John Sanderson

John Sanderson

Infobox Officeholder
name= John Sanderson
honorific-suffix= AC


order= 32nd
office= Governor of Western Australia
term_start= August 18, 2000
term_end= October 31, 2005
monarch= Queen Elizabeth II
predecessor= Michael Jeffery
successor= Ken Michael
birth_date= November 4 1940
birth_place= Geraldton, Western Australia
profession= Military
net worth=

Infobox Military Person
allegiance= flagicon|Australia Australia
branch= Australian Army
serviceyears= 1958 - 1998
rank= Lieutenant General
commands= Chief of Army
Commander, United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia
1st Brigade
1st Field Engineer Regiment
battles= Malayan Emergency
Vietnam War
awards= Companion of the Order of Australia

Lieutenant General John Murray Sanderson AC (born 4 November 1940) is the former Governor of Western Australia.

Early life

Born in Geraldton, Western Australia on 4 November 1940, John Sanderson completed his secondary education at Bunbury High School in 1957 before entering the Royal Military College, Duntroon in 1958. He graduated in 1961 and was commissioned into the Royal Australian Engineers in December of that year.

ervice History

After completing a Fellowship Diploma in Civil Engineering at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, General Sanderson had a series of regimental postings. These included second in command of 10 Field Squadron and Troop Commander and Construction Officer of 21 Construction Squadron on operational service in Sabah, Malaysia. He was promoted to Captain in 1965.

Following eighteen months as a Staff Officer in the Office of the Engineer in Chief, he was posted as the Exchange Instructor at the Royal School of Military Engineering, Chatterden UK from 1967–1969. He returned to Australia to command 23 Construction Squadron at Holsworthy prior to taking up command of 17 Construction Squadron in South Vietnam at the end of 1970. [ [ Vietnam War Nominal Roll] ]

Returning to Australia in late 1971, he was the Senior Instructor at the School of Military Engineering throughout 1972 before attending the Australian Staff College Queenscliff during 1973.

General Sanderson was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in 1975 after serving for a short period as a Staff Officer at the Headquarters of Field Force Command. His initial appointment as Staff Officer Grade 1 at the Directorate of Engineers was followed by two years (1976-1978) as the Exchange Instructor, at the British Army Staff College, Camberley.

He commanded the 1st Field Engineer Regiment from 1979–1980, [ [ Lieutenant General John Murray Sanderson, AC] - Australia War Memorial] and then attended the Joint Services Staff College in 1981. General Sanderson was appointed as the Military Assistant to the Chief of the General Staff in late 1981, serving in that capacity until being promoted to Colonel as Director of Army Plans in 1983.

From June 1985 to the middle of the following year he attended the US Army War College, returning to Australia in the rank of Brigadier. After a six month period as Chairman of the Army Reserve Review Committee, he assumed command of the 1st Brigade at Holsworthy.

General Sanderson served as Chief of Staff Land Command for a brief period in 1989 and was then promoted to Major General and appointed as Assistant Chief of Defence Policy. In this role he was tasked to develop and carry out major reforms to the Higher ADF Staff, which resulted in him becoming the first Assistant Chief of Defence Force Development at the end of 1989.

From October 1991, General Sanderson became engaged directly in the United Nations process to bring peace to Cambodia, first as adviser to the Secretary General of the United Nations, and then from March 1992, in the rank of Lieutenant General as the Commander of the 16,000 strong international military component of the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC).

After the successful completion of the UN mission in October 1993, General Sanderson returned to Australia to be appointed as the first Commander Joint Forces Australia (now COMAST), and developed this role until becoming Chief of the General Staff in June 1995. General Sanderson's appointment was changed to Chief of the Army in 1997.


On 18 August 2000 John Sanderson was sworn in as 32nd Governor of Western Australia.

General Sanderson retired as Governor of Western Australia in June 2005 after his term of office expired, but agreed to stay on until October 31 2005 to assist with the transition to the new Governor. His successor was Dr Ken Michael who was sworn in on January 18 2006.


Over time General Sanderson's service to Australia has been recognised by the award of Member of the Order of Australia(1985), [ [ It's an Honour] - Member of the Order of Australia] Officer of the Order (1991) [ [ It's an Honour] - Officer of the Order of Australia] and Companion of the Order (1994). [ [ It's an Honour] - Companion of the Order of Australia] He was also awarded the Centenary Medal in 2001. [ [ It's an Honour] - Centenary Medal] General Sanderson has also been recognised by the United States of America for his service to the region and the alliance by the award of the Legion of Merit Commander Class.

In July 2008, General Sanderson was selected as one of the inaugural fellows of the Australian Institute of International Affairs to highlight his very high level of distinction in and distinguished contribution to Australia's international affairs.



External links

* [ Swearing In Ceremony – Address in Reply (John Sanderson)]

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