Commemorating the Centenary of Anzac: a rare privilege for a dedicated soldier
Warrant Officer Class One Paul Richardson is currently the Warrant Officer Ceremonial – ADF. He was born and raised in Lakes Entrance, Victoria, and enlisted in the Australian Regular Army in April 1989.
At the completion of his basic training, Paul was allocated to the Royal Australian Army Ordnance Corps and over the past 26 years has been posted to various locations across the Army, predominantly within a regimental Army environment. He has deployed on operations on three occasions to Timor-Leste and Afghanistan.
Much decorated, Paul has been awarded a Chief of Defence Force Commendation for productivity improvements and monetary savings in process techniques; a Commander Sector West Commendation for his efforts as the Repair Parts Supply Sergeant, Batugade, Timor-Leste; a Chief of Army Gold Commendation for service at the 1st Aviation Regiment; and more recently an Order of Australia for his service as a Regimental Sergeant Major.
Paul considers his current role to be a privilege as he is in charge of the coordination of the majority of Centenary of Anzac ceremonial aspects for ADF contingents, both internationally and domestically. As a part of his normal duties he provides ceremonial support to all vice regal and head of government ceremonial engagements in Canberra. He also is the ADF coordinator for the daily Last Post closing ceremonies at the Australian War Memorial.
Paul has a very close family link to the Centenary of Anzac, as his great-grandfather served on the Western Front during World War I. His grandfather served in Papua New Guinea during World War II, and his father was a national serviceman during the Vietnam conflict.
One of the great prerogatives of his job is to travel on representational duties. Paul has been lucky enough to support the Anzac Day Gallipoli commemorative services over the last two years, including the Turkish and Commonwealth ceremonies. He has also played a major role in supporting the Department of Veterans’ Affairs on missions for the 70th Anniversary of Normandy, and the 70th Anniversary of Victory in Europe across France and London, where the highlights were parading in front of and meeting His Royal Highness Prince Charles and spending time with our national treasures, the veterans from World War II.
In the second half of 2015, Paul will plan several Department of Veterans’ Affairs missions to Papua New Guinea and Ambon, including the ceremony to mark the Centenary of the August offensive at Gallipoli. He will also support the Australian War Memorial at the National Remembrance Day Service in Canberra on 11 November.
Paul has a partner, Cheryl, who is a serving ADF member, and together they are proud parents of their four-year-old daughter Grace.