Commander Melanie Verho

CMDR Melanie Verho

Commander Melanie Verho was born in Tasmania and joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1990 through the Australian Defence Force Academy. She graduated in 1992 with a Bachelor of Arts degree and commenced Seaman Officer training the following year.

As a trainee, Commander Verho served in HMA Ships Jervis Bay, Derwent, Darwin, Gladstone and Canberra, and was awarded her Bridge Watchkeeping Certificate in 1997, consolidating as an Officer of the Watch in Canberra, Anzac and Adelaide. She later served in Geraldton (Executive Officer) and Warramunga (Navigating Officer).

Commander Verho attained a career milestone in 2005 appointed as the Commanding Officer of the Landing Craft Heavy HMAS Labuan. This appointment included operational service in Timor-Leste (Operation ASTUTE) in 2006. She later commanded the Armidale Class Patrol Boat Crew Attack Five spending the majority of her command assigned to Border Protection with a short respite to participate in the International Fleet Review on Sydney Harbour in October 2013. In 2015, the crew was awarded a Chief of Joint Operations Group Commendation for their outstanding efforts in saving the lives of hundreds of people during July 2013 while assigned to Border Protection duties.

Commander Verho attended Australian Command and Staff College in 2008 and throughout the course of her studies, attained a Graduate Certificate in Maritime Studies and Graduate Diploma of Strategy in Defence Studies. Throughout her career Commander Verho has served in a number of states and territories in a variety of Navy staff roles from Joint Amphibious Capability Implementation to Visit Liaison, Training Coordination and many between. She has also undertaken a number of joint staff postings including Headquarters Joint Operations Command and Headquarters Northern Command (twice).

Throughout her career Commander Verho has been awarded the Australian Service Medal (Timor Leste), Operational Service Medal (Border Protection), Defence Long Service Medal (with first and second clasps), the Australian Defence Medal, a Bronze ADF Commendation (awarded by COMNORCOM) and Gold ADF Group Commendation (awarded by CJOPS). She was substantively promoted to the rank of Commander in January 2013.

Commander Verho spent two years in the ‘Cradle of the Navy’ as Executive Officer HMAS Cerberus before moving west as the OIC of the FFH Support Team. She assumed command of the Auxiliary Oiler HMAS Sirius in December 2017.