Captain Fiona Sneath

CAPT Fiona Sneath

Captain Fiona Sneath, RAN was born in Sydney, NSW. She commenced her career as an Australian Federal Police (AFP) officer in 1986 and during her time with the AFP obtained her initial qualifications in law. She joined the RAN in 1994 as a Direct Entry Legal Officer.

Fiona has experienced a wide range of postings as an ADF Legal Officer, including at training institutions (HMAS Cerberus and the Australian Defence Force Academy); as the Deputy Registrar of the former Australian Military Court; the Chief Legal Advisor Navy Headquarters, and in directorates in Defence Legal, Canberra. She has deployed on Operations CATALYST (twice) and SLIPPER in the Middle East and was awarded a Commander Joint Operations Gold Commendation for her performance as a legal officer on operations. Fiona has been seconded to the NSW Police Prosecutors Branch and the Office of the Commonwealth Defence Force Ombudsman; and undertaken duties as Counsel Assisting Defence Boards and Commissions of Inquiry. She also worked as a Legal Officer at the former National Crime Authority for a period of two years.

From September 2011 to December 2014, Fiona was the Staff Legal advisor to the Chief of the Defence Force. During that time she advised the CDF on a diverse range of matters including the implementation of cultural reviews such as the Australian Human Rights Commission Review into the Treatment of Women in the ADF, responses to sexual offences and allegations of abuse within Defence, combat deaths, complex personnel disputes and reforms to the military justice system.

On promotion to Captain in 2015, Fiona commenced duty as the Director Military Law Centre/Deputy Director Asia Pacific Centre for Military Law. In that position she was responsible for managing and delivering legal training requirements for ADF Legal Officers and military justice training for general officers. She also contributed to ADF regional engagement and promotion of the rule of law in the Asia Pacific region through the design and delivery of operations law and related courses for Australian and foreign military officers in Australia and the wider region.

Fiona’s tertiary qualifications include Master of Laws (University of Sydney); Master of Studies in International Human Rights Law (University of Oxford); Australian Command and Staff College (PSC(J)); Graduate Diploma of Management in Defence Studies (ACSC); Graduate Certificate in Maritime Studies (University of Wollongong); and Graduate Certificate in Dispute Resolution (Charles Sturt University).