Rear Admiral Lee Goddard

RADM Goddard

Rear Admiral Lee Goddard CSC was promoted to his current rank in 2019 and following a 34-year fulltime career he transferred to the Active Reserve in early 2021 to join Australia’s leading impact philanthropy, the Minderoo Foundation.

Prior to his transfer he was dual appointed as the Commander Maritime Border Command and Commander Operation Sovereign Borders.  Prior to these appointments he was seconded into the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet for two years as an Assistant Secretary during 2017-2018.

Lee Goddard joined the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) in 1987 from Melbourne through the Australian Defence Force Academy where he completed his degree studies graduating with a Bachelor of Science in 1989. In his final year he was appointed as the first naval Academy Cadet Captain and was awarded the RSL Sword of Leadership on graduation. In the following year while completing Seaman Officer training at the RAN College (Jervis Bay) in 1990 he was appointed College Captain and awarded the Queen’s Medal.

Throughout his career he has served at sea in Australian, Canadian, Malaysian and US Navy warships, and on operations in the Middle East and Border Protection. He gained his Bridge Watchkeeping Certificate in early 1992 while serving on exchange with the Canadian Navy, in HMCS Yukon based in Victoria, British Colombia. Later in 1993-1995 he served as a Watch/Executive Officer onboard Australia’s national tall ship STS Young Endeavour and he has been posted overseas to Canada, Malaysia, Bahrain and the USA.

In 1996 he completed the RAN Principal Warfare Officer’s course where as dux he was awarded both the Sydney-Emden prize and the RAN Sword of Excellence. He was a member of the commissioning crews of the Anzac Class frigates HMAS Arunta (Warfare Officer) during 1997-1999 and HMAS Stuart (Executive Officer) during 2001-2003. During 2006-2008 he commanded the Anzac Class frigate, HMAS Parramatta, and the ship was awarded the Duke of Gloucester's Cup in late 2008. He was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross (CSC), on Australia Day 2007, for service as the Commander Operations in the maritime component of Joint Operations Command. Following on from his first sea command in 2008 he was appointed Commander Sea Training.

In 2009 he was posted as an inaugural member of the ‘New Generation Navy’ Team, as the Director Transformation & Innovation working closely with the Nous Group that reported directly to the Chief of Navy. He was then selected to attend the US Naval War College in Newport Rhode Island, where he joined the Naval Command College, graduating in June 2010 and was awarded the War College’s International Leadership Prize. He was subsequently asked to remain at the War College as an International Fellow, teaching within the Department of Strategy and Policy at the Masters level.

On his return to Australia in early 2011 he was appointed as the Director Military Strategic Commitments at the Australian Defence Headquarters, working within the strategic level of Defence and across Government. He returned to sea in late 2012 to assume command of the upgraded Anzac Class warship HMAS Perth, that included the seminal ASMD supersonics missile firings and senior RAN ship duties during the 2013 Fleet Review. On promotion to commodore in late 2014 he assumed the role of Commander Surface Forces, responsible for 18 Major Fleet Units and the introduction into service of the Canberra Class LHD and Hobart Class DDG.

Rear Admiral Goddard was awarded a Master of Arts (International Relations) in 1996, is a former Vice President of the Australian Naval Institute council and has previously served as a Councillor with the Australian Institute of International Affairs. He has contributed to a range of professional and academic journals focused on international affairs and security issues. His personal interests evolve around family, sport and sailing.