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Our Team

Noel Payne

Defence & Veterans’ Law – Consultant

In the areas of:

· Compensation (Disability Pension, TPI, EDA & War Widow appeals to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).
· Service Pensions (Operational, Warlike & Non Warlike, Age & Invalidity Pensions)
· Superannuation (Retrospective changes of discharge category to Medical Discharge)

A descendant of a 19th century transported Irish convict and migrants to Australia; Noel was born in Melbourne; he was educated in Victoria at St Bede’s and Swinburne Colleges, later attending the University of Canberra to undertake studies in Tribunal Advocacy. He joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1965. After serving in HMAS ATTACK on Darwin Harbour during Cyclone Tracy (Christmas Eve 1974); surviving the grounding wreck of that vessel, he left the navy in 1975.

Noel saw operational military service in Vietnam and served as part of the Far East Asian Strategic Forces. During his naval career, Noel was a weapons specialist and Gunnery Instructor. Devoted to the Navy, Noel continued in the RAN Reserve after leaving the permanent force, retiring in the year 2000, giving him 35 years continuous connection to the navy. After leaving the navy, Noel advanced within the Ford Motor Company’s dealer network to senior management positions. In 1983 took up an appointment as General Manager of one of Queensland’s leading home entertainment companies. Between the years 1983 and 1991, Noel owned shares in, and operated, a thoroughbred horse stud on the Darling Downs of Queensland, managed several businesses and investments, in which he had interests. He retired, from full time employment in 1993, after which he became interested in Defence Veterans’ matters; he continues with that interest today. Noel has engaged in casual employment within the legal profession since 2004.

For a period in 1999/2001 Noel was a Federal Vice President of the Naval Association of Australia, in that capacity, he served as an Industry Representative, appointed by Admiral Mike Hudson’s Joint Consultative Group, to the Review of Service Anomalies in Respect of South East Asian Service 1955-1975 conducted by the late Major General, the Honourable Justice Bob Mohr, RFD, ED. Noel travelled to various parts of Australia for the Review Hearings, and was an integral part of the Government Review, proofing the evidence of witnesses and advising on their appearances at the Hearings; having been a course co-ordinator and presenter of Veterans’ Law courses for the Department of Veterans’ Affairs’ funded Training and Information Program; his knowledge of veterans’ law and military history was an invaluable resource for the review.

In February 2004, after a sometimes acrimonious battle with government, the names of the sailors killed in Malaya in 1957 were placed on the Honour Wall at the Australian War Memorial; a land mark event in which Noel played no small part. During the ceremony in Canberra, Admiral Mike Hudson, AC, RAN (Rtd) a former Chief of Navy and Vice Chief of the Australian Defence Force paid special tribute to Noel and his role in bring about long overdue recognition for this group; Admiral Hudson made particular mention of the fact when he said “… there was nothing in it for Noel, he was at school while these events unfolded, but his outspoken manner and his tenacity wore the Government down, he is a formidable foe…’. In September 2004, Noel was notified by the Governor General that on Australia Day 2005 he would receive an Honour in the Order of Australia; an Order of Australia Medal for his services to the welfare of Australian Defence Force personnel. Other awards to Noel include a Moncrieff Award for services to the people of the Gold Coast and an Australia Day Medal for Achievement in Sport.

In 2013, Noel was appointed to the Bench of the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) as part of a program to introduce Justices of the Peace into that jurisdiction. After completing training and a trial period, Noel has had his appointment extended indefinitely.

If you call, an appointment can be made with Noel to discuss your veteran matters.