Class of 1966

One of the marks of a true Aquinian is his tendency not to sing his own praise. Anthony Gerard Warner (Gerry) is as unassuming as he is impressive. The son of Mary (Molly) Moon from Kalgoorlie and Frank Warner from Leonora, his parents were community-minded people who together with the Christian Brothers at Aquinas College instilled in him from a young age the importance of learning. Gerry who fully admits and regrets that he didn’t try hard enough at school, and “took his foot off the pedal”, nevertheless performed well and has made the most of opportunities since at every turn. He has seen extensive regimental experience in the military and travelled widely, supported the offices and lives of Governors-General and served worked with UN peacekeeping forces.

Graduating from the Royal Military College, Duntroon in 1971 with the highest military marks in his class, Gerry was allotted to the Royal Australian Artillery. He was encouraged to study on the army’s ticket and gained a BSc (Honours) in Chemistry. Gerry has continued to study with the best in his field at home and abroad throughout his career.

When he set off to Yarralumla to meet the then Governor-General Sir John Kerr in 1976, and compete with two fellow captains in a round of interviews, he was selected as his Aidede-Camp responsible for managing the Governor-General’s functions, travel and appointments.

The upward trajectory of his career continued rapidly and Gerry was appointed a UN Military Observer with UNTSO in the Golan Heights and Southern Lebanon the following year. He returned to Government House as a lieutenant colonel in the eighties as Military Secretary and Comptroller for Governor-General Sir Ninian Stephen.

His artillery service included command of 111th Air Defence Battery (Light) in 1981-82 and 16th Air Defence Regiment in 1989-90 and saw him participate in several major exercises in Singapore, Malaysia and Germany. The Queen recognised his services in 1988 by appointing him a Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order (LVO), a huge honour. He was promoted to Colonel in 1991 and served as Director of Officer Career Management, Army, and then after attending the prestigious US Army War College, as Colonel Operations on Land HQ in Sydney. He was promoted to Brigadier in 1995 and was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2000 for “service to the Australian Army as the Head Defence Centre – Perth, Commander 5th Brigade and Chief of Staff Land Headquarters”.

More recently Gerry returned to his native Perth with wife, Gerri, to be CEO of an ex-service organisation that operates and runs retirement villages, aged care facilities and an aviation museum. He also serves on tribunals. From soldier to CEO, Gerry has earned the respect of all who work with him from the forces to members of the Royal Family. Looking back he says: “Aquinas taught me about discipline, duty and gave me a love of learning”.