BIO – WGCDR Michael Stuart-Watt – President, Defence Force Welfare Assoc.(NSW)


WGCDR Michael Stuart-Watt was born in Adelaide S.A. and completed his schooling as a Choral Scholar at St. Andrews Cathedral School, Sydney.  He joined the Army Reserve’s Sydney Uni. Regt. (SUR) in late 1974 and entered the ABC in 1975 working with the Music Dept. for both Radio and Television while undertaking studies in Personnel Administration. This led to his first management role with the ABC National Training Orchestra and subsequently the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in late 1980.


He left the ABC and SUR in late 1980, to further his career as a PLTOFF in the RAAF Administration (ADMIN) Category. He served in a variety of Administrative roles as Adjutant RAAF School of Technical Training (RAAFSTT) Wagga Wagga and Support Unit Sydney, before taking up a role as a Career Manager for the Special Duties Branch in the Canberra Directorate

of Personnel Officers (DPO-AF). During almost three years as a ‘Manner’, he assisted in the Project to Transfer the Battlefield Helicopters from the RAAF to the Army, the Butterworth Withdrawal Plan and the RAAF Base Tindal Project Development Personnel Plan.


Returning to Sydney in 1989 as a Recruiting Officer, he was promoted to SQNLDR rank, taking over the Senior Air Force Recruiting Officer post for the NSW/ACT Region. After participating in a series of Recruitment Reviews, both RAAF and Tri-service, he was posted back to RAAF Wagga as the OIC Pers. Admin Support Squadron (RAAFSTT) in early 1993 and moved into the senior post of Administrative Staff Officer, HQ RAAF Wagga until mid - 1994, the year he joined Rotary.


Life was to become hectic…as Canberra searched for a Training Command Rep. for the Model Base Project (MBP), an initiative to inoculate Air Bases with Quality Management (QM) techniques to improve efficiency across all Air Bases.  This Project afforded him with extensive training in QM, Project Management skills…but few friends!  After the members of the MBP Team resigned or were posted, he became Head MBP in mid - 1996 prior to the full impact of Defence Reform Program.


RAAF Staff College (RAAFSC) beckoned and after attending No 50 Command and Staff Course, he was promoted to WGCDR rank in 1997 and returned to DPO-AF’s Officers’ Appointments and Administration roles in Canberra.  He was instrumental in commencing a series of Directorate improvements under the gaze of General Peter Dunn (Head of Defence Personnel Executive) which entailed working with various Consultants (‘PriceWaterhouseCoopers’, Anderson Consulting) and a range of Tri-service Committees until early 1999.  His last (permanent) posting was as Strategic Studies Director RAAFSC and while closing down the Fairbairn Campus, he supported the establishment of the Weston Creek Tri-service Australian Command and Staff Course.


After transferring to the Reserve, he served as the Military Assistant to AVM Treloar, supporting a Higher Level Review of Command and Control in the ADF post E. Timor, undertaking a Review of the Reserve Employer Support Payment Scheme for the RAAF, co-authoring a Review of the Administration Specialisation in the RAAF and examining Governance arrangements across Air Command Units leading or contributing to numerous change initiatives covering all Force Element Groups as Deputy Director Workforce Management Project in Air Command and as a contributor to a number of PLAN SUAKIN (Reserve) Workshops.  He is currently the Community Engagement Officer at No 22SQN, Coaching Hub Co-ordinator and the RAAF Rep. for Defence Reserves Support (NSW).  In this role he acts as an advocate for the employment of Reservists by employers for the three Services, with a slight preference for RAAF employment…naturally!


WGCDR Stuart-Watt is a Graduate of RAAFSC and attended the inaugural Personnel Executive Leadership Program at Mt Eliza Business School, Uni. of Melbourne. He has a Grad.Dip.Mgmt. Studies and a Diploma of Administration, is a former Charter Member of the Australian Human Resources Institute, and an Assoc. Fellow of the Aust. Institute of Management.  He has an abiding interest in People development and humanity in general and recently completed a Cert IV in Coaching as part of the Air Command Coaching Cadre.


He was elected as President of the DFWA (NSW) in 2013 and recently became a Councillor for the RAAF Assoc. (NSW). His remaining time is taken up with the Rotary Club of North Rocks as Membership & Youth Director, justifying the existence of Italian Cars, Singing and educating Drinkers on the virtues of Fine Wine.  He has a Daughter, Alexandra, currently studying languages for the Dept. of Foreign Affairs.


In the remaining hours of the week, he works as a Product Expert for Dan Murphy’s Castle Hill Store and he does some minor Wine Consultancy work in his micro-business ‘Still Sparkling’!