Lieutenant Commander Ashleigh Payne

LCDR Ashleigh Payne

Lieutenant Commander Ashleigh Payne was born in Sydney, New South Wales and joined the Royal Australian Navy in 2004. After initial sea training in HMAS Ipswich she completed a Bachelor of Science at the Australian Defence Force Academy between 2005-07.

Returning to the fleet in 2008 she continued Maritime Warfare Officer training in HMA Ships Armidale and Bathurst. Lieutentant Commander Payne posted to HMAS Darwin for award of her Bridge Warfare Certificate in 2010 and completed a posting as the Communications Officer once qualified. 

A short posting to Surface Force as Staff Officer to the Commodore Surface Force preceded completion of the Intermediate Navigation Course. Between 2011-13, she held duties as Executive Officer/Navigator Ardent Two in HMA Ships Bundaberg and Childers

Lieutentant Commander Payne then completed a two year exchange with the Royal New Zealand Navy between 2013-15 primarily as Navigator HMNZS Canterbury and Executive Officer HMNZS Wellington. This busy exchange posting included her career highlight of deploying to the Southern Ocean/Ross Sea on Operation CASTLE. 

In 2016, Lieutentant Commander Payne took a career break to read for a Masters of Philosophy at Trinity College Dublin. During this year of study she also had the opportunity to travel widely and represent Ireland at the European championships of Australian Rules Football. 

On return to Australia she navigated HMAS Melbourne before completing Principal Warfare Officer’s course and Advanced Navigation. She completed a posting as Operations Officer/Navigator in HMAS Sirius before being selected for command of HMAS Bathurst (II), which she commenced in December 2019.