Dr Allan du Toit AM retired from the Royal Australian Navy as a Rear Admiral in early 2016 after 40 years combined service in two Commonwealth navies. He was born and raised in South Africa and entered the South African Navy in 1975. He joined the RAN in 1987 and commanded HMAS Tobruk during peacekeeping operations in Bougainville, the Australian Amphibious Task Group, the multi-national maritime interception force enforcing UN sanctions against Iraq, Combined Task Force 158 in the northern Persian Gulf, and Border Protection Command. He also served in a wide range of single-service and joint appointments ashore including Deputy Chief of Joint Operations, Head of Navy Capability, and Head of Navy People. His final appointment was as Australia’s Military Representative to NATO in Brussels.
Allan, who remains an active reservist, is currently non-executive director and chair of two defence companies, JFD Australia and Sonartech Atlas. He is also the Strategic Maritime Adviser to the Northern Territory Government and a member of the Defence Honours and Awards Appeals Tribunal. He holds a Bachelor of Military Science (Arts) degree from the University of Stellenbosch, a Graduate Diploma in Strategic Studies from the Australian Defence College, a Master of Defence Studies degree from UNSW, and was recently awarded his doctorate by UNSW where he is a Visiting Fellow, Adjunct Lecturer, and a founding member of the Naval Studies Group at UNSW Canberra. He was on the Advisory Board of ANCORS at the University of Wollongong from 2008-13 and served as President of the Australian Naval Institute from 2011-13.
Allan has written and lectured on historical and contemporary defence, naval and maritime affairs both in Australia and abroad, has written two books, and has contributed chapters to several publications. His research interests include the evolution and development of the British and Commonwealth navies during the twentieth century, particularly the Royal Navy, Royal Australian Navy, and the South African Navy, as well as contemporary strategic and defence developments in the Indo-Pacific, with a focus on the maritime domain.