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Department of Defence
Media Release


27/02/2008 MECC 39/08
CPA 039/08




The Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, today announced the appointment of two key senior leadership positions in the Australian Defence Force.


Major General John Cantwell, who held tenure as Deputy Chief of Army since January 2007, has been appointed as the senior military member of the Defence White Paper team and will head-up the force structure and engagement elements of the project. A new Defence White Paper will provide a comprehensive and fully updated statement of Australian defence policy. Major General David Morrison, former Head of Military Strategic Commitments, has taken up the role of Deputy Chief of Army.


“Major General Cantwell and Major General Morrison have been selected for two important and challenging roles in the Defence Force,” Air Chief Marshal Houston said.


“The position of Deputy Chief of Army was held by Major General Cantwell for over 12 months and I commend him for his successful tenure and congratulate him on his appointment to the newly created leadership position on the White Paper team. 


“At the same time, I welcome Major General Morrison into his new role and look forward to the contribution he will make in supporting the Chief of Army and bolstering a positive leadership ethos in the Army.”


Major General Cantwell has held several key appointments in recent years including Director-General Capability and Plans (2003-2004), Commander 1st Brigade (2004-2005).  He then deployed to Iraq as the Director Strategic Operations, Headquarters Multi National Forces Iraq in early 2006 before taking up the role of Deputy Chief of Army in January 2007.


Major General Morrison’s recent career appointments include Commander of the 3rd Brigade (2002-2004), Director-General Preparedness and Plans (2005-2006), Commander of the Australian Defence College (2006-2007) and Head of Military Strategic Commitments (2007).


“Both Major General Cantwell and Major General Morrison are officers of the highest order and I am confident they will each excel in their new appointments. 


“This is an exciting year for Defence, and these key positions in the White Paper team and the Chief of Army’s Office will shape the future of our Defence force.”


Media Note:

Major General Morrison’s biography is available on the Defence website at


Media contact: Defence Media Liaison: 02 6265 3343 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
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