Ian MacDougall

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For the politician in Saskatchewan, Canada, see Ian Hugh MacDougall. For other people of a similar name, see Ian McDougall (disambiguation).
Ian MacDougall
Born (1938-02-23) 23 February 1938 (age 79)
Sydney, New South Wales
Allegiance Australia
Service/branch Royal Australian Navy
Years of service 1954–1994
Rank Vice Admiral
Commands held Chief of Naval Staff (1991–94)
Maritime Commander Australia (1989–90)
HMAS Platypus (1985–86)
HMAS Supply (1980–82)
HMAS Hobart (1979)
HMAS Onslow (1971–73)
HMS Otter (1969–71)
Awards Companion of the Order of Australia
Australian Fire Service Medal
Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Crown of Thailand[1]
Other work Commissioner of New South Wales Fire Brigades (1994–03)

Vice Admiral Ian Donald George MacDougall AC, AFSM (born 23 February 1938) is a retired senior commander of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), who served as Chief of Naval Staff from 1991 to 1994. He also served as Commissioner of New South Wales Fire Brigades, and is Patron of the Submarines Association Australia.

Early life[edit]

MacDougall was born in Sydney, New South Wales, on 23 February 1938 to James MacDougall and his wife Eileen (née Stanbridge).[2] In 1954, MacDougall entered the Royal Australian Naval College at Jervis Bay as a 15-year-old cadet midshipman.[3]


MacDougall went on to command the submarines HMS Otter and HMAS Onslow, the guided missile destroyer HMAS Hobart and the fleet tanker HMAS Supply.[4] He became Director of Submarine Policy in 1982, Commander of the submarine base HMAS Platypus in 1985 and Director General of Joint Operations and Plans for the Australian Defence Force in 1986.[1] He was appointed Maritime Commander Australia in January 1989, Deputy Chief of Naval Staff in July 1990 and finally Chief of Naval Staff in March 1991.[1] He was made a Companion of the Order of Australia in the 1993 Birthday Honours List, and retired in March 1994.[1]

On his retirement from the RAN, MacDougall was appointed Commissioner of New South Wales Fire Brigades.[3][4] He fulfilled the role for nine years, being awarded the Australian Fire Service Medal in the Australia Day Honours of 2000.[2][5] He retired to Tasmania in 2003.[1] From 2003 to 2007, he was Independent Chairman of the board of the Co-operative Research Centre – Bushfires, and from 2005 to 2007 he was also Chairman of the Australian Veterans Children Assistance Trust.[6]

Personal life[edit]

MacDougall was married to television journalist and presenter Sonia Humphrey from 1996 until her death in 2011. After his retirement from New South Wales Fire Brigades, MacDougall and Humphrey moved to the town of Marrawah in north-west Tasmania.[7]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Our Patron: Vice Admiral Ian MacDougall, AC, AFSM, RAN (Rtd)". Submarines Association Australia. Retrieved 14 June 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Singh 2010
  3. ^ a b "Vice Admiral Ian Donald MacDougall". RAN Admirals. Royal Australian Navy. Retrieved 14 June 2013. 
  4. ^ a b MacDougall, Ian (2006). "With the Gift of Hindsight: Recruiting and Retaining the Young". Defender. Australian Defence Association. Retrieved 14 June 2013. 
  5. ^ "MacDOUGALL, Ian Donald awarded the Australian Fire Service Medal". It's an Honour. Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 14 June 2013. 
  6. ^ Ian MacDougall, AC, AFSM Vice Admiral RAN Rtd, The Inaugural Platypus Address, HMAS Platypus, 18 August 2007, Submarines Association Australia, NSW Branch, page 12.
  7. ^ "Journalist championed anti-discrimination". The Sydney Morning Herald. 8 February 2011. Retrieved 20 January 2016. 


Military offices
Preceded by
Admiral Michael Hudson
Chief of the Naval Staff
Succeeded by
Vice Admiral Rodney Taylor
Preceded by
Rear Admiral Ken Doolan
Deputy Chief of Naval Staff
Succeeded by
Rear Admiral Rodney Taylor
Preceded by
Rear Admiral Peter Sinclair
Maritime Commander Australia
Succeeded by
Rear Admiral Ken Doolan