiness Management;
  • define ship and submarine certification and licensing policy;
  • oversee an independent function to assure the effective and efficient operation of the Seaworthiness Management System; and
  • represent Navy in the Defence Work Health & Safety Committee.

Previous Heads Navy Engineering


Warrant Officer of the Navy

WO-N Gary Wight

Warrant Officer Gary Wight

Warrant Officer Gary Wight was born in Liverpool, NSW on 21 September 1968. He joined the Royal Australian Navy in January 1987, as a Radio Operator from Sydney, Australia. After completing category...

The Warrant Officer of the Navy (WON), is responsible to the Chief of Navy (CN), and as the most senior ranking sailor in the Navy is entitled to exercise command over all other Sailors in the RAN. The WON is a member of the personal staff of the CN and as such, operates from the office of the CN and is a member of Chief of Navy's Senior Advisory Committee (CNSAC). The WON's primary duty is to represent to CN and others the solicited and unsolicited views, concerns and opinions of Sailors, which affect the Navy as a whole. In addition, the WON is responsible for:

  • assisting in the overall maintenance of discipline and morale of Sailors in the RAN;
  • providing input as necessary to ad hoc reviews/inquiries;
  • channelling feedback to Navy Headquarters Directorates;
  • representing Sailors on standing committees;
  • advising any Officer seeking advice on matters relating to Sailors in general; and
  • the management of all Warrant Officer positions as the Rank Sponsor.

WON provides administrative advice and input to the CN of any need to review regulations or conditions of service, monitors the effectiveness of the Divisional System, and guides Warrant Officers and Senior Sailors Messes on matters of administration, and protocol. He maintains a close working relationship with the Regimental Sergeant Major of the Army and the Warrant Officer of the Air Force.

Either by invitation alone or in company with the CN (or representatives) the WON is the senior non-commissioned representative of personnel at significant ceremonial occasions, appropriate functions and civil receptions. In addition to being a permanent member of formal advisory groups and councils, WON is also a Director on the Boards of Navy Health Pty. Ltd.

Previous Warrant Officers of the Navy