Williams Foundation


Williams Foundation Board

The Sir Richard Williams Foundation conducts its operations independently and has no political or industry ties.

The Foundation's activities are governed by its Board. The current Board is comprised of 11 former military leaders and security strategists. Members' business affiliations are listed in their biographies. Members are required to absent themselves from any discussion which might create a conflict of interest.

The Board welcomes participation from the broad cross-section of the Australian community. 

Air Marshal Geoff Brown AO (Retd)
Chair

Geoff Brown joined the RAAF in February 1980 after completing an Engineering degree.
 
He graduated from No.111 Pilots' Course in 1981 and was initially posted to 12SQN Amberley to fly Chinooks.  After three years at 12SQN he was posted to 2FTS Pearce and spent 18 months as a Flying Instructor before being posted to Central Flying School (CFS) East Sale in 1986.  While at CFS he was a member of the Roulettes aerobatic display team, from 1987-89.  He led the last Macchi team before they transitioned to the PC-9.

In 1990, he was posted to Williamtown for a Hornet conversion and then completed a short tour at 77SQN.  On promotion to SQNLDR in 1991, he was posted to 75SQN Tindal as a Flight Commander.  In 1993, Geoff was then posted to 77SQN as Executive Officer.  He completed RAAF Staff College in 1995 and was subsequently posted to Headquarters Air Command as Staff Officer Operational Evaluation.

From 1997 to 2000, Geoff Brown commanded No.3 Squadron.  He then completed F-111 conversion and assumed the position of Officer Commanding No.82 Wing in December 2000.  In 2003 he commanded all F/A-18 and C-130 operations in Operation Iraqi Freedom and was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia and a Legion of Merit for his service in the operation. 

He was Officer Commanding Airborne Early Warning and Control Systems Program Office from June 2003 until December 2004 and spent 2005 at the Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies. 
He then commanded Air Combat Group throughout 2006.  From Jan 2007 until Jun 2008 he was Director-General Capability Planning in Air Force Headquarters.  He was the Deputy Chief of Air Force from 30 June 2008 to 3 Jul 2011.

Air Marshal Brown was appointed Chief of Air Force on the 4 July 2011 and served in that role until July 2015. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) during his term as Chief of the Air Force.

He is currently Chairman of the Sir Richard Williams Foundation, Chairman of Advisory Board for CAE Asia/Pacific,  Director of Lockheed Martin Australia , Director of Electro-Optic Systems and Principal of GCB Stratos Consulting.

He lives in Canberra with his wife and his two sons.  His main sporting passion is Sailplane racing.

Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin AC (Ret'd)
Deputy Chair

Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin AC (Retd) is a highly decorated and respected senior executive and leader in the national security, defence and aerospace sectors, most recently as Chief of the Defence Force of Australia from 2014-2018, and earlier as Vice Chief of the Defence Force (2011-2014) and Chief of Air Force (2008-2011). He is currently Chair of the Australia Pacific Security College Advisory Board, Deputy Chair of the Airservices Board, Deputy Chair of the Sir Richard Williams Foundation, on the Boards of the Western City and Aerotroplis Authority and the Australian International Military Games (Invictus Games Sydney 2018), a member of the Governing Committee of the Temora Aviation Museum and is Non-Executive Director Defence and National Security Policy with BAE Systems Australia.

As Chief of Defence, Air Chief Marshal Binskin (Retd) successfully led the Australian Defence Force, comprising 80,000 permanent and reserve personnel, to significantly improve capabilities and responses to major global events and championed organisational change across areas of national security, culture, diversity and leadership performance. He oversaw the First Principles Review of Defence and delivered the successful implementation of the One Defence approach.

Air Chief Marshal Binskin (Retd) has provided specialist advice to the highest levels of governments, industry leaders and international stakeholders and his aerospace knowledge and expertise is extensive. He has over 3,500 hours in single seat fighter aircraft including the A-4G Skyhawk, Mirage 111O, F-16C and F/A-18 Hornet, and continues to be active in general aviation, is a warbird owner and holds Commercial, Remote and Recreational Aviation Australia pilot licences.

Air Chief Marshal Binskin (Retd) has completed the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program, is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society.

 

Vice Admiral Tim Barrett AO, CSC (Ret'd)
Director

Vice Admiral Barrett joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1976 as a Seaman Officer and later specialised in aviation. He assumed command of the Royal Australian Navy on 1 July 2014 and remained in this position until 6 July 2018.

A dual-qualified officer, Vice Admiral Barrett served in Her Majesty's Australian (HMA) Ships Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane and HMS Orkney as a Seaman Officer and then as Flight Commander in HMA Ships Stalwart, Adelaide and Canberra. His staff appointments include Deputy Director Air Warfare Development, Director Naval Officer's Postings and Director General of Defence Force Recruiting.

Vice Admiral Barrett has served as Commanding Officer 817 Squadron, Commanding Officer HMAS Albatross, Commander Australian Navy Aviation Group, Commander Border Protection Command and as Commander Australian Fleet.

Vice Admiral Barrett was awarded a Conspicuous Service Cross in 2006 for outstanding performance as Commanding Officer HMAS Albatross and as Chief of Staff Navy Aviation Force Element Group Headquarters. Vice Admiral Barrett was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia in 2009 and subsequently promoted to Officer of the Order of Australia in 2014 for his leadership of Border Protection Command and the Australian Fleet.

Vice Admiral Barrett holds a Bachelor of Arts in Politics and History and a Masters of Defence Studies, both from the University of New South Wales, and has completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School. He recently published ‘The Navy and the Nation: Australia's Maritime Power in the 21st Century’ in which he outlines the extensive opportunities for Navy and Australia as steps are taken to implement the planned investment in naval capability outlined in the Defence White Paper 2016 and the National Shipbuilding Plan over the coming decades.

Vice Admiral Barrett and his wife, Jenny, have two daughters.

John Conway
Director

John is the Managing Partner of Felix, a Not-for-profit company providing specialist decision support services to the Australian Defence community. He is the Publisher of the Australian Defence Business Review (ADBR), an independent platform established to enable communication across Defence, industry, academia, and Government. He was previously a business development and strategy executive with Raytheon Australia specialising in air combat integration, electronic warfare, advanced weapons systems, test and training ranges, and integrated air and missile defence.

John retired from the Royal Air Force as a Group Captain in 2010 having served 24 years in a number flying, staff and senior command roles. His operational experience on F4 Phantom and Tornado F3 aircraft included Cold War Europe, the South Atlantic, the Balkans, and the Middle East. He commanded the United Kingdom’s largest Permanent Joint Operating Base at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus between 2005 and 2008 enabling the airbridge into Iraq and Afghanistan, and supporting strategic ISR operations in the eastern Mediterranean. He attended the United States Marine Corps Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course and the Australian Advanced Command and Staff Course.


Air Vice-Marshal Chris Deeble AM CSC (retd'd)
Director

Chris Deeble is Chief Executive, Northrop Grumman Australia.

Deeble is responsible for supporting the company’s longstanding programs in Australia, as well as exploring new business pursuits. He reports to the company’s chief global business officer.

Prior to joining Northrop Grumman, Deeble worked for Airservices Australia as the program executive for OneSKY, responsible for delivering the Civil Military Air Traffic Management System for Australia. As the program executive, he led a joint Airservices and Defence team in managing the acquisition and delivering the infrastructure of the most complex, world-leading air traffic management system.

Previously, Deeble served for 37 years in the Australian Defence Force, most notably as an Air Vice-Marshal. As a senior program manager in the Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group, he managed over $25 billion of complex acquisition and sustainment programs. These programs included the Joint Strike Fighter, Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning and Control, Multi Role Tanker Transport and Collins Class Submarine. His performance in leading these significant programs was recognized in 2016 when he was awarded the Officer of the Order of Australia (AO).

Prior to serving as Air Vice-Marshal, Deeble undertook senior roles in Air Force capability management and aerospace development. As the Director General Aerospace Development, Deeble was responsible for leading the development of submissions to the Australian government for all joint aerospace capability. As a result of his efforts, he was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross (CSC) in 2007.

Deeble earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Sydney, New South Wales.

Major General Fergus "Gus" McLachlan AO (Ret'd)
Director

 Gus McLachlan commenced his career at the Royal Military College, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1985. He completed his 37-year career with the Australian Army, retiring as a Major General in December 2018.

On leaving the military, Gus McLachlan was appointed Adjunct Professor at Monash University where he advises on Defence research. He is a Director of the Williams Foundation, a National Security “Think Tank” and is on the Board of US and Australian Defence technology companies.

Gus McLachlan has been responsible for generating Australian Defence capability in cyber space, electronic warfare and command and control systems. He completed two years as Head of Army Modernisation, during which time he worked closely with industry to commence a major recapitalisation of Army equipment and to network the systems of the Army.

Gus McLachlan’s military career concluded after he led Land Forces Command where he was responsible for 35,000 women and men of the Army. He led a major structural transformation of the command in order to field new cyber and electronic warfare capacity.

In January of 2020 he commenced his current role as Head of People for Boral Australia.

Gus was made an Officer in the Order or Australia (AO) for his contribution to Army Modernisation.


Group Captain David Millar

Secretary

David (Doc) Millar is a Reserve Officer employed in Information Warfare Division, and also employed at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI). He retired from the RAAF in 2017 as a Group Captain after 35 years’ service. Prior to his retirement, he held positions as Director of Military Strategic Futures in Strategic Policy Division, Director of Targeting, and Director of Operations AFHQ. He has also served on the Air Staff in the Australian Embassy in Washington. In 2008 he deployed to Headquarters Multi National Forces Iraq. His flying career included C-130E, Learjet, and all variants of the F-111.

He is originally from Melbourne and graduated from La Trobe University with a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in 1980 before joining the Air Force in 1982.

Doc’s interests include Scuba, photography, skiing, aviation and antiquarian literature. He is a member of the Old Melburnians, the United Service Club, and the Cave Diving Association of Australia.


Ken Moore

Treasurer

 Ken had an extensive career in the Australian Public Service with the Department of Defence. His last appointment was as the Defence Chief Finance Officer (Deputy Secretary level). Prior to the CFO position, Ken held a number of other senior management appointments in Defence including Head of National Operations Division that was responsible for the management and delivery of a large range of services to all Defence bases across Australia.

After leaving the APS, Ken worked for a number of years with the ACT Government as the Chief Executive Officer of Rhodium Asset Solutions (the Government’s vehicle leasing company) and Executive Director Shared Services ICT.

Ken holds a number of appointments:

  • Independent Member, Client Services Committee, Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Independent Chair, Audit Committee, Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions
  • Independent Member, Audit Committee, Transport Canberra and City Services, ACT Government
  • Board Member and Treasurer Sir Richard Williams Foundation

Ken has tertiary qualifications in economics and accounting. He is a Fellow of CPA Australia and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Ken is also a graduate of the Advanced Management Program at the INSEAD Business School in France and the Senior Defence Resource Management Program at the US Navy Postgraduate School in California.

Nicole Quinn

Director

Nicole Quinn is the principle of Quinntessential GR, a government relations advisory firm based in Canberra. She has with over 20 years’ experience in advocacy and stakeholders engagement including working for federal ministers/parliamentarians. Prior to establishing her own firm Nicole was Director of Government Relations for Parker and Partners (part of opr Agency) and headed up the Canberra office. Her advocacy clients included American Express, Roche, MARS, 3M, Caltex, Seeing Machines and Tresillian. She also provided communication/stakeholder advice for the ATO, Digital Health Agency, Queensland government and DVA. Nicole was the General Manager of the regional security think tank the Institute for Regional Security, National Convenor for Defence Families of Australia and has held communication, marketing and membership roles in both the private and public sector. Nicole is also a board member of the Australian Chiropractors Association.

Air Vice-Marshal Brian Weston (Retd)

Director

Brian Weston underwent flying training in the UK on the Jet Provost and the Hawker Hunter. He flew with Nos 3, 76 and 77 Squadrons, is a graduate of the fighter combat instructor course, commanded No 75 Squadron, commanded Base Squadron RAAF Base Richmond and was Commander, Tactical Fighter Group, having flown tours on the Avon Sabre, Mirage 111O and F/A-18.

A graduate of the USAF, Air Warfare College and the Royal College of Defence Studies, he conducted the Post Implementation Review of the Defence Regional Support arrangements of the Australian Defence Force in 1993. In July 1997, on completion of his appointment as Assistant Chief of Defence Force for Operations, he transferred to the RAAF Reserve.

Following the Black Hawk mid-air collision, he and John Faulkner - Deputy Chair of Air Services Australia - conducted an Independent Review of ADF Airworthiness.

Subsequently his appointments have included: Executive Director Defence Industries of Australian Business Limited; Executive Director of the Association of Australian Aerospace Industries; inaugural ‘Industry Chair’ of the Defence Capability Advisory Forum; and a member of the Defence and Industry Advisory Council.

He has worked with Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, P&O Services and with Allied Technology Group; and was a non-executive director of National Air Support, operating the Coastwatch fleet of aircraft. He chaired the SAI Global Certification Board from 2002 to 2014.

He has published a range of commentaries including for the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, the RAAF Aerospace Centre, the Sir Richard Williams Foundation and the RAAF Air Power Development Centre. He was a visiting fellow at the Aerospace, Mechanical and Civil Engineering School at UNSW@ADFA from 2005 to 2012. His interests include racing historic sports cars.

Katherine Ziesing
Director

Katherine is the Managing Editor, Australian Defence Magazine Group

Katherine joined the ADM team in 2006 as a staff writer and was appointed editor in Canberra at the beginning of 2008. She took on the expanded role of Managing Editor of Yaffa Media’s ADM Group at the beginning of 2018 upon the retirement of ADM’s founder and publisher Judy Hinz.

While she has a background in business journalism and economics, she has also completed a Masters of Strategy and Policy at the University of New South Wales at the Australian Defence Force Academy, graduating in 2010. She was a member of the Defence Industry Study Course (DISC) in 2017.

Katherine is also a board member of the Sir Richard Williams Foundation, a strategic think tank on Air Power and Defence issues and has served as a committee member of the Submarine Institute of Australia. She is a founding member of the Defence and National Security Media Association, a group of Australia’s leading Defence and National Security journalists.


The Williams Foundation, PO Box 5214, KINGSTON ACT 2604

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