RAAFA Publications

RAAFA Publications Board Members

Air Vice Marshal (retd) Neil Alexander Smith, AM, MBE, BE(Aero), FRAeS

Neil graduated from the Royal Australian Air Force Academy in December 1965. He completed an aeronautical engineering degree at Sydney University in 1966 and the RAAF Pilots Course in 1968. He flew Sabre and Mirage aircraft before settling down to an engineering career which included unit appointments in Amberley and Williamtown, and staff appointments in Canberra, Melbourne and London. He also served three years in personnel management (DPO), commanded RAAF Base Pearce, and spent a year at the National Defence College of India (1995).

In 1996 he was appointed Controller, Logistics Systems Agency, which was the forerunner of the present Directorate General of Technical Airworthiness. In 1998 he was promoted as Support Commander Air Force, responsible for the engineering and logistics support for all Australian Defence Force aviation.

After retirement from the RAAF in 2001, Neil managed his own consulting company, held an executive position in Defence Housing Australia, was appointed a member of the Board of the Civil Aviation Airworthiness Authority until its disbandment in 2003, and was a member of the ADF Airworthiness Board from 2006 to 2011. He is currently fully retired from remunerated employment, lives in the Port Stephens area, and still active as Managing Director of RAAFA Publications.

Wing Commander (retd) Alan Wylie, DipAeroEng, BLegS

WGCDR Alan Wylie graduated from the RAAF Diploma Cadet Squadron in 1971. Over the next 20 years, his RAAF engineering career included engineering officer appointments in operational and maintenance squadrons in Australia and Malaysia, and engineering staff appointments at RAAF Support Command, including RAAF representative at QANTAS, and Department of Defence (Air Force Office).

In 1988 Alan transferred to the RAAF Reserve to pursue a legal career, having previously gained a Bachelor of Legal Studies through Macquarie University. He qualified as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of NSW and the High Court of Australia and rose to become a partner with Harris Wheeler Lawyers Newcastle. In 2003 he combined his engineering and legal experience to join Hunter Aerospace, a wholly owned subsidiary of BAE Systems Australia, as Operations and Commercial Manager. In 2014 he retired from BAE Systems as the Senior Commercial Manager of the Aerospace Division. In his retirement, Alan helps his wife to run a successful importing business, and he is an active member of the management committees of Fighter World Inc. and Fighter Squadrons Branch of the Air Force Association and a director of RAAFA Publications.

Mr Philip Speet, MBA, BBus, FCPA, ACIS

Philip is a highly qualified and accomplished senior accountant, holding a degree in Business (Accounting) and an MBA (Strategic Management.) He is a Fellow of CPA Australia (FCPA) and an Associate of the institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators in Australia (ACIS). In his ultimate position of a 35-year accounting career, he was second-in-charge of accounting in a 1st tier auto parts manufacturer where he worked for 15 years being responsible for accounting, procedures, policies and financial reporting for Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and South Africa. He was also responsible for internal audit in China and Taiwan, Company Secretary for Australia and NZ and a conduit to the head office in Ohio.

Philip gained his Unrestricted Private Pilot’s Licence in 1975 and has flown a variety of single engine aircraft up to Cessna 206/210 totalling 600 hours in command. He has had an unwavering interest in things Aviation since joining the ATC in 1963, continuing with the RAAF Reserve (ATC Duties) from 1967 to 1993 (26 years).

Philip has been Treasurer of the NSW Division of the Air Force Association since 2012 and his current directorships include RAAFANSW Publications Pty Ltd since September 2014, and several other small companies.

Philip has also been a swimming volunteer since 1991. He has been a qualified swimming referee for 18 years, a member of Swimming NSW Risk & Audit Committee for 19 years, was President of Swimming Metro South East Inc (MetSEA) for 14 years and a life member of both MetSEA and Sans Souci Sea Devils Swimming Club.

Wing Commander (retd) Peter Ring, AM, AFC

Peter Ring served in the Australian Air Force as a fighter pilot , helicopter pilot and staff officer both in Australia and overseas including Service in South East Asia and with the United Nations Peace Keeping Forces. He completed tertiary-level training in Leadership and Management and became an Instructor at the RAAF Staff College. During his Air Force Career, he was awarded the Air Force Cross and the Order of Australia for Leadership.

He resigned from the Air Force in 1981 and initially operated successful businesses in Sheep Farming, Real Estate and Building Construction. He was also instrumental in organising VIP arrivals in Australia including Prince Charles, the Pope, and other heads of state.

In 1987, Peter founded a unique Communication and Leadership Development concept and ‘Silver Wattle’ (a live-in Training Centre in Southern NSW). Since then, Peter Ring has been working very successfully within Australia and Internationally helping businesses accelerate their performance. This work includes development programs in Leadership, Teamwork, Organisational Communication, and Planning for persons from the most senior executives to middle management programs to the functional team. He also worked in Performance Improvement with the Australian Swimming, Baseball, Softball and Archery Teams as well as developing and implementing a very successful process that enabled many “Street Kids” over many years to achieve a life that they wanted. Peter also has extensive experience in facilitation of consultative processes.

Group Captain Peter Cluff

Peter Cluff first joined the Board as an inaugural member in 2014 when he was the Air Base Executive Officer at Williamtown, and served until he departed to Melbourne on posting 15 months later. Back now at Williamtown as the Senior Australian Defence Force Officer (SADFO) we welcome him back onto the Board as our ex-officio, serving RAAF representative.