General Peter Gration AC OBE (’48) was born at Richmond, Victoria, and attended Scotch from 1945 to 1948 where he represented the School in cricket (3rd X1), football (2nd XV111) and athletics (relays) and matriculated in 1948. He then attended the Royal Military College, Duntroon, from 1949 to 1952, graduating as a Lieutenant in the Royal Australian Engineers and winning the Queen’s Medal.
In 1953 and ’54 he attended Melbourne University as a resident student in Ormond College to complete his Bachelor of Civil Engineering. In subsequent years he also completed a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Economics at the University of Queensland. In 1993 he was made an Honorary Doctor of Science of the University of New South Wales. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Engineers Australia, and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.
In his 44 years in the regular army, he saw active service in the Malayan Emergency and the Vietnam war. He attended the British Army Staff College at Camberley in 1964, and the United States Army War College at Carlisle, Pennsylvania, in 1977–78. His senior appointments include Director of Engineers 1973 to ’76, Chief of the General Staff 1984–87, and Chief of the Defence Force 1987–93.
Since retiring from the Army in 1993, he has been variously Chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority 1993–95, Chairman of the Council of the Australian War Memorial 1994–99, Chairman of the Management Committee of Transfield Defence Systems 1994–98, Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Australian Defence College (formerly the Australian College of Defence and Strategic Studies) 1994–2004, a Director of Tenix Pty Ltd 1998–2004, Chairman of Tenix Toll Defence Logistics Pty Ltd 1999–2004, Founding Chairman of the General Sir John Monash Foundation 2001–05, and National President of Toc H 2001–06.
In 1994 and 1995, as a consultant to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, he had primary responsibility for negotiation of the security agreement with Indonesia.
He was Honorary Colonel of the Melbourne University Regiment from 1994 to 2004, and Representative Colonel Commandant of the Royal Australian Engineers from 2000 to 2004.
He is married and has two sons.His knowledge of military history and his many years of senior command make him the ideal person to lead the 2008 Old Scotch Military History tour to Gallipoli and the Western Front.
Scotch College: ABN 86 852 826 445 ACN 005 650 395 CRICOS 00624A (Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students)