Biography of the Governor and Mrs Scarce
His Excellency Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce AC CSC RANR Governor of South Australia
Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce was sworn in as Governor of South Australia on 8th August 2007.
Kevin John Scarce was born in Adelaide in 1952 and spent his early childhood in Woomera. He was educated at Elizabeth East Primary School and then at Elizabeth High School, from where he joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1968.
After graduating from the Naval College, Kevin served in HMAS Sydney in Vietnam and then undertook courses in the United Kingdom in 1973. On return to Australia he completed professional supply courses and then served at sea in HMA Ships Vendetta, Yarra, and Duchess. In 1975 Kevin posted ashore to HMAS Watson where he married Elizabeth Anne Taylor.
In 1977 he participated in the Queen's Silver Jubilee celebrations in the United Kingdom at Spithead whilst serving in HMAS Melbourne. On completion of the cruise Kevin was posted to the RAN Staff College Project to establish the first Naval staff course in Australia which commenced in 1979.
The family moved again later in 1979 to Washington DC to serve at the Australian Embassy. On return to Australia in 1982 Kevin completed further supply specialist training before posting to sea in HMAS Perth as the Supply Officer. Promoted to Commander in 1985, Kevin undertook one of his many postings to the Canberra region where he undertook a variety of specialist logistic roles until 1987. In that year the family moved again, this time to the Nowra area in New South Wales where Kevin was appointed as the Supply Officer, Naval Air Station HMAS Albatross.
Following a year's study at the University of NSW, ADFA campus, where Kevin completed a Master of Management Economics degree, he was promoted to Captain and posted to Fleet Headquarters as the Fleet Supply Officer. He remained in this role until a further posting to Canberra in 1993.
In 1994 the family moved back to Washington DC where Kevin completed a Master's Degree in National Security Strategy at the War College, US National Defense University. Kevin took command of HMAS Cerberus in 1995 where he remained until promoted to Commodore in 1997. Later in that year Kevin was appointed as Flag Officer Naval Training Command. The family moved twice in 1999: to Sydney early in the year where Kevin was posted as Commodore Logistics, responsible for supporting the Fleet at sea, and then back to Melbourne in December after being promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral where he assumed the duties of Support Commander - Navy.
From 2000 until 2003, as Head Maritime Systems in the Defence Materiel Organisation, Kevin was responsible for the acquisition of all Australian Defence Force ships and submarines and the support of these vessels and their equipment through life.
Immediately prior to retiring from the Royal Australian Navy in 2004 in the rank of Rear Admiral, he briefly led the Defence Materiel Organisation. This organisation, widely dispersed throughout Australia and overseas, had 8000 staff spending more than $6B annually in acquiring and supporting the entire Australian Defence Force's military platforms and equipment.
Following retirement, Kevin formed and led the South Australian Government team charged with expanding the State's defence business opportunities. One of the team's first initiatives, to build Air Warfare Destroyers in Adelaide, was successfully achieved in May 2005 when the Federal Government awarded the contract to the locally based ASC. The State's $250 m package of infrastructure, skills development and attraction was integral to the success of the ASC bid.
In 2006 Kevin became an advisor to the corporation formed to deliver the State's shipbuilding infrastructure and skills commitments, and was a member of the Port Adelaide Maritime Corporation Board. He was also Chairman of the Board of Foundation Daw Park, a volunteer organisation that generates funding for medical research for veterans and older Australians.
Kevin was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia in the 2008 Australia Day Honours Awards for distinguished contributions to Australia's defence industry and to the people of South Australia, and was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross in 1994.
In December 2009, Flinders University bestowed an honorary Doctorate in recognition of his distinguished service to the public of south Australia.
Kevin is a keen golfer, with aspirations well beyond his ability, likes to keep fit, collects fine red wines and enjoys reading.
- Bachelor of Financial Administration (University of New England)
- Master of Management Economics (University of New South Wales)
- Master of Science in National Security Strategy (National Defense University, Washington DC)
- Doctor honoris causa, Flinders University
- 2006 - 2007
Port Adelaide Maritime Corporation
- 2004 - 2005
Chief Executive, South Australian Government Defence Unit
Chairman, Defence Industry Advisory Board
- 2003 - 2004
Acting Under Secretary Defence Materiel Organisation
- 2000 - 2003
Head Maritime Systems
- 1999 - 2000
Support Commander Australia - Navy
- 1997 - 1999
Commander Logistics - Navy
Support Command Australia
- 1997 - 1998
Naval Training Commander
- 1995 - 1997
Commanding Officer, HMAS CERBERUS
- Companion in the General Division of the Order of Australia Australia Day 2008
- Officer of the Military Division of the Order of Australia
Australia Day 2004
- Member of the Military Division of the Order of Australia
Queen's Birthday List 2001
Conspicuous Service Cross
Australia Day 1994
Mrs Liz Scarce
Elizabeth Anne Scarce (nee Taylor) was born on the 4th May 1952 in Toowoomba, Queensland. She was educated at the Toowoomba East State School and Toowoomba Presbyterian Girls' College. From 1970 to 1972 she attended the Women's College at the University of Queensland, in Brisbane where she studied a Bachelor of Arts degree, graduating in May 1973.
In July 1973, Liz joined the Women's Royal Australian Naval Service as a Recruit Officer Cadet. Upon graduating as a Third Officer in December 1973, Liz served at HMAS Cerberus in Victoria as the Communications Officer. She met her future husband, Kevin, whilst serving at HMAS Cerberus and they were married in the Naval Chapel at HMAS Watson in Sydney in June 1975. Liz was appointed on the Admiral's staff of Flag Officer Commanding East Australia Area from 1975 and continued serving until 1978 when she left the Navy as a Lieutenant prior to the birth of her daughter, Kasha.
Liz remains part of Navy's Inactive Reserves.
Liz's association with the Navy has been an extensive one as both her brothers were naval officers. Her eldest brother, Bill, retired as a Commodore in 1988 before entering Federal politics, whilst her other brother Rod, retired as a Vice Admiral as Chief of Navy after more than 40 years of service. Liz's sister, Wendy Mackay, lives in Queensland. The Naval legacy has been passed onto Liz's son, Kingsley (1980), who is currently serving in the Royal Australian Navy as a Lieutenant Commander. Kasha (1978) is a youth counsellor with Boys Town in Sydney.
Liz's hobbies are reading, films and watching cricket and football. Whilst supporting Port Adelaide Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL), Liz is also a loyal member of the Collingwood Club. In the South Australian National Football League (SANFL), Liz follows Sturt.
Prior to coming to Adelaide in 2004, Liz was a volunteer for three years at a retirement village in Canberra. Shortly after settling in Adelaide, Liz started work as a volunteer at Resthaven in Malvern. She maintains a keen interest in the aged care sector, especially Palliative Care.
Liz is also a very proud grandmother of Eli (2009) and Lilah (2012).