New Comd 11 Brigade – Brig Richard Pearce

The following report on the appointment of the new Comd 11 Bde written by Capt Cath Batch appeared in the Australian Government Defence website ( …11 Brigade held a ceremony on December 8 2023 to mark the official handover of command from the outgoing Brigade Commander, Brigadier Mark Armstrong, to Brigadier Richard Peace.

Military personnel, family and guests, including Commander 2nd (Australian) Division, Major General David Thomae, and past brigade commanders, attended the ceremony.

Outgoing Brigade Commander Brigadier Mark Armstrong presents

incoming Brigade Commander Brigadier Richard Peace with an 11th Brigade patch.

Outgoing Brigade Commander Brigadier Mark Armstrong salutes Commander

2nd (Australian) Division Major General Thomae, while incoming

Brigade Commander Brigadier Richard Peace looks on, at the

11th Brigade change of command ceremony.

Photos: Lance Corporal Tom Scott

The 2nd Division Ceremonial Parade – July 2022

A Ceremonial Parade was held at the Anzac Memorial, Hyde Park Sydney, to mark the establishment of The 2nd Division Australian Army as a functional command. The parade was attended by Chief of Army Lieutenant General Simon Stuart AO, DSC and Commander 2nd Division Major General David Thomae AM together with COs and RSMs and  key members of units of 2DIV.

A video clip of the Ceremonial Parade is contained in the attached link:


Historic photo of all 11 bde unit flags Comd Brig Armstrong, with COs and RSMs and Key Pers on the steps of the Anzac Memorial – Sydney as part of the Ceremony announcing 2DIV as an independent Formation.

Inspection of Unit flags of 2Div Units by

Chief of Army Lieutenant General Simon Stuart AO, DSC and

Commander 2nd Division Major General David Thomae AM

Some of the Unit Flags

2DIV Unit Flags


VALE – Maj Gen Mick Fairweather AM RFD

The Secretary of the Brisbane Branch of our 31st Bn Association, Tony Wadeson passes on the following sad news: Members – We have been advised of the passing of MajGen Mick Fairweather AM RFD who was previously a Commander of 11Bde. I met him when he used to attend the yearly 31st Bn Church Service’s held in the “Rocks Area” Sydney

This is a Bio on the late MAJGEN Mick Fairweather. Mick James & Chris Hamilton have supplied the Info.  Mick was one of the old school who rose up through the Ranks & had experience of Command at all Levels from L/Cpl up. He Commanded 25th Bn RQR. Chris Hamilton has supplied the undermentioned Bio.


Notification was received from our 49 Bn Mate Garry Saunderson.   REGARDS TONY


 For those who aren’t on Facebook (or who don’t see posts from Duncan Schulz), the above is a post from Duncan Schulz

Tony continues: I did however receive the Poem reproduced below. It was passed onto me by our good mate Peter Grogan of 49 Bn & 25 Bn Associations.

You’ll note the Poem was written in Sept 1990 by one – C. Hamilton, (Now Brigadier Chris Hamilton (Rtrd) & past CO of 31st Bn), who has given me the OK to resurrect his early Jottings.   

The CO’s History (MAJGEN Ian Fairweather)

T’was Mick the Tick

From Gatton town

Who caught the Ares craze.

He gave up sport & drinking grog

And re-arranged his days

To put on greens & GP boots

A pack & webbing too

He headed off to QAC

To see what he could do.

They trained for wars that never came

It didn’t worry Mick

He soldiered on & earned his pay

His mates they thought him thick

He should be here & drinking beer

Was heard about the town

But Mick the tick, he acted deaf

He was headed for a crown.

From course to course

He moved along the postings in between

From CPL Mick to SGT Mick

The wildest they had seen

He earned his pips he took the bit

No one could slow him down

The die was cast he headed fast

T’wards a pip beside that crown.

Was CAPT Mick – then MAJ Mick

He arrived up on the Downs

To join ye ken with the Mountain men

A Battalion of renown

So Company B soon came to be

The wariest of the mob

To awake poor old Roma at daylight on their jogs.

He went of then with Gentlemen

Of the other arms n corps

To do Tac 5 after he had survived

The trials of the Senior course

Said COL Lane “He’s back again”

Promoted same as me

He’ll have to do as Chief Moutain man 11

Lord knows who we’ll get as 111.

So it came to pass when the high level brass

Write down 25th with their pen

As they dry their ink they pause to think

Of Mick & his Mountain Men.


Written on 27th September 1990 by a – C. Hamilton –(a Lost Poet)

who ended up as CO of 31st Bn on his way to be – BRIG Chris Hamilton.

(I believe it was about the time Mick took Command of 25 Bn)


Commander 11th Brigade – Brig Mark Armstrong

Biography –

Brig Mark Armstrong has served in the Army Reserve for over 29 years and has operational experience on Operation Catalyst (Iraq 2007), Operation QLD Flood Assist (Brisbane 2011) and as Commander Joint Task Group 629.3 on Operation COVID-19 Assist (Brisbane 2020).  He is a full-time Command and Staff Course graduate and was the Commanding Officer/Chief Instructor of the Queensland University Regiment.   He is currently posted as the Deputy Commander of 11 Brigade.

His academic qualifications include a Master of Arts (Strategy and Management), Master of Business Administration (Strategic Management), Master of Human Resource Management and a Master of International Security Studies.  In his civilian career as a supply chain professional COL Armstrong has worked for multi-national corporations including Coca-Cola Amatil and Mayne Group.  Most recently he was the National Manager Supply Chain Optimisation for Symbion (Australia’s largest pharmacy wholesaler).

COL Armstrong is undertaking a PhD as part of a Defence endorsed ‘PhD by Portfolio’ program through Deakin University.  His topic is “One or two Armies? Ready or not? Relevant or not? – An analytical history of institutional reviews into the Australian Army Reserve since 1999”.


Appointment – Commander 2nd Division – Major General David Thomae AM

The former Commander 11th Brigade has recently been appointed to Command the 2nd Division

Major General David Thomae assumed command of the 2nd Division on 17 July 2021.

Major General Thomae joined the Army in 1985, graduating from the Royal Military College Duntroon in 1988 to the Royal Australian Infantry Corps. His regimental service has been with the 2nd/4th Battalion and 6th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment, 16th Battalion, The Royal Western Australian Regiment, 25th Battalion and 9th Battalion, The Royal Queensland Regiment, which he commanded in 2007-08.

Major General Thomae’s senior leadership roles have been as Commander Joint Task Group 629.3, Commander 11th Brigade and immediately prior as the Adjutant General – Army. As a Colonel, he served as Colonel Projects Headquarters 1st Division, Director of Studies (Reserves), Australian Command and Staff College and Assistant Commander Training, 11th Brigade.

His operational experience includes being a military observer with the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation in Lebanon and Syria, rifle company commander in the 6th Battalion Battle Group with the United Nations Transitional Administration East Timor and as Senior Military Advisor to the Special Representative to the Secretary General, United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq. Recently he was Commander Joint Task Group 629.3 as part of Operation COVID19 ASSIST, the task group supporting the Australian Defence Force’s response to the COVID19 pandemic.

In addition to his command and senior leadership roles, Major General Thomae gained broad experience across Army in a range of staff, training and representational duties, including as an instructor at the School of Infantry and the Queensland University Regiment, Aide de Camp to General Officer Commanding Training Command, as an operations and plans officer at Headquarters 1st Division and as a staff officer with the Directorate of Reserve Soldier Career Management.

Major General Thomae is a graduate of the Australian Command and Staff College. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of New South Wales, a Bachelor of Laws from the Queensland University of Technology, a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice from the Australian National University, a Master of Business Administration from the University of Southern Queensland, and a Master of International Relations from the University of Queensland. He has completed the Joint Task Force Commander Course conducted by Joint Operations Command.

In 2021 he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for his command and leadership in the senior appointments of Adjutant General – Army, Commander 11th Brigade and Commander Joint Task Group 629.3. Additionally, he was awarded a Chief of Defence Force Commendation for his leadership as a company commander in East Timor and a General Officer Commanding Commendation for his leadership as an instructor at the School of Infantry.

Since 2003, he has been a commercial barrister practicing at the Queensland Bar. He is a nationally accredited mediator and is a member of the Bar Association of Queensland’s, Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee. In January 2018, he was appointed as a Senior Member (part time) to the Veterans’ Review Board, the statutory tribunal reviewing decisions of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

Major General Thomae is married to Nicole, a global knowledge manager for EY. They have three children. He enjoys cycling, sailing and golf in his free time.


Appointment of Colonel Commandant

An Unclassified Notice from Maj Ian Reid Executive Offr/2IC 31/42 RQR advises the following:


It is with much pleasure that I am able to announce that WEF 1 September 2018, BRIG Bruce Andrew Robert Scott (RETD) has been appointed as the Colonel Commandant of the Royal Queensland Regiment.


All written correspondence for the Colonel Commandant should be addressed to;


The Honorary Colonel Commandant

The Royal Queensland Regiment

BRIG Bruce Scott (RETD)

C/- Chief of Staff 11 Bde

Passchendaele Lines

Lavarack Barracks



Kind Regards,


Ian A. Reid