The Sir Richard Williams Foundation conducts its operations independently and has no political or industry ties.
The Foundation's activities are governed by its Board. The current Board is comprised of 11 former military leaders and security strategists. Members' business affiliations are listed in their biographies. Members are required to absent themselves from any discussion which might create a conflict of interest. The Board welcomes participation from the broad cross-section of the Australian community.
Air Marshal (Retd) Geoff Brown AO
Geoff Brown AO retired from the Royal Australian Air Force in July 2015 as Air Marshal in the position of Chief of Air Force. In a 35-year career, he commanded at all levels in the Air Force and flew Chinook helicopters, F-111s and F/A-18 as well as being a flying instructor and a member of the Roulette Aerobatic team. His operational service included Operation Iraqi Freedom where he was the operational commander for all RAAF assets.
Among his qualifications, he holds a BEng (Mech), a Master of Arts (Strategic Studies), Fellow of the Institute of Engineering Australia and is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society.
Since leaving the Air Force he has been appointed as a Director of Lockheed Martin (Australia), a Director of Electro Optic Systems, Chairman of the ACT Defence and industry Board, Chairman of the Sir Richard Williams Foundation, Chairman of the Advisory Board of CAE Asia Pacific and Middle East, Director on the Governing Council for the Temora Air Museum and a Director of GCB Stratos Consulting. He also mentors in Leadership and Strategic Studies at the Australian Defence College.
His honours and awards include his appointment as an Officer in the Order of Australia, the United States Legion of Merit and the Meritorious Service Medal from Singapore.
Air Chief Marshal (Retd) Mark Binskin AC
Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin AC (Retd) is a highly respected senior executive and leader in the national security, defence and aerospace sectors. He was Chief of the Defence Force of Australia from 2014-2018, Vice Chief of the Defence Force (2011-2014) and Chief of Air Force (2008-2011). In 2020, he was Chair of the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements.
He is currently Chair of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, Chair of the Australia Pacific Security College Advisory Board, Deputy Chair of the Sir Richard Williams Foundation, on the Boards of the Western Parkland City Authority and the Australian International Military Games (Invictus Games Sydney 2018), a member of the Governing Committee of the Temora Aviation Museum and is a Non-Executive Director with BAE Systems Australia and Nihon Cyber Defence.
As Chief of Defence, Air Chief Marshal Binskin (Retd) successfully led the Australian Defence Force, comprising 80,000 permanent and reserve personnel, to significantly improve capabilities and responses to major global events and championed organisational change across areas of national security, culture, diversity and leadership performance. He oversaw the First Principles Review of Defence and delivered the successful implementation of the One Defence approach.
Air Chief Marshal Binskin (Retd) has provided national security advice to the highest levels of governments, industry leaders and international stakeholders and his aerospace knowledge and expertise is extensive. He has over 3,500 hours in single seat fighter aircraft including the A-4G Skyhawk, Mirage 111O, F-16C and F/A-18 Hornet, and continues to be active in general aviation.
Air Chief Marshal Binskin (Retd) has completed the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program, is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society.
Ken had an extensive career in the Australian Public Service with the Department of Defence. His last appointment was as the Defence Chief Finance Officer (Deputy Secretary level). Prior to the CFO position, Ken held a number of other senior management appointments in Defence including Head of National Operations Division that was responsible for the management and delivery of a large range of services to all Defence bases across Australia.
After leaving the APS, Ken worked for a number of years with the ACT Government as the Chief Executive Officer of Rhodium Asset Solutions (the Government’s vehicle leasing company) and Executive Director Shared Services ICT.
Ken holds a number of appointments:
Independent Member, Client Services Committee, Department of Veterans Affairs
Independent Chair, Audit Committee, Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions
Independent Member, Audit Committee, Transport Canberra and City Services, ACT Government
Board Member and Treasurer Sir Richard Williams Foundation
Ken has tertiary qualifications in economics and accounting. He is a Fellow of CPA Australia and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Ken is also a graduate of the Advanced Management Program at the INSEAD Business School in France and the Senior Defence Resource Management Program at the US Navy Postgraduate School in California.
Nicole Quinn is the principle of Quinntessential GR, a government relations advisory firm based in Canberra. Her current clients include Adecco, Mitsubishi Motors, IKEA, CAE and NEC Australia. She has with over 20 years’ experience in advocacy and stakeholders engagement including working for federal ministers/parliamentarians. Prior to establishing her own firm Nicole was Director of Government Relations for Parker and Partners (part of opr Agency) and headed up the Canberra office. She also provided communication/stakeholder advice for the ATO, Digital Health Agency, Queensland government and DVA. Nicole was the General Manager of the regional security think tank the Institute for Regional Security (previously Kokoda Foundation), National Convenor for Defence Families of Australia and has held communication, marketing and membership roles in both the private and public sector.
Nicole has a BA in Politics, is a board member of the Australian Chiropractors Association, Gift of Life Inc and a member of the Australian Professional Government Relations Association.
Vice Admiral (Rtd) Tim Barrett AO, CSC
Vice Admiral Barrett joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1976 as a Seaman Officer and later specialised in aviation. He assumed command of the Royal Australian Navy on 1 July 2014 and remained in this position until 6 July 2018.
A dual-qualified officer, Vice Admiral Barrett served in Her Majesty's Australian (HMA) Ships Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane and HMS Orkney as a Seaman Officer and then as Flight Commander in HMA Ships Stalwart, Adelaide and Canberra. His staff appointments include Deputy Director Air Warfare Development, Director Naval Officer's Postings and Director General of Defence Force Recruiting.
Vice Admiral Barrett has served as Commanding Officer 817 Squadron, Commanding Officer HMAS Albatross, Commander Australian Navy Aviation Group, Commander Border Protection Command and as Commander Australian Fleet.
Vice Admiral Barrett was awarded a Conspicuous Service Cross in 2006 for outstanding performance as Commanding Officer HMAS Albatross and as Chief of Staff Navy Aviation Force Element Group Headquarters. Vice Admiral Barrett was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia in 2009 and subsequently promoted to Officer of the Order of Australia in 2014 for his leadership of Border Protection Command and the Australian Fleet.
Vice Admiral Barrett holds a Bachelor of Arts in Politics and History and a Masters of Defence Studies, both from the University of New South Wales, and has completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School. He recently published ‘The Navy and the Nation: Australia's Maritime Power in the 21st Century’ in which he outlines the extensive opportunities for Navy and Australia as steps are taken to implement the planned investment in naval capability outlined in the Defence White Paper 2016 and the National Shipbuilding Plan over the coming decades.
Vice Admiral Barrett and his wife, Jenny, have two daughters.
John is the owner and Managing Director of Felix, an independent company providing specialist capability development and operational analysis services to Defence since 2017. He is the Publisher of the Australian Defence Business Review (ADBR), an independent platform established to enable communication across Defence, industry, academia, and Government. He was previously a business development and strategy executive with Raytheon Australia specialising in air combat integration, electronic warfare, advanced weapons systems, test and training ranges, and integrated air and missile defence.
John retired from the Royal Air Force as a Group Captain in 2010 having served 24 years in a number flying, staff and senior command roles. His operational experience on F4 Phantom and Tornado F3 aircraft included Cold War Europe, the South Atlantic, the Balkans, and the Middle East. He commanded the United Kingdom’s largest Permanent Joint Operating Base at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus between 2005 and 2008 enabling the airbridge into Iraq and Afghanistan, and supporting strategic ISR operations in the eastern Mediterranean. He attended the United States Marine Corps Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course and the Australian Advanced Command and Staff Course.
Air Vice-Marshal (Retd) Chris Deeble AO, CSC
Chris Deeble is Chief Executive, Northrop Grumman Australia.
Deeble is responsible for supporting the company’s longstanding programs in Australia, as well as exploring new business pursuits. He reports to the company’s chief global business officer.
Prior to joining Northrop Grumman, Deeble worked for Airservices Australia as the program executive for OneSKY, responsible for delivering the Civil Military Air Traffic Management System for Australia. As the program executive, he led a joint Airservices and Defence team in managing the acquisition and delivering the infrastructure of the most complex, world-leading air traffic management system.
Previously, Deeble served for 37 years in the Australian Defence Force, most notably as an Air Vice-Marshal. As a senior program manager in the Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group, he managed over $25 billion of complex acquisition and sustainment programs. These programs included the Joint Strike Fighter, Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning and Control, Multi Role Tanker Transport and Collins Class Submarine. His performance in leading these significant programs was recognized in 2016 when he was awarded the Officer of the Order of Australia (AO).
Prior to serving as Air Vice-Marshal, Deeble undertook senior roles in Air Force capability management and aerospace development. As the Director General Aerospace Development, Deeble was responsible for leading the development of submissions to the Australian government for all joint aerospace capability. As a result of his efforts, he was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross (CSC) in 2007.
Deeble earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Sydney, New South Wales.
A retired Royal Australian Air Force Officer, Antony joined the Global Sales and Marketing Team of Boeing Defence Australia in February 2019 and is based in Canberra. In this role, Antony focuses on all aspects of ADF air power and is the business development lead for Air Battle Management and AEW&C.
Antony commenced his career in the RAAF as a fighter controller and also undertook training as a United States E2C Hawkeye Naval Flight Officer. Antony was extensively involved in the formative years of the RAAF ‘Wedgetail’ project and had a long association with the capability throughout his career, including assuming command of No. 42Wing in 2014.
Antony served in Joint Task Force 633 Headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq and also commanded the Australian Air Task Group as part of Operation OKRA in the Middle East.
Antony retired from the RAAF in January 2019 after 31 years’ service, his last posting being the Air Force Advisor London.
Antony’s personal interests include road and mountain biking, reading and Porsche motor cars.
Air Marshal (Retd) Errol McCormack AO
Errol McCormack joined the RAAF as an aircrew cadet in March 1962 after completing an apprenticeship as a fitter and turner and three years of a Diploma of Mechanical, Electrical and Civil Engineering.
On graduation he was assigned fast jet and completed e, Vietnam on the Canberra bomber, US on the F-111A and the RF-4C Reconnaissance Phantom.
As a senior officer he completed two tours in Operational Requirements, two tours at staff college (RAAF and Joint), one tour in Operational/Air Command and two tours in diplomatic posts (Air Attache Washington and Commander IADS, FPDA, Malaysia/Singapore).
He has commanded at squadron, wing and Air Force levels.
Errol McCormack retired from the RAAF as Chief of Air Force in May 2001. Since then he has sat on local company boards and consulted for many local and foreign companies dealing with Defence. He is a member of the Board of the Sir Richard Williams Foundation; a think tank that he formed in 2008.
Major General (Retd) Fergus "Gus" McLachlan AO
Gus McLachlan commenced his career at the Royal Military College, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1985. He completed his 37-year career with the Australian Army, retiring as a Major General in December 2018.
On leaving the military, Gus McLachlan was appointed Adjunct Professor at Monash University where he advises on Defence research and he is a Director of the Williams Foundation, a National Security “Think Tank”. Gus is on the Australian board of L3 Harris, a US defence technology company, and NIOA an exciting Australian defence industry prime contractor.
Gus McLachlan has been responsible for generating Australian Defence capability in cyber space, electronic warfare and command and control systems. He completed two years as Head of Army Modernisation, during which time he worked closely with industry to commence a major recapitalisation of Army equipment and to network the systems of the Army.
Gus McLachlan’s military career concluded after he led Land Forces Command where he was responsible for 35,000 women and men of the Army. He led a major structural transformation of the command in order to field new cyber and electronic warfare capacity.
In January of 2020 he commenced his commercial career with Boral Australia where he is head of Business Performance and Improvement.
Gus was made an Officer in the Order or Australia (AO) for his contribution to Army Modernisation and awarded the United States Legion of Merit by Secretary James Mattis for his service in the international coalition force in Afghanistan.
Air Vice Marshal (Retd) Brian Weston AM
Brian Weston underwent flying training in the UK on the Jet Provost and the Hawker Hunter. He flew with Nos 3, 76 and 77 Squadrons and is a graduate of the fighter combat instructor course. He commanded No 75 Squadron, commanded Base Squadron, RAAF Base Richmond and was Commander, Tactical Fighter Group, having flown three generations of RAAF jet fighters - the CAC Sabre, Mirage 111O and F/A-18.
A graduate of the USAF, Air Warfare College, and the Royal College of Defence Studies, London, he conducted the Post Implementation Review of the Defence Regional Support arrangements of the Australian Defence Force in 1993. In July 1997, on completion of his appointment as Assistant Chief of Defence Force for Operations, he transferred to the RAAF Reserve.
Following the Black Hawk mid-air collision, he and John Faulkner - Deputy Chair of Air Services Australia - conducted an Independent Review of ADF Airworthiness.
Subsequently, his appointments have included: Executive Director Defence Industries of Australian Business Limited; Executive Director of the Association of Australian Aerospace Industries; inaugural ‘Industry Chair’ of the Defence Capability Advisory Forum; and a member of the Defence and Industry Advisory Council.
He has worked with Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, P&O Services and with Allied Technology Group; and was a non-executive director of National Air Support, operating the Coastwatch fleet of aircraft. He chaired the SAI Global Certification Board from 2002 to 2014.
He has written a range of commentaries which have been published by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, the RAAF Aerospace Centre, the Sir Richard Williams Foundation and the RAAF Air Power Development Centre. He was a visiting fellow at the Aerospace, Mechanical and Civil Engineering School at UNSW@ADFA from 2005 to 2012.
Katherine Ziesing is the Strategy and Communications Lead at SME Gateway. Working with SMEs from all over Australia, she is integral in helping to lead the business to deliver capability both above and below the line to the Defence community.
Prior to this role she was Managing Editor, Australian Defence Magazine Group, working in the company for 15 years.
Katherine joined the ADM team in 2006 as a staff writer and was appointed editor in Canberra at the beginning of 2008. She took on the expanded role of Managing Editor of Yaffa Media’s ADM Group at the beginning of 2018.
While she has a background in business journalism and economics, she has also completed a Masters of Strategy and Policy at the University of New South Wales at the Australian Defence Force Academy, graduating in 2010. She was a member of the Defence Industry Study Course (DISC) in 2017.
She has served as a committee member of the Submarine Institute of Australia and is a current board member for the National Institute of Security Resilience. She is a founding member of the Defence and National Security Media Association, a group of Australia’s leading Defence and National Security journalists.