Michael Keating was born in Albury, NSW in 1945 and educated at St Virgil’s College, Hobart and St Joseph’s College, Gregory Terrace, Brisbane.
He entered the Royal Military College, Duntroon, in 1964 and graduated in 1967, being awarded the Sword of Honour. He was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the Royal Australian Infantry Corps and posted to the 4th Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment, where he served for three years, including operational duty in South Vietnam.
Subsequently he served in a variety of command, training and staff appointments. His appointments have included periods as an exchange instructor at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, United Kingdom; as an instructor at the Australian Command and Staff College, Queenscliff and as Colonel (Operations) Headquarters Logistic Command, Melbourne.
He gained an Arts Degree from the University of Queensland in 1976 and attended the Army Staff College, Queenscliff in 1977. In 1993 he attended the Royal College of Defence Studies in London.
His command experience includes command of the 2nd/4th Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment 1982-1984; Commandant of the Land Warfare Centre, Canungra, 1989 to 1990; Commander 1st Division 1994 to 1996; and Commander Training Command (Army) 1996 to 1999.
Mike was promoted to the rank of Major General in June 1994 and served in that rank as Commander 1st Division, Commander Training Command (Army) and Head, Strategic Command, Australian Defence Headquarters in 1999 and 2000 during the major ADF deployment to East Timor.
He was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in June 1993 in recognition of his service as Commander 3rd Brigade and as an Officer in June 2000 for distinguished service to the ADF and to the Australian Army in high level command and staff appointments.
He was retired in January 2001 after 37 years service.
Since then Mike has contributed to the community in a voluntary capacity working with a college at the University of Queensland, his local neighbourhood residents’ association, and a Sudanese refugee family living in Brisbane. He is an accredited practicing mediator, and worked part-time for a time with the Queensland Department of Justice. More recently, his work for the ARM has meant he has had to discontinue performing this role.
In his leisure time, Mike has enjoyed renovating the family’s 100 years old Queenslander, trying to improve his golf.
Qualifications: Major General M.J.Keating, AO, BA(Qld), DUniv (Hon) SCU, rcds, psc.
Mike Keating has said the following when asked why he is a republican:
It’s about our future. We need to have an unambiguous Australian identity which embraces our various heritages and our espoused ethos in 2010. We say we are egalitarian, we say we value women equally, we say we value all religions equally and we say we respect those who achieve through their own efforts. We say all those things, but we allow a foreign borrowed monarch, who must be the first born son (unless a male is not available) of a particular English-German aristocratic family, who must belong to the Church of England and who achieves the position without any individual effort of their own to remain at the apex of our constitutional arrangements.
Whatever it is the Queen does, we do not want or need her to do it for Australia. We have plenty of Australians who could be our Head of State and who could unambiguously represent us, the Australian people. The Australian people should be sovereign in our Australian democracy.