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Chief of Navy.

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Media Release

The Hon. John Moore, MP

Minister for Defence


MIN 150/99

Thursday, 27 May, 1999




The Government has decided to recommend to the Governor General that Rear Admiral David John Shackleton be appointed as the Chief of Navy from 3 July 1999.


Rear Admiral Shackleton, on promotion to Vice Admiral, will replace Vice Admiral Don Chalmers as the Chief of Navy.


The Minister for Defence, Mr John Moore, said that “the Chief of Navy is one of our most significant military appointments and I believe Rear Admiral Shackleton has the background and experience to provide strong and decisive leadership to the Navy in the critical years ahead.”


Rear Admiral Shackleton, 51, is a senior operational commander and administrator. His previous appointments include the command of HMA Ships DERWENT and BRISBANE and he saw service in RMAS PERTH during the Vietnam War.


His current appointment is as the Head of Capability Development.


In announcing this appointment, Minister Moore expressed his sincere appreciation for the efforts of Vice Admiral Chalmers during his past two years as Chief of Navy.


“Vice Admiral Chalmers has served in the Royal Australian Navy with distinction, giving over 40 years of service to our country. In particular, Vice Admiral Chalmers’ contribution as the Chief of Navy over the last two years in difficult and challenging circumstances must be acknowledged as being of a high order,” Mr Moore said.


Tokyo, Thursday 27 May 1999


Media contact: Colonel K H Jobson, Director General Public Affairs (02) 62652929


Biographical details are attached


Rear Admiral David Shackleton, Royal Australian Navy

Read, Capability Development,

Australian Defence Headquarters


Rear Admiral David Shackleton RAN is a member of the Australian Defence Headq uarters and responsible for sponsoring all new major Australian Defence Force (ADF) capabilities through the force development processes of the Defence Organisation. He is assisted by four one star Branch Heads, who each have responsibilities for the Maritime, Land, Aerospace and C3I development aspects of future military capabilities.


David Shackleton was born in Leads, UK in 1948 and joined the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) from Adelaide in 1966. He has served in HMA Ships ANZAC, STUART, SYDNEY, VAMPIRE, CURLEW, QUEENBOROUGH MELBOURNE, PERTH (twice), HOBART (twice), as well as undergoing training in the USA and exchange service with the Royal Navy where he served in HMS ARIADNE. He saw Vietnam service in HMS PERTH while qualifying as a seaman officer, leading to him becoming a warbre officer specialising in combat systems and aircraft direction. He commanded HMAS DERWENT which won the Gloucester Cup for overall fleet performance, and while in command of HMAS BRISBANE he led a major task group deployment to south cast Asia.


Highlights of several earlier staff postings include, being a member of the Directing Staff of the RAN Staff College, Project Director for Acquisition of the Maritime intelligence Centre, and the inaugural Chief Staff Officer C3I to the Maritime Commander.


On promotion to Commodore in December 1993 he took up the position of Director General, Naval Policy and Warfare in Navy Office, Canberra, with responsibility for development and coordination of strategic policy for the RAN. During this posting he also completed the 1994 Senior International Defence Management Course at USNPGS Monterey.


He joined the Defence Acquisition organisation in September 1996, and initially assumed the position of Director General, Information Management. On implementation of the Defence reform Program in July 1997, he changed roles to become the first Director General, Command and Support Systems, with responsibility for the development and acquisition of all major Defence capital equipment command and intelligence information support systems and major operational headquarters.


Rear Admiral Shackleton is an Associate Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management and a graduate of the RAN and Joint Services Staff Colleges. He has a Diploma in Corporate Management, a Graduate Diploma in Management and was awarded a Master of Business Administration on completion of the Monash Mt Eliza Business School Senior Executives Program. He was promoted to Rear Admiral on 1 July 1998 and took up his present position at that time.



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