VC recipient lends experience to Navy’s emerging leaders

Published on SBLT Dylan Collaery (author), POIS Helen Frank (photographer)

Location(s): Darwin, NT

Topic(s): Leadership

Participants of the Navy Emerging Leaders Forum at the Hilton Hotel, Darwin, in July 2019, (photo: POIS Helen Frank)
Participants of the Navy Emerging Leaders Forum at the Hilton Hotel, Darwin, in July 2019,

Victoria Cross recipient Corporal Daniel Keighran was the keynote speaker at the latest Navy Emerging Leaders Forum, held in Darwin in late July.

Seventy members of the Royal Australian Navy and 18 invited guests from the Australian Army attended the forum.

The events are being held around the country and aim to give Navy’s emerging leaders an opportunity for professional development through discussions about the theme ‘Leading for Success’, as well as an opportunity to learn from the experiences and knowledge of keynote speakers.

The speakers list this year boasts two Victoria Cross recipients, AFL Coaches Michelle Cowan and Paul Roos, Australian Rugby Union great John Eales and the Director of the Australian War Memorial, Doctor Brendan Nelson.

At the Darwin event, the emerging leaders were provided an opportunity to ask questions of Commodore Plath, the Deputy Fleet Commander, who spoke about his time as a Lieutenant aboard patrol boats.

Corporal Keighran, VC, spoke to them about his life, both in and out of the Army, and the challenges that he’s faced.

A panel of junior leaders also presented their experiences in the Navy thus far.

Finally, the junior leaders were given the opportunity to ask questions anonymously of the Deputy Fleet Commander, Warrant Officer of the Navy, Gary Wight and the Warrant Officer of the Navy incumbent, Deb Butterworth.

Trainee Maritime Warfare Officer, Sub Lieutenant Max Alexander, said he gained a lot from attending the leadership forum.

“The Navy Emerging Leaders Forum was a really good opportunity to learn more about the resources available to better myself as a Navy officer, such as the mentoring program.

“It’s great to see the potential of the young leaders in our Navy, it really fills me with confidence,” he said.

Five more NELF will be held across the country throughout 2019.

The forums are organised and coordinated by the Directorate of Navy Culture and represent Chief of Navy’s commitment to the investment in, and empowerment of, the next generation of Navy leaders.

Leading Seaman, Petty Officer, Sub Lieutenant and Lieutenant ranks are encouraged to participate in one of the remaining five NELF scheduled for 2019, as follows:

Nowra 20 August
Melbourne 26 September
Canberra 17 October
Sydney 06 November
Perth 27 November





Applications can be made via the ‘Emerging Leaders’ link on the Directorate of Navy Culture homepage on the DRN.