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Scholar and a gentleman

Retiring Air Vice-Marshal Colin Hingston and his wife, Jane, at the Dining Out evening held at RAAF Base Fairbairn's Officers' Mess. More than 200 guests, including Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Angus Houston, attended the event to pay tribute to AVM Hingston, who is retiring after 36 years.
Retiring Air Vice-Marshal Colin Hingston and his wife, Jane, at the Dining Out evening held at RAAF Base Fairbairn’s Officers’ Mess. More than 200 guests, including Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Angus Houston, attended the event to pay tribute to AVM Hingston, who is retiring after 36 years.
A RHODES scholar who rose through the ranks to pursue an extremely diverse Air Force career and become a highly respected member of the service has retired after 36 years of distinguished service.

Air Vice-Marshal Colin Hingston began his Air Force journey in engineering and logistics and went on to spend much of his time in policy, strategy and systems development.

Towards the end of his career he was appointed to head the National Support Division in Australian Defence Headquarters and was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2000 for “exceptional service to the Australian Defence Force and outstanding contribution to Australia’s security”.

Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Angus Houston reflected on these and many more of AVM Hingston’s achievements at a Dining Out and official farewell ceremony at RAAF Base Fairbairn’s Officers’ Mess on February 7.

AVM Hingston and his wife Jane are both second generation Air Force and have family links to Fairbairn.

AVM Hingston’s father, Wing Commander (ret’d) Vaughan Hingston, served more than 20 years in the Air Force, finishing his career at Fairbairn at about the same time his son was beginning his.

Jane’s father, Group Captain (ret’d) George King, flew VIP flights to and from Fairbairn in the late 1940s and early 1950s, and also attended the Staff College at the base in 1962.

Not surprisingly, Fairbairn’s Officers’ Mess was filled to capacity for the Dining Out, with more than 200 serving and retired service and civilian personnel, friends and family paying tribute to AVM Hingston’s career.

Graduating from the Royal Australian Air Force Academy in 1970 with a science degree and the coveted Queen’s Medal, AVM Hingston later completed an aeronautical engineering degree at Sydney University, won the Rhodes Scholarship in 1971 and underwent a master’s degree in management at Oxford University.

His early career included a range of engineering and logistics appointments, staff training with the US Air Force and command of No. 492 Squadron at RAAF Base Edinburgh – a task he described as a “privilege”.

“I certainly loved my time immersed in Air Force life at the coalface in unit-level engineering and maintenance jobs, enjoying the more immediate satisfaction of solving tangible problems and managing day-to-day,” AVM Hingston said.

His final assignment was to lead the Defence Materiel Organisation’s Business Information Systems Team, establishing a strategic plan for materiel management.

“I’ve had a wonderful time in my career with the Air Force and Defence,” he said.

“Far from being the one job for 36 years, I’ve had over that time an immense variety of challenges and experiences that I can draw on in a new environment.”

 

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