35 years of service draws to a close

This article has photo gallery Published on Mr James McPherson (author), LCDR Don Hogarth (photographer)

Location(s): Canberra, Australian Capital Territory

Gary Kinkade farewell morning tea. (photo: Lieutenant Commander Don Hogarth)
Gary Kinkade farewell morning tea.

Navy has farewelled one of its stand out civilian members, Gary Kinkade, retiring after three-and-a-half decades of service.
 
Ending his career as Manager Navy Badges, Mr Kinkade joined the public service at 19 as a graphic designer and has been the custodian of Navy heraldry, crests and badges since 1992. His artwork is worn by all members of the Navy and seen on every ship and establishment.
 
At a gathering of friends and colleagues in his final week he said it was a difficult decision to make, as his service to Navy was for almost his entire working life.
 
“You could say the Royal Australian Navy has become my second family,” he said.

“My father served in the Navy for 23 years and to have worked with Navy members like him is a great honour.”
 
He saw the transition from hand drawn and carved heraldic badges to digital artwork over his career and was personally responsible for digitising all of Navy’s badges and undertaking research to record and preserve their history.
 
Mr Kinkade designed the badges for the Anzac class frigates, Collins class submarines, Armidale class patrol boats, Canberra class amphibious ships, HMAS Choules, and the future Hobart class destroyers. He also worked on designing memorials, museum displays and illustrated countless patches and logos.
 
“I have served 10 Chiefs of Navy who have scribbled their green pen over all of my designs as we refined badges that now appear around the world. I am inspired designing for Navy and seeing my work join Navy’s history makes me proud," he said.
 
“It has been a pleasure to serve the Royal Australian Navy and I can only hope my legacy continues with my artwork and graphics adding to Navy’s heritage.”  
 
Deputy Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral Michael Noonan presented Mr Kinkade with a Silver level commendation in recognition of his contibution to the fabric of Navy history and daily life.
 
"Gary's dedication and passion have been evident through his research and planning and his guidance to the whole of the Navy over many years is well known and widely respected," he said.
 
"I commend him for his tireless and excellent contribution to the Royal Australian Navy and his efforts are of the highest order and reflect the finest traditions of the Navy and the Australian Public Service."