Army reservist Captain Ian Goodwin checks the books of government entities as Deputy Auditor-General for NSW in civilian life, but that didn’t stop him wanting to check the spread of coronavirus on Operation COVID-19 Assist.

He deployed three times during the operation as a police liaison officer.

“I wanted to serve the community and this provided an avenue for me to give back,” he said.

“I helped support police with quarantine compliance measures in April.

“In July, I deployed to Albury at the start of the Victorian border operations.”

He returned to Albury early last month for another deployment before ADF support to the border check points wound up at the end of October.

“My job was to work with NSW Police and help iron out any issues that arose and ensure we were meeting their expectations to ultimately stop the spread of coronavirus,” he said.

My view is if you’ve got the ability to make a contribution, this is a great way of doing it.

Captain Goodwin said being a reservist helped him in his civilian role with the NSW Audit Office, an independent agency that reports to the state’s parliament.

Its role is to support accountability through audits and reviews of government entities, including police, universities, and local government.

“I get a broader perspective and understanding of how different organisations work,” Captain Goodwin said.

“I’m also very fortunate to have an employer who supports me in my reserve work.”

The NSW Auditor-General, Margaret Crawford, said the relationship between Captain Goodwin’s civilian employment and defence service was an important one that benefited the office.

“The most obvious benefit is Ian’s understanding and careful management of risk and his heightened empathy for staff,” she said.

“He is acutely aware of the impact of crises, stress and trauma on people and incorporates this into the arrangements we put in place for the management of all staff in the audit office.”

Captain Goodwin joined the Army Reserve in 2009 on his return to Australia after working with the International Monetary Fund in Washington DC. 

“I had been through 9/11 in the US and saw how the international environment changed, which increased my desire to serve,” he said.

“It was something I’d always wanted to do and I said to my wife: ‘if I don’t join now, I never will’.

“I have never regretted the decision.

“My view is if you’ve got the ability to make a contribution, this is a great way of doing it.”

His home unit is the 1/15 Royal NSW Lancers under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Andrew White, who also was Captain Goodwin’s Operation COVID-19 Assist commander on the NSW-Victoria border.

“Captain Goodwin is a committed individual, bringing many unique experiences and skills into the ADF that we wouldn’t otherwise have,” Lieutenant Colonel White said.

“He demonstrates the value of reservists and proves that it doesn’t matter how senior your role is in the civilian world, there will always be a place for you here.”