Commander Mark McConnell

CMDR Mark McConnell

Commander Mark McConnell was born in Murwillumbah, New South Wales and joined the Royal Australian Navy as a Junior Recruit in July 1977. He completed category training as a Writer in 1978 and subsequently served in HMA Ships Perth, Brisbane, Parramatta and for a period served onboard HMY Britannia. He also served at Naval Establishments HMAS Platypus, Kuttabul, Cerberus, Harman and Moreton.

In 1991 Petty Officer McConnell was selected for commissioned rank. On completion of initial Officer training at the Royal Australian Naval College, Sub-Lieutenant McConnell commenced specialist training as a Supply Officer. Whilst at HMAS Cerberus in an instructor role, Sub Lieutenant McConnell was responsible for aligning with state regulation the first Defence Child Care Centre. In 1992 Lieutenant McConnell was posted to the commissioning crew of HMAS Melbourne as the Deputy Supply Officer and was responsible for the commissioning into service of this platform. In 1994, posted as Staff Officer Personnel at Defence Centre Melbourne, Lieutenant McConnell was also appointed as the Chairman of Navy Week Victoria.

Since receiving his commission, he has served in a broad range of postings to Staff roles including to the Director General Personnel Management and Assistant Secretary Fleet Commander. Promoted to Lieutenant Commander in 1997 and then in 2000, upon receiving his charge qualification, was posted as the Supply Officer HMAS Melbourne and from there appointed as the Deputy Fleet Supply Officer and a member of the National Sea Training Group.

In 2003 Lieutenant Commander McConnell transferred to the Reserves and was appointed as the Manager of Household Operations to the Governor General of the Commonwealth of Australia. Mark was responsible for the management of the two official residences (Government House, Yarralumla and Admiralty House, Kirribilli) and served Governors’ General; The Right Reverend Dr Peter Hollingworth AC OBE, Major General Michael Jeffery AC, CVO MC and Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO.

In 2012 Lieutenant Commander McConnell, as a reservist, undertook a pilot program focused on the management of personnel with multifaceted issues. This pilot program was subsequently formalised and in May 2012 a national agency was established known as the Personnel Support Unit. Lieutenant Commander McConnell was subsequently appointed as Commander Personnel Support Unit Australia which has seen this organisation significantly contribute to the management and wellbeing of personnel and the operational capability of Navy. Lieutenant Commander McConnell was promoted to Commander in January 2014.

Commander McConnell assumed command of HMAS Moreton in June 2016.