Rear Admiral Mark Purcell

RADM Purcell Official Portrait

Mark Purcell joined the Royal Australian Naval College as a Midshipman in January 1985 from his hometown of Canberra. He graduated from the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) with a double degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in 1989. In 1996 he completed a Master of Science in Military Electronic Systems Engineering from the Royal Military College of Science in the UK.

In 2001 he graduated from the inaugural Australian Command and Staff Course at Weston Creek and University of Canberra with a Master of Management in Defence Studies, which, with further study, was subsequently upgraded to a Master of Business Administration.  

After commissioning, sea postings included tours with HMA Ships Canberra, Adelaide, Perth and Melbourne. He also served as the Weapons Electrical Engineering Officer in HMAS Sydney from 1999-2000, during which time the ship served in East Timor as part of the International Force East Timor (INTERFET).

Shore postings have included roles in the Combat Data Systems Centre, Naval Materiel Division and Maritime Headquarters where he led the Fleet Information Systems Support Organisation.  During 2005-2007 he served on exchange in the United Kingdom (Royal Navy) as the Command Battlespace Management Program Manager, leading the Joint Command and Control Support Program.

In the wider Defence organisation, Rear Admiral Purcell has served as a Project Director in the Defence Materiel Organisation (Project SEA 1442 - Maritime Communications and Information Management Architecture Modernisation). In 2009 he was appointed to the role of Chief Architect and Director-General Sourcing Reform in the Chief Information Officer Group.

In March 2011, Rear Admiral Purcell was appointed as Head Navy Engineering. He held this position until July 2011, where he was appointed as Head of the Rizzo Reform Program. Whilst in this role he was responsible for implementing the Plan to Reform Support Ship Repair and Management Practices, which had arisen from the Rizzo Review. The Reform Program aims to change the culture, practices and processes in ship repair and management within Defence.

On 3 December 2012 he was promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral, and appointed as Head Maritime Systems within the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO)/Capability Acquistion & Sustainment Group (CASG). He was the first ADFA graduate to be promoted to Rear Admiral and in the Queens Birthday Honours List 2016 he was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for exceptional service as Head of the Rizzo Reform Program and Head of Defence Maritime Systems. Mark Purcell retired from the RAN in 2016 and later became the Senior Vice President of Fincantieri Australia.