We are elated to introduce the Chairman of Indoor Skydive Australia Group, Lieutenant General (Retd) Ken Gillespie.
Ken retired from the Army on 27 June 2011 after a 43.5 year career. He was born in Brisbane in June 1952 and at the ripe old age of 15.5 years he enlisted in the Australian Army as an apprentice in 1968. He graduated from the Officer Cadet School, Portsea in 1972 and was commissioned into the corps of the Royal Australian Engineers.
Ken enjoyed a diverse career. In his early years he performed a number of instructional, administrative and leadership functions, mainly associated with military engineering. As a middle ranking and senior officer he gained significant operational experience both as a deployed commander and eventually as the overseer of all Australian military operations. He demonstrated very high order strategic planning, engagement and implementation skills and excelled in demanding high command appointments.
For his distinguished service and high order achievements as the Vice Chief of the Defence Force/Chief of Joint Operations and Chief of Army, Lieutenant General Gillespie was advanced to Companion in the Military Division of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day 2011 Honours List. He was previously advanced to Officer of the Order of Australia for his service as Commander Australian Contingent, Operation Slipper, having been a Member of the Order for his service as Commander ASTJIC. He was also awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his command and leadership in East Timor in 2000/2001 and the Conspicuous Service Medal for his work in Namibia in 1989/90. Lieutenant General Gillespie was awarded the Legion of Merit (Commander) from the United States of America in 2009. In 2010, the Republic of Singapore awarded him the Meritorious Service Medal (Military – Pingat Jasa Gemilang).
Since his departure from the Service, Ken enjoyed a long break but has recently started to re-engage with the workforce. He is the part time Defence Adviser to the New South Wales Government, a Director of the Boards of Australian Aerospace Limited, the White Ribbon Foundation, and the Australian Drugs Foundation. He formed his own small strategic consultancy company and consults to Government Departments, Corporations and small companies on leadership, culture and change management. He is becoming a successful national level corporate speaker. He remains very supportive of Ex-Service organisations and Legacy. He is an ambassador for national bowel and prostrate cancer organisations as well as Soldier On a charity concerned with supporting wounded soldiers.