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New Defence Force medical appointments.

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Media contacts Sascha Meldrum (Senator Hill) 08 8237 7920 0409 034 241

Defence Media Liaison 02 6265 3343 0408 498 664

MEDIA RELEASE SENATOR THE HON ROBERT HILL Minister for Defence Leader of the Government in the Senate


Friday, 6 May 2005 068/2005


Two senior medical officers have been selected to strengthen the delivery of health services to the Australian Defence Force, Defence Minister Robert Hill announced today.

Senator Hill said he was pleased to announce the appointment of Air Commodore Tony Austin AM to Head of Defence Health Services and Commodore Graeme Shirtley RFD, RANR to Surgeon General.

“Defence has undertaken a comprehensive review of military health services to determine how best to meet the health needs of Australian Defence Force personnel now and into the future,” Senator Hill said.

“A key review recommendation was that a full-time two-star ranked officer should head Defence Health Services to build the current military health services capability and ensure that ADF operational and peacetime health needs are met.

“I am pleased to announce that Air Commodore Tony Austin AM has been selected as Head Defence Health Services and that he will be promoted to the rank of Air Vice-Marshal upon assuming his appointment.

“Air Commodore Austin will bring a vast range of medical and management experience to this new appointment, having served throughout Australia and overseas. Among many postings, he has commanded the Air Force’s Institute of Aviation Medicine and has served on exchange with the US Air Force.”

Air Commodore Austin is a Fellow of the Royal Australian Colleges of Medical Administrators and General Practitioners and was recently appointed as Adjunct Associate Professor at the Centre for Military and Veterans’ Heath, University of Queensland.

“In recognition of the significant contribution that reserve medical personnel make to the delivery of health services, I am also pleased to announce the appointment of Commodore Graeme Shirtley RFD, RANR on promotion to Rear Admiral to the part-time position of Surgeon General.”

As Surgeon General - ADF, Commodore Shirtley will support Head, Defence Health Services by managing the Reserves health element and by promoting strategic alliances with professional medical bodies including civilian State, regional and local health organisations.

Commodore Shirtley has extensive experience within the Navy as a reservist, both at sea and ashore. He has wide experience in the fields of radiology and nuclear medicine and has held visiting lecturer and Adjunct Assistant Professor appointments in the United States.

“Today’s announcement is delivering on a Howard Government election commitment to improve ADF health services and these appointments are another step in delivering world-class medical care and services to our military personnel.

“I congratulate Air Commodore Austin and Commodore Shirtley on their appointments and promotions.”