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Air Vice Marshal Julie Hammer AM

In 1999, Julie Hammer was the first woman Air Commodore in the Australian Defence Force.

Honour Roll

Julie Hammer completed her schooling in Brisbane in 1971, placing eighth in the Senior Public (Matriculation) Examination in Queensland. She joined the Royal Australian Air Force in 1977 after completing a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Physics at the University of Queensland.

Julie was initially an education officer but transferred to the Engineer Branch in 1981 shortly after it was opened to women. She was a staff member at the Engineer Cadet Squadron where she was instructed in electronics at the School of Radio. She managed maintenance on F-111, Iroquois, Chinook and Canberra aircraft at Amberley and worked in the engineering management of avionics equipment for the RAAF fleet.

In June 1985, Julie was promoted to Squadron Leader. Julie then went to the United Kingdom to study at RAF Cranwell where she completed a Master of Science in aerosystems engineering. In 1987, she returned to Canberra and served as technical intelligence analyst in the Joint Intelligence Organisation. Following this she worked in a major electronic warfare project, first as project engineer, then after promotion to Wing Commander, as a project manager.

In 1992, she became Commander of the Electronic Warfare Squadron in Adelaide. She was the first woman to command an operational unit in the RAAF and was awarded a Conspicuous Service Cross for that command. In 1996, Julie returned to Canberra and completed a Graduate Diploma in Strategic Studies at the Joint Services Staff College. She was promoted to Group Captain and became Project Director of a number of command and control projects.

In 1999, she was the only Australian student at the prestigious Royal College of Defence Studies in London, completing a course in strategic and international studies. When she returned she was promoted to Air Commodore, becoming the first woman in the Australian Defence Force to be promoted to One Star Level and the highest ranked woman.

She is the Director General Infrastructure Services and is responsible for the delivery of the Defence's Information Technology and Transfer services. Her branch manages computer mainframe services as well as central, regional and overseas support for both administrative and operational computing systems. It is also in charge of the corporate communications networks and systems for voice and data including cryptographic support.