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Major General Mick Ryan, AM


Major General Mick Ryan graduated from the Royal Military College, Duntroon, in 1989 as a Combat Engineer. Early career highlights include: serving with the 6RAR Battalion Group in East Timor in 2000; in 2003, being the lead planner for development of the first ADF Network Centric Warfare Roadmap; and in 2005, serving as the Deputy J3 for the Multi-National Security Transition Command – Iraq, Baghdad.

Major General Ryan commanded the 1st Combat Engineer Regiment from 2006 until 2007. He also commanded the 1st Reconstruction Task Force in southern Afghanistan from August 2006 to April 2007, and was awarded the Order of Australia for the command of this Task Force.

In 2008, he served on Army Headquarters, working primarily on the Adaptive Army strategic reform initiative. In 2009, he served as the Military Assistant to the Chief of Army.

From 2010 - 2011, Major General Ryan worked in the Pakistan Afghanistan Coordination Cell (PACC) on the US Joint Staff, as the Division Chief for Governance, Development and Engagement, and subsequently in a new Strategy and Policy Division. During this time, he also led the Joint Staff effort for the President’s Afghanistan-Pakistan Annual Review for the National Security Committee in 2010 and led PACC support to General John Allen in his Senate Confirmation for command in Afghanistan.

In January 2013, was appointed Director General Strategic Plans in Army Headquarters. During this appointment, he was responsible for Army’s contribution to the Defence White Paper and Force Structure Review, Army’s development of future structures, experimentation, and fostering professional discourse through the Army Journal and establishment of the online Land Power Forum.

Major General Ryan has a Bachelor’s degree in Asian Studies from the University of New England and is a graduate of the Australian Defence Force School of Languages. He is a Distinguished Graduate of the United States Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a graduate of the USMC School of Advanced Warfighting. In 2012, he graduated with distinction from the Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies, earning a Masters in International Public Policy.

From October 2014 until February 2016, Major General Ryan commanded the Darwin-based 1st Brigade, the Australian Army’s oldest and most operationally experienced combat formation. From February 2016 until October 2017, he led the education, training and doctrine efforts in Army as Director General Training and Doctrine. During this, he authored and implemented the Ryan Review, a fundamental and future-oriented strategic review of Army’s approach to education, training, doctrine and lessons learned. During this appointment, Army’s revised strategy for PME was developed and a broader roll-out of online PME delivery was implemented.

Major General Ryan has deep experience the fields of strategy, interagency and joint operations, command and leadership as well as professional military education. He possesses a long-standing interest in national and military strategy, military history, as well as organizational innovation and adaptation. He is President of the Defence Entrepreneurs Forum (Australia), an undertaking to nurture innovation in the ADF’s junior leaders. He is a proud Member of the Military Writers Guild.

Major General Ryan was appointed Commander, Australian Defence College in January 2018.


More Information on the ADC Leadership Team


ADC Executive

Principal CDSS

Mr Ian Errington, AM, CSC

Mr Ian Errington, AM, CSC Ian was born in Perth, Western Australia, in 1957 and joined the Australian Regular Army in 1974. He graduated from the Officer Cadet School, Portsea, in 1980 and was allocated to the Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery. Ian transferred in 1986 to the Australian Intelligence Corps where he was employed initially in security and counterintelligence roles. He underwent training in the United States as a strategic intelligence analyst and, subsequently, specialised as a Southeast Asian analyst working in both the Defence Intelligence Organisation in Canberra, and in the US Defense Intelligence Agency in Washington, D.C.

Ian is a 1992 graduate from the Australian Command and Staff College, is an Advanced Indonesian linguist, and has a Master of Defence Studies degree from the University of New England. His honours and awards include the Conspicuous Service Cross, the Group Bravery Citation, and he is a Member of the Order of Australia. Ian has been awarded the Australian Service Medal (Irian Jaya) and the Australian Active Service Medal (Iraq and Afghanistan). He is also a recipient of the US Legion of Merit.

Ian commanded the 1st Division Intelligence Company and the Defence Intelligence Training Centre. He has also enjoyed a wide range of staff appointments including as ADC to the Chief of Army, Staff Officer to DGCPM-A, SO1 Intelligence Plans at JEPS, and as Chief of Staff of Coastwatch Division in the Australian Customs and Border Protection Command. Ian's senior command and staff appointments include Head of the Australian Defence Staff in Jakarta (2006-2009), and Senior Advisor to the Iraqi Armed Forces Commander (2005). Ian was assigned from 2011-12 to the Headquarters, International Security Assistance Force - Afghanistan as the Deputy J2, responsible for Coalition intelligence plans, analysis, and production. He also supervised the development and operations of the Commander ISAF Red Team, the NATO Intelligence Collaboration Group, as well as the Theatre Civil-Military program.

Ian has broad experience in wider Departmental, whole of government, and diplomatic settings. He was a long-term member of Defence International Policy Division - as Army Attaché Jakarta and HADS Jakarta, as Director General Pacific and East Timor, and as Director General Southeast Asia. His work at Customs Head Office in Canberra and with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade at overseas Posts has provided him enhanced exposure to, and appreciation of, national interests, challenges, and priorities.

Ian is married to Debbie, a DFAT officer, and they have two beautiful daughters - Hayley (26) and Kellie (20). Ian and Debbie's diverse interests include travel, bushwalking, running, cooking, and maintaining their garden.

Commandant ACSC

Air Commodore Matt Hegarty, CSC

Air Commodore Matt Hegarty, CSC
Air Commodore Hegarty was born and raised in Sydney joining the Australian Defence Force Academy in January 1988. After graduating with a Science Degree, Air Commodore Hegarty commenced pilot training in Jan 1991 on No. 158A Pilots course at No. 1 Flying Training School at RAAF Base Point Cook near Melbourne. .

Air Commodore Hegarty graduated from No. 2 Flying Training School RAAF Base Pearce in May of 1992 and was posted to fly C-130E Hercules at No. 37 Squadron RAAF Base Richmond. In 1995 Air Commodore Hegarty posted to Headquarters Logistics Command in Melbourne to work as the Aide-de-Camp to the Air Officer Commanding. In 1996 Air Commodore Hegarty returned to Richmond to join No. 36 Squadron to fly the C-130H. In 2004, after four successive internal postings and promotion to SQNLDR, Air Commodore Hegarty posted out of 36SQN as the Executive Officer to a staff position at Headquarters Air Lift Group.

In 2005 Air Commodore Hegarty attended the Australian Command and Staff Course and in December he returned to Richmond on promotion to Wing Commander to fill the Executive Officer position at No. 86 Wing. In December 2007 Air Commodore Hegarty was posted to command No. 37 Squadron and oversaw operations of the newly combined C-130H and C-130J fleet. Air Commodore Hegarty was posted to Canberra in June 2010 to a staff position within the Air Force Personnel Directorate. In April 2011 Air Commodore Hegarty was posted on promotion to become the Director of the KC-30A Transition Team. In this role Air Commodore Hegarty was responsible to Chief of Air Force, through CDRALG for the introduction of the KC-30A into operational service with the RAAF.

In 2014 Air Commodore Hegarty attended the Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies and at the completion was posted to be the Chief of Staff to the Chief of the Defence Force for one year. In January 2016 Air Commodore Hegarty was posted as the Director Strategic Design in the Director General Strategy and Planning in Air Force Headquarters and in January 2017 Air Commodore Hegarty was promoted and posted as the Commandant of the Australian Command and Staff College.

Air Commodore Hegarty has completed two operational deployments to the Middle East and visited many other parts of the world in the course of his duties while logging approximately 4500hrs.

Air Commodore Hegarty’s academic achievements include the completion of the RAAF Aeronautical Integrated Systems Course (RAAF School of Air Navigation), a Masters of Management in Defence Studies (University of Canberra) and a Masters of Arts in Strategic Studies (Deakin University).

Air Commodore Hegarty is a keen runner and also enjoys hiking and mountain biking. He is married to Commodore Michele Miller RAN and they have a daughter, Madeline, aged five.

Commandant ADFA

Brigadier Cheryl Pearce, AM

Brigadier Cheryl Pearce, AM

Brigadier Cheryl Pearce was born in Loxton South Australia and graduated from the Officer Cadet School Portsea in December 1985, commissioning into the Royal Australian Corps of Military Police. Brigadier Pearce’s regimental service includes command appointments within both the operational and domestic environment. During the period 2003 to 2006 Brigadier Pearce commanded the Defence Police Training Centre (2003) and 1st Military Police Battalion (2004-2006) and was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia for exceptional Service during her four year command tenure.

Staff appointments include experience within Headquarters 1st Brigade, G3 Branch Land Headquarters, Staff Officer Commandant Australian Defence Force Academy, Provost Marshal-Army, Directing Staff Australian Command and Staff College, Director Network Centric Warfare Capability Development Group, Director Special Operation Support and Chief of Staff Army Headquarters. Brigadier Pearce also holds the Military Police Head of Corps appointment.

Brigadier Pearce attended the Australian Command and Staff College in 2001 and Higher Defence College in 2013. Her post-graduate qualifications include a Graduate Diploma of Management in Defence Studies from the University of Canberra, Masters of Intelligence, Policing and Counter Terrorism from Macquarie University and a Masters of Arts (Defence Studies) from Deakin University. Brigadier Pearce has also participated in a number of short courses including the Australian Institute of Company Directors Course, Harvard Leadership Program, and the Commander Joint Task Force Seminar.

Brigadier Pearce’s operational experience includes working as part of the United Nations in East Timor (2002) where she was awarded a Chief of Defence Force Commendation for bravery and her most recent appointment as Commander Task Group Afghanistan (2016).

Brigadier Pearce has a partner Paul and two daughters Michallie and Maddison who are currently studying at university.



ADC Advisory Board

The Australian Defence College is governed by the Australian Defence College Advisory Board. The Board provides advice to the Commander Australian Defence College (COMADC) on major issues relating to the ADC. The Chair and six of the ordinary members of the Board are appointed by the Chief of the Defence Force and the Secretary.

The Board comprises a Chair, eight ordinary and five invited members. The ordinary members include the Vice Chief of the Defence Force (VCDF) and Deputy Secretary (DEPSEC'S), two members with business expertise, two academics and two members who are eminent members of the community with skills relevant to the work of the Board. The invited members are COMADC, the Principal of the Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies (PCDSS), the Commandant of the Australian Command and Staff College (ACSC), the Commandant of ADFA and the Deputy Secretary People, Strategies and Policy (DEPSEC PSP).

The Board meets no less than four times a year. Two of the meetings are full meetings of the Board, while the remaining two are an ADFA Working Group of the Board, to consider matters relating directly to ADFA. For the two full meetings of the Board, summary reports on achievements and developments in the preceding period and issues passed to it by the broader Defence organisation are considered. With affecting the College on an as required basis.

Board membership:

  • Chairman, Vice Admiral C A Ritchie (Retired)
  • Vice Chief of the Defence Force
  • Deputy Secretary Strategy, Mr Brendan Sargeant
  • University of New South Wales Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Richard Henry
  • Director National Security College, ANU Academic Member, Professor Michael L'Estrange
  • Former Director - Maritime, BAE Systems Australia Industry Member, Mr Merv Davis
  • Director, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis (CAMA), Research School of Economics, ANU College of Business and Economics Industy Member, Professor Renee McKibbin
  • SVI Global Pty Ltd Community Member, Ms Laura Anderson Chairman
Invited Members:
  • Commander Australian Defence College, Major General Simone Wilkie
  • Commandant Australian Command and Staff College, Air Commodore Matt Hegarty
  • Principal Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies, Mr Ian Errington
  • Commandant Australian Defence Force Academy, Brigadier Cheryl Pearce
  • Deputy Secretary People Strategies and Policy.