Media Room | Reports and Publications | Careers and Recruiting | Industry and Contracts | Other Defence Links

Media Room: Media Releases

Department of Defence
Media Release


24/06/2011 MECC 263/11

Army celebrates leadership


The distinguished leader of the Australian Army, Lieutenant General Ken Gillespie AC DSM CSM officially handed over the command of the Army at a parade in Canberra today.


After 43 years of service including peacekeeping roles in East Timor and the Solomon Islands and combat and training missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, Chief of Army, Lieutenant General Gillespie handed over the reigns of command to Lieutenant General David Morrison AO.


Host of the parade and Deputy Chief of Army, Major-General Paul Symon thanked and farewelled Lieutenant General Gillespie on behalf of the Army.


“Lieutenant General Gillespie’s care for Army and its people was absolute,” Major-General Symon said.


“He has shared our success and always ensured accolades went to our most precious asset – our soldiers.”


Lieutenant General Gillespie expressed his gratitude to his colleagues, friends and family for keeping his feet on the ground during his illustrious career after joining the Army at the young age of 15 as an apprentice.


“As I hand over command of this wonderful institution, I want to say that it has been an honour serving with you and a unique privilege to lead the talented men and women, military and civilian, of the Army,” said Lieutenant General Gillespie.


“I have no doubt at all, that we do have the best small Army in the world, we enjoy great international standing and respect.”


Lieutenant General Gillespie’s successor, Lieutenant General Morrison brings wide ranging command experience, having served as the Head of Military Strategic Commitments and Deputy Chief of Army. Most recently he served as Army’s first Forces Commander.


The parade was attended by current Chief of Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston; the incoming Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General David Hurley; Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Mark Binskin; Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs and New Zealand Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General Richard Rhys Jones.

Imagery is available on the Department of Defence website at


Media contact:

Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999 or 0408 498 664


Issued by Ministerial and Executive Coordination and Communication,
Department of Defence,
Canberra, ACT
Phone: 02 6127 1999 Fax: 02 6265 6946
Media releases are available by email if you register online