Compensation (Disability Pension – TPI – EDA & War Widow appeals to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal)
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 Irish migrants to Australia; Noel was born in Melbourne 10 January 1947. He attended Canberra University to undertake studies in Tribunal Advocacy. He joined the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) 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.
He saw operational service in Vietnam and served as part of the Far East Strategic Forces. During his naval career, Noel was a Land Fighting/Combat Survival, Gunnery/Weapons and Recruit Training Instructor, as well as a Marksman. His postings included Quality Control Officer/Chief of Parade Training at the RAN Recruit Training School, Chief Instructor (Parade & Ceremonial) at the RAN Gunnery School HMAS CERBERUS, Training Chief HMAS VAMPIRE, his last posting was Chief Bosun’s Mate/Bridge Watchkeeper in HMAS ATTACK. Devoted to the Navy, Noel continued in the RAN Reserve. He retired from the Reserves in the year 2000, giving him 35 years continuous connection to the navy.
For a period in 1999/2000 he 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 traveled around Australia for the Review Hearings and was an integral part of the Government Review, his knowledge of veterans’ law and military history was an invaluable resource for the review. Noel’s achievements, in this regard, have not been fully appreciated nor have they been appropriately rewarded.
After leaving the navy, Noel advanced within the Ford Motor Company’s dealer network to senior management positions. In 1983 the family moved to Queensland and Noel soon took up an appointment as General Manager of one of that State’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, including the construction of tennis courts and bowling greens, and, at the same time pursued his hobbies as an occasional bookmaker and horse trainer. He retired, from full time employment in 1993, after which he became interested in Defence/Veterans’ matters; he continues with that interest. Noel has engaged in some casual part-time employment within the legal profession since 2004.
He is a competent and tenacious Veterans’ Advocate and an outspoken and consistent campaigner for Veterans’ recognition and entitlements. He has completed training courses in Veterans’ Law, through the Department of Veterans’ Affairs Training and Information Program and the University of Canberra, he has been a presenter and coordinator of veterans’ law courses. Through his volunteer work for ex and serving members of the Australian Defence Force, he has assisted thousands of people to access their entitlements.
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.
In 2013, Noel was appointed to the Bench of the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) as part of the program to introduce Justices of the Peace into that jurisdiction. After completing training and the first trial period, Noel had his appointment extended indefinitely.
If you call, an appointment can be made with Noel to discuss your veteran matters.