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  Commander RAN Mine Warfare and Clearance Diving Task Group

The Commander RAN Mine Warfare and Clearance Diving Task Group automatically becomes a Trustee of the Navy Clearance Diver Trust during his tenure at Fleet Headquarters. He is the most senior operational Clearance Diver in the Navy.

National President of the RAN Clearance Divers Association

Captain Michael Edwards, OAM serves on the Trust in his capacity as the National President of the RAN Clearance Divers Association – a role he was elected to in April 2015. During a career of 25 years of which the last 14 were spent as a Clearance Diver, he commanded HMAS TARAKAN, served in AUSCDT Two, and Four, and served in numerous other Mine Warfare and Clearance Diving officer roles in the RAN, the RN and the USN until retiring from the Navy in 2004. In 2004 he was awarded an OAM for services in the Iraq War in 2003.

Currently he is a Managing Director of Oropesa Port Management and also undertakes duties as a Marine Pilot and Consultant at Cape Cuvier, Western Australia. He lives with his gorgeous bride of 23 years, Ilonka, and in his spare time is the vigneron and winemaker of a successful trophy winning winery in the south west of WA. He is also a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, the Company of Master Mariners, the WA Chamber of Commerce and Industry and, the Geographe Wine Industry Association.

Vice Admiral Russ Crane, AO, CSM, RANR

Russ Crane began his naval career as a16 year old junior recruit in 1970 and has served in numerous RAN ships and establishments. He qualified as a ClearanceDiver in 1977 and subsequently spent many years in CLearance Diving positions both at sea in Minehunters and ashore in staff positions as well as Comanding Officer of the Experimental Clearance Diving Team, CDT Two. He was promoted to Captain in January 1996 and assumed command of HMAS Success on 24 November 1998. During his period in command Success conducted a number of deployments to the South East Asia region including, in September and October 1999, Operation Stabilise in support of peacekeeping operations in East Timor.

Awarded the Conspicuous Service Medal in early 2000 for his time in command of HMAS Success, he was promoted to Commodore and was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia in June 2007. He assumed the position of Chief of Navy on 4 July 2008. For his "distinguished service as Deputy Chief of Navy and as Chief of Navy", Crane was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2010.

Mr Gerard Woods, BA LLB

Gerard practices predominantly in the areas of energy and rescourses law, and is experienced in commercial and corporate transactions.
Over a period of more than 20 Years, Gerard has represented some of the largest oil and gas and mining companies on transactions including project development, joint ventures, farm-ins, share and asset sales and long and short term commodity sales arrangements.

Gerard is the President of the Western Australian Branch of the Australian Mining and Petroleum Law Association and represents Allens Arthur Robinson on the Australia Papua New Guinea Business Council. He is also a contributing editor to the International Energy Law Review.

Gerard is admitted to practice in Western Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and Papua New Guinea.

Mr Steven Quill, B.Bus (Acc & Bus Law) CPA (Trust Accountant)

Mr Steve Quill is a Certified Practising Accountant and holds a Bachelor of Business Degree (double major in Accounting and Business Law). Steve has over 15 years experience in dealing with all aspects of taxation, accounting and business issues for small, medium and large businesses. Prior to his career as an Accountant, Steve worked for the Commonwealth Bank as a Finance Manager. Mr Quill has been attending to the financial concerns and taxation issues of clearance divers for more than ten years.

Ms Amanda Luhrmann BSc, LLB (Hons), GradDipACG, FGIA, FCIS, MAICD

Amanda has practised in corporate and commercial law for over 20 years, most recently in various executive management positions. Previously she worked in a leading law firm, where she specialised in corporate advisory, privatisation and mergers & acquisitions. Amanda has broad expertise with ASX listed and private companies, as well as government entities, across manufacturing, distribution & retail businesses, building materials, hardware and plumbing supplies, energy, aviation, rail, telecommunications, media production, marketing, music and film.

Amanda holds a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and Bachelor of Science from the University of Sydney, and is a Chartered Secretary and Fellow of Governance Institute Australia and a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.





  Mr Michael Bragg, MBus, MAICD

Michael Bragg is a highly effective and driven senior executive with significant general management experience honed over 16 years in dynamic Australian corporations and 20 years’ service in the Royal Australian Navy, as a Supply sailor and a Supply Officer. During his naval career Michael served in HMA Ships BRISBANE (twice) and JERVIS BAY. He also served in many establishments with a highlight being 3 years spent at HMAS WATERHEN in the early 1990’s providing base support operations to many customers including CDT-1 and also CDT-3 when deployed in the Gulf War.

Michael’s final posting in the RAN was in Joint Logistics operations and planning which provided an excellent springboard for his transition to the corporate world. He has broad experience across many industries including Pharmaceutical, Defence, Logistics, Infrastructure, Rail, Heavy Equipment, and Telco.

Michael was the start up General Manager for the NBN Supply Chain spending 5 rewarding and challenging years with the largest infrastructure project in recent Australian history. He enjoyed a well-earned sabbatical upon leaving NBN at Christmas 2015, and is now with DHL Supply Chain’s Lifescience and Healthcare Division as the General Manager with responsibility for the Direct to Market Business Unit. He leads a team of 50 specialists providing order to cash and supply chain outcomes to over 20 customers in the Australian Pharmaceutical industry.

Michael is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and a member of the Forestville RSL Sub Branch. He has a Masters of Business (Logistics Management).

In summer Michael enjoys the friendly competition of twilight sailing on Sydney’s Pittwater, and year round is an occasional bushwalker as a result of living close to the Garigal National Park. Michael has been happily married to Angie for almost 30 years and they have 2 sons Alex and Will, (both serving in the RAN), and a daughter Nicola in her final years of high school.

Ms Jacqueline Bessa, B.A (Syd), M.Com (UNSW), GAICD

Jacqueline's career has spanned 27 years across government, higher education, not for profit and private sectors. She possesses a background in psycho-social/human factors research and has also worked in senior Government advisory roles across social policy, human rights and financial management. Her senior advisory roles have included work within NSW Treasury, NSW Premier's Department and the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission.

She has worked for the last 15 years in the financial services sector across a range of international and domestic institutions across Customer Experience, Strategy, Program Management, Risk, HR and Change Management functions within Rabobank, Citibank, AMP, BT Financial Group and Westpac Institutional Bank.

She is currently a Business Relationship Manager at Mine Wealth and Wellbeing in Newcastle, New South Wales.

She has a personal passion for health, wellbeing and financial literacy service provision.

Jacqueline possesses a Bachelor of Arts in Prehistory and Social Policy (USyd), a Masters of Commerce in Industrial Relations and Organisational Behaviour (UNSW) and postgraduate studies in micro-finance (RMIT). She is also a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Photograph: Kate Geraghty/Fairfax Media