First female Admiral for the Royal Australian Navy
15 December 2011
The Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, has today promoted Commodore Robyn Walker to the rank of Rear Admiral in the Royal Australian Navy. Admiral Walker is the first female in the Navy to attain the rank of Rear Admiral and to take on the job of Surgeon General for the Australian Defence Force.
“This is an outstanding achievement personally for Admiral Walker,” Vice Admiral Griggs said.
“Her promotion reflects her outstanding service and dedication to Defence health services, the Royal Australian Navy and the Australian Defence Force.”
Admiral Walker’s promotion is especially timely with 2011 being the centenary year of the Navy and emerging changes to policies regarding women in the Australian Defence Force.
“Admiral Walker’s achievements as Director-General of Health for the Navy with broader responsibilities to the ADF in leading a $270 million dollar revamp of the ADF’s health capability, and her previous role in supporting the health of operational Defence personnel in Iraq and East Timor, have been recognised in the decision to promote her,” Vice Admiral Griggs said.
“She is an exceptional role model for all women in Defence,” Vice Admiral Griggs said.
Admiral Walker joined the Royal Australian Navy from Brisbane as a Direct Entry Lieutenant in 1991, and has continued to work in the field of medicine ever since. Admiral Walker has served in HMA Ship Westralia and with the Sea Training Group, and has been involved in the planning of health support for several military operations.
Some of the highlights of the Admiral’s career include leading the health planning and assembly for Australia’s military medical response to the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami, leading further developments to the Australian Defence Force’s Mental Health Strategy between 2005 and 2008, and receiving the Telstra ACT Business Woman of the Year Award this year.
Admiral Walker said she is honoured and humbled by her promotion.
“Navy and Defence have provided me with every opportunity to learn and develop as an individual; and if you take the opportunities that are provided and work hard, your efforts will be noticed and rewarded,” Admiral Walker said.
“I am looking forward to the challenges that I will face and continuing to make a positive difference in my new role.”
Vice Admiral Griggs said that Navy has been hard at work developing and implementing a number of initiatives to support the leadership development of Navy women, and to improve Navy’s workforce gender balance.
“I am proud of the efforts of our people in encouraging and mentoring women in key leadership roles,” he said.
Media Note: Imagery from the Promotion Ceremony will be available at http://images.defence.gov.au/fotoweb/Grid.fwx?archiveId=5003=&search=11121608 from 6pm.
Media Contact: Defence Media Operations - 02 6127 1999