Commander Ali Withers

CMDR Ali Withers

Commander Ali Withers grew up in Melbourne and joined the Royal Australian Navy in 2002. She attended the Australian Defence Force Academy and graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Mathematics and Oceanography). She also holds a Masters of Military and Defence Studies from the Australian National University.

Over the years, she has qualified as an Officer of the Watch, an Air Intercept Controller (AIC) and a Principle Warfare Officer (Air) and has conducted numerous operational deployments, including Operations SLIPPER and RESOLUTE, and major exercises including RIMPAC, Talisman Sabre and the Royal Canadian Navy’s International Fleet Review. During this time she served in HMA Ships Canberra (II), Melville, Ipswich (II), Sydney (IV) and Newcastle.

In June 2014, she assumed Command of HMAS Maitland, an Armidale Class Patrol Boat based in Darwin, where for two years, she led her crew conducting Border Protection roles in the northern approaches to Australia. In 2016 she became the Fleet Direction Officer for Sea Training Group before proceeding to the Australian Command and Staff College in 2019.

In 2020, she was the Personal Staff Officer to the Deputy Chief of Navy, and took up the position of current operations planner for the South West Pacific in Headquarters Joint Operations Command the following year.

Commander Withers assumed Command of the Royal Australian Navy Recruit School in December 2021.