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Decorated Navy pilot appointed Services Member of the Repatriation Commission

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News Release

A Navy pilot, decorated for service in Vietnam, will be the next Services Member of the Repatriation Commission.

Rear Admiral Neil Ralph AO DSC, was Chosen for the position from a number of ex­ service nominees.

The full-time appointment, made by the Governor General Mr Bill Hayden on the advice of the Executive Council and the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, will be for three years from 25 May 1989.

In welcoming the appointment, the Minister for Veterans' Affairs said that Rear Admiral Ralph, 56, was chosen from among some very highly qualified people.

"Rear Admiral Ralph, a Vietnam veteran awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and more recently Deputy Chief of the Naval Staff, has excellent qualifications for the position of Services Member of the Repatriation Commission," the Minister said.

"The three-member Commission is responsible for the administration of the Veterans' Entitlements Act, the granting of pensions, allowances and benefits to eligible veterans and members of their families, providing treatment and other services through its hospitals and other facilities.

"He will bring with him to the position of Services Member, practical experience as a _ . veteran and as a serving member of the Australian Forces. He also has wide experience in administration.

"Rear Admiral Ralph, married with four children joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1952. He was commissioned as a Fleet Air Arm Officer on 28 Julyl953 and has served on the staff o f the Royal Naval Staff College, London. He was the first director of the RAN Staff College HMAS Penguin and served in Vietnam. Rear Admiral Ralph was Executive Officer HMAS Sydney and Commanding Officer HMAS Albatross and naval Officer in Charge of Jervis Bay.

"In 1985 he was appointed to the position of Deputy Chief of the Naval Staff and promoted to Rear Admiral. In the Australia Day Honours List in 1987 he was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for his service as Deputy Chief of the Naval Staff. Rear Admiral Ralph is also a graduate of the RAAF Staff College, a qualified pilot, observer and helicopter pilot and a Graduate of the Royal College of Defence Studies, London.

"He will succeed Major-General Alan Morrison who has held the position of Services Member of the Repatriation Commission since 1983. Major-General Morrison has made a lasting contribution to the work of the Repatriation Commission during a period of great change in the history of Veterans' Affairs. His repons on the needs of elderly veterans and war widows in the 1990s and early into the 21st century will continue to be the basis of a lot of the Commission's work in the development of aged care."

For further information: Geoff Stewan (062) 89-6152

H umphreys M in is t e r f o r V e t e r a n s' A ffa ir s

Canberra, 10 April 1989 89/20

Decorated Navy Pilot appointed Services Member of the Repatriation Commission